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