Photographer’s Guide to Point Reyes

Sculpted Beach

Sculpted Beach is a great place to catch the last few minutes of light before sunset. The red cliffs can pick up a really nice warm hue from the late afternoon light. The light can be especially dramatic after a storm as the sun drops below the clouds just before it sets. There are also some attractive rock outcroppings you can get in the foreground of your photos if you position yourself properly.

You can reach sculpted beach from several places. Beach Camp is the closest, and if you are camping there you’ll have an easy hike back after the shoot. If you don’t want to spend the night, it is only an extra mile to the Limantour parking lot (and you might get to see some bioluminescence hiking along the wet sand in the dark). Sky Camp is another possibility, but it is a long walk back up the mountain in the dark.

Hiker on Sculpted Beach

Photo of person on beach

This was taken on a day hike from Sky Camp to Coast Camp and back. We hit Sculpted Beach in the late afternoon. There was a layer of clouds and the sun hadn’t dropped between the clouds and the horizon yet, given the scene a soft light.

There was another photographer with a tripod waiting for the sun to break through under the clouds. I considered waiting to see if the light would improve also, but we still had a long hike back up the mountain in the dark so I opted to keep hiking. I think the other photographer probably got his light, because as we were hiking up past Coast Camp the sun broke through.

Sculpted Beach Panorama

Photo of beach

Sculpted beach lends itself to panoramic pictures, as the coastline has dramatic bluffs and cliffs receding in the distance. This was taken the same day as the previous photo.