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  1. Default SF to ?: looking for ideas!

    Hi -

    I'm a newbie who just discovered this forum today. Seems like a wonderful resource! I'm hoping some of you can give me some ideas...

    I'm looking into doing a 5 day road trip starting from San Francisco around the 3rd week of April. Planning with a good friend and we've decided we'd like to head south towards warmer weather. It would be nice to hit a beach or two and overall looking for an itinerary that is enjoyable and relaxing. All I can come up with is possibly going to Santa Barabara (never been), San Diego or maybe the Grand Canyon (never been).

    Someone recently told me about a place called Catalina Island, off the CA coast near San Diego. Has anyone been there or know anything about it?

    Looking for any ideas! I would love to either stick to hotels or also throw in a day or two of camping along the way.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Is this five-days round trip?

    Quote Originally Posted by cama_girl
    I'm a newbie who just discovered this forum today. Seems like a wonderful resource!
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum and we are glad you found us. One thing I wasn't sure about -- is this to be a five day round trip adventure or?
    I'm looking into doing a 5 day road trip starting from San Francisco around the 3rd week of April. Planning with a good friend and we've decided we'd like to head south towards warmer weather. It would be nice to hit a beach or two
    The central coast beach town I like is Cayucos -- if you do a search on this forum for that destination, you will find a number of ideas about it. But it won't be much warmer than what you are experiencing in San Francisco. For warmth, I would head to La Jolla and the La Jolla Cove in particular.

    Mark

  3. #3

    Default

    Cam, If flying into SF, then definitely consider making south on Hwy 1 along Big Sur. Must do if you've never experienced this mere 80 mile stretch of raw coastline south of Monterey. April will be hit or miss on the weather, but it could be absolutely beautiful!


    Shot from Nacimiento Rd (near Lucia)


    Highway 1 Big Sur


    Also consider stopping by Hearst Castle at San Simeon, CA if you like the historical stuff. It'll take about a 1/2 day to really experience it with the tour.



    Nearing Morro Bay...


    Although the Grand Canyon is 700 miles away from San Fran, might want to save that for a different trip. You might ask yourself do you want to stick to along the coast (SF to San Diego), or explore more?

  4. #4

    Default

    Remember in April Sierra Nevada is still all snowed in and all the passes are closed. Yosemite is open year round and only about 3 1/2 hours from San Fran.

    Glacier Point

  5. Default

    Great photos, Pashnit, and good advice, too! Route 1 is a must for those interested in California's beautiful coastal scenery.

    On the assumption that you only have five days, I don't think you'll have enough time to make an enjoyable trip out to the Grand Canyon and back to SFO. That is to say - it can be done, but you'll spend alot of your time driving there and back.

    Catalina Island is best reached by ferry from Long Beach. So far as I know, you can't take your car with you but bikes, mopeds, etc. are available for rent once you're there. Camping is also available.

    Perhaps a leisurely trip down Highway 1, a night or two on Catalina Island, and maybe a night in or around Santa Barbara before returning to the Bay Area?

    Have a great trip!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tustin, California, United States
    Posts
    272

    Default What kind of camera?

    I hate to bring an old thread back to the top, but I tried messaging pashnit (message queue full) and e-mailing (not accepting e-mails) so I figured this was the next best thing...

    Tim (Pashnit), I wanted to know what kind of camera you were using at the time you took these photos. The clarity of these pics you posted are astounding.

    I've gotten some "great" shots of scenery on my roadtrips the past 3 years, but only with a P&S, and I can tell the difference. I'm in the market for another camera and I'm thinking about stepping up to an SLR. But I wanted to know the model of what you had (or currently have, if you think it's better).

    Thanks a bunch.

    (Hopefully Tim sees this... I'm not sure if he frequents these forums according to his post count...)

    [Editor's Note: Tim is pretty busy managing his own forum and site -- but I have sent him an e-mail]
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-20-2007 at 11:26 PM. Reason: Navigation

  7. #7

    Default

    Hi Kin - (thanks Mark), I have a pretty basic camera actually. It's a Canon Powershot Pro1, top end of the SLR point-shoots, about $500 camera, although it's about 2-3 yrs old already so you can pick them up cheaply on the internet. I only get about 10,000 shots out of a camera, then it's pretty beat up from all the traveling I do. I am told it's actually a popular camera with semi-pro shutterbugs for its compactness. I really like the 28-200mm zoom lens as I'm big on zooming & cropping.

    One answer for you is 'it's not the camera'. Someone who knows what they're doing get great shots with a simple point-n-shoot. Do you need a $2000 DSLR? Not really.

    My 'secret' is I'm big on composition, placement of objects in the shot, what I call 'triangulation' or placing triangles in the shots- or using lines in the shot, a fancy term for that might be using 'leading-lines', layering (shooting layers of mountians for example), and I've been doing this for a long, long time, tens of thousands of shots, practice, practice. The clarity of the shots though has to do with 'post-production'. The only altering I do is to sharpen the shots, play with the brightness/contrast/saturation, and as mentioned, very big on cropping. Oddly enough, I'm color-blind across 90% of the spectrum so I never mess with the colors as I'm clueless in that department.

    One of these days, I keep telling myself I'll have to write a website on some basic tips to get some great shots!

    Took this in Bodie SHP ghost town last weekend. (highly reccomended destination!!).





    Some more shots like this

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tustin, California, United States
    Posts
    272

    Default Much obliged!

    Thanks for the info and the model information, Tim. I'm familiar with the Powershot G series but never took a look at the Pros. Of course I really haven't been looking at SLRs until just recently. This helps greatly.

    Like you I'm all about the "triangulation" and not just focusing on one object, but using the surrounding environment for optimal scenery.

    I believe the secret is, as you said, post-production. I have Photoshop CS2 but I use it primarily for website production. I only have very basic to moderate experience touching up photos (i.e. removing unwanted objects via clone stamp, using auto levels, and of course cropping, which no one should be unfamiliar with...) I just never really got into the fine-tuning aspect quite yet.

    I'll have to find some documentation on that. Or if you ever write about your "basic tips" on your site, you may want to include a section about photo touch-ups. I think that's all I would need to focus on.

    Thanks again, Tim. (And thanks, Mark, for bringing my post to his attention.)
    Last edited by Kinless; 06-21-2007 at 10:08 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Our Cameras

    Joey,

    We use a variety of cameras -- but the two principal ones that shoot the majority of the photos are:

    Nikon Coolpix 8700 --8.0 MegaPixels (I think its electronic zoom trumps the Canon Powershot Pro) but the Canon is probably a more rugged body. It certainly is heavier.... Like Tim, I rarely get more than a couple of years use of a camera body -- I have dropped the Nikon in some of the most trying of locations (plus, my vision is not as finely tuned as it once was) so even with point and shoot, I would say that I keep about 20% of the images I shoot. (And I have a few thousand of those on the back-up drives).

    Casio Exilim -- 5.0 MegaPixels Megan tends to shoot most of her images with this ultra small point and shoot and I am flat-out amazed with the ability of that camera to capture images in low-light conditions and at focal lengths of 25 feet and less.

    We do not publish any large-format images like Tim uses on his site on RTA -- because of the bandwidth issues, but one of these days, we will publish a photo spread that shows off some of our work.

    Mark

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