Sunday, August 07, 2005

Best Laid Plans Of Mice And Men...

...Often Go Astray

So I ended up leaving at 8:30 instead of 5:30. Ended up missing all of the good morning light, and got stuck with the crap ass 11AM to 3pm blazing-direct-overhead-no-contrast-having-sunlight. And stupid me blew the first 3 shots because I forgot to remove the damned dark plate! Grrrr. Well, at least it was a great drive down. Damned hot, but there was some decent cloud cover for a while on the 25 to cool things off. I hope the pics turned out OK. I think I should stop bracketing under, and bracket over. I'm pretty sure the average meter is taking into account the bright-ass sky and compensating down, which will eventually wash out the black of the car. I guess the right thing to do would be to grab a ND filter and shut down the sky a bit. And I'm really disappointed I didn't grab a blue/yellow polarizer. The sky was a horrid pale white instead of a deep blue. I need to go another photo odyssey when the skies are darker and filled with clouds threatening of rain.

I think I really like Hwy 58. It's quite a great exercise, starting out with tight blind corners out of Santa Margarita, then switching to long wide open sweepers, and then opening to a majestic & gorgeous valley with asphault that stretches, literally, straight ahead for miles. And there's no one, I mean absolutely no one on the road. I was able to pull over on one long stretch and briefly imagine myself as Cary Grant in North By Northwest (that bus stop scene in the middle of nowhere -- one of my most favorite sequences of all time), standing there, on a hot summer day, with no one for miles.

Next time I do this, I have to make sure to get the AE prism. Using my old 35mm as a meter is just damned annoying.

Oh and lesson learned: either scout potential picture locations or enjoy driving fast. DO NOT do both. There was one corner on 58 that was a blind right hander. I was at a fairly brisk pace, but got distracted by the stunning view of a road that was headed uphill and off to the right, opening into a lovely valley. Stupid me panicked a bit, squeezing the brakes a bit late -- while turning, mind you -- bad! bad! bad! and ended up getting a bit squirrely. So after I was able to get my heart out of my throat, I made sure to play it right. Take it slow and pick out the photo spots, or enjoy a brisk drive by keeping keen focus, and looking way ahead around corners, gauging approach speeds, decreasing radius corners, and pebble/sand strewn blind corners. Man, there was a great stretch of 58 way out east by the 5 coming down from the high plateau, with nice tight 2nd gear corners. That was a freakin' blast. You could just point that double-wishbone'd Honda any way you want it to and it'll just turn. Gawd, I'm going to miss this car when I finally sell it. :(

So I was able to get to Torrance by about 6, greeted by a nice, friendly L.A. welcome: one hour to travel 10 miles. (mental note: never take the 405 ever again north of LAX -- that 10/405 interchange with the corresponding 4 to 3 lane reduction is just downright painful). It was good seeing the cousins again -- but downright crazy to see how old the other kids have become, kids that I haven't seen in years are now teenagers. Eek. Next thing you know, they'll be married with kids and I'll still be roaming the earth, alone.

Not sure if I could make it out to Utah this time. I'll do the mileage calcs tomorrow, but I think I'm pushing my luck to be in southeast Utah by 5PM. And I really don't want to rush. It was nice being able to take my time and relax -- I spent eight hours getting to L.A., a trip that usually takes me 4 and a half!

Oh... one thing that I do miss about the southland: Warm summer nights...I was able to motor top-down all the way from Torrance to San Diego in a relatively cool (but not frigid) 72 degrees.

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At 8/07/2005 12:49 PM, Blogger DJ John said...

Take care of that S2000 man, don't wanna read some other kind of post about what kind of insurance coverage you have. Show us the pics when you get a chance.


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