Last day and loose ends from the coast location scout…
The day of a photo trek that I always hate to see arrive… arrived… the day to head back. We headed out fairly early though at least it was not another 3:30 morning.
I assumed we would stop for breakfast somewhere in the area but I forgot who was driving. We avoided the restaurants in Cayucos by driving straight to the highway. Then we drove past Morro Bay and turned inland. But, I told myself, stifling a growl in my stomach, there were more towns along the way.
And indeed we went through — and past — Atascadero and every one of the several thousand roadside eateries… each one with a sign on the window to the effect that Lee and David should come on in for a sumptuous and delightful day-starting meal. I could just see the sad, tear-stained faces of the restaurant chefs crying over how summarily we had dismissed them and their offerings.
It was the photographer’s version of the Bataan march. In my mind I could see the cruel taskmasters, hear the vicious crack of their whips as we were driven ever onward, fearful of falling behind and left as carrion for the crows and buzzards… Well, OK, that might be a slight exaggeration… but only a slight one…
To be fair, we did stop at the barn in the Corrizo valley we had shot on the way in… I thought it was perhaps to ask at the ranch house for spare cookies or perhaps a sandwich. But no, this time Lee had stopped because the light was better than it was back on Tuesday morning. He was right about that. It was now creating an interesting pattern on the front façade so I re-did the shot I had taken then and the new version is the one shown in Part One. But I also took some shots of the texture and patterns in the tumbleweed itself. This was shot using the Lenssbaby Velvet 58mm.
…and of the tumbleweed-filled arroyo leading to another ranch in the valley (and wondered if they might have some cookies to spare…).
We also stopped by a beautiful grove of trees along the rolling golden hill sides. Here are a couple.
We then drove on to Taft… past several hundred normal and fast food restaurants. The old business section, now mostly abandoned, would itself make for a great shoot. But we drove on to the Kern County Oil Field Museum. There were lots of cool pieces of old equipment, but I was so hungry I was feeling a slight bit queasy and was having a hard time concentrating so decided to just focus on some details — and there were plenty of those! I long ago started a body of work called “Rust Never Sleeps” and here was arrayed lots of additional images for that.
I did notice that independently Lee and I were often drawn to the same subjects and on his blog (see link in right hand column) he has a great collection of shots from here you should check out.
Then it was right back on the highway. I knew we would have to get fuel sooner or later and truth to tell, I could live off the “fat of the land” for days, sad to say, but sure enough close to the north end of the infamous “Pipeline” we got gas… and a sandwich…
Then almost immediately we were into full blown L.A. traffic even that far north, the Friday rush starts early but these were cars headed, bumper to bumper, toward L.A.. What had taken under an hour at about 4:30 Tuesday morning driving through L.A. between Irvine and Burbank now took nearly FIVE HOURS of stop and go –mostly stop — traffic!
And I’ll end with some loose ends shot during the trip that didn’t fit neatly onto the narrative…
So what did I think about the location? The final conclusion is that the area is certainly workable as a fieldtrip location, but planning and structure are more critical than in more constrained locations. This would be much easier as a smaller “for pay” workshop but I’ll see if a good fieldtrip plan and itinerary can be worked out.
Overall, this was a great little trip! I always look forward to photo-road trips like these. I learned more about the limitations and strengths of my new camera and also unfortunately that I need a new lens if I want to do really good deep sky shots with it. Darn… I was thinking I would first try to get a 90mm tilt-Shift for product shooting. Hmmmm… what to do…??? Oh well, it will make another interesting test/review entry. Oh, and I learned to bring snacks if Lee is driving… Here is a shot I took of him photographing the Elephant Seals near San Simeon.
But alas, back to reality… we have a serious situation brewing at school; enrollment numbers for Fall Semester are dismal and for the first time since I have been there we may need to cancel some major 3-unit classes. If that happens, Dave and I will have some very unpleasant decisions to make, and not just for adjuncts, but also for ourselves.
I knew there were reasons to want to stay on the photo shoot and not come back. To help remind me of the trip I’ll include and close with a final shot, my obligatory shot of Johnathon Livingston Seagull…