Camping

A Very “Moving” Weekend. Lots of Fun in Monterey and Central California.

Rochelle and I love our Roadtrek Agile, because we can pick up and go at little notice, with only the barest preparations.  The last two weekends we threw our cameras, a change of clothes and a bag of groceries into Charley and headed off to some of our favorite California shooting locations.

Egret Reflection
A Snowy Egret, Standing Still Thank Goodness

If you’ve driven up or down California, you have surely seen our major highways, and you probably stopped at one of the numerous rest stops that show up every hundred miles or so.  But what you might not know is California is home to another, completely different highway.  One that offers some of the most picturesque rest stops you’ve ever seen.  Of course, this highway is for the birds.

And no, I don’t mean it’s full of potholes and run-down truck stops.  I mean it is “literally” for the birds.  It’s called the Pacific Flyway, and every year hundreds of thousands of birds make their winter migration up and down it through the State of California.  And being welcoming hosts, we’ve set aside vast tracks of land in the middle of the State for our feathered friends to sit back, rest up and grab a bite to eat. Continue reading

Photography Fun Doesn’t Stop After Dark.

Everybody shoots sunsets.  I doubt if you could find a photographer, or any traveler with a camera, who hasn’t tried their hand at capturing that last light of the day.  And I don’t blame them.  I’ve shot more than a few sunsets myself.    But unless you’re presented with a wonderful sky full of dramatic clouds, or some exceptional reflected color, your sunset shot isn’t going to turn any heads.

That’s why Rochelle and I try to study other astronomical events to see if we can incorporate them into our photography.  And it turns out our favorite celestial body is often not the sun, but the moon.  But before I get into the ins and “mostly” outs of shooting the moon, let me tell you a bit about our most recent weekend in Yosemite. Continue reading

There and Back Again, a Photographer’s Tale

Yes, I did steal the title from the Hobbit, but I almost named this “Beauty and the Beasts” which would have been an even more blatant rip off.  I hope I don’t get sued by Tolkien or Disney because both titles are perfect for this story.  You see, I have just recently gotten hooked on nature wildlife photography and I have already found out two very important truths; you do often have to go “There and Back Again” to get the right shot, and there is plenty of beauty, and more than a few beasts to photograph when you do.

backyard deerI have to preface this story with the news that Rochelle and I just picked up two new lenses.  For Rochelle, who is a bit of a speed freak when it comes to glass, the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 fit the bill perfectly.  I, on the other hand, wanted a bit more range, so I went for the 70-400.  So my lens is a bit slower than Rochelle’s, but covers more distance.  They are both Sony G lenses, which mean they’re ultra-quiet and super sharp.  So we both got what we really wanted, and of course, being married, we share both lenses equally.  Right.  Sure we do.

Before we went on our first wildlife photography hunt, I decided to do a little practice shooting at home.  Luckily for me, there is plenty of wildlife right outside the door.  This young buck was my first conquest.  I was happy with the shot, but I realized right then that I wouldn’t have a front porch railing to brace the camera on out in the field.  And I would need some kind of a brace because my new lens is very, very big and heavy. So, I made sure to pack both the tripods and the monopods for our first trip. Continue reading

No Snow. No Problem. California has Beaches too.

We’ve had a dry, dry winter so far in California.  And while the dry and unseasonably warm weather is playing heck with our ski season, our winter snow photography, and more importantly, the State-wide drought situation, it has allowed us to quickly dewinterize our Class B Roadtrek and hit the road. 

Fortunately for us, we’re only a few hours away from some amazing scenes. Some we’re very familiar with, and some we’ve only just begun to explore.  I thought I’d use this post to let you know where we’ve been and give you some of the inside dope if you decide to travel there yourself. Continue reading

The Off-Season Guide to Yosemite National Park, Part 1

My wife and I are lucky enough to live so close to Yosemite that we’ve been there hundreds of times.  SONY DSCAfter all these trips, we’ve discovered the best places to stay, the best places to eat and most importantly, the best places to take pictures.  Read on, and we’ll share some of our secrets with you.

Yosemite used to have a well-defined off season.  If you headed to the park in October or April, you would have the place to yourself.  That’s no longer the case.  Now, just about any month can be called “crowded” in comparison to other national parks.  I blame the crowds on cameras.  Everyone wants to take pictures with their new digital camera, and quite frankly, there’s no better place to take pictures then in Yosemite.

However, there are far less people in the park from early October to the end of April.  And that’s especially true on weekdays, or in periods of “bad” weather. Continue reading