SANTA CRUZ AND ANACAPA ISLAND
The Kayaking Trip
Santa Cruz and Anacapa Island, two of the eight Channel Islands, are among the least visited parks in America. Very few tourists. More space for you. Aquasports does multi-day expeditions. You’ll be responsible for your own food and gear, as these islands are undeveloped.
There are few rustic campsites from which you can hike the volcanic hills and kayak through sea caves, tunnels, arches, blowholes and grottos, taking in all manner of sea mammal and bird along the way.
The Pro Tip
Mother Nature is kind to the shrewd eye, but capturing its beauty presents a challenge. So we linked up with the gentlemen at Collective Quarterly — the gorgeous travel journal that explores far flung destinations one issue at a time (out now: Issue 2, Mad River) — for quick and dirty tips on how to take better photos in the wild.
1. Set Yourself Up for Gold
The “Golden Hour” is the magic time of day just before sundown or just after sunup when you can capture nature at its best. Drop your pack and don’t stop shooting. Another one of our favorite times to shoot: early dusk, when everything looks ghostly and weird.
A good landscape image is all about composition. There has to be a triangle of interest that pulls the viewer through the landscape. Without a strong focal point and visual rhythm, your landscapes will look flat — like a bunch of trees and mountains pancaked on the screen.
One of the biggest struggles of photographing while hiking is the way light is constantly going from harsh to soft as you move in and out of forest shadows, cloud shade and blazing high-noon sun. Using fill flash in these situations will fill in shadows for well-balanced light.
4. Shooting Mermen at High Noon
An appendix to our tip on flash: blending shadows and highlights is crucial to well-balanced color photos. It can also salvage an image that’s backlit during the brightest hours of the day. Without a strong fill flash, I wouldn’t have been able to shoot this Budweiser-swilling merman.
5. Stop to Smell the Rhododendrons
Be flexible enough to stop and spend time shooting in unexpected environments. Remember to enjoy the journey.