17 Oct ROADTRIPPING IN THE USA – 5 OF THE MOST PHOTOGRAPHIC SPOTS
Chances are you have “road trip in USA” somewhere on your bucket list. Whether it’s driving the historic Route 66, or meandering through valleys, deserts and coastlines (either on the West or East Coast), USA’s wide open spaces, and variety of landscapes and views, really do make it the ideal place for a road trip, and the ideal place to take sensationally good photographs.
Our own four-wheeled USA adventure began in Nevada, where we picked up our JUCY camper (our home for the life-changing three weeks that lay ahead) and drove, leaving Las Vegas in the dust. Over 2500km planned, we quite literally moved into the van, having car up front, kitchen in the back, bed on top, and dressing room somewhere in the middle. We decided (after spending way too much money at Walmart – our first time spending nearly 3hrs buying groceries) to pick a few areas along the West Coast, and try cover them as much as we could, cameras in hand.
Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Big Sur, Los Angeles, Yosemite National Park and San Francisco were the pinpointed locations, and everything else was planned on the fly. We slept at gorgeous wild national parks next to towering trees so big they’ve become main attractions, free land on river banks that we’d heard about from locals, beaches in Malibu, and smelly RV sites we’d only heard about from Britney-Spears-rants in the tabloids. There were nights where we shivered with the temperatures dropping below zero, and nights we spent listening to cars drive past on the freeway. It was wild, it was trashy, it was cliched at times and simply unimaginable at others. We became friends with perfect strangers, drank a lot of red wine, played cards, went to the beach, took extreme selfies on the edges of cliffs, swam under chilly waterfalls, hiked on slippery rocks, ate amazing food, and then in the end questioned our budgeting skills.
Practically, what we learnt from the trip was that you really cannot see everything, so you should rather pick fewer things to see properly, instead of rushing to see it all (that way you also have something to come back for). We learnt that some places will disappoint you and others will completely surprise you. We learnt that no matter how much planning you do, the weather is unpredictable and will always dictate your travels, and we learnt that kindness goes a long way and you should constantly aim to pay it forward.
If you’re planning a similar trip at this time of year (August / September), and want to know where to go to get the best photographs – we’ve tried to narrow it down to our top five spots not to miss (and a quick tip to keep in mind for each):
Yosemite National Park
Photographer’s tip: “Camp at Bridalveil Creek Campground and visit the nearby Taft Point at sunset for views that will take your breath away.”
Photographer’s tip: “Book a photography tour between 10am and 12pm on a sunny day – just remember to bring your tripod and DSLR in order to gain entry into this type of tour.”
Photographer’s tip: “Get up really early and go watch the sun come up at Sunrise Point – the hoodoos in the canyon will light up to the most beautiful deep red and orange tones, making photography here really easy.”
Zion National Park
Photographer’s tip: “Plan to go when the Narrows are open, and rent some gear to ensure you’re safe during the photo mission.”
Seven Magic Mountains
Photographer’s tip: “If you’re already visiting Las Vegas, take a 20-minute trip heading towards Los Angeles to see an art installation in the middle of the desert – really unique and completely free.”
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