Class B

I Left My Heart, Just North of San Francisco

Rochelle and I have two things that get us out of the house on a regular basis.  One is our Roadtrek Agile Motorhome “Charley” and the other is our love for photography.  It’s a pretty cool combination.  Charley takes us wherever we want to go, without giving up any of our much-cherished creature comforts.  And our passion for photography gets us out of bed, and off to visit some amazing scenes that many folks might skip in favor of an extended breakfast.

Fog Covered Hills color
Early Morning Fog

Lately, we’ve been spending some of our long weekends north of San Francisco in what I’m going to call the “Great Photography Triangle”.  Our triangle starts at a point just north of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County.  From there, we travel in a northwesterly fashion through the Point Reyes National Seashore to the second point on the Sonoma Coast.  From there, our travels take us directly west to the picturesque town of Petaluma.  And finally, we travel south to reach our starting point, which we merrily pass by on the way home.

Of course, no photography outing consists of straight lines.  In fact, our “Great Photography Triangle” looks more like a drawing from a two-year old, with lots of crisscrossed lines, smudges, hand prints, cereal spills and, well, you get the picture.  Photography isn’t so much about finding an exact spot as it is about finding the light.  And if the light isn’t there, maybe you can find a nice bakery instead which, by the way, is always my number one backup plan. Continue reading

Exploring the Grand Tetons

Charley and the Grand Tetons
Charley and the Grand Tetons

Rochelle and I recently returned from a wonderful road trip to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone.  It was one of those special trips where, on the long drive home, we already started planning for our return.  I can still hear the cry of the bear cub who “misplaced” his mom, and the excited voices coming from folks hunched over their scopes who spied wolf cubs romping in the grass.  And the wildlife was only part of the story.  The skies decided to grace us with a cloud show like I’ve never seen down here in dry, dry California.   And we were able to take part in it all, from the comfort of our little Class B Motorhome Charley.

I’m going to break up this story so I can give a little more detail about the two parks. That’s because most stories about the parks shortchange the Grand Tetons in favor of its big brother Yellowstone to the north.   But if you’ve ever visited the Grand Tetons, you already know that this is a park that doesn’t take second billing lightly.  In fact, it may be my favorite of the two, even rivaling Yosemite for that special “Photographer’s Dreamland” space in my heart. Continue reading

Ten Great Tips for Photographing Your Roadtrek

If you’re like me, you love your Roadtrek.  It’s your baby.  And, much like a new baby, you want to show it off.  And what better way to show it off than in pictures!  My wife Rochelle and I came up with some photography tips to help you showcase your Roadtrek Class B Van Conversion like it’s never been seen before.  So pick up your camera, or your smartphone, and let’s go shooting.

Trick #1

Play with scale.

Your Roadtrek is a pretty big beast, but we all love them because they’re so much smaller than the alternatives.

Charley looks huge next to regular cars.
Charley looks huge next to regular cars.

You can play with that size difference by photographing your van against a variety of backgrounds.  Want to show how big it is?  Then show it off against the typical passenger car, or shoot from a low perspective.  Want to make it appear smaller?  Nature is your answer.  A 10-foot tall motorhome is nothing compared to a 3,000 foot tall granite rock. Continue reading

A Year Later and Our Roadtrek Agile has Evolved from a RV to a Second Home.

It’s all about the accessories!  Yup, we’ve had our Roadtrek Agile “Charley” for a just about a year now, and it really has passed our expectations.  Meet Charley, our Roadtrek AgileWe wanted a comfortable, easy to maneuver “home away from home” for our photographic adventures, and Charley has come through with flying colors.  That doesn’t mean, however, that the motorhome was 100% ready to go when we brought it home.  We’ve put a lot of time and effort sourcing some thoughtful purchases and integrating some useful, but very modest, modifications.

I thought I’d devote this blog post to some of the things we’ve added to Charley that make life on the road a little bit easier.  If you’re looking for a story on photography, I’m sorry but this time it’s all about the motorhome. Continue reading

Getting Out of Your Photography Comfort Zone.

When it comes to photography, most of us have special subjects that we love to shoot.  I love landscapes and trains.  Rochelle prefers portraits and abstracts.  So, it isn’t surprising that those subjects make up the “bread and butter” of our photographic experiences.

But you know what?  Shooting the same thing all of the time is boring.   And when you’re shooting “Your Favorite Thing”, your standards can become so ridiculously high, it’s easy to be disappointed by anything that’s less than an “OMG! THAT’s AMAZING!”  photograph.  And trust me; those types of shots don’t come along very often.Knights Ferry Civil War Reenactment-24

So, to relieve the boredom of shooting the same subject a million times, and also relieve some of the pressure from looking for that one killer shot, Rochelle and I often go out and shoot something entirely different, just for the heck of it.  And it turns out, that’s when we have some of the most fun.  So that’s why we spent all day Saturday at a Civil War Reenactment in Knight’s Ferry California.  Continue reading

It’s that Time of Year. Time to Make Next Year’s Photo Christmas Cards.

If you’re a forward thinker, now is the best time of the year to make next year’s personalized photo Christmas Cards.  That’s because all of the color, the decorations and the excitement of Christmas is happening right now. 

A few years ago, Rochelle took on a Christmas Photography challenge on the photo-sharing site Flickr.  The task was to post a Christmas-oriented photo every day from December 1 all the way to Christmas.  That sounds pretty easy, but there was more to the challenge.  Not only did she have to post a shot every day, the photograph she posted had to be shot that very same day.  And that wasn’t easy at all.  For one thing, it gets dark pretty darn early in December, so that precious after-work light became even more valuable.  And after a couple of weeks, she had to “stretch” her creativity to come up with unique, fun and nicely-produced photographs.

I’m going to tell you a few of the things she learned, and show you how everyday scenes can become wonderful, personalized Christmas cards. Continue reading