Pacific Coast Highway, Day 2 – Santa Barbara to Morro Bay | Kevin Scott Banks

Pacific Coast Highway, Day 2 – Santa Barbara to Morro Bay

Day 2 on the PCH brought another fabulous day of weather and several more incredible sights. At this point, everything is starting to blur together, probably due to the overload of awesomeness…oh and lack of sleep ;).

A landscape photographer has to make many sacrifices to get the truly special photos, and sleep tends to be one of them. But it feels like a joy to trade that in for the sights and the images I’ve been rewarded with so far.

We left Santa Barbara in the morning, and of course we had to hit up Blenders in the Grass one last time. We’d already stopped in for an afternoon snack the day before, but couldn’t resist another round. “Blenders,” as it’s called by the locals, is a smoothie chain that our friends founded years ago. It was actually a big inspiration for my family’s smoothie business, 9 Fruits. It was really cool to sip their smoothies and reminisce about the early days of our family business.


I wanted Kaylee to experience Isla Vista, which I’ve heard is party central for the party school, UC Santa Barbara. We both liked how all the students rode their bikes everywhere. PCH_Day_2_0001_160315

I tried my hand at a couple of panning shots, and finally got one!


We hit the road heading North from there, loving every minute of the drive.

PCH_Day_2_0004_160315 PCH_Day_2_0005_160315 PCH_Day_2_0006_160315 PCH_Day_2_0007_160315

Our first stop of the day was Pismo Beach. So far, I think that’s been my favorite spot along the coast, except for San Diego of course :).

PCH_Day_2_0008_160315 PCH_Day_2_0009_160315 PCH_Day_2_0010_160315 PCH_Day_2_0011_160315 PCH_Day_2_0012_160315

If you follow my family photography, you know that I tried something new and offered “Destination Family Sessions” during my trip to California. I was excited for the chance to meet some new families in my home state, and I hoped several would sign up. Since this was the first time I’ve tried these travel sessions, I wasn’t expecting anyone to sign up, only hoping. There were a handful of families interested, but sadly no one followed through.

HOWEVER, I was determined to take some family photos on the beach in California, no matter what I had to do. So I prayed. I prayed that God would provide at least one family for me to photograph. And guess what? He delivered!

While I was underneath the pier at Pismo Beach, a stranger walking by saw my camera, and asked me if I was a professional. When I told him I was a family photographer, he asked, “Can you take a picture of my family?” It turns out his family was visiting the beach for the very first time with their five adorable kids. And I got to help them preserve that memory forever. I was so floored!

PCH_Day_2_0013_160315 PCH_Day_2_0014_160315 PCH_Day_2_0015_160315 PCH_Day_2_0016_160315 PCH_Day_2_0017_160315 PCH_Day_2_0018_160315 PCH_Day_2_0019_160315

I definitely recommend the Old West Cinnamon Rolls in Pismo!

PCH_Day_2_0020_160315 PCH_Day_2_0021_160315 PCH_Day_2_0022_160315 PCH_Day_2_0023_160315 PCH_Day_2_0024_160315

Notice the person with the white jacket hiking at the top right of this photo.

PCH_Day_2_0025_160315 PCH_Day_2_0026_160315 PCH_Day_2_0027_160315

Our last destination for the day was Morro Bay, and the famous Morro Rock. It’s a quiet little town, so we poked our heads around a bit, and found a good spot by the bay to photograph the sunset.

PCH_Day_2_0028_160315 PCH_Day_2_0029_160315 PCH_Day_2_0030_160315 PCH_Day_2_0031_160315 PCH_Day_2_0032_160315 PCH_Day_2_0033_160315 PCH_Day_2_0034_160315

I laughed so hard when I saw this.

PCH_Day_2_0035_160315 PCH_Day_2_0036_160315

My new tripod and neutral density filter set are coming in so clutch on this trip. Shots like these just wouldn’t be possible without this essential gear.

PCH_Day_2_0037_160315 PCH_Day_2_0039_160315 PCH_Day_2_0040_160315 PCH_Day_2_0041_160315

Even though Kaylee and I were both hangry (yes, hangry – hungry and getting angry…hangry), I convinced her to let me stick around for one last shot. It was so worth it! This might be my favorite photograph of the whole trip so far. It was taken with only available light, and no photoshopping. Just a bit of color correction and a touch of vibrance.

Day 2 was another very rewarding day on the PCH!


Comments are closed.