Posts Tagged California

Disneyland!

This was my wife and my first time at Disneyland! It was an awesome experience to save this trip for my fun and adorable wife who loves adventures and who allows me to be a kid on the inside and out. I think a trip to Disney World is in order. With all my new video gear like drone and heavy duty gimbal, I am leaning towards going back to a more personal perspective on video for our trips. Ultra smooth video feels high production and less like I’m actually there. I did handheld non-stabilized video with the Canon 5D Mark III on a Sigma 24mm f1.4 Art Lens in 1080p. Almost unheard of nowadays with newer video technology being so affordable. This may be one of my favorite videos so far!

West Coast 2017

Welcome to our third trip to the West Coast together! We “planned” a trip in early December of 2017 to photograph Yoom and Jeff’s beautiful wedding in San Jose. We usually extend our stay in the West Coast because we really enjoy traveling, new sights and new food. I quote the word planned because we decided to try something different this time around. While I usually plan a detailed spreadsheet for our trips, we decided this time around to rent a campervan and just see where the road takes us day to day. Always having somewhere to sleep allowed us maximum freedom in exploring outside the city area.

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Bring Back The Summer

From creating a playlist for our trip, to listening to our soundtrack while driving 1,700 miles, to coming home and editing the videos, I always have a vision already seared into my mind as to what the final story will look like. I am full of visual stories when I listen to good music, and thankfully I have photography or video to help me express them. I produce videos for myself simply because I want to express what I feel when I am driving spirited through amazing roads with my wife and always looking for new adventures. Listening to these songs again will always remind us of our past experiences.

This was shot handheld with the Olympus OMD mirrorless camera. Please turn up your speakers, or put on your best headphones, and enjoy!

Music credits:
Phoebe Ryan – Mine
Rain Man – Bring Back The Summer
Gareth Emery & Alastor – Hands

1,700 Miles Through California

It was almost a year ago when I took my (then) girlfriend, Olya, to the West Coast for the first time. Wanting to make it special, I didn’t want to spare any expenses, time, or experience to make it one of the most memorable trips we will both ever have together. Our relationship was already serious and discussions about eloping wasn’t unusual. She had no idea that I would use this opportunity to propose to her, and she wouldn’t suspect a thing when the camera comes out to record our whole trip because that’s what we do anyways. More details on the proposal in the story.

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Celine + Eddie

I’ve known Eddie since high school, so it was exciting to be his wedding photographer and see his family again after so many years after they moved to LA. I liked Celine immediately with her charming, friendly, and outgoing personality, and all three of us just had great chemistry when they came to New York to shoot their engagement photos, since they both grew up in the East Coast. It was in the middle of winter during the session, but Celine braved the freezing weather better than anyone else I’ve met, her smile never dimmed and I don’t even remember her shivering at all.

They picked a beautiful location on campus to get married in LA where Celine works. The weather out there is perfect, and the foliage and architecture made for plenty of opportunities for photos. It was such an easy day, I couldn’t ask for a better couple!

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Jeanne + Vincent

Jeanne is another close friend of mine who moved to SF area after getting married. It seems like a trend for technology based companies. I shot her engagement in San Francisco, and her destination wedding at Tensing Pen in Negril, Jamaica. A photo shoot from a cold climate to a hot one. I normally wouldn’t plan an evening session due to difficulty of lighting, but I really enjoyed the results of the evening city session with a full moon.


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Jennifer + Ivan

I am always happy to shoot weddings out in the west coast, since it’s always a change of scenery from the busy city landscape of New York. The weather was perfect out at Yorba Linda Country Club right outside of Los Angeles. When I look back at the photos, I just think oh how cute this couple was!


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Gerrine + Homam

I adore this couple, whom I’ve had the pleasure to become good friends with over the years. They’re silly, hammy, incredibly down to earth, and they just enjoy life. Their engagement shoot was in Coney Island just a year before Sandy hit, and their wedding was out in Forest House Lodge just outside of San Francisco. The wedding was assisted by friend Fern Lee, not only do I adore her, but the couple did too!


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Top Drives Around the World

My best vacations require a long scenic drive, whether my own car or a rental car (manual preferred), with lots of random side stops along the undetermined route to explore deeper and get a more authentic experience of the town, state, or country. It’s important to try the local roads over the highways, because you’ll just miss all the architecture, local shops, food and people. The trick is not to have a set itinerary, be flexible with your time and what activities you want to do, this will open up plenty of options when you discover them on the road, with no time restrictions.

What makes a great drive? I am always looking for well paved roads that have a lot of twists and bends with elevation changes, either along the coast line, a cliff, or a mountain side. Being able to scale a mountain and look down 3,000 feet is awe inspiring, while driving along a cliff knowing if you don’t pay attention, you could easily be at the bottom of the cliff in a mangled wreckage, will keep your heart at a high pace. The speed of the drive is relative to the contours of the landscape. It’s more fun to take a slower car and pushing it to the limit, than having to take a fast sports car and idling around a bend. If you really want to experience full control, either drive your own manual car or rent a manual car outside the States.

I will try my best to describe my top favorite drives around the world in order starting from the best. I will be available for hire as an international driver if anyone is interested!


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Pebble Beach Wedding

If you want a wedding with the most perfect grass that you could destroy with your high heels, then a golf course is your choice. And if you want the premier golf course this country has to offer, then Pebble Beach is also your best choice, or specifically, the Monterey Peninsula Country Club. While most golfers only wish they could hit a few rounds on Pebble Beach, I was able to rub my cheap Aldo Velcro shoes all over the pristine grass while following around a delightful couple and their fantastic family. Adorable blonde babies, humming birds, exclusive grass, great assistant (Fern Lee), and a good looking crowd, the only thing I could ask for is more weddings like this.



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Winery Wedding

The wedding took place at Murrieta’s Well in Livermore, CA which is just over an hour outside of San Francisco. The weather was perfect and the scenery was beautiful.  It’s rare to have a location where you can actually see past the next building or tree line here in East coast. I also had the pleasure of having the very pretty and talented Emily assist me through out the day. A formal session in San Fransisco followed the next morning before my nine hour drive down the Pacific Coast Highway to Los Angeles.



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Japanese Garden Wedding

This was my first west coast, California wedding from a while back, but I will be posting a few more CA weddings in this next series. The hotel was at the Fairmont in Newport Beach, followed by the ceremony at the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden at CSU. The reception was also a very nice outdoor location at Park Prive in Costa Mesa. Needless to say, it’s extremely flattering for a couple to fly me 3,000 miles to be part of their wedding. The Japanese Garden is beautiful yet a challenge to shoot as well, as there are very limited locations a photographer can maneuver around – make sure you have at least a 70-200mm!



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Driving Videos

I realized I never posted these two driving videos, both were recorded last year. The first drive was through Bear Mountain in my Z4 M Roadster. Unfortunately only one GoPro was in HD, and the one viewing my car was low-res. The second was a rental car driving down the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to Los Angeles. I can’t wait till the weather warms up and I can make more polished videos with my new GoPro Hero HD.

Enjoy!

El Bob goes west, again

El Bob went back to California and visited the north side for the first time. He landed in Concord, CA but the first stop was to the Golden Gate Bridge. El Bob attended a wedding the next day at Murrieta’s Well Winery in Livermore. From there, El Bob took a scenic drive down the famous Pacific Coast Highway, which took about 9.5 hours heading south stopping at many of the scenic overlooks. The drive from north to south is arguably one of the best drives in America. El Bob spent a few days in LA and met some new friends before going back up to San Francisco which only took 6 hours this time. El Bob’s trip ended with a second wedding at Monterey Peninsula Country Club in Pebble Beach.

 


El Bob at the airport waiting for his meal to come.

 

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El Bob in the Desert

El Bob goes to one of his favorite locations, Palm Springs, CA. It’s the desert, where coconuts aren’t usually found – but El Bob likes to be different.


El Bob’s first stop when arriving in LA is usually Carl’s Jr, In-N-Out, or Jack in the box.

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Harley Davidson

Driving in excess of 40mph is not the proper way to execute a moving vehicle photo shoot.  This was our only makeshift method to get the motion blur as we were driving on the Pacific Coast Highway by Los Angeles, CA. This also happens to be my first attempt at a moving vehicle shoot, with my  brother on the Harley, his wife driving the chase car, with my 1D strap wrapped tightly around my arm hanging out the window, shutter activated by the wired remote, and communicating over a Bluetooth headset.

Without a neutral density filter, I was forced to shoot at ISO 50, f/9.5 at 1/90s with my Canon 16-35mm. There is obviously some major post processing and composites for the visual effects, but the motion blur is real. The overcast sky made it easier to get a softly lit image.