5D MKII + Steadicam Merlin footage taken on a road trip from Seattle through California last winter, visiting Redwood, Sequoia, Yosemite, and Death Valley National Parks along with Mono Lake.

Still photography from the trip at lukeallenhumphrey.com/ca

Technical things I learned or observed from this experience:

-How to better balance the 5D on the Merlin (near the end of the trip)
-I need a better tripod head like a Sachtler or Vinton for those ultra slow pans
-Two bodies would be nice vs. switching lenses in sandy conditions
-Don't leave your gloves off too long when it's snowing hard in Sequoia National Park (incurred minor frostbite)
-This was pre-firmware update so the things I learned about controlling aperture no longer apply thank god
-Death Valley winter temps can deep far below freezing at night so when camping make sure your sleeping bag is not a cheap synthetic 0 degree bag otherwise you're in for a cold night :)
-Finally a pair of gaiters probably would've been perfect for the deep post-holing you'll do hiking up some of the tallest sand dunes in North America. I made due with some rubber boots though :).

Non-technical things I learned or observed:

I met a guy near the top of one of the largest Mesquite dunes. He was the only other person out there and he had 2 hasselblads and a big backpack full of lenses and other gear. He had been commissioned to create a book about the CA wilderness so was on that mission solo for a couple months. That sounded kind of nice.

It was amazing being the only 2 people at the more remote Eureka dunes and the Racetrack playa. I wish I could do justice describing the feeling of trekking up the dunes and watching the deep sand change colors and shadows cast themselves in all sort of beautiful ways, seeing coyote tracks and wondering about the things they see as they roam the desert, watching the sunset behind the distant hills, hearing the wind blow across the landscape, seeing the stars come out and feeling the coldness of the night come on quickly as the last light of the sun fades.

Lenses: Canon L - 16-35, 70-200 2.8 IS, 180mm macro.

Music is Dayvan Cowboy from Boards of Canada and Snowflake from Trentemøller.

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