A California Road Trip

Started Jan 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
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heulwen Regular Member • Posts: 277
A California Road Trip

I've had great pleasure reading this forum during the past six months, and thus want to give something back. As in posting pictures of my own.
There was this road trip back in October, starting in San Francisco, ending in Las Vegas. 1116 miles. 8 days. There was Henry Cowell Redwood State Park, Santa Cruz, Monterey, highway 1 through Big Sur, Cambria, the Central Valley, Yosemite, Tioga, Bodie, Mono, Bishop, Lone Pine, Alabama Hills, Death Valley. There was awesomeness.
Here are some of my favourite shots. Sorry for the abundance of pics, but how on earth can you choose only a few when there was so much greatness to be had along the road...
My gear: D700, ai 20/4, 35/1.4G, Lensbaby Composer, 85/1.4G and 70-300G. I bought the 70-300 right before the trip, thinking I needed something longer, perhaps for wildlife, or something. What I did not realise beforehand was that this would be my main lens on the road trip part of our trip (we spent five days in SF before we got into the car). Those landscapes are vast! I was often around 100-250mm when shooting from the road. Also, some of the shots are handheld and taken through the car window. VR was of BIG help.

Biking the 17-mile drive through Monterey and Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach

The lensbaby worked pretty well on some subjects here and there.

Point Lobos State Park

Highway 1 was beautiful, but also sort of difficult to capture, to get photos I liked. Still, you gotta have this shot of Bixby Bridge in a collection like this, right?

Pfeiffer Beach

McWay Falls. Pictures do not do this place any justice whatsoever. This was the one place I thought we could skip as there just wasn't time for every stop we wanted to make. Luckily we did stop, as I could have spent half a day just sitting there, admiring the surroundings. The lushness, the colours, the feeling of peace. It is a bigger and grander place than you would looking at the pictures taken there.

The golden hills of California. Headed from Cambria towards the Central Valley and Yosemite.

Vinyards along the road in Paso Robles.

Sometimes those shots through the car window were blurred, of course, but sometimes the blur made the picture for me. There's something about this one I like, shot somewhere along hw 41.

The fallen Jeffrey Pine up on Sentinel Dome in Yosemite.

Driving down towards the Valley just before sunset. The golden light was everywhere and we swam in it.

Tunnel View.

An early morning in the Valley. Not the easiest conditions for photography, as the huge granite walls cast deep shadows while the morning light tried to burn the sky away.

Heading over Tioga Pass. The day after this the road had its first closure of the season. You might say we were very lucky.

Tenaya Lake looming in the distance.

And up-close-and-personal.

On the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada, heading along the 395 towards Bodie.

Bodie ghost town. What a fascinating place. Driving there felt surreal, surrounded by only emptiness and a howling wind.

Along the 395 from Bishop towards Lone Pine. A day of freak weather, hail and snow.

Alabama Hills. Wonderful place. Silence, and those huge boulders everywhere. Easy to climb on due to a rough surface. Absolutely fascinating.

We got a glimpse of Mnt Whitney right here, when some of those clouds parted. Then we turned our backs on the mountains and headed towards the desert.

Rain and sunshine, clouds and dust storms. An interesting trip for sure, especially up in the Panamints when big boulders started coming down the mountain slopes. Thunder and lightning.

The sand dunes near Stovepipe Wells in the early morning. Unfortunately no stars in Death Valley during the night... Only the flashing light of lightning. But the rain had cleared the air, filled it with the frangrance of a wonderful bush and made the sand very easy to walk on.

The rain had made a mess out of Death Valley. The roads were filled with debris and partly flooded. The temperature didn't go above +18'C. But the worst part: the road to Badwater had been blocked off by a mud flow. No going in that direction. We had to make do with seeing it from above from Dante's View.

Zabriskie Point.

Dante's View. Clouds rolled in and swept us into a deep fog only to clear the next minute.

There. Hope you enjoyed at least some of them as much as I enjoyed taking them, :).

 heulwen's gear list:heulwen's gear list
Nikon D600 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S 105mm F1.4E ED +3 more
Nikon D700
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