big sur, ireland, london and another year

I’m officially another year older. hooray!! this was my first non FB birthday in 8-9 years and wow, it’s enlightening. a few friends reached out, family called and M was of course right by my side. this is what a real birthday feels like. real in the sense that those who really love and care about you know your special day and reach out. thank you to all who did!! 

the birthday weekend stared with a photography workshop in big sur California. landscapes & nudes. one I’m very familiar with and one I’ve never shot. we took a drive down the coast on Thursday to check in to the accommodations. the place was awful. no tv  or phone (which I could deal with), dirty carpet and a serious mildew/mold smell in the room which I could not deal with. M came along on this adventure and his bags barely hit the floor before he said – nope, I’m outta here!  we checked out minutes after we had checked in and headed to Carmel in search of lodging. on the way there way the kick off incident of the weekend. 

traffic. merging into traffic the car behind us honks. that was their mistake. unless there is an emergency of some sort – it’s best to not honk at Mr M while he’s behind the wheel. so the honked at us legally and politely merging into their land with all the cars ahead of us. M, brakes – he doesn’t like to get honked at. we start to move, they honk again and he brakes again and I hear “crash”. the car behind them hits them and whatever hurry they were in has now been delayed because of an accident. don’t honk at M – unless it’s really an emergency! 

we found a great place in Carmel, met up with the photography group for a presentation and dinner and the. got ready for a full day of shooting on this amazing ranch in big sur. nudes are new to me. portraits and capturing a woman’s beauty is not. it was a great day. really hot so we had to work in as many open shade areas as we could find. we had one model who had a very nostalgic look to her and an African American model who was sweet.  

the ranch was amazing here is a video of the view from the yard.  

 Saturday had an even earlier start. 6am to catch sunrise at the beach and we got fully socked in with fog. The morning was still beautiful to me. I love soft foggy mornings at the beach, they have personality! we headed down the coast to shoot along the massive rocks off the coast. pretty scary to climb around on the rocks with my gear, but pretty spectacular to get images from behind waves crashing along the cliffs. so worth it!!

the afternoon was spent visiting the famous Edward Weston’s family home, his darkroom and viewing four generations of work that has come from his son, nephew, grandson and now great grandson. Weston’s work has always been some of my favorite BW work so it was beyond words to be standing in his home, and in his darkroom looking at the things he used to create his work. we left there to shoot sunset at a local public beach and were turned away because the beach was full. so while the rest of the group went on to hunt for a location to shoot sunset – M and I headed back to the ranch to enjoy it alone. we walked a cattle path, ran into a cow and sat and watched the sun sink into the Pacific Ocean. my final sunset of my 50th year was perfect. 

we had a great birthday breakfast at Pebble Beach, and headed back to SF so I could unpack and repack for my next adventure. 

2 thoughts on “big sur, ireland, london and another year

  1. Happy Belated Birthday!! We do love you although we don’t have your birthdate! Glad you had a wonderful weekend.

  2. I love you too Vanessa – didn’t mean to imply that you didn’t. It was more of a commentary on FB birthdays. Give Dotcy my best, and thanks for the belated wishes!! XO!

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