Mobile Photography – "You have 5 seconds to shoot."

Since I started my photography journey, the destination of our trips has mostly been based on photography opportunities. However, I am reluctant to call them photography trips for two reasons: If it is a road trip, my shots were mostly taken from our moving vehicle. If we go on a tour, the results are either quick snaps or shots through the window of a moving tour bus. I take lots of pictures, but they are just random snapshots. I brought my tripod, but shameful to admit that I did not even get them out of the trunk.
When I don’t control the driving gear myself, I am at the mercy of my chauffeur (also the boss in our household). He is nice enough to say, “just tell me whenever you want me to stop”. If there are no cars behind us and a viewpoint is available, I may get 5-10 minutes to look around before I framed a shot. Otherwise, “you have 5 seconds to shoot”.  Making a 2000-mile road trip with 5 major destinations within 5 days, time is of the essence. If we stop whenever I found something worth a snap, we won’t make it to all planned destinations. Besides, perpetual car traffic on freeways makes constant stops a challenge.I make sure that my camera strap is on my neck and I hold the camera as steady as I can in case the wind blows my camera out of the car. The vehicle was moving between 70-75 mph. The wind blew mercilessly whenever I opened the window. Sometimes, I did not remember the window was closed…

Little house in the prairie? It ain’t little.
California has persistent drought issues. Brown color and sagebrush are what I expected to see. But this trip has just about to change my perspective. Lack of lofty trees and massive forests, California is not short of green hills and beautiful landscapes, at least, at this time of the year.  Oregon has more sporadic farms in a smaller scale. California has vast farmland and the operation is more industrialized.

Green California
I did not mean to, but I have often instinctively bragged about the natural beauty in Oregon. In fact, California has a charm of its own. The outlook seems to be more sophisticated and established. However, there is one thing that California cannot make it up to Oregon: the coast and beaches.  We drove on highway 1 from S. California to the bay area with expectations to discover some scenic spots. But I barely got my camera out of the car…
Hearst Castle at dusk
My last visit to Hearst Castle in San Simeon was more than 25 years ago. The only scene that has always been in my mind is that piercing blue water in Neptune Pool, the white Roman columns, and the mountains surrounding it. Unfortunately, the pool is now under construction to fix some leaking problems and the project will take a year to finish. I was so bombed!!!  I was also disappointed in the visitation policy. To see the place, you have to go on the tour, no individual exploration is allowed. How would I take pictures without doing some exploration at my own pace and choosing the spots to my own liking?  Taking random pictures as the tour guides lead you to is no better than snapping in a tour bus or a moving personal vehicle.
Tropical Charm
I quickly snapped this shot as the group walked up the stairs with the tour guide. The tiny section of the exterior is as such, can you imagine what the interior looks like?  The castle is gorgeous and outstanding, but we are not allowed to explore the place on our own. I love to spend hours and days in that place to take pictures, but how? PS. I have snapped some interior pictures, which I will share in my blogs.

Flash snap from the freeway

Lake Shasta is gorgeous from distance. We tried to cruise the lake via a boat years ago, but it was a disappointment. Something looks great under the microscope and some can only be appreciated far away.

I am leaning my life lesson here not to take the same measure on everything and under all circumstances.

Mount Shasta

I have never tired of shooting Mount Hood in Oregon and Mount Shasta in California. Their close-to-perfect cone and sculptured top often remind me of the scarcity of our Nature that God has created. Mountain top seems to always lead me to God Almighty for some reason.

Thousands of birds

Last and never the least, Birds. I cannot identify the geese I am seeing here, but there are many thousands of them at Tule Lake wildlife refuge. I cannot identify the species. There are ducks and geese everywhere in Oregon, but I cannot say that I saw them before. They do know where to find their habitat. Wildlife refuges are usually located in the most natural environment. That is one of the reasons why I enjoyed being there.All the images above are taken from our moving car or when I was following the tour guide. Just to give you a quick rundown, I did not edit the images much other than adjusting exposure.

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