Full Moon Photography on the California Central Coast

It’s that wonderful time of year again – Fall on the spectacular California Central Coast in all its grandeur. The crisp snap in the air, orange full moons looming overhead, minus tides along the craggy coast, autumnal leaves scattered under foot, grape harvests, and the special scent as warm days meld into cool nights and the earth exhales her breath. Halloween is just around the corner and, as friends of mine know, it is my favorite ‘holiday’ of the year for many reasons. One reason is the bounty of photographic opportunities this special season provides here on the Central Coast. We are so fortunate to be able to bask in and photograph diverse locations around San Luis Obispo County from sandy dunes to sandy beaches, charming coastal villages, mountains, volcanic outcroppings, oak-studded wineries, and much more.

Coastal Bluffs along Pacific Coast Highway, Piedras Blancas, California

Moon Over Piedras Blancas Bluffs

As any good photographer will tell you, there is something very special about capturing the full moon this time of year, especially when there is such a rich variety of natural beauty to place in the foreground. I thought I would share two of my favorite full moon images taken here on the Central Coast: a shot captured along the coastal bluffs near the old Piedras Blancas Motel (see my post on the Legend of Piedras Blancas for more information); and an image shot near downtown Paso Robles in a train yard. Both images were created from HDR bracketed shots and processed in Lightroom 3, Photomatix Pro 4, Photoshop CS5, and plug-in software from Nik.

The image in Paso Robles was taken near the historic old Farmer’s Alliance building, currently undergoing renovation by a local winery, Derby. The railroad on Pine Street runs just west of the Farmer’s Alliance building, which is located off Riverside Avenue. These two old rail cars were perfectly positioned face-to-face and lined up exquisitely under the full moon that night. When I returned a few days later, they were gone! Lesson: always take your camera.

Union Pacific Railyard, Paso Robles, California

Head On

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