Recently I decided to go out and take a drive up to Muir Woods North of San Francisco for a solo photo walk among the giant redwoods. It was a spur of the moment decision, and I decided that I wanted to be alone with my spotify playlist and my trusty Canon 5D Mark 3.
When I arrived to the entrance of Muir Woods around 10:30am on a Tuesday morning, I was surprised how many cars there were in the parking lot of the main entrance. It appeared quite full, so I bypassed it and headed down towards the overflow parking area. It was also full, so I ended up parking on the side of the road about a quarter of a mile down the road past the overflow parking area. Oh well, this had better be worth it. I was already a bit concerned about the weather as it was really overcast and a bit foggy.
As I made my short trek to the visitor entrance, I noticed just how full the parking lot was with a few cars waiting for people to leave so that they could swoop in and take their spot. Hah, good luck with that! Nearing the entrance were several long empty parking spots reserved for tour buses and vans. Hmmm, I thought to myself, next time I decide to come out here I should probably park someplace where the buses can pick me up and not have to worry about the winding drive up and battle for parking. Or I could just leave earlier, like a lot earlier.
Once I paid my $6.00 admission into the main grove, I had to fight my way through throngs of consumer camera wielding tourists cluttering up the boardwalk that winded its way through the giant trees. Families, couples, school groups, and others made their way in and around these humble giants. I with my tripod and camera walked among them looking for shots that inspired me. These days when on a photo walk, I tend to shoot a lot less than I use to. Quality over quantity is my goal.
More than a few times I overheard people talk about me as they passed by, muttering in low tones that they thought I would not hear things like, "He must be a professional" and "Look at that camera!" Most be people though would leave me be, as they could see I was busy being one with nature and meticulously trying to setup my shots.
All in all I spent about four hours hiking through the vegetation. It was great taking some time to shoot for myself and not because I was paid to for a change. The air smelled fresh and I enjoyed the silence once I was far enough past all the tourists. I can't wait to go back again!