With hidden coves of untouched sand, sea stacks of fanciful shapes and a history of attracting explorers and creative types looking for an escape and inspiration, California's Big Sur Coast is unlike any other coastal area in America.
Pfeiffer Beach is one of the highlights of Big Sur, and it's home to a peculiar and fascinating phenomena, as the beaches here are streaked with beautiful purple sand. The unique purple sand at Pfeiffer Beach comes from manganese garnet found in the nearby hills, which gets washed down to the beach below.
While wandering the beach one early summer evening, I came across this perfectly smoothed stone wrapped with kelp among the purple sands. This abstract scene makes me think of an eye (the stone) an eyebrow (the kelp) and purple mascara (the purple sand). Since the stone and kelp were right at the tide line, I knew I had to work quickly before the waves approached and erased this composition from existence. I fortunately was able to quickly set up my tripod and get some shots before the sea came rushing in and swept the stone and kelp back out into the depths of the ocean.
Scenes like the one captured in this photo are especially moving to me, as it makes me think about how nature had to align everything just right to make this photo a possibility, and how I had to be there at the precise time to capture it. This is why I always try to keep an open eye and open mind while exploring the wild world, because you never know what the natural world will present to you or when, and as photographers and explorers we owe it to ourselves to capture these fleeting moments and share them with the world, hopefully inspiring others to venture out of their comfort zone and discover the exhilarating beauty of the natural world.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor