road trip

Winter photography: travel before the storm, photograph the storm

 

One of the most beautiful drives I’ve done.

 

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?

This day, I had to drive 40 miles on frozen dirt roads to get to the closest town.

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.

Winter wonderland.

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.

Evora and the Alentejo

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.

PS: I made a video about our time in Evora, and I also talk about being a photographer in a foreign country.

Biarritz: last hours in France

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.

Vlogging with a GoPro Hero 7 Black in beautiful Andorra

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

Uploading videos to YouTube while on the road

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.

American Road Trip Journal #30: Zion National Park

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.

American Road Trip Journal #27: Grand Canyon

American Road Trip Journal #27: Grand Canyon

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.

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American Road Trip Journal #26: Baby Bell Rock

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.

American Road Trip Journal #24: Hoover Dam and the ghost town of Two Guns, AZ

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.

The Badlands: Day 2

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.

The Badlands: Day 1

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.

American Road Trip Journal #23: Valley Of Fire

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").