Sunscreen. Good shoes. And… a camera.
As I’ve discovered that’s the travel trifecta when visiting the Baja. Indeed, the sun shines incredibly bright here. Beautifully so, streaming during the golden hour across the dramatic, stunning Sierra de la Giganta mountain range. Hitting my daily step goal is not an issue here. I walk and walk, and walk some more. It’s a welcome break from sitting in gridlock in Silicon Valley’s epic patience test known as Highway 101. And, no question, with so many beautiful visuals the final thing to know about traveling to the Baja: a camera is a must.
So here we are on location, once again, in the little fishing village of Loreto located along the sea of cortez in the southern most state of the Baja — Baja California Sur.
Calling this town “little” is perhaps an adjective I should soon retire in this context. Loreto has certainly grown up since I first visited here in 2006. Downtown streets are now paved. A large Safeway-esque grocery store opened last year. And cruise ships make regular stops, dropping hundreds of tourists along the (also recently rejuvenated) Malecon.
Then there’s the resort, where we are staying on this shoot, known as Loreto Bay, located about twenty minutes south of town, in between, vast, arid desert-scape. Large arroyos sit empty, awaiting the next storm season, when they will dump water from the torrential rains into the Sea of Cortez.
To me, it’s one potential tantalizing location for a video after another.
We could put Loni in a dress there in the middle of the desert and shoot slow-mo during the golden hour! Or, Loni could roll around in the sand on Coronado Island (in slow-mo!). Maybe — more pragmatically and perhaps informatively — we could stroll the town, and talk to locals, learn their stories, ambitions and dreams.
Probably a little bit of all of the above.
As regular Stark Insider readers know, I recently stepped up from a DSLR to a Super 35 camera. I love the Canon EOS 70D (and will continue to use it from time to time), but after shooting video for this web site for about 7 years, it was time to get a proper set-up.
Stark Baja Dailies – Scenes from Loreto, Loreto Bay and the Baja
#3 – Nightwalk Loreto
#4 – Wild Blood
I went with a Canon C100 Mark II camera, from Canon’s “C”-series cinema line. It’s an entry level model. But it has the stuff I was looking for: XLR audio, built-in ND filters, nice image rendition. I’ve been shooting at every opportunity with the C100, filling up the Atomos Ninja Blade drive with all sorts of footage, some beautiful, some so-so, and some quite pitiful. The unusable footage is thanks to this operator. I have lots to learn with the C100: zebras, ETTR, manual focusing and using peaking effectively. The transition from DSLR to the C100 hasn’t been too tricky, but any time you use a new camera, old habits die hard. So too with muscle memory.
It’s been great seeing so many friends and familiar faces here in Loreto, locals and gringos alike. It seems there is an undefinable spirit of community and kinship. Everyone helps one another. To do so, I suspect, is an instinctive part of being Loretan.
Canon C100 & Pro Video on Stark Insider
Here are some shots from inside a Loreto Bay casa. Selfishly I wanted to test out a Tokina 11-16mm wide angle lens I recently acquired, to see how well it could do with interior shots.