Everything Ahead of Me!

Location: Highway 58, California
Time: Midday
EXIF: Canon EOS 7D | EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM | 38mm | f/8 | 1/1000s | ISO 100

We have been planning to head to Carrizo Plains National Monument to shoot the Wildflowers. Unfortunately, timing didn’t work for several weeks. We finally decided to head out one Saturday and realized that there was a meetup happening at Carrizo at the same time. The meetup organizer is someone that we all respect and enjoy shooting with so we decided to join his meetup.

I was traveling this week and was out of pocket for a good portion of the week. Four of us decided to carpool together. We decided to rent a car so we don’t take our personal car on the dirt roads. Knowing the meetup organizer, we knew for sure that he’d take us on roads that are not easy to drive 🙂

We hit the road from my place pretty early in the morning. Our first stop was at a Starbucks in Gilroy as the guys wanted to get some breakfast. On the way, we saw signs for Mission San Miguel. We decided to check it out. We spent about 45 minutes there trying to shoot whatever we could.

From there, our next stop was in the town of Paso Robles to grab some lunch at a Mexican restaurant. The burrito I got was humongous, which somehow I managed to finish. What we noticed in the restaurant was that every time someone requests for guacamole, the entire staff will yell out ‘guacamole’ in an accent. It was funny for the first few times but it got annoying really fast. I can’t believe they do this all day every time someone orders guacamole.

After lunch, we hit the road again to get to Carrizo. We still had an hour or so left before we’d see the Wildflowers. On the way, we stopped at a couple of places to see if we can get some shots. I didn’t even bother taking my camera out as I didn’t like what I saw. The guys were playing with some Macro shots.

One of the first real stops we made to shoot the Wildflowers was still several miles away from Carrizo Plains National Monument. We saw some shots online of this wide sweeping landscape with hills covered in wildflowers and a long, straight road leading to the hills. We knew the shots were taken from Highway 58. So, we were on the lookout for a good spot pull over when we got onto Highway 58.

I have been looking to shoot in a road like this for a very long time. The moment I saw this long, straight, up/down road leading to the painted hills, we decided to pull over. I went to the middle of the road when one of the guys watched for approaching cars 🙂

I kept firing away bracketing my shots so I can get the best dynamic range. This particular shot was taken from the middle of Highway 58 on the way to Carrizo Plians National Monument to view the spectacular Wildflower Super Bloom. A quote from Jack Kerouac’s book On the Road came to mind when I was standing there and looking at the Painted hills – “Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.”


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