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Road & Trails

I have been shooting small pieces of footage throughout the past 6 months while hiking and and exploring the Pacific Northwest. I am of course drawn to water and this is the culminating result of these clips. My very first study was in Black and White and full of shake as I learned how to do video.

I thought that this would be about shooting cinematic video. This is how most project start though: thinking it will be one way and turning out totally different. I soon lost interest in putting together a plastic and too polished video like what I had seen before. Instead I strived for rhythm and made it about my own personal experience. After all, I needed to consider am I making this for myself or for a client? Myself.

Striving for the authenticity, I hope you enjoy.

These shots are taken on my iPhone 7 Plus using the Osmo Mobile Gimbal (version 1) or my Tripod. For more about my gear I use check out this post and video here.

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As some of you know I live for travel. It is my constant dream to discover new places and people. Eat good food and explore cultures. It is when I feel the most alive and inspired to photograph. Discovery can happen right in your won backyard  so consider traveling locally.

Of course the two big things that stop most people from travel are time and money. While I am fortunate to make it out of the country every summer, I do have to watch my budget otherwise to make this happen. In order to feed my wanderlust and continue to take some of the best photographs I travel locally. (For Travel Hacking Tips and how to do it head over to my other blog and read this) 

Local Travel

The perks are endless. You will not have to spend as much and can make it out and back in a weekend giving you plenty of time to keep hustlin’.  Everything from the day trip to your touristy spots or the weekend getaway I promise there is something for your yet to discover in your own area.

I find that when I set the intention to “travel” even when in my own local area, I am also setting the intention to photograph in a new a different way.  Photographing the familiar and photographing the new are approached very differently. One asks you to get out of your own way and remove pre-conceptions.

Here are a few ideas to get you started and traveling locally.

Buy a Train Ticket or Hit the Open Road

It is seriously so fun to take the train, plus no stress for having to drive. I recently took the train to Seattle and it was actually relaxing. See if you can’t plan a getaway by train. Bonus: the sweet views out the window will be fun to capture.

If you can’t take a train, consider a road trip. Go with your partner or friends so you can take turns driving and stop at every viewpoint possible! 🙂

Go Camping

Who doesn’t love camping or at least a good smore.  We love camping and backpacking, plus you can bring the pups if you have them. Do not be afraid, getting dirty is good for you. (Yes! You can camp on the beach too!)

Get Outside and Hike

One of my most common past times. I LOVE to disconnect from all the “extra” in life and reconnect with nature by making photographs along the way of course.

You can see all of my hiking images and the latest trails I am on by following my Instagram. I also made a #GetOutside video in support of a movement that encourages others to avoid the insanity of consumerism and Black Friday shopping

Visit the Ocean or a Body of Water

We live a short 3 hours drive from the Pacific Ocean, so find our way here several times a year to splash around. Although most often it is to watch a storm and aget hunt.

I am pretty sure I am part mermaid, so I try to find my way to the waters edge as often as possible. 🙂 It does not have to be the ocean, any body of water will do you some good. Put your toes in, go fishing, play by the banks and feed your inner child.

Find a New City within a 3 hour Drive to Visit

We live less that 20 minutes from Portland Oregon, so this city is fun to go to for the night out, but I love our sister city Seattle for the more “travel” type vibe. It is strangely familiar, yet new. For more of my recent Seattle photos go here.

Drop a pin and find a city. That is all that you have to do. Once you get there start exploring and stop at your local pub to connect with the real locals.

Portland Japanese Garden

Be the Tourist

Look up the top 10 things to see and do in your town or city. Start checking them off your list. Only then can you truly call yourself a local expert. 🙂

Make a Reservation at the New Restaurant

New food. Yummmm. What could be better! Find a new restaurant or new to you and make it a night. Don’t forget to take photos of that spread too.

Get your Friends Involved

Travel is so memorable because of the people you are with and the ones you meet. Get your friends in on it too.

 

So if that wanderlust bites you- feed it and be inspired. Continue to look and be curious about your own surroundings.  Travel locally and then travel like a local when you can get out of the country. I encourage both and have adopted them into my life.

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This post features recent photographs in Seattle taken on my iPhone 7 Plus with the usual gear I carry in addition to some work from my last trip. All photos on this blog are my own unless otherwise noted. 

Travel and the Trip

Glass Museum

While Portland is my home city; Seattle’s towering space needle, glass gardens, art museums and the famous market with flying fish hold many happy childhood memories for me.  I have been to Seattle at least 30 times as a Pacific Northwest Native and it is only a short 3 hour road trip away.

As a teenager it was a popular trip to make on a long weekend when we had nothing better to do than sit on the waterfront, ride the ferris wheel and generally run around laughing at nothing too specific.

This past week I had a conference for work in Seattle and found myself dreading the drive for numerous reasons. Traffic, the fact that I was not in a car full of friends with the aroma of coffee and sounds of inside jokes, and that it was for well… work.

Space Needle

I decided to do something I only faintly remember from when I was very young: take the train from Portland to Seattle. I then I arranged to meet a few friends while I was up there in between my conferences and break out sessions. I am so grateful I did.

The train was delightful and I highly recommend it to anyone. Seriously, no stress, no traffic, and you can just bring your carry on with you. Look up ahead of time which side to sit on for the views of the river.

While I was slightly worried about navigating the city without a car (since this is how I had made all of my other trips), it was actually simple and stress free. Plus no parking!! The train station in Seattle was only 2 miles from my hotel and I opted for an Lyft ride to get settled in. You can also take the tram most places in Seattle.

Arranged to meet with a friend within walking distance of the hotel and managed to trek the city by foot all 4 days of the conference.

The food and company were of course superb and lets not forget about the views. I stayed away from the touristy stuff this time and enjoyed other portions of the city. So the images of those things were from past trips to Seattle.

Composing and Contrast: Photo Tips

Downtown by the Convention Center

Photographing in Seattle always brings a stark contrast to what I normally shoot.  Composing in nature is my tendency and comfort zone. I can easily frame the bend of a river or edges of a cliff. The forest is living and takes calm flowing breaths to surround me.  The curves and turns in nature easily find their way into a well composed image for me since this is where I spend most of my time.

When in the city I have to switch my focus. It is busy and thriving. Breathing heavily from the weight of buildings and cement. I am often looking in linear directions and considering thousands of objects.

I enjoy using my Fish eye lens when shooting in the city and tend to turn many images black and white. I feel this leads to a classic look. I find I am even less drawn towards photographing people in the city and instead choose to focus on the architecture. That which is not alive.

Tips and things to look for when shooting in the city:
  • Reflections in the skyscrapers and windows
  • Balance in your images (this is important when so much is happening)
  • Shoot in Portrait orientation occasionally  to allow for the city to look as tall as it needs to.
  • Look up (Always)
  • Edit and turn Black and White for a classic look
  • Go into building and look down or out of the windows
  • Focus on architecture and the character of the city- if it is gray let it be gray
  • Pay attention to the edges of the frame- do not have weird things flying out of the edges
  • Use the creative architecture to inspire you
  • Make them your own- avoid the skyline images and touristy shots everyone else has- create your own work.

Recommendations and a To Do List

These are some links to get you started on your own trip planning if you are thinking Seattle is calling your name.

Amtrak:

Pros:

  • Easy to Navigate
  • Comfortable Travel
  • Photo ops
  • No Stress of Traffic or Driving

Cons:

  • Depending on where you are coming from the tickets can be more expensive
Hotel: Hyatt Olive 8

Pros:

  • Comfortable Stay
  • CLEAN Rooms
  • Great free breakfast
  • Walking distance to major attractions
  • If you use Chase Points  they work here!

Cons:

  •  No free Breakfast at this one (rare for a Hyatt)
  • It is a Hotel and not a hostel so a bit more spendy
  • Views are not great for photos unless you pay the extra $$$$$
Food:

Pros:

  • ALL of it is good.
  • Try to food carts – especially La Creperie
  • Palomino was fresh and delish
  • Juicy Cafe is a healthy on the go lunch option
  • Starbucks on EVERY corner
  • Pike’s Market has the best donuts

Cons:

  • Dinner is expensive in the city
  • Harder to find a grocery store
To Do:

Don’t forget to check out Trip Advisors Top 10 things to do list before visiting any city. So far these have never steered me wrong. Maybe even do this for your own city to get some great shots of things you normally don’t think about.

My recommendations for this city are the following:

  • Pike’s Street Market
  • Space Needle
  • Chihuly Glass Museum
  • Sculpture Park
  • Seattle Art Museum
  • Original Starbucks
  • Waterfront
  • Ferris Wheel (only if it is nice out)
  • Scavenger hunt for the Troll under the bridge

 

You will get some fantastic shots and be so inspired by the architecture and life of the thriving city of Seattle. Of course, let me know how it goes.

 

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Hello Friends!

I have been experimenting with video outside of the “How To” realm. This started with my “On the Road” series which will continue, however now I am starting to create  new series. These will develop overtime in 2018 and I already have a whole list of ideas.

These will be cinematic videos and all titled “A Study of ______”. I was inspired to explore this idea after I put together a small sequence of square black and white images titled “A Study“. This can be viewed on my Artists website bethanymccamish.com along with additional series.

For years photography as been used to capture both the real and imagined. It can be a close and intimate look at the photographers world. It can also be an objective assignment to gather data or document.  In my case it is always the latter.

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Hello Friends!

This is the last of the Colorado videos! I cannot wait until my next trip to share even more with you. Garden of the Gods is located right outside of Colorado Springs and offers hiking for the beginner to the advanced.

We arrived in the afternoon and had that gorgeous evening lighting that allowed the rock formations to truly shine in that bright orangey red. I love textures and was so inspired by the dessert surfaces here. Reminded me of my summers in Arizona growing up.

Enjoy friends!

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I am having a hard time deciding if Maroon Bells or Hanging Lake was more scenic from our recent trip to Colorado. Travel is truly the only thing that makes you richer. I think that photographers are in love with the world and hopefully that is what I can convey in my work.

On this trip I used my Moment Tele Lens, Wide Angle Moment Lens and iPhone 7 Plus. I also used the Slow Shutter App and FilmBorn App for edits. (I am not sponsored!)

Let me know if you have any questions about the editing process. Click here for more “On the Road” Videos.

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Hello!

I am more than excited, I am elated, to bring you the second video in my On the Road series. In this video we explored Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs. If you have not checked out my first video featuring Multnomah Falls in my backyard called Oregon please do!

These videos are a vision I had after one of my friends said, “I wish I could be a fly on the wall and see how you take these photos and where you go.” This planted a seed for what I am currently creating. I want these to be about travel, wanderlust and of course photography with a sprinkling of tips and tech.

I hope you enjoy my first video from a recent trip to Colorado which features the *literally* breath taking views of Pike’s Peak. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and subscribe if you want to get a weekly e-mail with my latest post.

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Hello! Go on the road with me and my phone to Multnomah Falls OR and see what I photograph. While a typically tourist filled area, my partner had only seen it as a kid and did not remember everything. We went on a Friday evening after work for the best light.

This is my very first “On the Road” post. I have had a vision for this idea for awhile and I am stoked to finally bring it to life. Go with me on adventures, see my gear, and what I take while there. In the future I plan to incorporate more “How To’s” into these videos. Watch to the end for some before & after transformation of photos.

Subscribe to the e-mail list so you can see where my photo next adventure takes me. Thank you all.

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