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Hike in Trabuco Canyon

For those of you who follow me closely on my blog or Facebook, you may have heard I recently traded in my little 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer for the car of my dreams: a Silver 2000 Toyota 4Runner 4x4. Yes, it's old, but it really is the car of my dreams and has been for years. I prefer it much more over the newer models.

Having a little front-wheel-drive 4-banger as my only mode of transportation for over 8 years has mostly restricted me to paved roads, which isn't ideal for my line of work. So, needless to say, my "new" 4Runner will be getting lots of use in the dirt.

I had a rare day off last Saturday with nothing planned. But if you take a landscape photographer, a mostly-cloudy day, an empty schedule and a 4x4...you've got yourself a recipe for off-roading. So I loaded up my gear and headed out for a solo trip up to the Trabuco Canyon trail in the Cleveland National Forest. For those of you familiar with the area, it's near the Holy Jim Falls trailhead.

Trabuco Canyon Hiking Trail

While off-roading to the trailhead, blasting through mud and creeks, I fell in love. That's right. I fell in love with my 4Runner. And I'm not ashamed of it. She knows how to make me happy. She never asks for apologies. No. She only gives.

*ahem* Anyway...

The Trabuco Canyon Trail is gorgeous, by the way. One of the most beautiful in OC, in my opinion. It really feels secluded. One of the coolest aspects of this trail is the old, rusty car laying in ruins among the forest. I had photographed this car back in 2003 when I was just a wee lad of 15. I was shooting Fuji Velvia transparency film in my Minolta Maxxum 7D. Eight years later, I decided to get a refreshed take on it using my digital. I actually like the older shot better compositionally and in terms of color and contrast, but I'm sure I'll be back soon to have at it again. I hope to go back in the next few weeks to see if I can get some flowers around it and fine-tune the composition for a little more impact.

Trabuco Canyon Hiking Trail
^ The original shot taken on slide film in 2003

Trabuco Canyon Hiking Trail

^ My modern-day "refresh"

Hmm...makes me kind of miss film. I love the saturation and greens of Velvia. Here are the rest of my shots from the day...

Trabuco Canyon Hiking Trail

Trabuco Canyon Hiking Trail

Trabuco Canyon Hiking Trail

Trabuco Canyon Hiking Trail

There you have it. The entire day was gorgeous with passing clouds, mild temperatures and plenty of solitude. Looking forward to going back soon.