A Sustainable Bag Company – A Sustainable Travel Solution

Duffle Side Pocket

FInding the right bag for you travel can be a hassle. Finding the right bag that is also sustainable is near impossible. Enter my problem. Growing up most of my life in Sonoma County I have always grown up with the idea of living sustainable. My backyard was open fields and town over would have open fire pits where people would dance and sing throughout the night.

Let me introduce you to a company who has brought back to my youth. Kind of. The company I am referring to has a unique philosophy. The underlying theme is owner and people who run the place want to change the world’s perception on waste. They do this by diverting materials from landfills and create interesting bags from those materials. I am speaking of the new start up business from named Sonoma-USA.

Despite it’s name, the upstart Sonoma-USA is located in Santa Rosa (California) (Sonoma County). Their team works with businesses like Sonoma Raceway and the City of Santa Rosa to divert materials, like banners, from the waste-stream. They then turn those banners into something interesting, like an amazing dufflebag.

I Am Enjoying My Sustainably Upcycled Duffel Bag
I Am Enjoying My Sustainably Upcycled Duffel Bag

The Duffle Bag

This duffle is made of a heavy vinyl which means is it very durable. I do not feel bad carrying a plastic duffle. I know that the duffle is created from upcycle materials and materials made in the USA.

When the duffle bag is opened it reveals a lot of space. As well a zipper pouch is also is on the inside to help you keep items separate. There are two other pockets on the outside of the bag, one with a zipper and the other that holds my iPad Mini perfectly.

A customer can purchase this duffle for a retail cost of $99. A Kickstarter Campaign is going where the duffle can be purchased early for $94.

Duffle Side Pocket
Duffle Side Pocket
Duffle Bag On The Ground
Duffle Bag On The Ground
Sonoma USA's Kickstarter Photo
Sonoma USA’s Kickstarter Campaign is interesting

Top 15 Travel Photos of 2015

Beautiful Sunset at The Marin County Fair

2015 was an interesting year. Although I did not do a lot of international travel I still belted out some travel photos. Here are some of the top photos of 2015 that spring on amazing memories. Check out the top 15.

15. Miami Beach, Florida USA

Man Looking At The Sea - Miami Beach, Florida
Man Looking At The Sea – Miami Beach, Florida
My friend found a great way to get cheap flights and at the same time have multiple places to visit. The key was long layovers. You spend a day in a location waiting for you next flight. No need to pay for a hotel. You just get to enjoy a location for a day. For me, it was Miami Beach and it’s gorgeous beaches.

14. Joana and A Crowd of Colombians Enjoying Carnaval – Barranquilla, Colombia

My Friend and a Crowd Going Wild at Carnaval Barranquilla in Colombia
My Friend and a Crowd Going Wild at Carnaval Barranquilla in Colombia
My friend wanted to go to Carnaval. We made our way to Bogota and picked up my friend Joana who is from Carnaval, the home of the Second Largest Carnaval in South America. Here she is in front as the crowd go wild during the first day parade.

13. Enjoying The Falls At Sugarloaf Ridge – Kenwood, California

Suzy Enjoys The Falls At Sugarloaf Ridge
Suzy Enjoys The Falls At Sugarloaf Ridge
I love to hike. Living in Northern California is amazing. The beauty of all the parks in California are just majestic. My friend has never been to one of my favorite places, so I decided to take her. Here she enjoys the waterfall at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park.

12. Amazing Sea Food of Las Flores – Barranquilla, Colombia

Best Seafood in Colombia
Best Seafood in Colombia
Something I did not mention about my friend Joana; She is from Barranquilla. One day she invited me and a bunch of her friends to enjoy some amazing Seafood. Despite being extremely hungover from the day before from Barranquilla’s Carnaval, I was able enjoy some of the best seafood I have had in ages. (Yes I am a vegetarian, sometimes I do eat seafood if there are not many options.)

11. The Crowd Celebrates During Carnaval – Barranquilla, Colombia

The Crowd Celebrates At Carnaval Barranquilla
The Crowd Celebrates At Carnaval Barranquilla
Getting lost in the large vast crowd of people during Carnaval in Barranquilla I decide to photograph the moment rather than look for my friends. They crowd was going crazy.

10. A Nice Hike at China Camp State Park – San Rafael, California

Beautiful Day at China Camp State Park
Beautiful Day at China Camp State Park
Just North of San Francisco, in Marin County is the city of San Rafael. Known for a place for famous people living, it also houses China Camp State Park. I decided to hike this with my girlfriend who lived down the street (I know, HOW LUCKY!!!)

9. Warm and Cold Morning at Baker Beach – San Francisco, California

Warm and Cold Morning at Baker Beach
Warm and Cold Morning at Baker Beach
It was 6am on Baker Beach in San Francisco me and Paul, a photographer friend of mine, were there to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge. The sun came up too quickly. So I decided to photograph the water wash over the rocks on the beach.

8. Zen Garden at Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden – Portland, Oregon

Zen Garden at Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden
Zen Garden at Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden
Portland is not an off the path city but when we came across the small quaint park called Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. You can read about the article we wrote about the garden here.

7. Stacked Rocks on Top of Taylor Mountain – Santa Rosa, California

Stacked Rocks On Top of Taylor Mountain
Stacked rocks on top of Taylor Mountain, a regional park located in Santa Rosa California. In the background is the mist and fog of the early morning just at sunrise. Also can be seen the valley where the cities of Rohnert Park and Santa Rosa.
Again living in Northern California means I surrounded by nature. This is a Regional Park in Santa Rosa California, the heart of Sonoma County. The name is Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve. A morning hike here is what I loved. More about the photo of Taylor Mountain here.

6. Foggy Morning Commute On The Bridge – Portland Oregon

Foggy Morning Bridge Before the Commute In Portland
Foggy Morning Bridge Before the Commute In Portland
Woke up early morning in Portland to catch the sunrise of over the bridges in Portland Oregon. Little did I know that there was going to be so much fog. Never got a sunrise but instead got some great foggy morning long exposures. More about this amazing photo of this Portland Bridge here.

5. Blue Reflection at Dawn on Siskiyou Lake – Siskiyou, California

Blue Reflection On Lake Siskiyou at Dawn
Blue reflection on Siskiyou Lake at dawn.
Continuing with the blue theme I present to you a beautiful blue reflection on Lake Siskiyou. The sky was hard to get due to the California fires near Shasta Mountain and Shasta Lake in California. The haze is also what contributed to the soft tones and color. Lake Siskiyou is a great place to visit for fishing and camping as well as swimming. More about the this blue photo of the lake here.

4. Beautiful Sunset at The Marin County Fair – San Rafael, California

Beautiful Sunset at The Marin County Fair
Beautiful Sunset at The Marin County Fair
Attending the fair with my girlfriend in San Rafael‘s Marin County Fair. The sun started to go down as the wind kicked up and moved in the clouds. This is the golden hour sunset that came out. I didn’t have my camera so I used my iPhone and corrected the color shadows with SnapSeed.

3 2 & 1. You Choose

I would love your expert eye. Which of the next 3 deserve number 1 pick? I will let you choose. Feel free to leave a comment below of the order you think they should be in. Let us know why as well.

Early morning Sunrise over the fishing docks of Siskiyou Lake early during a hike. The colors are unique during the smoke from the forest fires in the area
Early morning Sunrise over the fishing docks of Siskiyou Lake early during a hike. The colors are unique during the smoke from the forest fires in the area
As the sun comes up over Siskiyou Lake, the smoke in the air from the nearby by California Fires make a unique mist and haze in the air which adds a layer of mystique. More about this sunrise photo can be found here.

Gold and Blue Sunset in Portland
Gold and Blue Sunset in Portland
My beautiful best friend in the world enjoys the sunset over Waterfront in Portland. It was a nice time as we relax and @enjoyed the last days of Portland Oregon and the launching pier on the river that runs through Portland, More can be found about this photo here.

Fallen Tree Leading to The Mount Tamalpias Woods
Fallen Tree Leading to The Mount Tamalpias Woods
Again I love California and it’s wonderful nature. Including Mount Tamalpais State Park, nestled in the beauty of Marin County. This tree had fallen and it was just a gorgeous texture. I love how it leads into the forest.

Bonus Photo

Sunrise In Mustard Fields of Taylor Mountain
Sunrise In Mustard Fields of Taylor Mountain
This is not really a travel photo but an be passed off as one. I was working with fashion and lifestyle blogger Amber Lucas from Amused Blog. You can find her blog here

How did your photographs come out for 2014? Would love to hear you top 3. Leave a comment below, send me a tweet on twitter or post on my Facebook. Heck even send us a message. Let me know so I can help. Subscribe to our newsletter to gain even more tips on beer or travel. Happy travels :).

Route Markers On Top of Taylor Mountain – California

Taylor Mountain Regional Park is a regional park that lies between Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park in Sonoma County, California. It is a open area that is great for hiking and enjoying the view that over looks the cities of Rohnert Park and Santa Rosa. In the morning you can watch the fog creep over the region and in the evening you can enjoy the beautiful sunset.

This photo was taken on an early morning hike that started before sunrise. This photo was taken just at sunrise looking over the city of Santa Rosa as the fog creeps in. Along the Eastern Trail lies a section of rocks where visitors have stacked like trail markers.

Stacked Rocks On Top of Taylor Mountain
Stacked Rocks On Top of Taylor Mountain

Camera: Olympus OMD EM-5
Lens: Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm ƒ/2.8 Pro
Focal Length: 12mm
ISO: 200
Aperture: ƒ/16
Shutter: 2″
Tripod: Yes
Filter: Hoya ND8 Neutral Density Filter
Post Production: Capture One 8.3.2 + Affinity Photo

Image purchasable as a print on http://store.erickredcloud.com

Photo Tip

Get off the beaten path. Sometimes the most interesting photos occur where you least expect them. Get off the trail, road, crowded destinations and just search for something new and unique. This photo was taken by exploring off the trail. Despite the rocks being meaning that this is a trail marker, it was actually way off the path. People were just having fun with all the rocks in the area. It would not have been found until I got off the path.

Blue Reflection On Siskiyou Lake At Dawn – California, USA

Blue Reflection On Siskiyou Lake at Dawn

Waking up at 4:30 AM was well worth it to catch the dawn light and seeing the beauty of Siskiyou Lake in California near Shasta Mountain. The place is a resort and hiking trail that offers fishing and swimming. It is worth the trek to get to Northern California near the Oregon border.

Blue Reflection On Siskiyou Lake at Dawn
Blue Reflection On Siskiyou Lake at Dawn

Camera: Olympus OMD EM-5
Lens: Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm ƒ/1.8
ISO: 200
Aperture: ƒ/4
Shutter: 37″
Tripod: Yes
Filters: Hoya Circular Polarizer
Post Process: Capture One 8.1

Photo Tip

Get up early! Blue Hour which is the time just before sunrise and just after sunset is the time that many people do not know about. Many people do know of it’s brother, golden hour. During Blue Hour you get even lights perfect for landscape long exposures.

This photo will available to purchase at: http://store.erickrecdcloud.com

Photo: Sunrise At Lake Siskiyou Fishing Dock – California

Sunrise Over Siskiyou Lake's Fishing Dock

Lake Siskyou in just outside of Shasta Mountain in California offers a beautiful man made lake with fishing, hiking and camping. The place is a wonderful place for families to just relax and get away from it all.

Sunrise Over Siskiyou Lake's Fishing Dock

Camera: Olympus OMD EM-5
Lens: Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm ƒ/1.8
ISO: 200
Aperture: ƒ/4
Shutter: 37″
Tripod: Yes
Filters: B+W ND Filter 110 3.0
Post Process: Capture One 8.1

Photo Tip

Using the tripod for long exposures is valuable, but knowing how long the exposure needs to be is hard. Taking advantage of a remote trigger (like the Olympus trigger used for this photo) you can use the Bulb/Live View mode to preview how the image will come out and release the shutter at the exact exposure.

This photo will available to purchase at: http://store.erickrecdcloud.com

Photo: Sunrise Over Lake Siskiyou Shasta Mountain California

Photo: Sunrise Over Lake Siskiyou Shasta Mountain California

Lake Siskiyou near at the base of Shasta mountain is a great hike and offers a great and beautiful lake to swim or fish. The sunrises are worth looking at, if you can get up early enough.

 

Camera: Olympus OMD EM-5
Lens: Olympus M. Zuiko 17mm f/1.8
ISO: 200
Shutter: 30.5″
Aperture: ƒ/4
Tripod: Yes
Filters: ND Filter B+W
Remote trigger
Post Process: PhotoGene4 for iPad

Photo Tip

Get up early for the golden hour photos. This is the hour just after the sunrises and the hour just before the sunsets. The color of the sky creates a warm color that just changes the usual look of the sky.

This photo can be purchased on my store website http://store.erickredcloud.com

Travel Photo: China Camp State Park Hike – San Rafael, California

China Camp State Park Hike

China Camp State Park in San Rafael California is a hidden treasure that many do not know about. It is located just off of the San Francisco Bay and San Pablo bay and over looks the beauty of the SF Bay Area. This is a photo of one of it’s beautiful patches of land that is just open to enjoy.

China Camp State Park Hike
China Camp State Park Hike

Camera: Olympus OMD EM-5
Lens: Olympus M. Zuiko 17mm ƒ/1.8
ISO: 200
Aperture: ƒ/6.3
Shutter: Multiple (HDR Bracketed)
Tripod: Yes
Filter: Hoya Circular Polarizer
Post Production: Adobe Lightroom 6 (HDR Merged)

Photography Tip:

When photographing after sunrise, beware of a lot of shadows that will over take the photo. Photos with a lot of shadow will add too much contrast and really mute some of the colors. The best thing to do is bring a tripod and photograph with HDR in mind. This will help brighten up the shadows and darken the highlights. This photo is a perfect example as the sun had risen about 2 hours before and the clouds had just cleared 2 minutes earlier.

Travel Photo: Gili T Island, Indonesia

Gili Trawangan Island

One of the most beautiful places I have been to is Gili Trawangan (Gili T) off of the Island of Lombok in Indonesia. It is full of tourists, but still an amazing place to visit for some fun and sun.

Gili Trawangan Island

Camera: Canon Rebel XTi
Lens: Sigma 18-200mm ƒ/3.5-5.6
Focal Length: 18mm
ISO: 200
Aperture: ƒ/3.5
Shutter: 1/4000

Photography Tip:

When taking a photo, sometimes it is best to focus on color. In this photo the main thing that makes the beauty is the contrasting colors of blue and orange. They are opposites of each other on a color wheel. Looking out for these contrasting colors can make for an interesting photograph.

Travel Photo: Innocent Monkey From Monkey Forest – Ubud Bali, Indonesia

Monkey on a branch in Monkey Forest of Bali, Indonesia

Bali has to be one of the most visited locations in Indonesia. More so is the Sacred Monkey Forest Ubud Sanctuary located right in the middle of Ubud. There you can find monkeys who are ready to do mischievous things. Some of which is steal your water bottle or even your camera. This little guy looked so innocent before he ran up and walked on some girls back.

Monkey on a branch in Monkey Forest of Bali, Indonesia
Monkey on a branch in Monkey Forest of Bali, Indonesia

Camera: Canon Rebel XSi
Lens: Sigma 18-200 ƒ/3.5-5.6
Focal Length: 96mm
ISO: 400
Aperture: ƒ/5.6
Shutter: 1/30
Post Processing: Lightroom 6

Photography Tip

The best way to get a steady shot is to take a deep breathe just before you click the shutter. Do this while looking through viewfinder. This makes you stay the most possible still you can. Try it next time you take a photo.

Ever meet a monkey like this? Have they ever stole your water or worse camera?

Travel Photo: Panama – Colombia Coast – Cabo Tiburon

Colombia - Panama Border of Sapzurro

This is the untouched area of Sapzurro. This place is known as Cabo Tiburon. The tree-line and rock you see in this picture is the border between Colombia and Panama. The water here is clear (of sharks as well) and beautiful. Not many know of this place, not even Colombians.

Colombia - Panama Border of Sapzurro
Colombia – Panama Border of Sapzurro

Camera: Olympus OMD EM-5
Lens: Olympus M. Zuiko 17mm ƒ/1.8
ISO: 200
Aperture: ƒ/13
Shutter: 4″
Tripod: Yes
Filters: B+W ND x8 (Neutral Density Filter)
Post Processing: Lightroom 6

Photography Tip:

This photo was originally put in the throw away pile. Luckily I never throw away photos. Sometimes when we do a photoshoot or take some photos we are expecting certain looks. When we put things away for some time (2 years in this case) we see things with fresh eyes. It is always great to revisit old photos and see them in a different light.

What do you think? Have something to say about the photo or something to add to the tip?