Photographing California

Graduated from college. Got a job. Got money. Spent it on toys–camera and lenses. Got no time to shoot. 🙁

Unless you’re a professional photographer and are dedicated to take pictures full-time, there is no way you explore every inch of the land to discover photogenic sites. You want to go home with the most frame-worthy shots in the limited time that you have.

I recently bought Photographing California – Vol. 2: South and this book is for you, too, a weekend warrior.

Crystal Cove State Park
Crystal Cove State Park

The book provides valuable, time-saving information such as turn-by-turn directions and best months to go to photo destinations in Southern California. The book covers many sites in the following areas.

  1. Yosemite
  2. Mono Basin
  3. Mammoth Lakes
  4. Bishop Area
  5. Lone Pine to Mojave
  6. Death Valley
  7. Kings Canyon & Sequoia
  8. Sequoia National Forest
  9. Pinnacles
  10. Carrizo/Antelope Valley
  11. Santa Cruz to Big Sure
  12. Central Coast
  13. Channel Islands
  14. Los Angeles & Vicinity
  15. Joshua Tree
  16. Mojave Desert
  17. Palm Desert/Imperial Dunes
  18. Anza Borrego
  19. South Coast/San Diego

With so many possible sites, the books help you narrow down by providing at least a photo for most sites so you can bookmark the sites which satisfies your photography style. Whether you’re into snowy scenery, wild flowers, or waterfalls, you can be confident that the book will lead you to the right sites at the right season. The book describes how you can capture special sightings such as lunar rainbows or a rare glowing waterfall.

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Death Valley
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Death Valley

With eyes on the money shots, plenty of time an inexperienced, travelling photographer would fail to plan other aspects. The book warns you of possible harsh condition, precautions to take, and etiquette of photography (say, shooting at night at a popular site or preserving fragile environments). The book often provides required time to traverse certain areas which definitely helps in planning your itinerary.

The last pages of the book provide ratings of all the sites covered in the book. The ratings include scenic value, photo interest, road difficulty, and trail difficulty. This easy-to-read, comprehensive information will help you plan your photography trip which caters your style, experience, and available time.

I own the other books in this series (Photographing Oregon, Photographing the Southwest Vol.1: Southern Utah, Photographing the Southwest: Vol. 2 – Arizona) and I won’t go to another photo trip without consulting one of these books.

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