travel

10 Podcasts that Make the Drive Go By

Sometimes the quickest way from point A to point B isn’t all that quick.  There are just some stretches of road that are so long, and so boring, they test your ability to keep your sanity.  Roadtrek Agile That’s why Rochelle and I load up our iPhones with a wealth of podcasts before we hit the road.  With a nearly unlimited number of subjects, produced by some incredibly bright and creative minds, podcasts can entertain you, help you learn new things and keep that mind of yours occupied as you barrel down the highway. 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 2

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.  _DSC4153enfused-EditOur 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, P1020421is amazing in the snow, and it’s even better when I switch out its summer shoes for a set of snow tires. Continue reading

How to Store Your Camera Gear on the Road

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. IMG_1412

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