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.
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!
Phoebe Ryan – Mine
Rain Man – Bring Back The Summer
Gareth Emery & Alastor – Hands
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.
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!
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!
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.
El Bob at the airport waiting for his meal to come.
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.
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.