Photoessay: Camping in Los Padres

About three weeks ago I decided to take a camping trip by myself (with my dog Zoe) to decompress and think about life a bit.  These kind of trips are critical to moving forward as a human being and finding your inner mantra or strength.  I’ve been laid off now for about 7 months from the corporate world.  Still living on the severance package I received, but been contemplating all this time about what I want in life.  I would say the biggest thing I ‘ve spent most time with is photography.  I’ve set up a studio in my garage and practiced outdoors taking portraits and pet photography to build a website which is listed as Galleries in the menu.

I drove up on a Sunday morning because I thought, like most things in California, that it would be full from the weekend.  There were only 4 campsites occupied when I arrived, which was before the noon check out time.  I was shocked especially at a first come, first serve campground in the summer, in California.   This site is one of the most popular campgrounds for astrophotography and astronomy, as it’s the site for the darkest, most elevated spot in Southern California i.e. 8,300 feet elevation.

But as I learned when I arrived it was going to be a quarter moon in two days which limits the night sky effects from astrophotography.  Got to remember to check moon status next time.

Upon arrival I picked my spot from the many available lots i.e. roughly 19 or 20.  The site I chose was probably the best view in the campground so I decided we would stake our tent here.  On Monday (day 2) I was the only one left in the campground.  It felt a little eery and exciting at the same time.  No need for Zoe to be on a leash and I could roam around anywhere I wanted, including other sites.  This is exactly what I was looking for, and I hope you can get the sense of the peacefulness from this amazing and relaxing adventure.

Nice campfire to keep warm
Zoe keeping an eye on me
Hike rest break
Sunset over the valley
Majestic trees
Tree silhouette
Looking for squirrels
Inside a fallen pine
Tree canopy
Cooking dinner
Light painting
Star trails




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