Sven Doelle's official Instagram account, keeping you up to date with beautiful & warm images throughout our trip…
Sven is our Adobe Creative Cloud photo tool specialist on the trip. He will bring Rich, Nathalie and Thomas closer to the very latest features and tools of Creative Cloud photo tools - which will be announced to the public soon at Adobe MAX.
Richard Thompson III aka RTIII’s official Instagram account, focussing on the beauty of the nature combined with the beauty of the cars we are driving…again, a HUGE "Thank You" to our friends at Mercedes-Benz!
PART I | L.A.
Sunshine, beachwalks, music & talented people: Venice Beach is world famous for it’s unique, hip cultural scene. On our first day in LA, we went there and enjoyed the amazing ambience – can there be a better way to say „Hi“ to Los Angeles?
A 45 minute drive down south of the coast lays Redondo Beach. Together with the closeby Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach, it forms the triumvirate „Beach Cities“. A warm and quite Sunday here can be spent fishing, laying by the beach, enjoying some of the great food right by the waterside – or simply taking in the scenic view!
Angeles Crest Highway
Our first sunrise in Los Angeles, something we’ve all been looking forward to – and what a spot to catch it! 66 curvy and hilly miles over the San Gabriel Mountains, it’s quite a way to get there from downtown LA – but this street has EVERYTHING to offer a photographer dreams about. We really got up early to set up shots and be ready for sunrise – and we got what we came for!
It's pretty hard to fathom the fact that within 2 or 3 months, there will probably be so much snow up here that these roads will have to be closed over winter. We will certainly never forget this sunrise & our drive up (and down) San Gabriel Mountains.
Are you wondering how this photo was created? Through the magic eyes of RVTIII and with the editing power of...
Art District & Downtown Los Angeles
Especially Rich was looking forward to the rich urban art culture & uniquely designed architecture some of the parts of Downtown Los Angeles have to offer.
The art district is full of young and energetic businesses, as well as the aforementioned Graffitis everywhere.
A spot Rich had to get to was the Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by Frank Gehry. It’s the fourth hall of the Los Angeles Music Center and has a special feel to it with the stainless steel skin on the outside of the uniquely shaped building.
Santa Monica Pier
One of the most famous landmarks in Los Angeles, Santa Monica Pier is always worth a visit! Situated on the way out to Malibu right by the coast, the Pier is almost always packed with people enjoying the sun – and all the entertainment and excitement going on around them.
In some unique moments, it’s also a place where you can quietly enjoy the endless horizon…
...or the sheer beauty of the Pacific Ocean.
Palm Springs and the unique surrounding nature is next, before we make our way to Joshua Tree National Park, Phoenix and then continue to travel towards Las Vegas through the Canyons & National Parks on the way there!
Stay tuned – both here on our Creative Connection Blog & our Spark Travelogue (which we will continue to update throughout our trip), the regional Social Media channels & the Instagram channels of Rich, Nathalie, Thomas, Sven & Richard that we mentioned earlier. It’s time for us to hit the #RoadToMAX17 again now! :)
PART 2 | WILD WILD WEST
Situated just 180 kilometers south-east of Los Angeles, Palm Springs marks the last prominent city before heading towards the Mexican border. It became famous in the 60‘s, because multiple big-shot stars like Frank Sinatra bought houses here, turning it into sort of a „get-away“ for the American high society on the Westcoast. Nowaydays it’s more of a quite town situated on the outskirts of the desert, but there is a lot more to discover in the surrounding areas...
The story of Salton Sea is an extremely peculiar one. We found this very good story explaining a lot of the problems the region is faced with here, it is a truly fascinating tale. Once being home to some thriving and upcoming towns in the 50’s and 60‘s, the biggest lake in the state of California has been evaporating and „dying“ for decades.
Results are former communities and towns like Bombay Beach. Still, some people are living out here, but as the conditions got worse and worse in the past, most of the habitants left the Salton Sea area. There really is not much life left around here...
After driving almost all the way around the lake, we discovered a unique scene: dried out parts of the lake, a horrible smell, muddy and instable soil, dead fish and even dead trees in the shallow water...a truly weird scenery, offering yet surreal moment during the sunset. So to be honest, for photographers, this dying lake is still a flowing spring for good shots!
Joshua Tree National Park
We have heard so much about our next destination & we couldn’t wait to get there for sunrise. So, again, our daily schedule in the morning sort of looks like this: Get up around 4. Meet up around 5. Prepare your shots around 6. We are getting used to this (and the tiredness – or is it still the Jetlag?!?) and are thinking about doing it every day! :)
Luckily for us, Richard knows this place pretty well, so we were able to get some amazing shots on top of the characteristic rocky hills, as we were waiting for the right moment & way to document the fascinating vegetation of Joshua Tree National Park.
Even though this Park is probably already in every travel guide for every trip to the South-Western region of the USA, we can only recommend this experience to everyone.
Incredible range of mountains, curvy roads and endless fields of vast vegetation – this was an unforgettable morning in Joshua Tree National Park and we were only able to finally let go of this sight, because we all needed breakfast BADLY!
The capitol of Arizona was more of a layover stop for us before heading towards the Grand Canyon – something we were obviously all looking forward to. Still, there was „a job to do“ in Phoenix and that’s what we did – Rich had researched multiple spots he was interested in shooting, and it really is interesting how he can turn literally any building into a piece of art…with a lot of preparation and hard work!
This time, it was a salad restaurant…
We are really focussing on enhancing our workflows on this trip, using more mobile photography than before. The botanic garden in Phoenix was a good chance to play with our mobile apps a little bit!
Also, we ended up getting great sunset content out of that visit - this beautiful scenery in the heart of the city of Phoenix really capped the day off for us nicely!
Not a lot needs to be said about this final destination of our second part of the trip – the Grand Canyon is definitely one of the most frequently visited National Parks worldwide, and it is simply a mind-blowing experience to look into the Canyon from an outer rim. We entered the Park from the South and reacted accordingly when we were finally able to see into the Canyon for the first time – this is so stunningly gorgeous!
We enjoyed a great sunset, became a bit adventurous, started climbing and ended up almost on the edge of the cliff to get our shots in. We have to say, that’s a petty steep drop so…please be careful, everyone! :)
By now, you guys should now what we did the next morning…of course we got up to catch the sunrise in the Grand Canyon! After some location-scouting, we found a good spot the night before and simply enjoyed this unforgettable experience. No more words needed.
After the sun was up, we did our second Facebook Live Session and talked in length about the past days and our impressions so far.
It was very hard to let go, because this view is truly nothing you want to run away from – but it was time to us to hit the road again!
Next stops will be Page & the nearby Horseshoe bend, hopefully the Antelope Canyon and finally Zion National Park, before we are headed to Las Vegas for the Adobe MAX!
Until then, enjoy our #RoadToMAX and stay tuned for more daily content coming your way. We are giving everything to capture this unique experience and we hope you guys are enjoying our tales. We are truly off to the desert now & will give you guys an update on our travels soon! See you soon, bis bald & á bientôt!
Part 3 | Antelope, Zion, Vegas
On our final days travelling to Las Vegas, our first destination was the Antelope Canyon, close to Page (Arizona). It lays on the Navajo land and we had an amazing experience in the very unique Canyon, which is frequently visited by loads of tourists.
Indeed, it was hard for us to find the calm and peaceful moments depicted on these impressions – but our amazing tour guide did a great job giving us some extra moments for ourselves there, as well as providing us with very valuable background information.
For example, as Rich noted in one of his Instagram posts: „In 1932 a young Navajo girl followed one of her sheep into a remote canyon, seeing it's sheer beauty she rushed back home to tell her family about the secret spot. Today it's now one of the most visited destinations in the country & to be honest with you the vast flow of tourists here does detract from the natural beauty. However just as we were finishing our tour, I asked our guide if anything was known about the girl who discovered the canyon. She smiled at me, "that girl is my grandma" she said. Suddenly the whole experience felt very personal“
The next day, we capped off our experience in Navajo land by visiting the famous horseshoe bend. Incredible spot for photographers and we enjoyed a great sunset there! :)
Zion National Park
One of the most intriguing and unforgettable experiences of our fascinating #RoadToMAX17 journey surely had to be our visit to Zion National Park.
At the edges of Zion, we discovered a relatively unknown & not so frequently visited, flooded trail that would lead us past 5 waterfalls within our day-long hike.
We had so much fun exploring this incredible area, and while many trails within Zion National Park are „overrun“ by tourists and large groups of people, we were able to have a very personal/intimate experience.
The feeling of being so close to the nature was simply amazing, all the people we did meet were extremely kind and warm-hearted and at the end of the day, it just felt so good to finally being able to say „We made it up the hill“.
One thing was for sure though: That water was ICE cold…
Okay, what is there to say about „Sin City“? We have all seen pictures, movies, some of us have been there…it’s a crazy place, every time you come here there’s more crazy things to see, and of course, this time our special goal was the #AdobeMAX in the Venetian Convention Center. Vegas is an intriguing place – some will hate it, most will enjoy it while they can...for us, it was a sentimental time. After being on the road together for more than a week, we grew together as a group and it was hard to say „Goodbye“.
We enjoyed our final days in Vegas together, went to dry lakebed & shot some of these awesome sunset photos and of course, we had a blast at the Adobe MAX & really hope that we will all see each other again some time soon.
We want to thank Adobe for the incredible experience and we surely hope you guys have enjoyed this trip as well, joining our adventures on Instagram, Facebook or via this Adobe Spark travelogue. We will never forget this experience and hope to see/hear you all again – maybe at the next #AdobeMAX!
Our Road To MAX ends here and from our whole group, we want to thank you all for being a part of it! We hope you guys enjoyed us challenging our perspectives – take care and see you soon! :)