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Recently I released an iPhone application for fellow photographers who visit the Golden State of California.
I have spent 10 years photographing California and I am making this knowledge available to you in an inexpensive iPhone application. The convenient on-the-go travel guides contain everything you need to know to succeed on your travel photography adventure. You can carry the large database of locations in your pocket and you do not even need internet access to read any of the articles.
The offline capability makes this companion especially useful when you travel the back roads, have a limited data volume or travel California from abroad. It even works well on your iPod. You just do not depend on data coverage, yet you have the full interactive database readily available.
Tap your way through each location and get photography tips and insider information that can make your photographs stand out. Each article comes with GPS coordinates that make it easy to find your way. Discover nearby locations to maximize your time and get the most out of your trips.
I am continuously extending the location database. Each application update adds new locations to the already extensive database and is completely free. The application is much cheaper than any travel book of California, despite the great depth of information contained within. I will increase this price with the next major release. Get your copy now, before the price goes up.
Easter SUV Trekking through the Backcountry of Death Valley.
My 4WD Hybrid Ford Escape had already proven its worth on a 7,000 mile winter trip, crossing the Rocky Mountains twice in bone chilling weather with record snow falls. My sure-footed companion sips fuel like a compact car, yet offers the storage of a family van and enough ground clearance for backcountry adventures. Hybrids are fun, as long as you don't drown the battery in mountain spring water like I did.
One of my favorite parks on the Colorado Plateau is Hovenweep National Monument.
Hovenweep is a delight to photograph. Its remote location at the border between Utah and Colorado and its overshadowing neighboring park, Mesa Verde, make sure that this park receives only a trickle of visitors when compared to other places. It is very unlikely that you get much disturbance during your photo session and if you do, you can easily outwait everyone.
Dani finally analyzed my feelings correctly, after I stumbled through Mesa Verde with an average mood one day and suddenly lit up with delight when we visited Hovenweep the other day. Mesa Verda does not leave much to creativity. You hold your camera into the hole and that is that. Photos either look good or they do not, but your influence on the outcome is limited.
Hovenweep is different. You can have fun with compositions, go crazy with foregrounds and backgrounds, try weird twisted angles, and never tire of the limitless options that this small park offers.
Learn about the tools that I use to navigate to great locations!
I spent the past months hunting for places to photograph in California and then writing about it. California is famous for its photographic icons such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Yosemite or Death Valley but it has so much more to offer to photographers. Not many of you may know about the alien Tifoni formations of Salt Point State Park, the Sea Otters of Moss Landing or the gushing Whiskeytown Falls.
Read about the free or inexpensive tools I use to plot my way to these photo spots.
How far do you go for your photographs?
As travel photographers, we never have enough time at a location. We have to face the weather and make the best of any situation. The last time I went to Canyonlands National Park, I had to compromise between False Kiva and Aztec Butte. I chose False Kiva and I have not regretted it. False Kiva is one of my all-time favorite photographs. Even NASA linked this picture from APOD.
We shot many photos on our year-end trip. I have begun to upload the first batches of photos to my USA West Galleries.
I have added a new Gallery for Canyon de Chelly National Monument. This was a unique experience and one of the most beautiful parks I have ever seen, mixing unique Navajo archeological sites with wonderful landscapes and wildlife.
Ever since my Peru Trip, I have enjoyed taking photos of ancient ruins in amazing settings. Seeking them is a great pleasure and adventure.
With the help of Dani (of TripGalleries), I have written an article on Native American Sites in the Soutwest. Its a great resource if you are interested in finding out more and to see some of the things I will be uploading soon (among many other).
During the past years, I have been year-end traveling. This year, I am on a trip through the Southwestern States. After we bolted straight to Phoenix from the San Francisco Bay Area, suffering through a monstrous 30-mile traffic jam around L.A., we were somewhat disappointed by Phoenix. We explored sights in Southern Arizona, New Mexico and headed into El Paso – Texas, where we spent Christmas. If you can avoid this city, you will spare yourself a big industrial looking blob of no particular beauty.
After Christmas, we headed North into New Mexico and the White Sands National Monument. The park was a real treat for our strained souls. We had a good time there and I finally got to use my Jetboil cooker for some hot treats.
Albuquerque and Santa Fe were a nice diversion from mundane El Paso, although we didn’t find too much things to do, as many of the smaller parks were either closed (Puye Cliff Dwellings, El Rancho de Las Colindras) or less photogenic (old town). Pecos National Monument turned out quite nice (see picture). Santa Fe and Albuquerque are freezing with a temperature shock so far below freezing that our thin Californian blood circulates at Mach 3.
I am looking forward to heading into Bandelier NM tomorrow and then leaving New Mexico for Arizona and Utah again.