Santa Cruz and Capitola

A day trip captured on CineStill 50

Note: This post was originally published on January 9, 2016 on Exposure. It can be found at http://cwcapella.exposure.co/santa-cruz-and-capitola

We Took a Day Trip

Me and a couple of my buddies piled into our Jeep early in the morning on August 14th to embark on our most ambitious photo adventure yet: a day trip from Nevada City to Santa Cruz and Capitola (a near four-hour drive each way) and back again. We made pretty good time getting down there once we got on the road (despite a couple hiccups in the morning, like sleeping in past the alarm) and spent the whole day exploring Santa Cruz and the surrounding area. This is a look back at our trip as captured on CineStill 50 film.

CineStill 50 1
The Giant Dipper

The Boardwalk

After a picnic lunch at Natural Bridges and a cruise along the coast, we stopped for a while at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

I didn’t ride any rides, but two out of the four of us rode The Giant Dipper. Then we walked along the beach.

When we walked to the end of the beach, we ended up at the pier.

The Pier

We started off by checking out how it looked from underneath. I guess it’s a popular spot for photos, because there was a family there taking portraits underneath it, too.

Close up of underneath the pier
Close up of underneath the pier

We walked along it all the way until the end; from the edge you could get a really great view of the entire Boardwalk.

Then, we piled back into the car and took off for our next stop: a small beach town just a little ways away called Capitola.

The pier at Capitola
The pier at Capitola

Capitola

We parked (after hunting for a spot for a little – it was kinda busy) and walked along the tracks to get down to the beach. There was a surfing class or something going on while we were there, so we stayed and watched for a little while.

We walked around downtown for a little bit and did a little more exploring, but we were going to start losing daylight in an hour or two and we still had one more place that we wanted to check out. So back into the car it was and we set out for our last stop.

Rio Del Mar State Beach, looking right
Rio Del Mar State Beach, looking right

Rio del Mar State Beach

Our last stop was at Rio Del Mar State Beach, just a little bit farther south than Capitola. We hung out there for a while – it was actually pretty clean and the waves were really fun to walk through.

Then it was back in the car to go to Santa Cruz for dinner (Thai food, which seems to be our default photo adventure cuisine.) And then the near-four hour car ride back home to finish out the day.

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Tahoe on Film

Note: This post was originally published on Exposure about a month ago. It can be found at https://cwcapella.exposure.co/tahoe-on-film.

Before I Begin, Let Me Say…

A couple photo buddies and I recently went exploring around Lake Tahoe. These photos might look a little different than what most are used to when thinking of Tahoe for two reasons, the first being the drought. For those who are unaware, there is currently a pretty extensive drought gripping California. These photos were taken of and around the lake before the start of summer in the first stages of what has become one of the driest summer seasons in recent years. The second is the fact that these are entirely shot on black and white film; the only post-processing I’ve done beyond scanning them in is cropping them to remove the fuzzy edges from the scanner.

With that, let’s explore.

Sugar Pine

When we first arrived, we parked and piled out of the car at Sugar Pine Point State Park. Small fee to get in but home to an excellent beach and a couple trails as well. We walked out on the dock first.

And then we explored along the beach. A little ways farther to the left of the dock, there was a creek that flowed into the lake with an old, smooth bleached tree trunk laying next to it. We walked a ways farther along before turning around and heading out on the trail.

That ended my roll of Ilford HP5 Plus 400 and sent us on our way to our next stop…

Emerald Bay and Eagle Falls

Our next stop on our drive around the lake was Emerald Bay State Park, with incredible views of Emerald Bay (as seen above) as well as access to the Eagle Falls Trailhead that provides access into Desolation Wilderness. From the road, you can walk down a short ways to get access to some awesome views of the waterfall.

Walking up from the road, you gain access to the trailhead, which gives you a short mile and a half or so climb to the bridge that leads across the falls and into Desolation Wilderness.

Looking back from the car along the road, it’s clearly a popular place, but well worth the struggle for parking.

After hiking back down the trail, it was back to the car and on to our third stop…

Taylor Creek

Taylor Creek gets its popularity because of the fact that people can go and look at massive numbers of salmon during the spawning season in autumn. Even though we were there in the off season, the park still had a beautiful beach and some great views, along with several trails to take you to them.

After our visit to Taylor Creek, we stopped for ice cream at Camp Richardson and drove the rest of the way around the lake. Even being locals, there’s just something about Tahoe that is amazing, something surprising or new to be discovered with each visit. And, of course, it’s an awesome place to explore.

Footnotes: All photos in this post were shot on film with my Canon A2e, the first portion being taken on Ilford HP5 Plus 400 and the second batch being taken on Rollei Superpan 200. Thanks for reading.

Exploring Hawaii

A couple weeks ago, my family and I took a trip to Hawaii. We stayed in Mauna Loa on the Big Island for ten days and despite frequent beach going, we also went out on a couple of adventures to different places on the island.

Native to Hawaii

Since I’m from California, seeing all of the different plants in Hawaii was pretty awesome for me. Not to mention the little green geckos which were running all over the place constantly (the little guy above just sat on a wooden post and looked at me taking his picture.)

Pololu Valley Lookout

One of our other day trips was a hike down to a black sand beach at the end of the highway at Pololu Valley Lookout. The hike was a steep one but definitely worth the views you got along the way (and the awesome beach that was waiting at the bottom.) On the way back, we stopped for lunch a little joint called Minnie’s as per the recommendation of a local pineapple stand owner (where we bought the best pineapple we’ve ever had: a white pineapple grown right in his yard.)

Lapakahi State Historical Park

Lapakahi State Historical Park is really fascinating to walk through: it’s the remains of an ancient fishing village as well as the site of some beautiful scenery. There’s a path for you to follow with locations marked on a map, with everything from ancient houses to the games they played there.

Akaka Falls State Park

One of the most beautiful day trips we took was to Akaka Falls, a massive waterfall not too far away from Hilo. The whole park is pretty amazing, as there are a lot of smaller waterfalls and creeks as well, plus some pretty huge trees. There’s a little cement path winding through it (though it was lightly raining when we went, so the stairs were pretty slippery) that you can follow to hike through the park.

Since we were staying in the drier part of the island, the sudden change in scenery from dried lava rock to grassy farmland was made for some pretty awesome landscapes on the way there.

On the way back from Akaka Falls, we also stopped at Kolekole Park, which is pretty close by. They had this really awesome bridge there over a creek, as well as a neat waterfall and coastline as well.

 

Revisiting Hawaii now that I’m older (since the last time I went was when I was a little kid,) I really enjoyed being able to explore the island more than we previously had done. Until next time Hawaii.