A Vintage Bus Week: Planning & Lightpainting

Hey gang! If you read last week’s blog post, you know that we’re hunkered down near Eugene, Oregon. That’s where my vintage bus is awaiting work on its interior. It’s completely gutted at the moment, and is located in the shop where the interior project will take place. The guys at Paradise Coach just wrapped up their last bus project, one that they’ve been working on for about two years! That bus, a 1947 Silverside coach, just rolled out of the shop on Saturday, which means that my 1963 Flxible bus is next in line!

I’ve spent the past week working on the 3D model of the bus’ interior and will meet with Larry of Paradise Coach this week to start collaborating. I’d like the interior of the bus to feature a streamline design style, which should be a good mix of vintage and modern. That’s one of the things I’d like to convey to the gang at Paradise Coach, and I’ve been pulling out all my favorite books on the subject to use for reference.

Some of the streamline design books I was researching for my vintage bus project.

I’ve been working of the closet portion of the bus’ 3D model.

Aside from planning MY vintage bus, I did some lightpainting of that Silverside vintage bus that just rolled out. On the night before it was to leave the shop, I arranged a photo shoot and did a lightpainting of both the front and back. What’s interesting about this Silverside is that it’s one of the kinds of buses I was interested in buying back when I was in the market. I just like the overall look and style, and I think the lightpaint came out pretty darn good!

Speaking of lightpainting, we added a new workshop to the 2013 roster! This one is called Mastering HDR & Lightpainting and will be March 11-15 in Los Osos, CA. This unique course will be a double-feature week, combining my two photographic specialties. Once you feel comfortable with HDR and Lightpainting, then you’ll be able to expand your shooting range beyond the standard golden hour and capture idealized images regardless of what time of day you encounter an interesting subject. Click here to learn more about this workshop. If you can’t make the class, remember that you can learn lightpainting from my e-book, The Fine Art of Painting with Light (only $9.97).

This coming week, Karen and I will be flying to New Jersey to spend the holidays with her family, and then we’ll be flying to Hawaii to get married! More to come…

A week with my vintage bus

Hi everyone! It’s time for another Monday travel update. Karen and I finally moved on from Portland and relocated to the Eugene, Oregon area. Eugene is just two hours south of Portland and it’s where my vintage bus will be getting its new interior installed. In case you’re not familiar with the project, I currently live in a modern motorhome/bus conversion but am currently restoring a vintage bus that we will eventually live in. The exterior will look vintage and the interior will feature a modern, streamline design style. To learn more about the project, check out the Creative Cruiser site.

This past week, we’ve actually had both buses parked together in paradise… well, Paradise Coach, that is. That’s the shop that will be doing the interior of the vintage bus. What’s funny is that we’re parked next to a beautiful Silverside coach, which is the other brand of vintage bus I was considering before I purchased my 1963 Flxible Starliner. The Silverside is in the final stages of restoration and when it’s complete, the gang here will be able to focus their attention on my bus.

I’ve spent a lot of time this past week planning out the interior of the bus. Having the vintage bus within 20 feet of my current bus makes it really convenient to do measurements and such. I would go back and forth between the bus and my computer so that I could create the 3D model of the bus’ interior. Then I would spend time researching the right appliances that would fit into the space. One of the tricky things about the vintage bus is that the roof is very curvy so any cabinets or appliances that have to be fitted on the ceiling take some extra consideration.

Above you can see part of my 3D model showing the kitchen area of the vintage bus.

Here I am getting measurements inside the vintage bus.


Aside from working on the vintage bus, Karen and I actually went to a few movies this week. The first was actually Pulp Fiction.  (yes, you heard that right) There was a one-day re-release of the film that included interviews and special trailers hand-picked by Tarantino. We both really like Tarantino flicks, and Pulp Fiction is pretty much a classic, so we had a blast. The second movie we saw was “Lincoln,” and it was equally enjoyable. The actors were all extremely impressive, especially Daniel Day Lewis, and the lighting was very well done. Karen and I would both recommend seeing it.

Finally, we met some fellow full-timers this week (meaning folks that also live on the road like we do). Steve and Kristen own a GM bus that had its interior done here at Paradise Coach. They’re back here for some maintenance things and we got some time to hang out and get to know each other. It’s always fun to see how other RVers do what they do. Steve and Kristen have their priorities set on hiking, climbing, biking and other outdoor-related activities, so they made that a priority when designing their lifestyle and their bus. The four of us went to dinner at Ubon Thai in Eugene and we just loved it. It’s run by a husband and wife team. The wife is the cook, and she’s straight from Thailand. Yum!

From left, me, Karen, Kristen and Steve.

We’re most likely going to be spending the next week in the same area and I’ll be working more on the vintage bus and other projects. More to come…


Oregon: Portland, friends & Vintage Bus Stuff

In my last post, I mentioned that we were staying at Paradise Coach, in Coberg, Oregon. Paradise Coach does bus restoration projects, and I had them in mind for doing the interior of my vintage bus, a 1963 Flxible Starliner. While we were there, they did some work on my current bus, and not only was I happy with that work, but I was extremely impressed by the work they were doing on other coaches in their shop. To make a long story short, I decided that they would be the right people to work on the interior of my bus. If you’re not familiar with this story (“saga” might be more appropriate), check out my detailed post about this on the Creative Cruiser’s site.

After we left Coburg, we headed north to Portland, Oregon. I have a lot of friends in Portland, and Karen has never been there, so we were both psyched to be able to spend some time there. On our way north, we stopped at a few wineries south of the city (wineries are always fun) and then ended up parking the bus just east of downtown. On Saturday, we explored the “Portland Saturday Market” which was absolutely huge. I then took Karen to Powell’s City of Books, which literally takes up an entire city block! It was just a coincidence that my great friend Diane and her husband, Bron, were visiting the city while we were there, so we got to meet up with them one night at a place called McMenamins Kennedy School. If you’ve never been to  Portland before, you’ve got to check this place out. It’s an old elementary school that has been converted into an awesome establishment featuring a restaurant, a bar, a hotel, a soaking pool, and a movie theater, amongst other things. The overall style of the place is a lot of fun. We went to see the movie Men in Black III (which is great – better that the first two, in my opinion) and then had some dinner.

We eventually moved the bus to Hayden Island, which is north of Portland, just south of the Washington border. I’ll be parked here for the remainder of the week. Karen’s birthday is Tuesday, so we’ll celebrate here in Portland, and then she’s making a last-minute trip to her family’s home in south Jersey. (Things are not good on the home front and she needs to be there.) After leaving Portland, I’m going to head north to Seattle (Karen will fly back and meet me there).

Just as a reminder, I’m going to be teaching two classes at CreativeLIVE this month, and while they’re live, they’re absolutely free! After we’ve finished recording the events, they’ll be available for purchase on the CreativeLIVE site. I hope you’ll be able to join me for one of the classes! The first is Photoshop for Photographers, and it will be live from Aug. 22-24 and the second is a one-day course on Lightpainting and it will be on Sat. Aug. 25. It should be a great program and I hope to see you there!