Monday 23 March 2015

Photo Tips: Roadside Photography - North America + Photos

Western Scrub Jay
We've found road tripping are a great way to see the world but if you are anything like me (and Jackie), every time you see something interesting you want a photo of it!  While it might sound surprising roadside photography can be a great way to get amazing photos so I thought I might fill you in on my experiences in North America.

In the US and to a slightly lesser extent in Canada people always give stopped cars a wide berth and will usually change lanes if there is a car stopped beside the road, even if you are well clear of the road.  While it's not a big issue it kinda makes you feel bad about pulling over for photos, particularly if the roads is busy.  

Friday 20 March 2015

Redwoods National Park

If you were to set a movie in Redwoods National Park, you’d have to make it either a ‘woman walks into the wilderness with nothing but a pack and a pair of hiking boots and ends up discovering herself’ kind of movie or a ‘group of frivolous teens spontaneously plan a camping trip and end up getting picked off one by one by a serial killer’ kind of movie. It’s a place that definitely has both vibes going for it. On the one hand, it has soaring, gigantic trees and gently filtering sunlight and rugged trails which wind through before opening out into gentle, green clearings. On the other, it has twisted tree limbs hanging with Spanish moss, monstrous spiders webs and a dark, foreboding canopy overhead.

We stayed a little way down the road at a place called Patrick’s Point, which I would actually have liked to stay and explore longer. We were just over the road from the sea, though we couldn’t see it through the trees, and we got there after dark and left early the next morning. Oh well, something to do next time. Here’s some pictures from both of us...

Thursday 19 March 2015


We stopped in Portland because we needed a place in between our stops in Canada and the national parks down the coast of California. Plus, if you haven't heard of Portland then there's something wrong with your internet. Like, you don't have any. According to my internet, every cool thing that the hipster world embraces seems to come out of Portland. Beards? Food vans? Amigurumi? Portland, Portland, Portland. Okay, so I have no actual evidence for any of this, but since when did that stop anyone from saying anything on a blog?

Still, I'm a bit torn on Portland. The place obviously has some very cool things going on including a fantastic food scene, great live music, craft and vintage shops to die for, gorgeous residential architecture, however, I found the highly visible poverty and homelessness extremely challenging. I don't know if it's there because people in tough situations come to Portland because it has compassion on them, or whether it shows that under a veneer of social justice, actually nobody cares. I like to think the former.

That's all a bit drab and depressing, isn't it! Here's the touristy stuff we did in Portland...

Wednesday 18 March 2015

Canada Fly-By

Golden Eagle in Montana
So the next part of our road trip takes a turn from wildlife and landscape to people.  We noticed that Yellowstone was about an 8 hour drive away from some very good friends of Jackie's so, being a little crazy, we decided to make a side trip to Redclif, near Medicine Hat in Canada.  While this was a L O N G day of driving, it was a fantastic chance to catch up with (or meet) old friends, and, as it turns out we saw some pretty cool things along the way.  Jackie had always been told driving the prairies of Canada was pretty boring but we saw another side of them in sunset on snow, with a Chinook arch on the horizon (it's a Canadian weather thing).  We also finally got a good shot of a golden eagle in Montana beside the road.

Monday 16 March 2015

Yellowstone Landscapes

Yellowstone is well known for its amazing wildlife but there are some pretty amazing landscapes too.  There were a few photos of geothermal landscapes in the snow mobile post and some 'wildlife landscape' in the wildlife post but I thought I'd throw up a few more from in and around the park.