A quick trip to L.A.: Oil fields, twisty roads, art books, superchargers, and some photography

Last week I took a quick trip to L.A. to drive some twisty roads, tour an automotive manufacturing plant, visit a friend, and see a photography show. Buckle up, press play on the soundtrack, and let's go for a ride...


I exited Highway 5 at Lost Hills, and got on California State Route 33 to drive through the oil fields.

I got stopped for a while by road construction, and ate some pizza in the car. It was 99º outside. I tried to visit the West Kern Oil Museum, but it's not open on Wednesdays. Then I drove over 33 to Ojai. What a road!

I went to the largest independently owned outdoor bookstore in the country, Bart's Books. Cool place. The next day I drove a bunch of twisty roads in Malibu.

Hitting the canyons on a weekday was a lot of fun. Empty winding roads and great views. Then I cruised down Highway 1 into Los Angeles.

The next day I attended a tour of Edelbrock's facility in Torrance, organized by my mechanic and all around nice guy Neal. The factory was truly impressive, with a nice mix of million dollar machinery and good old fashioned work done by hand.

We got to see the new Edelbrock supercharger for the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT86, and then we took over the parking lot for a photo shoot with our cars.

Here's how the LED-lit cutaway supercharger demo unit looks from the inside:

360 from inside the @EdelbrockUSA supercharger for the FR-S BRZ GT-86 #theta360 - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

The next morning I visited the Getty Center. I arrived about 20 minutes before the museum opened, and walked through Robert Irwin's amazing garden before it got crowded. If you haven't read Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees, I can't recommend it enough. It's a truly mind expanding book for any artist.

The exhibit Light Paper Process: Reinventing Photography
 was really good. No photos were allowed, but there is a book. The prints by John Chiara and Chris McCaw were particularly great. McCaw's book Sunburn is essential for anyone interested in long exposure photography.

The weather and crowds started heating up, so it was time to say goodbye to L.A., and head back to the Bay Area.

Technical note: All of the photos except the 360 were shot with a Fuji X100s that I recently purchased used. I'm really impressed with the design, handling, and image quality of this camera. The optical viewfinder is fantastic. Brings me back to the days when I was shooting with a Leica M6. And being able to choose Provia or Velvia profiles during RAW development in Lightroom is fantastic. So far the X100s seems like the perfect travel camera.