California Road Trip Photo Journal
PHOTOGRAPHY BY CRAIG MACKAY
It’s hard to believe we were in California only a week ago. It already feels like it was a month ago. I loved putting together this post because it reminded me of all the amazing things we did and saw on our trip. Before we left, Craig and I picked out some new lenses to try from Lumoid, a website where you can rent all different types of gear, everything from cameras and lenses to fitness trackers and drones (make sure you enter to win a Fujifilm Instax Mini Camera from them here!).
We typically always shoot with the same camera and lens so it was really awesome to try something new and as you scroll through the photos you’ll probably notice we were able to get a totally different perspective for a lot of our photos.
Craig wanted to try the Canon zoom telephoto lens and the Zeiss 35 mm. The process was super easy, we went online, picked out the lenses, and ordered them to arrive the day before we left. The package came with everything we needed including a return shipping label for when we returned.
For waking around the city, particularly in San Francisco Craig really liked the 35mm. It’s not as zoomed in as the 50mm so it’s nice for street photography and everyday shooting. It’s also pretty lightweight and was ideal for when we biked around the city or went for hikes.
When we went to shoot at sunset Craig brought the telephoto lens. He really liked the ability to shoot zoomed out and get shots like the one below of Ocean Beach, or zoomed in like the photo of the water, both shot with the same camera and same lens standing in almost the same spot!
The versatility of the telephoto lens was pretty great and I think has convinced Craig he needs to add that to his camera bag ASAP. It’s a much bigger and heavier lens so it was definitely not for brining out all day or if we were shooting outfit photos. That said it was an awesome lens to be able to rent and if you’re going away and want the versatility I’d highly recommend it.
The shot above taken at Sutro Baths is one of my favorites. It was pretty hard to see the heart shape in the rock from where we were standing but because of the telephoto lens Craig was able to capture it so perfectly. This shot of the Range Rover at sunset as we drove down the coast is another favorite. It was an amazing ride. My favorite feature had to be the massage function in the seats (after 8+ hours on the road it was amazing). We’re used to driving trucks and the Range Rover was like the ultimate luxury suv, basically it was perfect.
Once we left San Francisco and headed south down California Highway 1 Craig switched on and off between the telephoto and 35mm. I drove so he could take shots from the car (the roads were pretty crazy lots of hills and winding around sharp curves, thankfully we had the Range Rover which was so awesome). For this shot of Bixby Bridge we pulled up a dirt road before the entrance to the bridge. The photo on the right is another shot of the bridge from farther away after we passed over it driving south.
Hard to believe a lot of these pictures were taken on the side of the road or as we drove by. The California coast, particularly between San Francisco and Santa Barbara is just so picturesque it’s hard to believe your eyes.
We made a stop in Big Sur (see more photos here) and walked to see the waterfall at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. It looked like a movie set.
There were some really beautiful lighthouses as we drove down the coast.
I was amazed by how little the coastline is developed on Highway 1 between San Francisco and Carmel. With the exception of a few towns there is little developed land. We drove past some large farms including a huge patch of artichoke farms along the coast.
Carmel was one of my favorite stops. We stayed at the Hotel 1110 in Monterey overnight so we drove to Carmel during the day and hung out on the beach. The water was so pristine.
Craig got some awesome shots of surfers at Carmel with the telephoto lens. We were both wishing we had boards and our wetsuits, the waves were perfect.
After Monterey and Carmel we drove straight to Palm Springs. Pretty amazing that you can drive only a few hours, still be in California, and go from white sand beaches to sandy desert.
We made a stop at the Moorten Botanical Gardens in Palm Springs which happened to be only a block from our hotel. It is a must see if you’re in the area.
We were in cactus and succulent heaven. I really wanted to bring some of the succulents they had out for sale home, they had so many gorgeous colors and varieties.
Before heading to Joshua Tree we stopped for lunch at the Parker Palm Springs. The design and decor was super cool and the food was really good.
Joshua Tree was incredible. We couldn’t believe there was a road all the way through the park that essentially lets you drive straight through in about an hour. We were really wishing we had more time there and are hoping to go back and camp for a few nights at some point in the future.
The rock formations and plant life there is breathtaking. The National Park is huge and there is so much to explore, if you are in Southern California I can’t recommend it enough.
We spent our last few days in LA stopping at some of our old favorites from our time spent living in West Hollywood, and explored a few new spots we wanted to check out.
LILLY PULITZER TEE AND CAPRI LEGGINGS / NIKE SNEAKERS
On our last day we drove to Santa Monica and hung out at the beach. They were in the middle of a heat wave and we definitely weren’t complaining about it.
We walked around the Promenade, grabbed lunch at Lemonade and sat on the beach listening to the waves crash. It was a great way to end the trip. Thanks to Lumoid for helping us capture our trip so beautifully and don’t forget to enter to win a Fujifilm Instax mini camera with Lumoid here.
Disclosure: if you buy something through the links on this blog, we may earn an affiliate commission. We only feature products we would personally recommend. Thank you for your support.
Marveling-Mind☀ | Instagram | Bloglovin’ ✨
Seriously loving your California roadtrip pictures!
Such beautiful photos! Now I have a major case of Wanderlust 🙂
Edye // Gracefulcoffee
Gorgeous shots! Looks like you had a wonderful time!
Love the photos
These photos are great, I want to go travelling now!
Gorgeous! Hope you had a fun trip!
I just love this photo diary. The photography is seriously beautiful. All your outfits are perfection! xoo
Fabulous pics and great outfits too. I so want to go to California and dear friends of mine who live in Monterey always say how the road from SF to them is so stunning. It was nice to have an idea of what they mean by that by looking at your photos. Thanks for sharing!