Michael Shainblum's picture

Temple of Moonlight

What you are seeing is a vertical panorama of moonset through the famous Pfeiffer Beach archway in Big Sur. The moon was fairly dim during this phase (18% or so) giving slight visibility to the Milky Way overhead. As the moon dipped down closer to the horizon the Galaxy became visible enough to even see some subtle nebula colors. The panorama consists of about 5 shots overlapping starting from almost completely overhead all the way facing down at some rocks near the tripod legs.
I had been wanting a Pfeiffer Beach shot for awhile and I was just sitting at home one day when my buddy Justin Majeczky mentioned to me that it may be the last time to head out and see the moonlight shining through with the Milky Way. So I met up with my friend Jim Patterson and we drove out to see this awesome sight. It was pretty incredible to see the glow from the moon backlighting the waves crashing through the arch. The long exposure makes the water look very calm, however in reality it was very active and I was a little nervous about a rogue wave sneaking up. It was very hard to see much besides the moonlight glow in person.

f/1.0 · 20s · ISO 12800
Log in or register to post comments
Brian Hoover's picture

Fantastic image, like many of the others you have posted, but this one really stands out to me. Inspiring!

Ghalib Hasnain's picture


Anonymous's picture

Wonderful capture!