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  • Manny Espinoza

About the Shot: Clint Celebrates Carmel's 100th

Former Carmel-by-the-Sea Mayor Clint Eastwood on the Wells Fargo Stage Coach.

My life in Carmel-by-the-Sea allows me to see and do things I assumed only other people had the opportunities to do or experience. Thanks to my talents in graphic design and photography, I had an opportunity at an up-close encounter with "El Pistolero" himself, Clint Eastwood!

Clint Eastwood at the 100th Birthday of Carmel-by-the-Sea.
Clint Eastwood at the 100th Birthday of Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Clint, the Mayor and the Wells Fargo Stage Coach!

You've heard the phrase "location, location, location!" However, it does not just apply to real estate, it does wonders for meeting and spending a few moments with superstars.

“...for some reason my encounters with Clint Eastwood had been minimal and at a distance...”

On Saturday, October 29, 2016, Carmel-by-the-Sea celebrated 100 years in style. I witnessed and watched a dazzling parade of awe-inspiring floats, performers, and a special appearance by former Mayor, Clint Eastwood, as the Grand Marshal. Click the link below to see the video of Clint Eastwood kicking off this amazing Celebration.

The year before Carmel's 100th birthday celebration, my graphic design skills played a part in the photo above by allowing me to contribute to the election of former Mayor Steve Dallas, by working on his campaign as a creative director. Helping Mayor Dallas with advertising, promotions, and building and maintaining his "Dallas for Carmel" website was a great time for me. It allowed me to get to know Steve on a personal level over breakfast most mornings, and walking the streets of Carmel with him in the evenings, as he introduced himself and conversed with both visitors and locals. Though I have lived on the Monterey Peninsula for more than 20 years, for some reason my encounters with Clint Eastwood had been minimal and at a distance. So, when I got the call from Mayor Steve Dallas, asking if I wanted to capture a private moment with Clint Eastwood and a few others, at The Forage in the Forest courtyard, I jumped at the opportunity. As we stood in the courtyard, local news interviewed Clint and Mayor Dallas. I basically looked for a few angles to capture Clint, and a few angles to capture both Clint and the Mayor. The light was awesome. It was one of those days on the coast where we had an early sprinkling of rain, then it cleared up with some sunshine, but still just enough haze to create a soft pleasing light. As Clint and Mayor Dallas wrapped up their interviews, we walked along Junipero Street down to 6th Ave. There, in front of Richard Pepe's Vesuvio Restaurant, was the Wells Fargo Stage Coach. As we approached, a crowed started to form as people recognized Clint Eastwood. The featured shot was pretty easy to capture as mother nature graced us with beautiful defused light. It also helped that the stage coach was parked under some large trees, and that added to the photo by making Clint a few exposures darker than the background. As Clint parted the group of people he climbed up on the stage coach, and was nice enough to respond to questions and allow fans to snap a few photos. I was a few rows back shooting away with my Fujifilm X-T3 and my XF 50-140mm f2.8 zoom lens. Shortly after that, Clint and his driver proceeded to begin the parade. From my understanding, most of what Clint Eastwood was wearing that day were items that had appeared in some of his movies.

If you ever find yourself in Carmel-by-the-Sea, don't be shy, reach out to me and lets talk shop over a drink on the deck, at Clint's own Mission Ranch overlooking Clint's sheep. You never know when "El Pistolero" may make an appearance.

To see Clint kickoff Carmel-by-the-Seas Centennial Parade click here.

Manny Espinoza is a photographer in Carmel-by-the-Sea, on the Monterey Peninsula. He is available for hire, specializing in event photography, corporate photography, product photography, food photography, lifestyle photography, studio and portrait work.

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