March 17th, 2017 I embarked on my first flight alone from San Francisco, CA to Seattle, WA. To say I was nervous is an understatement, but the prospect of adventures ahead was what made me excited to arrive. Karl, from Kansas, Ty and Andy, from Colorado and Humza, arriving from New York and I all met up at the airport to begin our epic journey down the West Coast!
Destination 1: Multnomah falls, OR
This waterfall is the biggest in the state of Oregon and has photographers surrounding it at all times of the day for this classic shot. Tips I would give for shooting this beautiful landmark is arrive early in the morning when there are no crowds and soft light. There are multiple angles to photograph the waterfall from, the bottom or at the top, but my personal favorite is from the vista point below. The photo above was taken from the lookout right in front of the fall. I had my friend Karl stand on the log while I took two photos. The first photo was a long exposure to capture the movement in the water; the second was a quick snap to capture a sharp photo of Karl.
Destination 2: Yachats, OR
Driving down the coast of Oregon is unbelievably beautiful. Everywhere we looked blue water, epic rocks, and open roads, made it difficult to not stop every 5 minutes. On our way to Thor’s Well we stopped off to the side to see these rock formations. When you road trip it’s good to stop and look at what’s around you. Tip for future road trippers–don’t just think of the destination you’re going to, because you could miss all the beautiful things people don’t know about on the way there. This shot came to me after I used google maps and realized that we were on such a beautiful road! I quickly got out of the van seen in the photo, and flew my drone up to compose the shot and click!
Destination 3: Mount Hood, OR
Arriving in Mt. Hood was amazing for me personally because I do not see snow very often. To me this place was a winter wonderland, and I wanted to capture all that I could! Waking up early, Karl and I set off on a short adventure to capture snow covered cabins and the mountain. Unfortunately, Mt. Hood was covered in fog so we were unable to capture that, but just off the side of the road we discovered a clearing in the dense forest. I flew my drone up to find the opening as Karl set foot through the trees. Karl made a snow angel to capture the essence of this unforgettable morning.
Destination 4: Ruby Beach, OR
Ruby beach was the only time we got a real sunset in the Pacific Northwest. When we arrived at the beach I immediately noticed how different this beach was compared to others. Ruby beach was covered in huge logs and little rivers throughout the beach because of all the rain. But towards the end were these two huge rocks, I found my subject. With it being low tide you can get reflections off the water, I found a little opening in the rocks, focused on the reflection rather then the rock itself and captured one of my favorite photos of the trip. The sky really popped that day.
Destination 5: Mount Tamalpais, CA
Driving down the west coast I had to show these guys my second home, Mt. Tamalpais. I am up here a lot, and it’s my favorite place for road shots and low fog during the summer. The best place on Tam to shoot is the west side of the mountain overlooking the ocean. You want to get on one of the multiple hills and oversee the roads, and if your lucky the clouds. To capture this shot I went down the Muir Woods trail and got above the curviest road I know. I set my white balance to cloudy for a warmer scene and snapped this car rolling through the hills.
Destination 6: San Francisco, CA
Fog city is what its known as, especially in the summer. This is one of my favorite spots in the city. A little rooftop that overlooks the tallest building in San Francisco and a flat iron building. Tips for photography in the area; shoot at sunrise, sunset, or blue hour. Mid day is very difficult to shoot in the city. This shot was composed of multiple images combined together shot at 0.8” to capture car light movement.
Destination 7: Venice Beach, CA
Our final destination was Los Angeles, CA. Humza and I went all over the city with a couple friends. I had been to LA three times prior to this and had never been to Venice beach. The culture is unlike any other, I really felt like I was in Southern California here. I joined as everyone was watching people skate and bike in the park. In this photo it was shot during sunset with overcast; the shadows are my favorite part. You can see how many people are surrounding the skatepark. Heading home was bittersweet for me but this is a trip ill never forget, with friends ill have forever.