Image Quest Tours

Questions or comments and/or requests for information about specific trips: Phone: 323 377-7565

Neon and Kitsch:
Route 66
- From Albuquerque to Holbrook

Wednesday through Sundy, November 2-6, 2011


The Trip: The route between Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Holbrook, Arizona, sums up some of the most compelling reasos to travel – and photograph – along Route 66. The road itself, while co-opted much of the way by I-140, still exists in form and in spirit, and it's those two attributes to which we will turn our cameras. We're going to photograph the neon, the kistchy, the people, the architecture, and the landscape along and around the old highway. We will journey into the past, travel through the present, and explore who we are, as we see and learn to see in new ways.  

Cost: $1,200. Reservations are on a first come, first served basis. 

Trip difficulty: None - the trip will be conducted at a photographer's pace.

Transportation: by comfortable van; trip limited to seven participants and the two trip leaders.

Trip Leaders

- Ken Rockwell is known internationally for his website, He is a walking encyclopedia of knowledge about photography and cameras. He can answer any question about any point-and-shoot digicam, film cameras, and the latest digital cameras. He is particularly well versed in the use of Nikon, Canon and Leica equipment. His loyal readers - who number in the many thousands each day - enjoy his often iconoclastic and sometimes controversial essays, as well as his detailed reviews of camera gear. A Southern California resident much of his life, Ken has explored  California and the Southwest with his, including explorations of Death Valley,  New Mexico, and stretches of historic Route 66. Visit Ken at
davehat - Dave Wyman - his photographs of Bodie have appeared Outdoor Photographer, Cross-Country Skier, the California State Parks Guidebook and his book, Backroads of Northern California. He is the author and photographer of two other pictorial guidebooks (Backroads of Southern California and Yosemite in Photographs). Dave has conducted photography tours since 1982, for the San Diego Natural History Museum, the Sierra Club, the University of Southern California, the Yosemite Association, and the Los Angeles Zoo. His unbridled passion for travel and photography have led him and the groups he conducts to locations throughout California, the Southwest, Oregon, and Yellowstone. When he's not with a photo groups, Dave takes his camera up mountain summits, down to rugged coastlines, and along remote roads in the western U.S, both by car and on a bicycle.

Who this trip is for:
Anyone who loves photography and old roads, as well as the natural (and unnatural )world, and anyone who has a sense of adventure, if not humor. Instructors will accommodate novice through advanced photographers. This will be a hand-on outings, with no sit-down lectures and no tests, and little time spent on discussions and demonstrations about post-processing. We'll be out each day making photographs (and for those with the stamina, we'll be looking at photographs in the evenings). 

What to Bring:
Camera gear (see below)
- Clothing for warm and cool temperatures, including a ski cap for cool mornings and evenings
- Day pack and/or camera bag
- Money for meals
- A sense of adventure

What Will be Provided:

- Instructors
- Guided photography tours
- Transporation by comfortable van
- Evening presentations
- Entry fees
- Two meals for the group
- Accommodations each night
- Onine sharing/critique after the trip

Camera Equipment: Digital or film cameras are all welcome. Feel free to bring one camera, or many. Remember, though, that the more equipment you have to sort through, the less time you'll have for actually making photographs. That said, the instructors will probably bring along a variety of cameras and accessories.

 Two filters for aficionados: the polarizer, and a graduated neutral density filter (for help in choosing the latter, as there are several varieties, contact Dave). Just for fans of film, the 81A or 81B warming filter, which will keep an overly blue cast out of photographs made in the shade or under cloudy skies.

Bring enough CF or SD cards for digital cameras, as well as a battery charger; some cameras require more than one battery to last through a day, some survive on a single battery. Make sure you have enough battery power.


Tripods? Ken is well known for his opposition to tripods. Of course, he owns them,  he uses them when necessary, and he will have one on the trip. So will Dave and Chuck. There will indeed be times when tripods could be an asset, such as early in the morning or late in the day. However, it will certainly be possible to make creative photographs anytime, with or without a tripod. We will also probably have an extra tripod or two on hand as loaners throughout the course of the trip. So don't feel, if you join us, that you have to purchase a tripod. You might, if you want one, check out renting them local camera stores. If you do want to purchase a 'pod, feel free to check with Dave for advice.

Other options could beckon you: bean bags (Dave uses a hacky-sack with his digicam), mini/table top tripods, monopods, or chainpods.

Film Considerations: Bring any sort of film if you are bringing a film camera. The less sensitive to light the film (lower ISO numbers, such as 25 to 100 with slide film, 200 to 400 with print film), the better the color saturation and image sharpness.

Higher speed films, such as ISO 200 to 400, allow you to more easily hand hold your camera. But faster films, to a slight degree, do not as accurately record color or hold image sharpness. Fujichrome films at ISO 100, for example offers excellent color saturation for slide film and is very fine grained. Fuji's Velvia and Provia are more expensive, and also excellent.

Other excellent films include Kodak's Ektachromes, the latter designed to give Fujichrome a run for its money. Both Kodak and Fuji have excellent print films.


Black and white fans? There are still many black and white films on the market. A good place to see where many of them are available is on the Freestyle photo website (where Ansel Adams reportedly purchased some of his photographic paper, and where Dave has shopped for several decades, which is why he knows Freestyle is a great place to search out alternative photography products).

Weather: we can expect mild to warm days, and cool evenings. Just about anything is possible, from temperatures in the 80s in the Valley during the day and down to the 30s in the evening (but don't bet on either). Be prepared with a selection of clothing. "Bad" weather, often in the form of afternoon thundershowers, is sometimes the best weather for photography, and won't cancel or curtail our photographic field sessions.

Bring Your Own Photographs: If you like, bring your own photographs for critique, or simply to be enjoyed by the group. Bring them on a CD or flash drive (limit them to about 20) and we'll show them on a digital projector or an external monitor. If you have 35mm or MF slides, scan them onto a CD. You can bring your laptop or tablet to share your photos, too. Feel free to bring photos made on any camera, including DSLRs. Prints are welcome, too.s

Where we will stay: in comfortable motels in Galllup, New Mexico, and Holbrook, Arizona.

- Day 1 is arrival day, Wednesday, November 2. Ken and Dave will stay at the Best Western adjacent to the Albuquerque airport, and that's where we all need to assemble in the morning. We'll have aroup dinner to introduce ourselves (we'll send out more information about all our accommodations).

- On Day 2, we'll depart after breakfast for points west, including the Acoma (the "Sky City," perched atop a red rock mesa), and El Malpais National Monument and we'll  explore locations along forgotten chunks of the old highway leading us into Gallup, New Mexico.

- On Day 3, we will photograph along old sections of Route 66, stopping at several of the Indian curio shops, visiting the beautiful Zuni Pueblo, and explore fantastic scenery, as New Mexico gives way to Arizona. We'll end the night in another quintissential Route 66 town, Holbrooke.

- On Day 4, we'll take the day to drive back to Albuquerque, making many stops along the way before reaching town by late afternoon. We will photograph Albuquerque's neon in the evening.

- Day 5 will our last day; we'll explore Old Town Albuquerque in the early morning, enjoy a last meal, and finish our photography by noon, when it will be time to say goodbye.



Meals: We will have one group meal. And we will always be near places to purchase food during the course of the trip at meal times: stores, cafeterias, a deli, restaurants. 

Cancellations: $100 cancellation fee. No refund within two weeks of the departure date, unless another person takes your place. 

If you have any questions: contact the trip leader, Dave Wyman, at 323 377-7565, or send e-mail to

How to Register: For this workshop, participants can register by sending a check to:

Image Quest
1164 Alvira Street
L.A. CA 90035

Or use (check with Dave, first).

The Image Quest Home Page

Dave's Blog: Photography-Cycling-The Meaning of Life

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