Hanging out on Hecker Pass Highway

Though the Bay Area is known for it’s combination of rich history and the constant process of technological innovation thanks to Silicon Valley, it’s almost unsurprising that automotive culture here has flourished for decades. I say this, because one would not be surprised due to the amount of incredible driving roads nearby.

Thanks to the Santa Cruz Mountain range separating the coast from the Santa Clara Valley, there are plenty of roads where motorcyclists and automotive enthusiasts can take out their vehicles and enjoy cresting straights, banked curves, and switchbacks. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see sports cars with decals showing outlines of some of these famous driving roads; not unlike surfers having decals of their favorite beaches stuck onto the rear windows of their vans.

I consider myself very lucky that I get to drive one of these roads on a regular basis!

Hecker Pass Highway is part of California State Route 152, which goes from the Coastal Highway entrance in Watsonville to State Route 99 near Chowchilla. The highway is a low mountain pass which goes through the Santa Cruz mountains and over Mount Madonna, terminating in downtown Gilroy. Featuring banked curves, quick switchbacks, and incredible views of the Watsonville farmlands and the Pacific Coast, the most notable landmarks on the pass are the Mt. Madonna State Park, and the old Mt. Madonna Inn, which has unfortunately been closed since the early 90’s. Having not taken out my camera for a while, I felt that the old Inn might be a great place to practice some long-exposure photography of passing cars.

A detailed Map of California State Route 152 courtesy of Wikipedia. Hecker Pass makes up the western-most part of the route starting in Watsonville and ending in Gilroy.

I managed to convince a friend to come with me and check out the view from the fenced-in hotel at the top of the mountain before we went on to do something else that night, and both of us stood and watched as darkness fell over the mountain the the bright lights of passing cars left trails in the camera’s viewfinder.

Though we didn’t stay for long, I did manage to get a few arresting images of passing cars just as they came around the final corner toward the Inn and started descending the mountain. Though we could have stayed there a little bit longer, the combination of the cold and a previous engagement meant we had to high-tail it back down the mountain and into Santa Cruz. Just as well; apparently the old Inn is supposed to be haunted, and I didn’t want to stick around for too long and find out.

There are other spots that I would love to set up a camera and take some pictures of the lush trees and the winding road. I’ll just have to figure out where I could do that safely away from the daily traffic.

In the meantime, enjoy these long-exposure shots of passing traffic at the old Inn.

Note: I wanted to try something different since the automotive season is a little slow thanks to the winter months. I actually thought about writing posts about some of my favorite driving roads for a while now, so I figured I’d give it a shot with one my regular routes. Maybe this will become a regular series as I explore a little bit more. Stay tuned!


Busy Weeks, Busier Weekends!

These last couple of weeks have been absolutely hectic!

I’ve started a new job, traveled to a few new places, and I’ve even made some progress on a side project I’ve been working on! But, I’m still dedicated to capturing automotive culture in the Bay Area, which is why I’m happy to announce two new photo collections!

Recently, The Blackhawk Museum hosted it’s Cars and Coffee Season Finale in Danville. This show was to be a very last show of it’s kind, with the Museum starting a new format next year in the hopes that the show can be saved. The new format will include paid entrance fees, and a strong push to sign on new members for the Museum, with many different perks being offered.

Last weekend also ended up being a pleasant adventure, as the Mini Owners Club of America and The Blackhawk Museum sponsored the All British Motor Show, a smaller car show featuring beautiful examples of British Motor Cars. It also ended up being the very first time I had ever seen a Marcos in person, let alone three at once!




And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming…

IMG_8565After a very brief hiatus, I’m back with more photos of automobiles!

On June 24th, I attended the  23rd Annual Woodies on the Wharf Classic Car Show. There, I had the opportunity to get up close and personal with some excellent examples of wood-paneled vehicles from the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. Using my trusty Canon Rebel T5i and a Canon FD f/1.8 50mm vintage lens, I sought to try and capture the spirit and atmosphere of these classic examples of a time gone past.

Come see the new gallery!


And yet another new gallery!


Another weekend has past, and so has another automotive event!

This Sunday I spent Father’s Day at Blackhawk for a small Cars and Coffee event with a good friend and his family. The event itself was a little smaller than the standard Cars and Coffee, however this made for better opportunities for capturing interesting cars and the people that drive them!

Come see the gallery!


It’s going to be a busy weekend!

It’s shaping up to be a busy weekend in the Bay Area!

Canepa is hosting another Cars and Coffee at their headquarters in Scotts Valley this Saturday, and the Alameda Point Concours ‘d Elegance  is happening this Sunday!

So if you’re really into cars, and you’d like to see some amazing and priceless examples being driven around, you could do worse than to go to these events this weekend!


Shop Added!

After some testing and a lot of research, I’ve found a way to sell my photos online!

Visual Society is a WordPress-based website and marketplace for photographers, and allows them to set the prices of their work for downloading and printing, and keep 90% of the profits. Because Visual Society is WordPress-based, anyone can use their tools to create their own websites and pay reasonable subscription fees for their usage plans.

Visual Society also features integration with Stripe, an online payment method that gives sellers advanced tools for their business, and allows them to track purchases from their websites.

I created a Visual Society Gallery for my best work, which you can purchase a download or a print with either a Personal or Commercial License. You can visit my Gallery wither by clicking this link, or by clicking the “SHOP” Menu Button at the top of the page!


Update: Testing a Photography Marketplace

Some of the goals I have for this website are not only tracking automotive events and showing examples of my photography; I’d like to sell some of my work too.

I’m testing out a marketplace that would allow me to sell downloads and prints of some of my photos. Once I have everything figured out and I know that everything works, I’ll add a dedicated link to my online store.

Wish me luck!


New Collections in Portfolio and Events Page

After setting up the site and then figuring out the best way to display some notable examples of my work, I’m proud to say that the site right now is at a stable iteration! Now there is a Portfolio Page featuring some photos from my most recent adventures, as well as a dedicated events page for automotive events happening in the Bay Area.

The Events calendar is still somewhat of a work in progress, as I have to manually add events to a dedicated Google Calendar as opposed to aggregating events from other sources. For now, it will do until I find a better method without having to resort to a dedicated plugin.