U.S. Road Trip Re-Cap: Week One (California, Nevada and Arizona)

U.S. road trip week one recap: California, Nevada and Arizona

We’ve hit the one-week marker on our U.S. summer road trip, and I’ve already got ambitious dreams of visiting each of the 49 states we can reach by car. Do you think we can do it? I do! But to start, here’s a photographic overview of our first week on the road.  Continue reading

Shot of the Week: Morning Levitation (Trona Pinnacles National Monument, California, USA)

Shot of the Week: Morning Levitation, Trona Pinnacles National Monument, California, USA

It’d been awhile since our last trip to Trona Pinnacles. We’d been engaging in a good amount of chatter around photos we’d taken there — one photo now makes up the cover of a Papa Roach single, and three were on exhibit in a gallery in Mexico — but at least 6 months had passed since we’d last visited.

After a month in the city (Mexico City), we were excited to have some dark skies awaiting us when we returned to California. We brought the whole crew — Tiger, too — and headed north to capture our first Milky Way photos with the a7 II. Tiger had an awesome time, as expected, though he did nearly step on the largest scorpion we’d ever seen in the wild (unbeknownst to him). That kinda ended Tiger’s and my frolicking around in the dark. I took him back to the tent and we hung out inside while Ian continued shooting.

Since Ian was in the process of editing his final video lessons for our latest Skillshare class — Levitation Photography — we couldn’t miss the opportunity to get one more levitation photo in this exotic desert landscape the next morning. We hadn’t tried many in direct sunlight, so the shadow was a bit of a challenge, but the natural landscape made for a nice contrast to all the urban shots we’d been getting for the class. Want to know more about levitation photography? Check out our class on Skillshare — at least watch the intro video; it’s pretty cool — and view sample photos from the class over on The Photon Collective.

This photo was taken on April 24th with the Sony a7 II and Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 lens. Continue to view full photo.  Continue reading

Where Men Become Gods: The Pyramids of Teotihuacan, A Photo Journal (Estado de México, México)

Piramides de Teotihuacán, Teotihuacán Pyramids, Estado de Mexico

Last week we sat down to plan our final week in Mexico City. With the unstable political situation here, we weren’t sure how soon we’d return. So we made a list. All the places we wanted to be sure to visit before we left. Obviously Los Pirámides de Teotihuacán were on the list.

I can’t believe we didn’t visit the pyramids of Teotihuacán sooner, because it was definitely one of my favorites of our whole Mexico City trip. If you’re planning a trip to Mexico, you DON’T want to miss this.  Continue reading

Aerial Views of Mexico D.F. from Torre Latinoamericana’s Mirador: A Photo Journal (Mexico City, México)

Torre Latinoamericana: Views from the fifth tallest tower in Mexico CitY

As one of the city’s tallest buildings, Torre Latinoamericana is an affordable must-visit if you travel to Mexico City. Though it’s only the fifth tallest building in the city, it’s still quite famous, as it withstood the violent 8.0 earthquake in Mexico City in 1985 without damage. And it WAS the tallest building for almost 30 years (if you count the height of the TV transmitter on top).

Here you’ll find a brief overview plus our favorite photos from our visit to the top — the “Mirador” — of Torre Latinoamericana.  Continue reading

Shot of the Week: Sunset Surfer (Playa Espadilla, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica)

Shot of the Week: Sunset Surfer at Playa Espadilla in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Last week we concluded our month-long adventure in Costa Rica and headed onward to Mexico City. But before we left Costa Rica, we paid a visit to Manuel Antonio National Park.

It was the first time we’d ever gone swimming in an ocean at a national park. The sun was shining, the water was warm, and there were tons of monkeys jumping from tree to tree along the shore. We spent three days in the Manuel Atonio/Quepos area (see the place we stayed on our list of preferred accommodations), and we spent time at a different beach each day: the first at a private beach, the second in the park, and the third at Playa Espadilla, just outside the park entrance.

This photo of a surfer heading out into the waves during the last light of the day was taken on that third beach day, at Playa Espadilla, with the Sony a7 II and 35mm f/2.8 lens. (Continue to view full photo).  Continue reading

Shot of the Week: The Sleeping Giant (Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica)

Shot of the Week: The Sleeping Giant -- Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

March 2nd was a big day. We had two anniversaries to celebrate. First, it was Ian’s and my three-year anniversary (yay!), and second, it’d been one year since we launched our traveling life and set off for our first destination (Norway).

To celebrate, we took a 3-day trip to Volcán Arenal, a volcano that’s dormant now, after an active period that ended just 5 years ago. Aside from visiting the national park and taking in the marvelous views, we went ziplining for the first time (which was AWESOME). Ian took this photo on the last day of our trip, when we stumbled upon an entry point to Arenal Lake. We spent about 30 minutes along the shore, taking photos of the volcano and what I like to call the “swimming tree” (keep an eye on our Facebook page for a photo of that thing).

Still experimenting with infrared photography, this is an image captured using an infrared filter, and post-processed in black and white. This photo was taken with the Sony a7 II and 35mm f/2.8 lens. (Continue to view full photo).  Continue reading

[VIDEO & REVIEW] Sky Adventures Ziplining, Gondola & Hanging Bridges (Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica)

Sky Adventures review and video at Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

Accustomed to urban life after two weeks in Costa Rica’s central valley, Ian and I were eager for a nature adventure.  We set off for Volcán Arenal, a volcano situated among a beautiful rainforest and mountain landscape, near the developing tourist town of La Fortuna.

Our hotel — booked, as usual, through Airbnb — had the best view I’ve ever seen from a hotel room. A list of nearby tourist activities included kayaking, a chocolate tour, rappeling down waterfalls… there was a full page of options. With one day allotted for adventure activities, we chose a ziplining tour. (Neither of us had ever been!) Watch the video here!  Continue reading

Volcán Poás National Park: An Affordable Costa Rica Tourist Activity (Alajuela, Costa Rica)

Poas Volcano (Volcán Poás) National Park: an affordable Costa Rica tourist activity

*Photo: “Poas Volcano 2” by Sergio Quesada (license: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. Photo has been cropped and text added.)

A visit to Poás Volcano can be a gamble due to potential view-obstructing fog, but it’s a cheap enough risk to take. Despite thick fog during our visit last week (thus the borrowing of another photographer’s image for this post), Ian and I still had an enjoyable time in Poás Volcano National Park.

Here we share an overview of our rainy visit to Poás, including instructions for how to get there affordably bus, a list of what to take with you, plus photos from our foggy trip!  Continue reading

Shot of the Week: Hump Day Jump Day (Malibu, USA)

Shot of the Week: Diana jump at Zuma Beach in Malibu, California

The two of us have been keeping VERY busy this week prepping for the launch of our new photography website, The Photon Collective. As a result, we’ve visited a variety of landscapes. Lake Tahoe over the weekend, Rocky Peak on Monday… And on Wednesday, it was the beach, in my old college town of Malibu, California.

This week’s photo is a shot of me jumping as the daylight faded away at Zuma Beach. We’d just finished capturing some footage for our website’s video teaser, which we cut together last night! (Keep reading for the video at the bottom of this post.)

The above photo was taken with the Sony a7s and Sony 55mm f/1.8Continue reading

Shot of the Week: Bonsai Beach Winter Sunset (Lake Tahoe, USA)

Bonsai Beach Winter Sunset (Lake Tahoe, USA)

We’ve been spending this past week up around Lake Tahoe, and it’s been amazing! Since it hasn’t been brutally cold this trip, we’ve enjoyed the outdoors quite a bit: skiing, flying in a seaplane, taking photos… it’s been super relaxing. (And our little Yaris is doing just fine with no snow or ice on the roads!) When choosing this week’s photo, I wanted to share the chilly, calm feeling of winter in Lake Tahoe, and I think this shot captures it perfectly.

This week’s shot is a photo of me that Ian took this afternoon.  We were out shooting photos near the infamous Bonsai Rock along the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe. (Said rock is the large rock on the left side of the photo. It’s hard to see with the lack of light, but there’s a small tree growing out of the top of the rock, giving Bonsai Rock its name.) While Ian took photos, I had a good time rock-hopping like a 5-year-old! And with the low lake level this season, my favorite winter boots kept my feet dry when I landed in the water near the shore.

The above photo was taken with the Sony a7s and Sony E 10-18 f/4 OSS and edited with the Down preset from The Quantum Collection, our free pack of Lightroom presets available beginning February 10, 2015 on our new photo website, The Photon Collective.

Continue reading