Hi all! I just spent most of the past week in Seattle, WA and Eugene, OR. However, unlike last winter where we kept the bus in the Pacific Northwest, I flew in from Atlanta this time around.
I started off the week in Seattle teaching my “Think Like a Photographer” class at creativeLIVE. This class is geared toward folks who have been shooting for a bit and would like to get more serious about their photography. We covered composition, shooting strategies, gear, post-processing, etc. It was a lot of fun and everyone learned a ton. If you missed the class, you can still snag it HERE.
Here I am on the set of my “Think Like a Photographer” class. Thanks to my awesome host, Jim Catechi, for getting this shot!
After wrapping up my class, I went south to Eugene, Oregon. That’s where my vintage bus is being worked on and getting its new interior installed. If you’re not already aware, I live in a 40′ tour bus and I travel around the country taking photos. The vintage bus is my next home on wheels and it will feature a completely custom interior when it’s finished. It’s been a long-term project, but I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel! Karen and I spent last winter in Oregon so that I could oversee the project, but eventually the guys at the shop were on autopilot and we were able to explore and travel more. Now that lots of progress has been made, I wanted to pay the bus a visit and work with the shop on design details and such. I spent three days in Eugene and I’m thrilled with how the bus is looking! If you want to learn more about the project, or follow the progress, check out the Creative Cruiser Facebook page (yes, my bus has its own Facebook page).
Larry, the owner of Paradise Coach, standing in my bus.
As I mentioned earlier, the bus (the one I currently live on) stayed in Atlanta, so that’s where I returned to after my trip to the Pacific Northwest. My great friend and photographer Eddie Tapp is an Atlanta local, so we got to spend some more time together when I arrived. We paid a visit to the SE Railroad Museum and did a little shooting there. It seems that I’ve had a train theme going on the past few weeks. This is at least the third railroad-themed museum I’ve been to lately!
An iPhone shot I took at the SE Raillroad Museum
From Atlanta, we will continue south to Florida because, well, that’s what we do in the winter time! Karen is actually in NJ to photograph her best friend’s newborn and she will fly directly to Jacksonville later this week. We will then continue to the Tampa area and maybe even make it further south. At the end of the month, we fly to Lisbon, Portugal, where we will board a cruise ship that will be our home for a month. I’ll be teaching a class for the cruise passengers, and then we’ll arrive stateside again just in time for xmas/new years. More to come!
If you follow this blog regularly, you know that, while we’ve been doing a lot of air travel, our motorcoach has been parked between Portland and Eugene, Oregon, for quite some time. This is because I’ve been monitoring the progress of my vintage bus project, which has been going on in Eugene. This past week, we nailed down the designs for the interior, so the project can now go on autopilot (meaning the guys at the shop no longer need my input) and we’re free to roam the country again!
First things first, though. I started out the week in Seattle, where I presented my online class on Photoshop retouching & collaging at creativeLIVE. This class is part of a larger “Photoshop Mastery” series that I’ve been teaching once a month for the past few months. Next month, I’ll be returning to teach “Creative Explorations” in Photoshop. If you missed the recent classes, or want to enroll (for free) to the next one, visit my instructor page here.
On the set of my creativeLIVE class.
My friend and fellow photographer Rick Friedman was teaching a creativeLIVE class right after mine, so we got to meet up in Seattle!
After leaving Seattle, we returned to the bus in Eugene, Oregon and spent one night there before hitching up and heading out. We headed north through Portland, where we made a quick stop to pick up my new, custom-made hat! I’ll post pics of that soon. We then headed east along the Columbia Gorge, on the Oregon/Washington border. We had spent several days exploring the gorge area before, but there is lots to see there, so we spent a few nights near the town of Carson, which is right on the gorge, on the Washington side.
This area is just beautiful, and there’s lots to photograph. I am currently working on an e-book for shooting waterfalls, so that’s what we focused on. There are so many waterfalls in this area that you could literally spend weeks shooting them all. We had heard good things about Panther Creek Falls, so that’s the first one we hit up. It was about a 45-minute drive from Carson and a really short, easy hike to the falls. It was pretty spectacular, and we actually returned twice to shoot it in different light.
My shot of Panther Creek Falls. This is just a detail shot. The whole falls is shown below.
Karen got this shot of me near Panther Creek Falls. The red light on my camera looks so bright because it was actually the brightest thing in the scene. This was pushing 8:30 at night and it was actually quite dark.
The entirety of Panther Creek Falls.
Some of the rapids leading up to the waterfall.
I got this shot of Karen shooting near the falls.
We also drove out to see Lower Lewis Creek Falls, which was a longer trip from Carson (1.5 hours) but totally worth it because of the scenic drive and the beautiful weather. The waterfall was great, expanding a wide area. It was, however, in direct sunlight so it was hard to get any really nice shots of it. This is one of those waterfalls you really need to shoot on a cloudy/foggy day. It was still nice to see, though, and we enjoyed the exploring aspect of it. While we were driving to Lower Lewis Creek Falls, we also got several great views of Mount Saint Helen, which was an added bonus.
Karen’s shot of Lower Lewis Creek Falls. It would have been much better on a foggy day, but it was still nice to see.
After exploring the gorge area a bit, we continued eastward toward Walla Walla, Washington. We’ll spend a few days here visiting some vineyards (this is wine country) and celebrating my birthday! More to come.
Here’s a video Karen made from our time near the Columbia Gorge.
Also, click HERE for Karen’s post on the Columbia Gorge area
Hey gang! Things have been crazy busy lately, between training events, my vintage bus project, and prep for future events. We DID manage to get a day’s worth of exploring in, and I have pictures of that at the bottom of this post. Here’s whats up:
On Monday and Tuesday of this past week, I taught my Photoshop Fundamentals course at creativeLIVE. As with all creativeLIVE online courses, while it was live, it was free to watch. During those two days, I covered the following:
• Simplifying the Interface
• Browsing your images with Bridge
• Understanding Resolution
• Which File Formats to use
• Essential Tonal Adjustments
• Essential Color Adjustments
• Isolating areas with selections
• The fundamentals of layers
• Troubleshooting Techniques
• Workflow Overview
If you missed the live broadcast, and still want the course, you can purchase it HERE. This two-day event is part of a series called Photoshop Mastery. I’ll be returning to creativeLIVE for the next few months to teach additional titles in the series. The next one will be Photoshop Mastery: Color & Tone, on May 6-7. To learn more about that one, and to enroll for the free live broadcast, click HERE.
I really can’t say enough good things about creativeLIVE. From an educator standpoint, they are wonderful to work with, and from a student/viewer perspective, they are an excellent resource, broadcasting high quality classes every single day. I very frequently tune in as a student. Also, to purchase the courses, they’re usually only $80-$100… for 2-3 days worth of content and course materials.
Here I am on my creativeLIVE set during my Photoshop Fundamentals course.
Here I am with my lovely creativeLIVE hosts, Susan and Kenna.
When I returned back to the bus after teaching at creativeLIVE, my new laptop was waiting for me! I ordered a new MacBook Pro, with retina display, and was looking forward to getting that baby set up! My current laptop isn’t actually that old, but it’s been behaving very strangely lately, and I didn’t want to risk having it bomb while I was using it to teach a seminar. Karen and I are both working on plans to optimize our work setups for the vintage bus. We’ll probably both end up with desktop Macs on the bus, as well as laptops for travel.
My new MacBook Pro arrived!
Vintage Bus Progress
If you read this blog regularly, you know that I’m restoring my next “home-on-wheels,” a 1963 Flxible Starliner bus. The shop that’s creating the interior has been making lots of progress lately, mocking up the layout and giving us lots of decisions to make. This past week, we’ve been choosing wood veneers and stain colors for many of the walls and cabinets. When the interior mockup is complete, and we like the way everything is set up, they will remove everything and start building it from scratch with all the real materials. (Right now, the mockup is made of mostly plywood and is just there so we can tweak the layout to exactly what we want.) If you want more vintage bus info, you can follow the Creative Cruiser facebook page . I post lots of progress pictures there.
We had lots of veneer samples to choose from for the interior of the vintage bus. They stained several of them so we could tell how they would actually look.
Every year in Oregon, the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm holds a festival while the flowers are in bloom. There are acres and acres of tulips that turn the landscape into a rainbow of color. It’s pretty amazing to see. Karen had gone a day earlier, and wanted to go back so I could check it out. It was definitely worth it. Because the weather has been pretty nasty (as it often is in the Pacific Northwest) we didn’t get a lot of time out there before the skies turned gray and it started pouring. It would be ideal to visit this event on a weekday (we were there on Saturday) because the crowds wouldn’t be as bad. Karen was there on Friday and said it wasn’t nearly as crowded. But if you have to go on a weekend, it’s still quite easy to focus on close-up, detail shots of the flowers. At the festival, they had vendors, music and food, so when it started to rain, we just headed for a tent and had lunch.
This is my iPhone pano of the tulip field.
One of Karen’s shots from the festival.
The Antique Powerland Museum
I had been wanting to visit this museum for a while because, on the museum grounds, there is a vintage Texaco service station I wanted to photograph. We finally found the place on Saturday and paid a visit. They have two big warehouse-sized buildings full of old trucks, especially a lot of old semis. Since we were the only people there, we got a personalized tour of the whole facility that included a lot of fun, historical tidbits. There were a couple trucks in there I would LOVE to return and lightpaint! After the tour, I spent a while photographing the old service station. The weather was pretty cruddy, so I wouldn’t mind returning on a better day, but I still got some decent shots.
The old Texaco Service Station at the Antique Powerland Museum. This is an iPhone shot.
At the end of the week, we made our way back to Portland. I have a good amount of work here, including my Photoshop Artistry full-day seminar on Friday, April 12. If you are going to be in the Portland area and would like to soak in some Photoshop knowledge, you can read more about the event and sign up HERE.
I my last post, we had just wrapped up the California Photo Festival and were heading south to San Diego for a few days. I wanted to visit my friend Mike, who is a SD local. Plus, Karen and I always enjoy spending time there. In fact, it’s one of our favorite places to “winter.” Speaking of winter, this is the first year that we’re not heading south for the cold months so this should be a very interesting change for us. On Wednesday, we flew back to Oregon, which is where the bus was parked and where we will be spending several of the winter months.
The main reason we’ll be hanging out in Oregon for a while is that my vintage bus will be getting its interior “installed” here. If you’re not familiar with my vintage bus project, you can read about it at CreativeCruiser.com. Right now, the bus has received an all new engine/transmission and is waiting for me to pick it up in Chattanooga. That’s how I’ll be spending the coming week: flying to Chattanooga and driving the bus all the way to Coburg, Oregon, which is about an hour south of Portland. You can see the tentative route below.
Once the bus arrives in Coburg, it will be getting its all-new interior at Paradise Coach. I’d like to be around for the start of this huge project, so Karen and I will probably be moving around between Eugene, Coburg and Portland so that we can be in the general area. We both really like Portland and Eugene, so we’re happy to be able to spend more time here. We’re also interested to see how the rainy season affects our opinion of the place. Up until now, we’ve had mostly sunny weather. That won’t last… not in Portland.
Outside of planning for this trip, I’ve spent much of the past week working with a corporate client and getting some personal work done as well. Here’s a fun story though… On Friday, I was out and Karen was at the RV park going for a walk. During her walk, she spotted a Flxible bus (The same brand as my vintage bus) parked in our same RV park. She had never seen one outside of a Flxible rally so she was thrilled and took a picture to text to me. As soon as I saw the photo, I recognized the bus immediately. I had been in it before! I knew that it belonged to my bus-nut friend and radio personality Dr. Dean Edell. What are the chances?! I sent Dean a message and the following morning we went out to breakfast with him and his wife, Sharon. We spent hours geeking out on bus-related stuff and catching up in general. He and Sharon are such great people… the kind that Karen and I could have spent all day with. We spent a lot of time marveling at this excellent coincidence.
Karen and I were so thrilled to be able to spend the morning with Dean and Sharon. That’s his beautiful Flxible behind us.
Before I wrap up this post, I want to add a few other things:
I’ve got a free “Top 10 Photoshop Tips” PDF up on my facebook fan page. If you’ve already “liked” my page, then click the tips button near the upper right of this page. If you’re not yet a fan, then lick the like button first to gain access to the file.
Lastly, Karen posted loads of photos from last week’s California Photo Fest over on her blog, The Pixel Diaries. If you want a better idea of what that event is like, and what we were shooting, check out her post HERE.
That’s it for this week! Next Monday, expect an update from my cross-country journey with the vintage bus!
Hey gang! This past week has been jam-packed with photography, and as a result, this post is going to be very photo-rich. In fact, I’m going to make this more of a “photologue” type of update. Here goes:
In the beginning of the week, we moved on from Seattle and headed toward North Cascades National Park. Now that I’ve knocked off all the 50 states, I’m trying to visit all the national parks as well. North Cascades is just south of the Canadian border and is full of snow-capped mountains. There is one main road that goes right through the park so we took that and made various stops. I’ve got to say, even though the drive was gorgeous, the area didn’t “sing to me” photographically. Now, that’s just me. It could be completely different for you.
I took the above pano from the Washington Pass overlook on the east side of the park. I still have to fine-tune it. We parked the bus a few miles outside the park entrance in a tiny town called Marblemount. From there, we would go exploring. We also attempted to enter the park on a more primitive road, but the washboard bumps ended up being too much for the Mini. It wasn’t a failed journey, though, because we found this nice waterfall on the way (shown below) and we ended up spending a while shooting it.
In the shot below, Karen demonstrates how to shoot a roadside waterfall when it’s cold out. She parked the car next to the falls and is sitting on the heated seats! Her tripod is set up on the ground next to the car.
The next stop in our travels was Ellensburg, WA. I wanted to photograph a vintage gas station there, and we ended up over-nighting in that area as well. The town is really nice. There are lots of old buildings with character that are also well-maintained. The station I photographed was part of the Red Horse Diner and you can see me shooting there in the photo below.
The Teapot Dome Service Station is another building that’s been on my shooting list for a while, and it’s located in the town of Zillah, WA, which is about an hour south of Ellensburg. When we arrived in Zillah, we literally had to track the building down. When we arrived at the first address, we saw this:
It was as if the darn thing got up and walked away! We later learned that it didn’t actually walk away… it was rolled away, and moved to a new location closer to downtown. We finally found it and spent about an hour shooting this little gem. Karen shot the image below, and she captioned it “Where is Ben?” Can you find me in the shot?
I shot the image below with my new fisheye zoom lens.
We continued south to the border between Washington and Oregon and then spent a few days exploring the Columbia Gorge area. There is lots to shoot in this area and it’s one of those places we’ll probably revisit again and again. During this visit, we focused on waterfalls. Both of the falls we shot were located inside John B. Yeon State Park, which is on the Oregon side of the gorge.
The first of the waterfalls was Wahclella Falls, and it was about a mile hike to get there. The whole area is beautiful, with vibrant foliage and moss-covered trees. Karen shot the pano below of me shooting the falls. Because of her angle, it’s hard to tell how big the waterfall actually is.
In the shot below, I have Karen in the frame to show the scale of the waterfall. In this one, you CAN tell how big it is!
The second waterfall we photographed was Elowah Falls, and it was a .8 mile hike to get there. This one was much taller and narrower, with nice moss-covered rocks to use as a foreground. The fisheye shot below is of Elowah Falls. (As is the header of this blog post)
Finally, we spent a bit of time exploring the towns along the gorge. There are lots of nice little restaurants, wineries and breweries. It was great to wrap up a day of hiking and shooting with a wine tasting or a local beer! Our next stop will be the Portland area, but we’ll most likely be making day trips back to the gorge area to hit some waterfalls we missed, including the spectacular Multnomah Falls. More to come…