Every year thousands of photographers flock down to Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur to photograph light beams through the Pfeiffer Arch (some people call it Keyhole Arch?). During December, January, and a bit into Februray the sun sets at just the right angle that its rays will streak through the hole in the rock. As the sun nears the horizon the light takes an orange hue and water droplets in the air will reflect the lights orange color.
My buddy Andy moved up here a couple months ago and has used his new proximity to me as an excuse to get more into photography. He had seen my photo "Spotlight" from last year and demanded that we go down to Pfeiffer this year. Between busy schedules and poor weather/tide conditions it took us until late January to get down. We played hooky with a work, left around 1pm and made our way down the Big Sur coast. It was a beautiful afternoon and we were pretty excited!
When we arrived at Pfeiffer we quickly noted how calm the water was. The tide was fairly high, about 3.2ft before sunset, and was supposed to only drop to 3ft by sunset. It seemed a bit high. Without the huge surf there wasn't much splash or spray and the light beam never materialized like it did for me last year. None-the-less I took a number of photos and left feeling somewhat disappointed. It wasn't until I got home that I realized I had captured a few nice shots! I especially liked this one because wispy strands of water picked up the setting sun, making it look like it was almost molten!
Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S:
70mm, f/16, 0.6 sec, ISO 64