Highway 1 with the 5D

Posted by Alex

It’s been a while since I wrote about my most cherished 5DMKII. I drove down to Santa Barbara this weekend to catch a Neon Tree’s concert and brought the 5D for the trip back up the coast. Was hoping to get some sexy landscape shots (inspired by Mr. Navis and his multiple Big Sur adventures).

Overall I was very impressed with the camera’s performance. I continue to think that I have absolutely nothing to with any “good” pictures the camera takes. It is an incredible piece of equipment. On my Japan trip I felt like I could hand the camera to a 5 year old, instruct them to run around in circles taking pictures, and get it back with pure gold on the memory card. With the 50mm locked in it seems like it can do no wrong.

All that said, I wasn’t really in love with anything I shot on the drive up. I was trying to time the light with my journey so I would be at the most epic locations around 4pm. A fair plan, but Nepenthe (very tasty) took 1 hour longer than I expected and my dreams of sun-drenched cliffs were thwarted. I was happy with the above shots though — the first one reminds me of a painting.

Getting the rig into the concert wasn’t super easy (neither was shooting amongst hundreds of bouncing UCSB students…). Next time I’m saying I’m a member of the press (because I am right? Sort of?).

The rest of my pictures are up on Facebook

27 Comments Leave A Comment


Trillian M says:

November 15, 2010 at 2:12 am

I came all the way from Amsterdam for a meeting in San Francisco. The day after I was free for half a day. I took a car and started driving south on Route1.
Driving on the Big Sur was one of the best experience I ever had. It was so much better than i expected. I think did 200 miles before I had to go back to S-F.But damn,.. I Want to to go back one day and do the whole trip.


Chris says:

November 15, 2010 at 7:42 am

I love these photos! The perspective on the second one is sweet because it looks like mountain has been split in half and moved back. I thought it was a jpeg save error (I always get that crap!), but it’s just the road.


Alex / HeadUp says:

November 15, 2010 at 9:38 am

No offense, and not to insult your tastes bc we all know they are impeccable…but Neon Trees is the worst band I’ve ever heard/seen, their look and sound is offensive to my sensibilities, their uber-generic music belongs in commercials for pharma companies.


Alex says:

November 15, 2010 at 9:48 am

@ Alex / Headup – NoooooOOooo! Alex how can you say such a thing? Haha so sad I am. Nah I hear you, they aren’t for everyone, but c’mon that guy has some POWER behind his voice! See 0:56


Chester says:

November 15, 2010 at 9:51 am

Ah dude I’m from Pacifica (town between SF and Santa Cruz along Highway 1) and in college right now and this shots are making me so homesick in a good way. I’m gonna print some up and put em around my dorm. Thanks so much.


Design Police says:

November 15, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Love the 5D MarkII as well, it’s hard to push a bad shot out of the thing. It does show every mistake I make though – it’s too accurate!

Also, Neon Trees are amazing! No one can judge that band until they’ve seen them live – soooo much energy. They are one of those talented bands that actually sound better live than from the studio. They are the nicest folks you will meet as well, incredibly down-to-earth.

Nice shots all around, Alex!


REC says:

November 15, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Hey I gotta question. Are any of these shots processed? or is that straight out of the camera? I’m wondering because I always process all my photos shot with my D90. But recently I’ve been shooting with a 5D with the EOS to FD adapter and using my old Canon lenses (especially a 50mm 1.4 and a 135mm 2.8) and the pictures come out looking very filmy. And I just don’t feel the need to retouch anything.


mike m says:

November 15, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Would be interest to find out how you processed these shots( and any photoshopping color correcting you did (if any was done that is). Maybe you could do a quick tutorial on your workflow of getting the shots from your camera to the final result.


Salemid says:

November 15, 2010 at 7:54 pm

I don’t understand the point of advertising the kind of camera you use next to the photographs you exhibit. Perhaps you should let the photographs do the talking.

It is as if you are saying, “I drove a BMW down Route 1, look how fast I drove by everything.”

_one love


Chris says:

November 15, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Chiming in again…

Correct exposure is for not if the story and mood of the image is there.

For what it’s worth I’ve thought that almost every image that Alex has posted on here has had a great mood and/or story and that is what really draws me to them.

Great work!


ryan a says:

November 17, 2010 at 6:13 am

big sur is one of the greatest coastlines ever. i have driven that coast tons of times and i never get tired of it. and nepenthe is a good stop, even if you do have to pay about $16 for a cheeseburger. it’s good to go there in the summer and have a beer out on the patio. good stuff.

glad i found your site.


Charlie says:

November 22, 2010 at 10:18 am

I was in Santa Barbara that same weekend, actually, racing sailboats, and from what I’d say about that unfamiliar drive up and down that unfamiliar state, you’re done a stellar job capturing it, as I’m a fair bit more inclined towards these photographs than I was to the scenery itself.


fr says:

March 7, 2011 at 9:02 pm

The total disconnect between the design taste and the music taste on this blog always blows my mind. Never heard of this band but just watched a video, and WOW. Just OMG, wow. How does a band like this exist in 2011?