Thursday, July 23, 2015

Road Trip: California To Utah - Part 1 - Interstate 15 & Las Vegas

Grand View - Las Vegas, Nevada
FED 5c Rangefinder, Industar 61 L/Z 50mm f/2.8 lens, Kodak Plus-X 125 and red filter.
The weekend following our Yosemite National Park trip, we hit the road towards Salt Lake City, Utah. I'd never been to Salt Lake City before. When I was a kid I travelled to southern Utah and visited some of the National Parks. My wife and three kids had never been to Utah ever. This was a new adventure for all of us and we were very excited!

We loaded up the car and, on the morning of May 17th, we traversed Highway 58 eastbound out of Tehachapi, California towards Barstow. It was a nice morning--perhaps a little warm and muggy. The highway seemed wide open. It just felt like this was going to be a great road trip.

We were not on the road very long when we realized that our one-and-a-half-year-old son had some sort of stomach bug. This would be the story of the vacation: stomach problems. At this point we were unaware of just how bad it was going to be.
Diagonal Lines - Barstow, California
FED 5c Rangefinder, Industar 61 L/Z 50mm f/2.8 lens, Kodak Plus-X 125
When we pulled into Barstow the sun was high and it was getting a little hot. The town was crowded. The first restaurant we attempted to eat at was much too busy, so we ended up at Carl's Jr. instead. That's where I captured the first exposure of the trip, Diagonal Lines, which is the outside of the restaurant structure.

After lunch and gasoline, we got on Interstate 15 towards Las Vegas, Nevada. We made a couple of unscheduled stops in the middle of nowhere to tend to our sick son, who was going through diapers and clothes like crazy. We passed a large solar power plant just before the Nevada border that was really bright. It seemed like a huge driving distraction. The car showed the temperature rise several degrees as we approached and drop several degrees as we moved away.

I noticed a ton of abandoned buildings along this section of the freeway. There were gas stations, hotels, houses, waterparks, mines and who knows what else lying empty in the desert. I would have loved to stop and photograph each of them, but, alas, that's not what this trip was about.
The Best Palm To Buy - Las Vegas, Nevada
FED 5c Rangefinder, Industar 61 L/Z 50mm f/2.8 lens, Kodak Plus-X 125 and red filter.

After a few hours we arrived in Las Vegas. We made a quick stop at a store and then checked into our hotel on the far north end of the strip. The reason for staying in Las Vegas (and specifically at the north end of the strip) was because of cheap room rates--it cost much less to spend the night here than elsewhere.

After settling into our hotel and relaxing a little, we went back out for dinner. One of our favorite chain restaurants is Carrabba's, but they don't have any locations in California, so we made it a point to eat there. On the way back to the hotel we drove up the strip, starting at the south end and making our way to the north end (where our hotel was). It's obvious why some people call Las Vegas "the city of lights"--it's brightly illuminated with lights of every kind, including huge TV screens several stories tall.

We awoke early the next morning and quickly hit the road, continuing our trek up the Interstate 15 freeway. We had breakfast on the road. Our son was still going through diapers and clothes like crazy and we were making stops every hour or two to tend to him.
City, Sun & Uncertainty - Las Vegas, Nevada
FED 5c Rangefinder, Industar 61 L/Z 50mm f/2.8 lens, Kodak Plus-X 125 and red filter.
The Interstate 15 passes through a small section of Arizona between Nevada and Utah. There's a really fascinating spot where you traverse a narrow gorge of red rocks. The area is called the Virgin River Canyon. We didn't stop, but we made a mental note of it for the drive home.

We pressed on, stopping for gas in St. George and lunch and gas in Fillmore. Utah's natural beauty impressed us throughout the entire state. Every which way you turn there's a great scene to be photographed. For example, Pavant Range and Country Rainstorm (at the bottom of this post) were captured from the same spot, one looking east and the other looking west. We arrived in Salt Lake City in the evening, checking into our hotel and just winding down the night.

I brought along a FED 5c rangefinder camera loaded with a roll of Plus-X 125 film. I also had a Nikon D3300 DSLR with a Nikkor 40mm AF- S DX f/2.8G Micro lens and a Nikkor 55-200mm AF-S DX f/4-5.6G ED lens. The film was sent to a lab for development and scan. The digital images were post-processed using Alien Skin Exposure 7 software.

Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5
Mirrored - Las Vegas, Nevada
Nikon D3300 DSLR with a Nikkor 40mm AF-S DX f/2.8G Micro lens.
Hotel Room Vista - Las Vegas, Nevada
Nikon D3300 DSLR with a Nikkor 40mm AF-S DX f/2.8G Micro lens.
Free Parking - Las Vegas, Nevada
Nikon D3300 DSLR with a Nikkor 40mm AF-S DX f/2.8G Micro lens.
Cooking Carrabba's - Las Vegas, Nevada
Nikon D3300 DSLR with a Nikkor 40mm AF-S DX f/2.8G Micro lens.
New York, New York - Las Vegas, Nevada
Nikon D3300 DSLR with a Nikkor 40mm AF-S DX f/2.8G Micro lens.
Liquor, Beer & Wine - Las Vegas, Nevada
Nikon D3300 DSLR with a Nikkor AF-S DX f/2.8G Micro lens.
Free Parking At Night - Las Vegas, Nevada
Nikon D3300 DSLR, Nikkor 40mm AF-S DX f/2.8G Micro lens, 8-second exposure, tripod used.
Rain Tease - Moapa, Nevada
Nikon D3300 DSLR with a Nikkor 40mm AF-S DX f/2.8G Micro lens.
Cactus Flower Nearly Bloomed - St. George, Utah
Nikon D3300 DSLR with a Nikkor 40mm AF-S DX f/2.8G Micro lens.
Pavant Range - Fillmore, Utah
Nikon D3300 DSLR with a Nikkor 55-200mm AF-S DX f/4-5.6G ED lens at 155mm.
Country Rainstorm - Fillmore, Utah
Nikon D3300 DSLR with a Nikkor 40mm AF-S DX f/2.8G Micro lens.

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