These are some of the images I made during my recent road trip across the Southwest, the West Coast and a bit of the Midwest.Read More
I've spent quite a bit of time on the road these last 2 months. I drove 10,000 miles across 11 states, using 4 different rental cars. It wasn't cheap, but it was so worth it.
We like to name our cars, even if they are rentals. These are the 4 vehicles that powered my most recent road trip.
This was my first car of the trip. I had it for 24 days and put more than 6,000 miles on it. From LA to Portland, stopping by Phoenix, Santa Fe and Salt Lake City in between.
It brought me to beautiful places like Saguaro National Park, Arizona, the Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado, a lot of Pueblo towns in New Mexico or Moab, Utah.
I know, I wasn't very original with this name but I mean, same car and same color...
I only had Sonora II for a couple of days, enought to drive more than 500 miles to beautiful spots of the Oregon and Washington Coast and, of course, the stunning Mt St Helens.
This one was as big as a boat! A very smooth drive and awesome choice for more than 3,000 miles. I took it to Mt Hood, then down to the Bay Area where I explored the Sonoma Coast and San Francisco, and even to a wedding in Nevada City (east of Sacramento).
It was an old model (it had an iPod -that's an O- connector), but I really liked this car.
We flew to Detroit from the West Coast, and there's really no other easy way to get from there to our final destination here in Indiana other than driving.
It was a short drive and just a few hours, but Rafael still deserves to be mentioned as part of this story.
It's been almost a year since I left the US, so I'm really excited to announce my upcoming late spring trip to America. These are the locations I will be visiting and the dates (might change slightly):
Apr 11-12 Los Angeles, CA
Apr 13-19 Phoenix, AZ
Apr 22-26 Santa Fe, NM
Apr 29-May 3 Salt Lake City, UT
May 6-25 Portland, OR
Jun 4-7 Nevada City, CA
In addition to these, I will also be visiting and spending some time in San Francisco, Chicago, Indiana, and a first for me, New York. No firm dates for these just yet.
I'm very excited about this trip, the photos I will make, and hopefully the people I will meet. If you happen to be at any of these locations during these dates and you want to shoot with me, let me know!
Winter is my favorite season for photography. There's just one problem, though: the weather.
Over the years, I've gotten caught in several snowstorms (and even worse, ice storms) all over British Columbia, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, California, South Dakota and of course, in the Midwest.
The trip through Northern California was the scariest one, I lost control of the car twice due to ice. That was the last time I drove through a snowstorm, putting yourself in danger for an image is not worth it. How do we do it, then?
Travel before the storm.
That's what I did in South Dakota: I drove more than 1,000 miles in between two big storms and once the second one hit, I was ready and on location.
Photograph the storm.
It was mid-April when the blizzard came. Temperatures dropped to single digits (F) and the storm dumped almost a foot of snow. There was no one else around and no way to get to the Badlands after they closed the highway.
I got one of my favorite images ever that day, and I had a winter wonderland waiting for me the next morning. Best of all, I was able to drive in and out of the park safely.
That's my advice for winter photography: avoid the road on severe weather conditions, be on location beforehand. If that's not possible and you still insist on making the drive, please make sure that you and your car are ready for the worst conditions.
Camera and Lens: Sony a6000 + 16-70mm f/4 Carl Zeiss
Settings: 70mm, ISO 200, f/5.0, 30 seconds
This is, along with "Valley of the Saints", my favorite image from France.
I drove for more than three hours to make an image like this one, even though I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to. You see, these Oyster Beds are on a peninsula in the Arcachon Bay, a place I didn't know I'd be able to reach.
I only had one day in the area, so I had to try.
Not only was I able to get close to them, but I did it for hours. I thought that I'd have to leave once the tide got higher, but that only made the spot better and better for the kind of photography I was looking for.
I had a blast looking for compositions among these sticks, until I finally found it. I knew I had gotten what I was looking for as soon as I pressed the shutter, but I still spent some more time in the location just in case I ran into something even better.
That didn't happen, but it didn't matter. I was happy and couldn't wait to see the results of that long day.
It was worth it.
I'm writing this from my hotel room in Evora, city I'll be leaving shortly to head towards the Algarve.
This was my second time in this beautiful town, and I already regret not having spent a few more days in the area. Not only there's so much more to explore on these charming and mysterious streets, but I really want to photograph the landscapes of the Alentejo.
There's still hope, though. Where I'm going is not too far from here so I could always do a day trip, and I'm also hoping to find similar landscapes down there.
For now, these are some of the images that I made during these short two days here in the capital of the Alentejo, Evora.
The French Road Trip is over.
Biarritz was my last stop after 40 days on the road. I wasn't planning on making any images there since I only had a few hours, but I liked the town so much that I couldn't not try.
I have a new camera, and I put it to the test during a full day of driving and hiking in the beautiful country of Andorra.
I recorded the whole episode on the GoPro Hero 7 Black, using just the built-in microphone for the audio. The footage has been color graded, though.
There's a full review of this little guy coming soon.
Of course, I'm not affiliated with GoPro in any way. I wish. You can still help me buying it (or anything else, it doesn't have to be the GoPro) through this affiliate Amazon link: https://amzn.to/2J4pVma
One the biggest challenges when you are on the road and have a YouTube channel to update is how to upload the videos.
Sometimes, you get lucky: the place we stayed at in Andorra last week had a pretty decent connection so uploading movies and backing stuff up to the cloud wasn't a problem at all.
We didn't get as lucky with this week's AirBnB, though: uploading a new video using this connection would take forever, and there are no cafes around that I know of.
I wish apps like AirBnB or Booking could tell you how fast the WiFi will be on your next stay.
The obvious solution for this problem is to use my phone. I've published videos using the YouTube app before, and while it works just fine, it doesn't let you upload 4k videos. Instead, it will convert them to 1080 and then proceed with the upload.
The best option I've found is to use my computer, tethering from my phone. If I have 4G coverage, of course.
This isn't perfect, though: I "only" have 25GB a month and my average video weighs in at about 3GB. This means I'd be able to upload 7-8 videos a month using my phone exclusively. I usually publish 2-3 a week, or 8-12 a month, making me effectively dependent on things I can't control.
Maintaining a YouTube channel while on the road is not an easy task, but it can be done. You just need a little bit of luck when it comes to your hotel / Airbnb's WiFi, and a phone with a lot of data as a backup.
Since I'm in Portugal, I thought I'd talk about the gear that I carry with me on these kind of trips.
I try to bring as little as I can, but enough to still be able to create images, share them, edit videos and upload them, and of course publish stuff on this website.
You can watch this video I uploaded to my YouTube channel if you want a few words about each item.
This is the full list.Read More
The series American Road Trip is coming to an end: only 2 more episodes left!
This time we visit Zion National Park, in SW Utah.
I spent a few days in the area but I was only able to visit the park a couple times, due to a snowstorm that covered it with ice and snow. This ruined my plans of hiking to Angel's Landing, but gave me some more unique images in exchange.
There are few places that feel like the Old West the way Monument Valley, Arizona, does.
We missed sunrise and sunset due to the long drive to get there from Flagstaff, but still enjoyed our time at this beautiful Indian reservation.
The adventure continues! This time, I visit the Grand Canyon National Park for the first time.
Even after seeing the Redwoods and being at places like Death Valley and the Canadian Rockies, this place made me feel really, really small. An impressive sight, worth a visit.
Open the post to watch the video.Read More
New episode of the American Road Trip Journal.
Still in Sedona, Arizona, Luna and I go on a hike to Baby Bell Rock. It is an easy, short and beautiful hike to great views of the amazing rocks and colors of the area.
I try to shoot some photos with my Bronica SQ-Ai and Ilford HP5+, but once again, I struggle to get good compositions in black and white. Color is just too hard to get out of your mind when shooting here.
Episode 25 of the American Road Trip Journal.
Still in Arizona, I drive in the dark to Sedona, where I go on a very popular hike to Devil's Bridge. It was a nice, warm day at a beautiful location.
Afterwards, I visit a chapel in town and then Montezuma Castle National Monument, a cliff dwelling that is hundreds of years old.
I just got back from one of my best landscape photography trips here in Spain so far. I visited the relatively close mountains of Somiedo, about 3 hours away from where I live.
After looking at some photos, I was expecting something beautiful. But I couldn't believe what I found so close to what had been home for so many years. It was paradise. So, so close I felt ashamed for not visiting it before.
But... I finally fixed it. I didn't spend much time there but I went on a hike to breathtaking lakes and drove a lot getting to know all the small towns around. And I'm already planning my next visit to this gorgeous area in Northern Spain.
Very soon, images and videos from this trip.
It's been a month since the latest episode of the American Road Trip! Way too long, so I decided to fix that today.
In the previous episode, we camped at Valley of Fire in Nevada. This time, we drive from there to Flagstaff, Arizona. On our way, we stop by the Hoover Dam. And the next day, also in this episode, I visit the ghost town of Two Guns, near Flagstaff.
You could say this episode is a filler. Necessary to tell the story of our road trip, but not the best video from a photography point of view. I hope you still enjoy it.
My second full day in the Badlands was a very long one. Stuck in the car in the middle of a snowstorm that brought more than a foot of snow and winds of up to 60mph, I only had one chance to get out of the car and use my camera. But I think I made a couple of photos I'm proud of, probably the best ones of the trip as well.
After all these years traveling all over the West, I feel a little bit sad now that my time in the US is coming to and end. I needed to say goodbye in a proper way.
A couple weeks ago, I decided to pack my things and drive all the way to the Badlands National Park, in western South Dakota. A drive of more than 1,000 miles that took me over 16 hours in two days.
In this first episode, I drive to the park and explore it, trying to get to know the landscape and the places I would be photographing the next days.
After a month exploring California, it was time to move on and start heading east. On our drive from Lone Pine to Flagstaff, we decided to stop by the beautiful Valley Of Fire in Nevada where we spent a night.
I didn't take many film photos as I explain on the video, but rather just enjoyed the place and the experience of camping in the desert (just an hour away from Vegas, but it still feels like "the middle of nowhere").