If you ever decide to take a road trip from Southern California to Oregon here are a few words of advice. Get from Los Angeles to San Francisco as fast as you can, but keep your windows up and use recirculated A/C. The drive is brown and boring with a handful of
stinkers dairy farms along the way. Once in the Bay Area, the drive to middle Northern California is beautiful… but it doesn’t stop there… the rest of the way to the Oregon border is nothing short of breath taking. However, the caveat is that from San Fransisco to Oregon, you must take the scenic route: Highway 101.
Click through for our road trip adventure, more pit stops than a Nascar race… and of course our Avenue of the Giants photoshoot!
As you snake your way north along the 101 Highway, you’ll pass many small towns. Some are spooky and Amityville-ish (no thanks!), but others are quaint and Smallville-esque (Kay has a bladder the size of a peanut, so during our many pit stops I took the time to snap lots of pics.. including one of her outlasting the stench of a port-o-potty). I’m a dead man if I ever post that pic… so don’t even ask.
Anyways, taking this scenic route will add an extra hour or so of driving… but the reward at the end of the journey is more than worth it. Waiting for you is a stretch of clover covered forests of towering redwoods, some of which are well over 2000 years old. It’s aptly called:The Avenue of the Giants; a 30 mile alternate scenic route that takes you off the 101 and then guides you right back onto it. For most people, the magnificent Redwoods are a must stop and see… for picture whores like us, it’s a must-stop and shoot. Yays!
Truth be told, we had already planned for this shoot way back… it was a chance we just could not pass up, so we were pretty excited. That morning of the shoot, we loaded up the car… Kay got all done up… and we were on the road singing road trip songs so badly it made this year’s cast of American Idols sound pretty decent. *yikes* (you know they all suck this year!)
Here are the photos below, hope you like them as much as we enjoyed shooting them. Next stop? Oregon sand dunes! Check back soon for those photos.
We couldn’t get enough of the gorgeous spot we found; a giant fallen redwood surrounded by smaller trees as if they were mourning his end. Even more so, the floor was covered with thousands of vibrant clovers! It was the picture perfect location, we couldn’t have asked for more. Here’s some info and a few BTS shots.
SB600 x 2 speedlights in a Photoflex medium softbox. The towering trees blocked the harsh sunlight to create the perfect shady spot. The speedlights were easily able to light up the subject. The lights were triggered wirelessly with RadioPopper PX triggers to allow us free range.
There were spots where the light broke through the canopy giving us an option to use as an edge light. Some of the shots above display this. The high overhead sunlight produced a harsh edge.. but as the sun lowered it become much softer. This is one of the reasons why the setting sun is the “magic hour” for taking photos.
In an effort to get different shots, we used the Nikon D700 along with a mixture of prime lenses: the 35mm f/2 (wide sweeping shots), 50mm f/1.8, and 85mm f/1.4 (dreamy portraits). A wider 20mm-24mm lens would’ve been nice to try out… but that’s still on my “wish list” ;p