The Dreamy Northern California

A friend once mentioned that when people think of California, they often think of sandy beach, bikinis and surfboards. The whole Southern California thing. But what about Northern California?

Northern California is a whole different scene, often requiring a jacket, but well-worth it. Frequently full of mysterious, swirling fog. Always beautiful, always an adventure. So it’s with this in mind that we present Northern California Adventures. A photo series that will take Lomo adventurers along as we meet new friends, visit with old friends, and explore the other half of this beautiful state.

Our first stop is going to be Lake Tahoe in the summertime. We went to the south shore: The south shore isn’t what most people think of when they think of Tahoe. North shore is the more common destination, and it’s a bit flashy with a lot of gambling, skiing, living it up. By contrast, the south shore is laid-back, quiet, relaxed.

I met my friend Ayleen Crotty there, who is the creator of Portland, Oregon’s filmed by bike festival. Filmed by bike is a juried contest for short films made about bicycling. It’s been going for many years and they get some great entries from all over the world. If any Lomokino fans want to take the contest by storm, you can get info at

Here is a visual diary of our time in Tahoe, and notes on how the Diana camera came through for us with various types of film and techniques:

Shooting slide film with the Diana camera created some beautiful, almost painterly effects. Iʼm really thrilled with a lot of them. The first day we hunted around the woods for beautiful moments and beautiful light while shooting 200 ISO slide film. We got a lot of amazing results, like the photos below.

I’m not sure why there was a tinfoil star on the ground in the forest, but it’s one of my favorite photos. Who can resist loving a giant tinfoil star amongst pine needles? Not me.

And later in the day, we caught the sunset over the water.

The next morning, we went for a bike ride. The friends we were visiting run a bike shop in town, and have a giant basement that houses close to 30 bikes. They explained that they need different bikes for different things, and would never want to be without the perfect bike for any ride. Thatʼs dedication. I borrowed this sweet little lavender Electra. With my Diana Camera bag in the basket, Ayleen, me, and the camera were ready to explore Tahoe.

Ayleen on the trail.

We came across an abandoned ski slope with old lifts from the 70s or something. I love it, so dreamy.

We also found a pretty little wood cabin, which seemed abandoned. I love how the Diana camera created a bit of blur along the edges of the cabin photo, similar to a 4×5 camera. Sometimes it does that, sometimes it doesnʼt. I have no idea what the variable is, but thatʼs why itʼs fun.

The next day, we had a beach day. The water in Tahoe is the bluest blue youʼve ever seen, and itʼs almost totally clear when youʼre close to it. The locals told us that the blue effect is caused by the water being really clean, really clear, and the lake being really really deep. Kind of spooky, kind of awesome.

I canʼt tell what the below photo is, I believe itʼs the water and part of the dock. I think itʼs beautiful, so I thought Iʼd include it. Anything beautiful and mysterious is good by me.

As the sun began to set, there were incredible photos to be taken from the docks with lots of pretty flare. I love shooting directly into the sun. Iʼve been doing it frequently for my entire career as a photographer. I will probably be blind soon. I know I shouldnʼt do it, but look how pretty the photos are . . .

. . . and look at the epic single cloud across the sky, amazing . . .

Okay, that’s it!!! Bye Tahoe, time for the 4-hour drive back to San Francisco. Thanks for the good times!

written by ilkadj on 2012-09-17 in #lifestyle #forest #tahoe #northern-california #dreamy #bike #lakes #log-cabin

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