Photo Blog

Chloe’s Big Sur Trip

2 months ago I received a google invite from my good friend Max informing me that Chloe was planning a Big Sur trip. Whether it was actually a trip planned by Chloe, or a mere ruse by Max to get more people to attend, I will never know. What I can confirm is that 9 people packed themselves into cars and drove them selves 300 miles up the California coast to see one of the most prestigious areas of natural beauty our state has to offer.

The first part of the journey consisted of a very hot trek though the most arid parts of California, up past Bakersfield. I love getting to see the LA aqueducts, although the are quite dry these days.

They we stopped at the Madonna inn for some tacky Americana and sandwiches.

We’ve arrived to a coastal paradise!

The first evening was spent at the Big Sur inn! We relaxed to the sight of the sun setting! And every one got to try the precarious hammock!

I also brought my 35mm Canon Ae-1p to take some lovely film photos on some Fuji Superia 400!

Next We enjoyed a very fancy meal at Nepenthe. Chloe tried to avoid the camera, while Kevin and Max played with fire!

Even though we were absolutely stuffed from the night before. The next morning we got up and made a big breakfast. Max and Dee made fancy Bacon and Radishes while I walked around outside looking for photo ops. Chloe humored me and took this picture of me in the bathtub. Also I saw a cool lizard chillin on a wood pile.

Here are some film photos of the foliage and morning too!

Then some of us headed out to Partington Cove! But not before stopping off at the big sur bakery where I lost my wallet!

Was waiting for a Pirate Galleon to come sailing out from behind those rocks.

Jack and Chloe marveled at the pristine water!

We saw a sea anemone and plenty of good splashes! Then I switched over to my film camera!

The water looked great on 35mm! and I managed to snap this splash without getting splashed myself.

Although they had previously gone missing, Daren, Kevin and Julie caught up with us, and Daren was nice enough to take a few photos of me with the 40 year old camera! Julie also posed for a photo in which she insisted showing off her vertical leg abilities. I wish I was that flexible.

Then we hiked over to a nice shady spot and hung out with the redwoods! Daren found a cool tree to hang out in!

The tree branches merged into a magical vignette and the lighting was surreal. So I handed my camera to Chloe who then took my favorite picture of the trip! I call it “nap time”.

some additional Brent’s, vegetation and dog for you.

after our somewhat leisurely hike. (and after finding my wallet) We spent some time in the hot tub! I loved this photo of Kevin with his glistening wine glass and reflections.

After Max explained what accidental renaissance means to Phoebe. I took the most accidental renaissance photo of him holding pony’s leash

I don’t know why I like this photo so much it just screams 80’s vacation vibes.

Jack showed Phoebe how to play date night, and Dee posed for some photos!

The next morning we were greeted by a misty marine layer, Kevin, Max and Dee stood around in the light ocean breeze while I snapped away. It wasn’t long though before the sun burned off the visiting cloud though and things began to clear up.

Then we decided to press our luck and hike down to the private beach. Its about an 800 foot drop in elevation and fairly steep set of switch backs. I got a little overzealous and decided to bring both the cameras AND a tripod.

But it was worth it for these shots! I got to use the self timer for a fun group photo and took the most Baywatch picture of Daren on the pristine white sandy beaches.

Slow motion jiggling

Sadly After a sweaty 45 minute hike back up it was time to leave! Max headed off to Hearst Castle while our car took a slow drive down the coast. We stopped at this cute gas station and saw/smelled the elephant seals.

Goodbye Big Sur! I’ll miss your sheer cliffs and breezy oceans mists. Maybe we will see each other next year!

Planes of Fame!

Way out in Chino California is a General Aviation airport that has one of the coolest collections of old planes you’ll ever see! Nathan and I had talked about visiting Planes of Fame, so today we headed out past the madness of LA to dusty valley of the Inland Empire to see some living aviation history.

Upon arriving we were happily greeted by this Lovely B-17!

Nathan told me that Kismet has been roasting in the California sun for the past decade, but is on the path to be restored and eventually become airworthy. I hope she flies again soon! I also got to go inside and see the little radio station. The impressive stance of this bomber doesn’t really quite convey just how thin the sheet metal is that protects you from the outside. You really are in a flying tin can!

The museum is a series of hangars with an absolutely dizzying array of aircraft. A lot of which are flyable. I particularly love this P-51 appropriately christened “Spam Can”. I’ve been around a few cans of spam in my life and I can confirm, a mustangs’ airframe is probably built out of the same material.

I think the two aircrafts on the top left are trainers. There’s an elongated cockpit for a Pilot and an instructor to sit in.

They also had a few vehicles too. Here is Nathan in front of a Rolls Royce!

Its nice to see living breathing flying planes, but the plane junkyard outside was a truly magical experience. Perhaps some will one day fly again, perhaps others are not worth saving. If airframes were sentient, would they even want to fly again? This brings up a lot of questions about the rights of planes.

A Sherman and and and Old B-50 fuselage also silently listened while Nathan remarked about their features.

I noticed a very special hanger at the edge of a complex. A very recognizable yellow turbine just peaking out from behind the doors told me this was a very important plane.

A real P-38 Lighting! And She’s airworthy too! This flying symbol of allied airpower has her own hanger and is adorned with stories of her wartime achievements. I had seen this particular plane online a few times, and I was excited to meet her in person. I love the olive paint and the yellow highlights, The two huge booms each tipped with an absolutely massive propeller. She goes by the name of 23 Skidoo!

A few months ago I was so inspired by the shape of these planes I drew a little retro sci-fi version of it! based on Skidoo!

Outside was absolutely baking, but it was nice to be able to stand further away and get these shots. I like being able to capture the whole subject with out the distortion of a wide angle lens. Also note that I color corrected these photos to try and convey the sheer temperature these planes were baking at.

You can’t ignore the Soviet and Japanese contributions to aviation either. Here we Got a chance to see a real Mig and a Zero up close! I like these two almost kissing Mitsubishis. And if you look closely at the Mig cockpit, You can see the venerable hammer and sickle from the tail behind it.

This plane looks straight out of Water World, and that’s because it is actually a Messerschmitt 109 that was salvaged from a lake. Years of water corrosion on the metal have turned it into a haunting zombie of its former self. I had to get a picture in front of it because its just so crazy looking.

How small do you like your planes? Because they have tons of little model planes too! Including some bombers and a terrifying scene of German V1 being launched. The model looks cute, but the infamous buzz bomb was horrific reality for the people of England.

Thanks to my friend Nathan for visiting with me (he was the one who took the photos of me!) , I got a chance to learn a ton and take some super cool photos! I think we have loose plans to visit the Blackbird airpark next. So hopefully I will soon get a touch a real SR-71!

Travel Town with Ilana

Travel Town Train Museum in Griffith park is one of my most favorite places in all of LA. Big metal steam powered trains!?!? Count me in! And Ilana wanted to come too! She had been talking about taking photos together for a while now and nothing says photo op like a century year old boiler on rails!

This is like Valhalla but for Locomotives!

Ilana was more than happy to stand in direct sunlight for several minutes while I fiddled with the camera to get these photos. She specifically wore the blue dress for these photos!

Ilana posed for a few more photos, but then she decided it was her turn to use the camera. I only gave her a quick demo. but she took to it immediately and started snapping away…as if there wasn’t a film shortage!

Ilana is a fast learner! These photos are great! but I think I need some better poses, and I should probably take my phone out of my pocket before going on camera.

They also have trains too at travel town! I wish I knew more about them, but they are a little bit less documented than something like the USS Iowa.

Here’s some of Ilana spinning around on the tracks! Originally these photos came out kind of bright, I think they were a bit over exposed. But I was able to dial down the highlights a bit in Lightroom and recapture some of those colors. Fujicolor 200 does not have quite the same resilience as porta 400, but its pretty nice for the money. I think a single roll of porta is now 30$ where as you can get 3 rolls of Fuji 200 for that price.

After that we went on a hike around the mountain, and let me tell you it was really god damn hot! The film doesn’t really capture how hard we were sweating, which is a nice feature! But we were both drenched.

We walked along the road to get back to the car, and on the way I saw some fun construction equipment. And then Ilana turned around to ask me a question that almost made me drop the camera! I’d spoil it but I’d rather leave you all on a cliff hanger for now… Tune in next time!

1 2 11