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Road Trip!

I had some time off from work, so I took a quick trip North to California’s Central Coast Area (Morro Bay, Cayucos, Hearst Castle, Cambria, Big Sur, Carmel-By-the-Sea, and Monterey) (photos). Then, I cut over to Yosemite National Park (photos).

It was a nice and relaxing trip. I hadn’t really been to either part of California before, so it was great seeing some of the most beautiful scenery in the country.

The coastal areas were fogged in most of the time. That was a bit of a drag since my main mission was to take some interesting photographs, and I don’t know how to photograph fog well. When you’re in the middle of it, it feels sort of mysterious and magical, but it creates this diffused light that I just don’t know how to deal with in photographs. Everything always seems to come out gray and flat and lifeless.

Hearst Castle is amazing (and thankfully the elevation put it above the fog). You can’t use flash though — even outside, so that presented some photographic challenges of its own. I went on two tours, but I didn’t even come close to capturing that place. I’ll have to go and try again sometime. It really is impressive.

Yosemite is a spectacular place. The views are unbelievable. It had its own lighting challenges though, which left the sky blown out compared to the shaded areas under the tree canopy. I tried to use fill flash where I could, but given that the area I was trying to fill was so vast, there was no way my little onboard flash could light it. The bigger problem is that so many photos ended up looking the same. I took several huge capacity cards worth of photos, but they ended up being basically the same shot. I blame my eye. It should be easy to find variety in that setting, but I kept finding my attention pulled to the big, stunning vistas.

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