California’s North Coast
Some of the best photography in Northern California is found along Highway One, north from the Golden Gate Bridge, through Marin, Sonoma and Mendocino counties. Follow Highway One as far north as it goes before it leaves the coast and heads inland. The Shoreline Highway is California’s scenic route along the coast - one of the most beautiful highways (paved 2-lane winding road) in America.
For newsletter Issue #133 - California's North Coast, I returned to my favorite spots and explored places new to me. My ten-day trip concentrated on photographing beaches, parks, coastal villages and lighthouses I’d never photographed before. This tunnel of cypress is located north of Fort Bragg. GPS coordinates are provided and mile post numbers will take you there. Stay overnight in Fort Bragg and plan to be out there mid-morning for the best light.
Woodstock in Autumn
This issue points out the best places to photograph fall foliage along the back roads through northern Vermont. Directions are included to the best covered bridges, old barns, sugar shacks, and the most photogenic villages and rural landscapes. Here are hidden spots that always reveal the best autumn color at the best time of year. You’ll get suggestions on the right lens for the best photos. From St. Johnsbury to Stowe, over Mt Mansfield and then south, through the Green Mountains to Woodstock and more great locations.
Traveling alone or leading workshop groups, I have made many trips dedicated to photographing the peak of New England’s autumn color. My Photograph America Issue #002 - Autumn Color in New England – will help make your fall foliage trip a success.
Indiana Covered Bridges
I drove a rental car along back roads across western Indiana to photograph covered bridges. They claim to be The Covered Bridge Capital of the World – 90 are still in use. Using a map from the Turkey Run State Park Visitor Center and my Garmin GPS I found and photographed many historic bridges. Some were located a short drive from Turkey Run and Shades State Park. Seven covered bridges cross Sugar Creek. My newsletter Issue #127 - Photographing Indiana includes several of the covered bridges across Parke County, Indiana and details on Turkey Run State Park.
I like to park my car well back, away from a covered bridge, so that it won’t spoil my photograph. From back there, I can start with a telephoto lens on my camera and then move closer to see if a wide-angle lens works better. Long lenses create a strong graphic image by cropping tightly, simplifying a design and removing any feeling of depth from a composition.
When I want to include more of the environment around the bridge–the stream, the forest, and a sky with dramatic clouds, I use a wide-angle lens and move in close. Including a bend in the road that leads into the bridge can add to the composition. Shooting from a low angle and looking upward causes converging vertical lines that can be corrected in Photoshop. Compose loosely to compensate for the parts of the image that will get cropped off by this process. Passing traffic, usually farm machinery, will raise clouds of dust, usually visible from a distance. If it appears that the dust cloud will blow in my direction, I put my hat over the camera on my tripod.
Notes and images from Bob Hitchman.