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CONTENT

Filtering by Tag: explore

Where do I Want to Adventure to Next? — Luke Gottlieb

Ben Ashby

Where do I Want to Adventure to Next?

Meet Photographer Luke Gottlieb

 

A PREVIEW FROM FOLK SUMMER 2019

Luke Gottlieb, the photographer behind Victor of Valencia on Instagram has been one of my very favorite photographers for a very long time. I dream of the day when I have the photographer skills and editing skills he has so brilliantly mastered. I wanted to learn more, so I made my way out to Colorado to learn Luke's backstory and life advice. 


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"Adventure is one of those things that keeps life interesting and completely fresh with experiences. It’s certainly the driving force behind most of my passions in life. It’s something I think about every morning I wake up too; where do I want to adventure to next?"

 — @victorofvalencia

 

Why do you explore? To me, exploration allows the unexpected to come to the surface of our lives. Without exploration, we never learn or see anything new. I also have this constant feeling of wanting to know what exists around the corner. As a child, it seems your whole existence is all about exploring and being curious. I think that we cary some of that same drive throughout our lives as we get older. 

 

Why take risks in life? Without risks, growth is absent. To me, evolving as a human being and having a better understanding of the world can’t happen unless you take risks or unless you really step out of your comfort zone. 

 

 What is your 9-5?  I was never one to resonate very well with a 9-5 job. I’ve worked for myself the last 3 years and I can say it’s the best fit for me right now. I’m a full-time photographer. It’s amazing, but certainly has the challenges that comes with it. I often can’t remember what day it is, but maybe that is the point of it all… to just live life and experience every day as a new and exciting adventure. 

 

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When you were growing up what or who did you want to be? My dad was a musician and my mom was a music lover as well. I think when I picked up the guitar at the age of 12 I fantasized about being a rock star… as a lot of teenage boys do. I still play music, it’s in my blood and will be till the day I die. I record and do the occasional tour with my band. I don’t think I ever really had a firm grasp on what I wanted to really be in life, but I think that I have found my lane as a portrait and lifestyle photographer. 

 

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What would you say to someone who has never travelled before? 

I think that if we could learn more about each other and be open to new ways of looking at the world it would allow us all to improve as humans. There is just so much diversity on this planet both in body and mind to think selfishly.

 

READ THE FULL STORY IN FOLKS SUMMER 2019 ISSUE CLICK HERE TO ORDER

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Our Tips for Discovering Shark Fin Cove

Ben Ashby

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Lets take a moment and propose the idea that you're on the Pacific coast looking for a scene spot south of San Fransisco. May we suggest Shark Fin Cove. It is a short drive down from San Fransisco in Davenport, CA. 

 

The town is a tiny village along the Pacific Coast Highway. We suggest stopping here for breakfast and then hopping the couple of miles down the road to take in scenic cliff views. The cove gets its name from the large shark fin shape rock that sits just off the sandy shore. 

 

 

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Parking for this spot is a gravel lot along the highway. You'll want to wear hikeable shoes as the trek to the beach is down a make shift ditch/hill. Its about a five minute hike down the cliffside, but the dust and gravel make the hike a bit shaky. Once you're at the beach the hike is well worth it, but if you're unable to make it to the bottom the views from the top are equally amazing. 

The cove has a decent sized, and semi private beach. We always go for the photo moments along the rocks and caves. The tides are typically pretty loud and heavy. Be careful not to get your shoes wet. 

This is one of those spots to skip for sunrise or sunset. Do it in the middle of the day. The spot is unique for its fin shaped rock, not because of its sunset opps. 

 

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OUR TIPS:

  • Wear hiking shoes; its a short but dusty hike
  • To best capture the full shark fin bring a wide angle lens
  • Best hours to visit are mid day
  • It is one of the few beachy spots between SF and Big Sur

Whenever you're at any of the beaches along the coast, be a good citizen and collect the garbage that washes ashore. The over polluted Pacific has sadly started washing a depressingly high volume of garbage. 

We shot this spot with a Canon 5D IV with a 24-70mm lens

(I got a little slap happy shooting this bag strap for Native Sons Goods, so please excuse it in every photo)

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Where do I Want to Adventure to Next? || Luke Gottlieb

Ben Ashby

Where do I Want to Adventure to Next?

Meet Photographer Luke Gottlieb

 

Luke Gottlieb, the photographer behind Victor of Valencia on Instagram has been one of my very favorite photographers for a very long time. I dream of the day when I have the photographer skills and editing skills he has so brilliantly mastered. I wanted to learn more, so I made my way out to Colorado to learn Luke's backstory and life advice. 


IMG_2537.JPG

 

"Adventure is one of those things that keeps life interesting and completely fresh with experiences. It’s certainly the driving force behind most of my passions in life. It’s something I think about every morning I wake up too; where do I want to adventure to next?"

 — @victorofvalencia

 

Why do you explore? To me, exploration allows the unexpected to come to the surface of our lives. Without exploration, we never learn or see anything new. I also have this constant feeling of wanting to know what exists around the corner. As a child, it seems your whole existence is all about exploring and being curious. I think that we cary some of that same drive throughout our lives as we get older. 

 

Why take risks in life? Without risks, growth is absent. To me, evolving as a human being and having a better understanding of the world can’t happen unless you take risks or unless you really step out of your comfort zone. 

 

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Where are you from? I grew up in a small mountain town in Colorado called Carbondale. It’s an outdoor hub surrounded by old ranch lands, rivers, forests and mountains. It’s one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. 

 

What is your 9-5?  I was never one to resonate very well with a 9-5 job. I’ve worked for myself the last 3 years and I can say it’s the best fit for me right now. I’m a full-time photographer. It’s amazing, but certainly has the challenges that comes with it. I often can’t remember what day it is, but maybe that is the point of it all… to just live life and experience every day as a new and exciting adventure. 

 

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When you were growing up what or who did you want to be? My dad was a musician and my mom was a music lover as well. I think when I picked up the guitar at the age of 12 I fantasized about being a rock star… as a lot of teenage boys do. I still play music, it’s in my blood and will be till the day I die. I record and do the occasional tour with my band. I don’t think I ever really had a firm grasp on what I wanted to really be in life, but I think that I have found my lane as a portrait and lifestyle photographer. 

 

 

 

Favorite place you've visited? There have been a lot of profound experiences in my life. Traveling has always been a part of them. I think that my experience in Israel was amazing. It had a lot of impact on me. The history is stark and complex, but the culture and people are beautiful. 

 

 

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Place you most desperately want to visit? I have always wanted to post up in a bungalow on the beach in a place like Fiji or Tahiti. I have had a fascination with surf/island culture since I was really young. So much of my family is from southern California, so the ocean has always captured my heart and soul in a lot of ways.

 


What is the single greatest moment of human humanity you've experienced while traveling? I’m going to circle back to my experience in Israel and say that it’s the greatest moment of humanity has been seeing and feeling the resiliency of that place. It’s a powerful area, with religion, history and humanity all wrapped up into a complex web. Germany was another really powerful experience. Seeing the concentration camps in person floored me. It’s wild thinking about the past while standing on the very ground it all those terrible events took place. 

 

 

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What has changed about you because of your travels? For me, traveling has expanded my view of the world. From that I feel I have become much more humble and modest. Maybe sometimes to a fault, but there are just so many amazing people and places in this world that it has forced me to be much more selfless and inspired as well. 

 

Who is the most dynamic and thought provoking person you've ever met? I think a lot about this actually, who has been the most thought provoking person I have encountered. My dad would definitely be that person. We have had challenging and deep conversations my whole life and he certainly has encouraged me to think of the world in various different ways. 

 

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If you could travel with one person in history or in present who would it be and why? I think I would have to say Edward Abbey. To some, he was an extremist in his views of the environment, but his passion for it and his love for nature is something I have resonated with throughout my life. His heart is in the southwestern desert as much of mine is as well. He is a deep thinker and adventurer and to see the world with him would be incredibly fascinating. 

 

What are your must haves for travel? Pack lite, don’t plan too much and say YES. I have been more of a YES person as I have gotten older and what not a better time to say YES then being far away from home. 

 

Give us a travel tip: In college, I did my senior internship in the Bahamas. I was part of a research team traveling around the islands and documenting the state of coral bleaching that was taking over the vast reefs surrounding the islands. It was pretty eye opening swimming around with the sea life and seeing the extent in which the reefs were dying. In the grand scheme of things it is a small and tiny area, but it was a direct way to become more aware to the state of our planet. 

 

 

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What would you say to someone who has never travelled before? 

I think that if we could learn more about each other and be open to new ways of looking at the world it would allow us all to improve as humans. There is just so much diversity on this planet both in body and mind to think selfishly.

 

I would definitely not preach to them that traveling is necessary, but I would encourage them to reach outside of their comfort zone. To me, that is the largest hurdle for someone who has never traveled. Things come easy here (your native country), it is what we know best, but, to insert yourself into a country where your native language isn’t spoken as the first language is awesome. It makes you very self aware. 

 

What is the single greatest lesson you've learned from someone that is different than you? This goes back to the diversity answer, but I think it has taught me more about being a humble human being. When you really focus on the idea that everyone experiences this life in their own individual way it makes you more self aware and accepting of others. 

 

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When did you feel you were most out of your comfort zone. What did you learn from that lesson? I can't think of a particular moment where I felt super out of my comfort zone. I feel that traveling in general always has moments where you feel that. It's easy to feel overwhelmed or unsure of how to do something when you are in those situations. I think a lot of people can relate to that. I typically just take a step back and know that I will be ok and that I can figure it out. It goes back to our primal problem solving skills. You just kind of get through it! That is the biggest lesson, to trust you will be ok and that being uncomfortable is quite normal for a lot of people. You just have to take some breaths. 

 

What would you say to your former self? I would probably tell myself to take the money I would spend on meaningless things and put it towards International plane tickets.  

 

What gives you hope? Meeting genuinely nice people who care about others and our planet gives me the most hope. Seeing people really connected with their place, wether that is culture or environment is a beautiful thing and makes me feel encouraged that that will be passed on to the younger generations to come. To all the people dedicating their lives to sustainable farming, you may give me the most hope.

 

Where to next? As I have gotten older I have an ever increasing itch to see more of the world. I’m a sucker for cinema and connecting to storytelling. I want to see all these places that just have existed on paper or on the big screen. This fascination I have with period pieces and historical storytelling makes me want to be inserted into the places they exist. 

 

Is flannel always in season? I grew up in the mountains, so flannel will forever be a staple piece in my closet and truck. I probably wear flannel every 5 out of 7 days. It’s the best! 

 

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Estival Survey + Alaska

Ben Ashby

About two seconds.

That’s what you have between being asked and your response; before you let on.

It’s important first, to acknowledge we’ve reached the era of total geographical and technological accessibility. Our generation has become comfortable, in such a way that we can begin to treat a trip to say— Vik with as much insouciance as some may have once— and do, their honeymoon to The Bahamas. So with this accessibility, it’s become less uncommon to cross paths with those whom venture frequently. I believe it’s the sheer magnitude of some variables that revolve around certain destinations; kilometers driven, meters climbed, batteries exhausted, that continue to garner an audience eager to follow along, and possibly take part in the journey through your response. Your response, however, is what you control. Following the great distances and scenes catalogued, you have a brief opportunity to contort history to serve the limelight into which you’re asked to share it.

About two seconds: to say the trip was perfect, or to tell the truth.

We’d gone in, a band of misfit storytellers, documentarians, broken hearts and transcontinental navigators. We’d agreed to drive our friends’ [@floatballoontours] hot air balloon from Phoenix, some four thousand long miles, to Anchorage. Upon our arrival, the Cloth & Flame (@clothandflame) and Royal & Design (@royalanddesign) teams would rendezvous and fly the balloon over the great Alaskan frontier. We’d camp, cook and share in campfire tomfoolery along the way. We’d collect our cast as the journey unfolded, and exchange it as the screenplay called. We’d gather the endorsement of our favorite like-minded brands, and set course into the true unknown, unruly and untamed wilderness of the far, far north. We’d no idea what we were getting into, but as the self-proclaimed crew of the first Survey; Estival Survey, we had done the best we damn could to prepare.

Our initial trajectory took us across Joshua Tree National Park, Los Angeles, the mighty Redwood Forest, San Francisco, the dunes of Oregon, and up to Seattle, Washington, over the course of roughly seven days. It was seldom a matter of beauty, where our attention strayed, as it was a matter of cognitive survival. This was meant to be the mild stretch— the familiar territory where we’d have ample time and resource to recuperate and charge our souls before moving onward.

The reality, and the response we wish to share is that behind the glamor, there lies a greater truth. Fevers, flies, poisonous vines, damp earth and sleeplessness all laid the groundwork to a remarkably taxing expedition. The nauseatingly vast stretch across Canada had begin to set in several hours after crossing the border. The decision had been made to trek through until our final destination. We made several day camps— of course given the extensive amount of daylight the further north we ventured, allowed for some flexibility with this. Kathleen Lake, Yukon was arguably one of the most beautiful places we could have ever hoped to lay our heads, hammocks, and sip a beer in freshwater at. We knew, however, our time was limited, as we wished to make schedule to Alaska. We drove, and drove, and drove into some great towering blackness; bear dotted gravel ways and tree lines set to stun. We drove, and drove.

 

Our time in Alaska felt short. It felt longer than the days we occupied it, and somehow still brief. I think it’s the madness of going that causes this. The brands we had partnered with allowed for several remarkable campsites and experiences; unparalleled landscapes of blue, and soft etchings of green. Not to say we weren’t in some ways sick, smoke tainted and tattered. Several of us had developed sever reactions and wounds. It was rough. Tempers were fickle. We pressed on, to admire and notice the Earth we escaped to find, and connect with one another in ways we left home to conquer...

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When the brazen adventure seemed to be nearing its end, I received an unexpected opportunity to plunge myself one more time into the throws of the unknown. On my last day in Alaska, one of our hot air balloon pilots, Jeff, a slow-talking, wispy outdoorsman with a salt and pepper mustache and a sweat-stained baseball cap, offered to fly one member of the Estival Survey crew over the Knik Glacier in his plane to snap photos since weather would not permit us to charter a helicopter and fulfill our ultimate dream of flying the hot air balloon over the glacier. Knowing it was my last day, my beloved crew of cohorts voted unanimously that I should be the one with the privilege of taking this flight. We went to the local airport and walked up to a 1958 super-cub single-prop plane. At first I was a little nervous about getting in that rickety old thing, but true to the spirit of our journey, I went for it.

Photo by S. Cole Kiburz (@coleplay)

Photo by S. Cole Kiburz (@coleplay)

We flew over Anchorage and roughly another fifty miles over gorgeous Alaskan frontier to the edge of Inner Lake Gorge which connects to the mouth of Knik Glacier. That’s when old Jeff announced to me over the intercom headsets that we were going to be landing there. We hiked to the edge of the lake to take in the view of the massive icebergs floating in the water. After a little while, old Jeff, inadvertently stumbled upon an old, overturned canoe that was hiding in the brush. We flipped it over to reveal two sun-bleached life preservers and two oars. The canoe frame was bent crooked in several places and there was a large crack in the green frame which is almost certainly why it had been left behind. There are no roads to take you to this lake so the canoe must've been flown in  by helicopter at some point. Jeff duct-taped the crack in the canoe and we tested it's ability to float in the shallow water. Once we were confident that the boat wasn't going to sink, we decided to get in and take it through the maze of icebergs; the majesty and grandness of which I will never be able to fully describe. The crackling, squeaking, breathing noise of the ancient ice and how each jagged tower was as beautiful as any sculpture. The blues were comically over-saturated and the whites were blinding. We grabbed a couple chunks of ice that had broken off and fallen into the lake. I don't know fully how to describe it, but this ice was somehow colder than normal ice. We wrapped a couple chunks in a jacket and flew it back to Anchorage with us.

Later that night, when my time on the adventure came to an end, the remaining crew ofEstival Survey poured a glass of whiskey over top of the ice and cheers’d to what had genuinely been, the trip of a lifetime.

Photo by S. Cole Kiburz (@coleplay)

Photo by S. Cole Kiburz (@coleplay)

This isn’t about running away from your problems or grandstanding or crusade. It’s about connecting with the natural world that is so easy to overlook in the times we live in. It’s about rectifying the blisters on your feet with the sunset from the mountaintop. It’s cleaning your hands and face in the cool waters of the river. I believe that the answers we seek reside within us, always. We are born of truth, but the unbridled beauty of this planet can help bring that truth out of us. Sometimes it’s simple; like how rain on the canvas tent can enhance the reading of a book. Sometimes it’s profound; like the twilight nights around the fire when the sun never fully set; when you question god and yourself. It’s when you realize once and for all that you ain’t no wilting twig damned to a cracked pot. You are a wildflower, born of the sun and the dirt. It’s when you agree to give it hell and see where you end up. It’s when you get up and get going. It’s when you let the compass point you forward and the stars compel you onward. It’s my sincerest hope that we may all meet with vigor the challenges of our destinies.

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I aligned with an idea that life could be compared to attempting to lift the stool you're sitting on. I'm now more inclined to think it best described as adrift in a hot air balloon. Silence until noise. Still until caught. It all seems simple, and then you look around beyond the comfort of your woven chariot. You are at the mercy of variables beyond control, with your only powers to react or not. You notice places slip by below, and wonder whether they too had stories; whether they too have chosen a response, or one day will. Regardless, they pass. Regardless, the horizon will never repeat itself, for by the time you circle the sphere, the landscape has changed again.

Estival Survey, 2016 (#EstivalSurvey)

Words by Ryan Neal Cordwell (@ryannealcordwell) & S. Cole Kiburz (@coleplay)

Film by Ryan Neal Cordwell (@ryannealcordwell, @royalanddesign)

Photos by Constance Higley (@constancehigley)

Team:

Ryan Neal Cordwell (@ryannealcordwell)

S. Cole Kiburz (@coleplay)

Dylan Brabec (@dylanbrabec)

Constance Higley (@constancehigley)

Michelle Johnson (@meeshalrj)

Brendan McCaskey (@jarofbuttons)

Cheyanne Paredes (cheyp)

Royal & Design (@royalanddesign)

Cloth & Flame (@clothandflame)

Yosemite | The Live Authentic Tour

Ben Ashby

 

A couple months ago @rseabve and I grabbed a new Cadillac CTS and headed from LA to NYC. Our goal along the way was to see as many National Parks as we could in three weeks. Today we begin sharing that journey with you! Our first stop was Yosemite National Park…

 

Once @rseabve and I arrived at Yosemite in the Cadillac CTS we were immediately hit with some of the best and most scenic views of any of the 59 national parks here in the U.S. This view is of Half Dome. Yosemite was the nations second nation park, but has been a protected area since Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant during his presidency and the OG hipster John Muir lobbied for the area outside of the valley to be added to the protected area as well. After the OG American badass Teddy Roosevelt created the National Parks Service in 1916 the Yosemite area was added shortly after Yellowstone became the first national park.

So the secret….this view is literally a pull off on the side of the highway. If you’re looking for a national park to visit, but don’t have the ability or desire to spend hours hiking for views…go to Yosemite. @rseabve and I only had a day to spend in Yosemite, and sadly none of that included time for hikes. 

 

The history of Yosemite begins 10,000 years ago when people first visited the valley. By 3000 years ago the Ahwahneechee tribe had settled in the valley. They would remain here until the American government would force them out in the mid 19th century. Their villages were burned, their people were slaughtered, and the first tourists arrived in 1855 as four New Yorkers came to the valley to document the nature for an exhibit in the city. Today you can stay in a variety of lodging at the park. @rseabve and I are especially fond of the tents!