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 →
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 →
Rochelle and I had a wonderful photographic opportunity last week — photographing festively decorated trains at Railtown State Park. It was a lot of fun, but it was also quite a challenge. Simply put – it’s almost impossibly difficult to shoot things that are moving in the dark.
Railtown 1897 is located in Jamestown California. Jamestown is one of California’s many Gold Rush towns, and is located just north of Yosemite on Hwy 49. It is home to vintage steam engines, historical buildings and movie memorabilia, as many movies and TV series have been shot there over the years. Each year Railtown puts on “Santa’s Starlight Express” by offering railroad rides at night in holiday-themed railroad cars and engines. Continue reading →
This will be the first year we get to take our Roadtrek Agile, Charley, to Yosemite in the Winter and I have to admit, I’m a bit nervous about driving those icy winter roads in my multi-ton Class B. However, I think if we stick to moderately dry weather days we’ll be okay. There is certainly a lot of motivation for going, because Winter is the very best time to photograph the park.
Most of the year, the great photographs of Yosemite can only happen in the very early morning and in the late afternoon. Those are the times of day when the sunlight is soft enough to avoid overly harsh contrast. But the light in the winter is low all day long, and many days are filled with clouds and fog, both of which even out the available light. There are some days in the Winter when you can shoot all day long while you enjoy the ever-changing light on Yosemite’s huge granite cliffs.
Yosemite Valley has fewer visitors in the off-season for two simple reasons. It can be difficult to get there, and difficult to get around once you’re there. Our favorite friend, and often our most hated foe, snow, stops most people in their tracks. It makes driving a challenge, camping a chore, and even changes the definition of “walking” from a “pleasant stroll” to a “contact sport”.
We’ve only had Charley for six months now, so we haven’t had a chance to try out our new Roadtrek Agile in the snow. I haven’t even picked up a set of chains, though I know I’ll have to soon. I’m not really in a hurry because our other vehicle, an all-wheel drive Subaru Outback, is amazing in the snow, and it’s even better when I switch out its summer shoes for a set of snow tires. Continue reading →
Last week I wrote a post titled “Digital Photography Packing List”. You might have looked at it and said to yourself, “That’s nice, but how in the heck do I fit all of that into my itty-bitty Class B?” I have to admit, it’s not easy. And if you don’t do it right, you can end up with thousands of dollars of camera gear spread out all over your floor. Trust me, this can happen. The first time we went out in the Roadtrek, I hit an unexpected speed bump and we had cameras flying everywhere. Boy, did I feel like an idiot.
So, to make sure that never happens again, I came up with a plan. And like any good plan, it relies on a lot of redundancy.
So, first of all, you need to figure out what photo gear you want to bring. That’s easy for us because we always bring it all. If you can do with less, by all means do it. Continue reading →