It's almost impossible not to capture pretty landscape pictures at Big Sur, on the Central Coast of California.  It's found on route 1 between San Simeon and Carmel, where the Santa Lucia Mountains meet the Pacific Ocean.  Because of the traffic-halting views along this stretch of highway, many strategically placed vista points allow you to stop and admire the pretty landscape.  Professional and amateur photographers alike will find snapping a few pictures from these spots irresistible.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Big Sur

Big Sur really is a photographer's dream.  From sweeping seascapes to imposing mountain views, delicate flowers and redwood forests, the pretty landscape will have your shutter clicking with rapid-fire picture taking.  A short walk down paths from any of the vista points can reward you with much stronger images than are possible just standing by your car.  You usually don't have to go very far to find a different perspective and the perfect image.

Even at the vista points it's always possible to go to a frequently photographed location and capture something unique and magical.  In addition to the usual light and weather conditions that create magic in landscapes, Big Sur has the added factors of the tides, wind and wave action to combine into views as unique as snowflakes.

Garrapata Beach, Big Sur

Rather than talk about points to photograph when in Big Sur, It's weather conditions that make this location sing.  If it's foggy head to Point Lobos to capture the pines and cypress trees in moody and mysterious black-and-white.  Recent rains and high tides send waves crashing against the rocks and rocketing spray high into the air.  Cold winter mornings blanket the coastline in misty waves that look like dry ice.   A clear sunny morning makes the water at China Cove a brilliant turquoise, and if you're lucky enough to find a thunderstorm over the ocean at sunset you've won the lottery of pretty landscape pictures.

While heading off the beaten path at Big Sur to capture that landscape shot, be ready to snap some wildlife photos as well.  Grey whales migrate through the area, California condors may fly through your shot, and elephant seals can often be seen sunning on the rocks.  Take care during low tide with the rainbow of starfish that surface from the tidal pools, and resist the urge to join the sea otters at play.  Remember that wild life is truly wild, so keep a safe respectable distance, and as always, take only pretty landscape pictures, and leave only footprints to be washed away by the tide.