McClaniversary 5 Year West Coast Road Trip!

This year we celebrated our 5–year wedding anniversary! It's hard to believe that much time has elapsed since we embarked on our marital journey, but we decided it was a milestone worth celebrating. We had the opportunity to fly to Seattle to photograph the wedding of our friends, Bjorn and Lia, close to our anniversary (there are some cool images of Bjorn and Lia part way down this post) and we decided to rent a car after the wedding and spent a week driving highway 101 south to San Francisco. Because we founded McClanahan Studio shortly after getting married we haven't had much time completely unplugged to focus 100% of our attention on one another. We viewed this week as an opportunity to do just that and it was AWESOME! We highly recommend that all married couples schedule time to unplug and have an adventure once in a while. It re–calibrates your unity and is refreshing to the soul! The following post is a hodgepodge of Instagrams taken on our iPhone and photographs taken on a Canon 5dMkIII. Our self portraits were lit with a speedlight and some of the fine art photographs were captured using neutral density filters to slow down time (sort of like Hermione in "Prisoner of Azkaban"). Our journey started in Seattle paddle boarding with friends and visiting the infamous bridge troll. Then we headed south along the Oregon coast, spent an afternoon sand–boarding some epic dunes, ventured through Redwood National Forrest, toured a couple wineries in Napa Valley and concluded with a day of biking through San Francisco and a sunset overlook of the Golden Gate Bridge. We would encourage adding the NorthWest to your bucket list and taking the time to experience these views for yourself! If you have specific questions about where we stayed and what we did, leave a comment and we'll fill you in. We hope you enjoy our images!

McClanahan Studio, Dan and Alex 5 year anniversary road trip on the west coast through Washington, Oregon and California. Redwood forrest, Napa valley, Oregon coast Dan and Alex McClanahan 5 year anniversary trip on the West Coast from Seattle to San Fransisco, featuring the Oregon Coast, Redwood forrest and Napa valleyMcClanahan Studio, Dan and Alex 5 year anniversary road trip on the west coast through Washington, Oregon and California. Redwood forrest, Napa valley, Oregon coastMcClanahan Studio, Dan and Alex 5 year anniversary road trip on the west coast through Washington, Oregon and California. Redwood forrest, Napa valley, Oregon coastMcClanahan Studio, Dan and Alex 5 year anniversary road trip on the west coast through Washington, Oregon and California. Redwood forrest, Napa valley, Oregon coastDan and Alex McClanahan 5 year anniversary trip on the West Coast from Seattle to San Fransisco, featuring the Oregon Coast, Redwood forrest and Napa valleyMcClanahan Studio, Dan and Alex 5 year anniversary road trip on the west coast through Washington, Oregon and California. Redwood forrest, Napa valley, Oregon coastMcClanahan Studio, Dan and Alex 5 year anniversary road trip on the west coast through Washington, Oregon and California. Redwood forrest, Napa valley, Oregon coastDan and Alex McClanahan 5 year anniversary trip on the West Coast from Seattle to San Fransisco, featuring the Oregon Coast, Redwood forrest and Napa valleyMcClanahan Studio, Dan and Alex 5 year anniversary road trip on the west coast through Washington, Oregon and California. Redwood forrest, Napa valley, Oregon coastMcClanahan Studio, Dan and Alex 5 year anniversary road trip on the west coast through Washington, Oregon and California. Redwood forrest, Napa valley, Oregon coastMcClanahan Studio, Dan and Alex 5 year anniversary road trip on the west coast through Washington, Oregon and California. Redwood forrest, Napa valley, Oregon coastDan and Alex McClanahan 5 year anniversary trip on the West Coast from Seattle to San Fransisco, featuring the Oregon Coast, Redwood forrest and Napa valleyMcClanahan Studio, Dan and Alex 5 year anniversary road trip on the west coast through Washington, Oregon and California. Redwood forrest, Napa valley, Oregon coastMcClanahan Studio, Dan and Alex 5 year anniversary road trip on the west coast through Washington, Oregon and California. Redwood forrest, Napa valley, Oregon coastMcClanahan Studio, Dan and Alex 5 year anniversary road trip on the west coast through Washington, Oregon and California. Redwood forrest, Napa valley, Oregon coastDan and Alex McClanahan 5 year anniversary trip on the West Coast from Seattle to San Fransisco, featuring the Oregon Coast, Redwood forrest and Napa valleyMcClanahan Studio, Dan and Alex 5 year anniversary road trip on the west coast through Washington, Oregon and California. Redwood forrest, Napa valley, Oregon coastMcClanahan Studio, Dan and Alex 5 year anniversary road trip on the west coast through Washington, Oregon and California. Redwood forrest, Napa valley, Oregon coastMcClanahan Studio, Dan and Alex 5 year anniversary road trip on the west coast through Washington, Oregon and California. Redwood forrest, Napa valley, Oregon coastMcClanahan Studio, Dan and Alex 5 year anniversary road trip on the west coast through Washington, Oregon and California. Redwood forrest, Napa valley, Oregon coastMcClanahan Studio, Dan and Alex 5 year anniversary road trip on the west coast through Washington, Oregon and California. Redwood forrest, Napa valley, Oregon coast McClanahan Studio, Dan and Alex 5 year anniversary road trip on the west coast through Washington, Oregon and California. Redwood forrest, Napa valley, Oregon coastDan and Alex McClanahan 5 year anniversary trip on the West Coast from Seattle to San Fransisco, featuring the Oregon Coast, Redwood forrest and Napa valleyMcClanahan Studio, Dan and Alex 5 year anniversary road trip on the west coast through Washington, Oregon and California. Redwood forrest, Napa valley, Oregon coastMcClanahan Studio, Dan and Alex 5 year anniversary road trip on the west coast through Washington, Oregon and California. Redwood forrest, Napa valley, Oregon coastMcClanahan Studio, Dan and Alex 5 year anniversary road trip on the west coast through Washington, Oregon and California. Redwood forrest, Napa valley, Oregon coastMcClanahan Studio, Dan and Alex 5 year anniversary road trip on the west coast through Washington, Oregon and California. Redwood forrest, Napa valley, Oregon coastMcClanahan Studio, Dan and Alex 5 year anniversary road trip on the west coast through Washington, Oregon and California. Redwood forrest, Napa valley, Oregon coast

Sabbatical Part 3: Grand Canyon

After 2 weeks in Vegas we were ready to get the heck out of the city and back home to Iowa. We loaded Bob (our car) and hit the road with one last sight to see on our checklist: the Grand Canyon. Jim Dale made our drive a lot more fun with his audio recording of Harry Potter 7 which we listened to in preparation for the big movie this Summer. We arrived at the Grand Canyon just in time for sunset, which gave us 30 minutes to capture the first image below before it got too dark to shoot. Our initial plan was to keep driving, but after catching a glimpse of the Canyon we changed our plans and spent the night so we could have a little more time to gawk in the morning. We woke up early to hit the trail for a sunrise hike and a few more photos before hitting the road again. Despite the shortness of the stop, it was well worth the detour. The Canyon is so epically huge that photos can't possibly do it justice (despite our best efforts) and it's something you should make a note to see in your lifetime. Please enjoy our photos and leave your feedback in the comments!

Sabbatical Part 2: Utah

Salutations! After our stint in Colorado we spent a couple days driving through Utah. We've been working on expanding our fine art portfolio and had the opportunity to photograph some breathtaking landscapes. The neat thing about Utah in the Winter is we were literally all alone pretty much everywhere we went (in the Summertime the parks are packed). Our first stop was Arches National Park, where we made a sunrise hike and kicked things off with a self portrait:Delicate Arch:Windows: Intermission: After Arches we spent an afternoon at Zion National Park where we embarked on literally the most beautiful hike of our lives. It was relatively steep and treacherous near the end, but the view was worth it: Here's a peek at the trail, which drops off on either side: We'll wrap things up with a nighttime self portrait from Zion (30 second exposure):

We shot way more than we've had time to edit on the road, so keep your eyes peeled for some more images in the future. If you ever get a chance to drive through Utah, we highly recommend it. Stay tuned for Sabbatical Part 3: Las Vegas!