Due to the worldwide Covid outbreak, it’s difficult to simply jump on a plane to explore far off lands. That’s not to say I couldn’t, it’s just that I feel I shouldn’t – if that makes any sense. I am, however, on the verge of just doing it (safely and selectively, of course). In the meantime, it’s given me the opportunity to search out places and events close by that would otherwise not make the visit list. California being such a large state, there’s plenty of locations to explore – even the smallest & obscure. Nearly equal time from the Norcal and Socal, is a sleepy little town of Paso Robles. Known long ago for its thermal springs, is overshadowed now for its vino and olive oil growing and production. So much so, there seemed to only be one place offering any kind of hot springs – and they were a day-like spa! Like Starbucks, there were multiple tasting rooms on any given block in the main part of town. My not being anything close that would resemble a ‘wine person’, much less a consumer of alcohol in general, when in Rome (or Paso as it were) … right? I was more interested in boutique-like wineries with a good (aka interesting story) over the larger more well known names. This quest is a whole different story …
… when the hot summer sun sets, what to do? Sip more wine? Sure. But, a recent art installation, which I first saw online earlier in the year was only supposed to be a 3 month temporary exhibition intrigued me. Having great success, they’ve decided to extend the exhibit until early next year. After arrival near sunset, much though, effort and ongoing construction was evident. My first thought was … this is a lot of construction for something temporary! Talking to folks working there, as I sometimes do, word has it that they expanding the installation and making it a permanent ‘landscape’ fixture! So, what is it you ask? It’s called Sensorio.
Sensorio is a collision of tech and nature. It’s immersive. If you take pause to take it in, it’s a surreal experience of the visual senses. A portion of it adds sound. If you have the time or interest, make the trip down, sip some wine, sample some olive oil and be sure to make a reservation ahead of time to visit this special place.
(Click on first image to see it full screen)
Since no photography accessory equipment (mainly any kind of camera support like a tripod or monopod) is allowed, I brought one of my more ‘forgiving’ cameras that allow me to fire off frames at very slow speeds that other cameras would have too much hand-shake. It doesn’t help to employ learned calm breathing techniques too! Darkness and handheld (camera) usual spell disaster, so these are mostly acceptable.
As the night wore on and the sky darkened too much. Yes, there’s a certain point when the sky turns pitch dark, it no longer has any interest. I much prefer the Blue Hour at latest, unless I’m shooting astrophotography. I also love to play with the camera in creating abstracts of normal everyday things – the below is a sample.
I hope this inspired you to make it down (or up or over) here!