The beauty of a lazy drive along California’s coastal Highway One is a gift enjoyed by all. Yet finding a great home along this amazing coast is rare; even with over 800 miles of coastline. Yet occasionally tucked into little coves, high upon cliffs, or behind unadorned gates are some amazing homes.
As an architectural photographer, I get invited into the interiors of a few of these seaside homes. In my interior photography I seek to capture the stunning views of land, sea and home while telling the story of place and decor.
Most often the homes were built pre-1972, before the California Coastal Commission brought more restrictive protection from over development. Here are three interior remodels that updated existing homes for the next generation of stewards.
Low key, understated and rough hewed these homes share a reverence to the sea. Each in its own way, they let the sound of the crushing waves, cry of the gulls, the mist of the fog and the glint of sun play hero to the seaside views and inviting interiors.
Visual storytelling is an art and homes with views require special discretion in framing the photos for the story. Show too much and the seascape loses its intimacy, show too little and risk a loss of place. I seek framed and layered compositions to tell these stories. I craft moments of connection between the interiors and exteriors.
Technically photographing homes in Carmel, and within the counties of Mendocino, Monterey, Marin and Sonoma share similar issues; dealing with the fog, the mist on windows and the glare on the sea. As a professional architectural photographer I avoid shooting on foggy days, have the windows cleaned the morning of a shoot, and shoot the water views in the morning before the sun’s glare turns the Pacific blue into a shimmery silver mirror. All of these photos have made extensive use of post-production processing and state of the art cameras.
All images © David Duncan Livingston