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Thread: Photography sites in Northern California

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    La Quinta, CA
    Posts
    300

    Photography sites in Northern California

    I'm leaving in two days for a fishing trip to Northern California - West of Mt. Shasta to be exact. On my return to Southern California in a week, I will be looking for a location or two to photograph and am looking for suggestions. I've driven through that part of the state before, but never really stopped to photograph. I'll have both my 4 x 5 and 8 x 10 (first effort with a new/old camera). At first, I was thinking on going through Lassen Park - that is until I learned that the park is still closed because of snow (I hadn't even thought about snow being an issue because it's 110 degrees here in Palm Springs). I'm looking for something that does not involve a whole lot of hiking - up to a couple of miles is OK. I know about Castle Crags and might start there. Will probably check out the falls in Dunsmuir and I was also considering going over towards Burney falls. I've heard that the streams and rivers have quite a lot of water right now.

    So - something in between Sacramento and Mt. Shasta. Do any of you have any favorite places in that part of the country?

  2. #2

    Photography sites in Northern California

    I was going to say Pt. Reyes but you have to hike out there to get to the beach.

    The mouth of the Russian River at Jenner is quite wild and unique. Often foggy but that can be good.

    There's the wine country. Sonoma and Napa counties.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    3,855

    Photography sites in Northern California

    Grab a copy of Weston's "California and the West," and read it at night as an excellent guide (though it's 60 years old).
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 1997
    Posts
    1,227

    Photography sites in Northern California

    The Caboose motel on the South end of Dunsmuir. The motel rooms are spruced up railroad caboose cars. The restaurant is a railroad dining car. There is a really nice steam engine with a wooden snowplow on the front. Nice wooden water tanks.

    Snow or not, if you can't find good LF shooting there, sell your gear & take up farming weeds.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Posts
    6,531

    Photography sites in Northern California

    If the mountains are still snowed under, stick to the coast. redwoods, rivers, seascapes around just about every bend in the road (and theres lots and lots of bends in 101!)
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.

  6. #6
    Resident Heretic
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    USA, North Carolina
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    2,918

    Photography sites in Northern California

    The coastal redwoods and their forests are quite beautiful, and absolutely full of good photographic opportunities. So is Humbolt State Park - one of the nicest groves of Redwoods still in existence (and the trails are short, flat, and wonderful). Lassen Volcanic Nat. Park is quite interesting but is snowed in as you say. As Scott suggests, the Russian River is nice. All of 101 is nice. Carmel, Santa Barbara, The Bixby Bridge, Big Sur.... California is just a wealth of beautiful photographic opportunities.

    Bruce Watson

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    178

    Photography sites in Northern California

    Gee I wish someone would write a large-format photography guide. This would allow us to go directly to large format suitable sites and/or plug the coordinates into auto navigation systems. This way we could avoid wasting time and film shooting subjects that have not been vetted. There are precious few sites worth capturing with sheet film and it is a damn shame we can't have a the guidance we need 24/7. Nothing is so heart-rending as seeing misguided large formatters wandering aimlessly out in their streets, backyards and cities thinking they are Walker Evans or Bill Brandt and shooting subjects that are unsuitable to the format. Perhaps the U.S. government can put up special signage for large format photography sites similar to those that say "wildlife viewing area" - maybe a picture graphic of Ansel pointing to some tripod holes?

  8. #8
    Mike Lewis
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Florida Panhandle
    Posts
    72

    Photography sites in Northern California

    Burney Falls is definitely worth a visit.
    Mike Lewis

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    103

    Photography sites in Northern California

    Dan,
    The redwood forests in extreme northern coastal California are spectacular, as is the coastline - but you'll probably need some rain gear.

    Phil,
    Surely you jest with your statement that "There are precious few sites worth capturing with sheet film...". I'm not aware of any LF-only photo location web sites, but there are lots of photo guides out there already, including:

    http://www.photographamerica.com

    http://www.worldphotolocations.com/locationindex.phtml?country_id=1076106289817

    https://www.keysecure.com/photosecrets.com/guides.secure.html

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    La Quinta, CA
    Posts
    300

    Photography sites in Northern California

    Thanks everyone for the suggestions - I didn't expect that much response so soon. It really gives me a lot to "choose" from. Obviously, there are a lot of you who have done a lot of shooting in Northern Cal. Still not sure where I will go yet - will probably just decide when I get there. Thanks again.

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