Journal

Ruminations about photography, travel and pursuing life.

Video: First Van Life Experience in Utah

Two of the greatest challenges when photographing remote landscapes are time and proximity. What time you wake up to catch the early morning blue hour is entirely dependent on how far away you are from your subject. The more remote the destination, the earlier you have to rise to make it in time for first light.

So for my most recent trip to Utah, I decided to skip the motels and Airbnbs and rent a 4x4 campervan. That way, I could park and camp wherever I wanted. I could wake up, walk outside, and start shooting within minutes. Then at night after sunset, I could sleep wherever without driving in the dark.

I’ve rented RVs before, but this was my first experience using a converted camper van — a mid-90s diesel 4x4. I rented it through Outdoorsy (from a private owner in Salt Lake City), and lived in it for a week-and-a-half — oftentimes without power, facilities, or cellular data — in the dusty, empty, surreal landscape of Utah’s badlands.

I’m currently editing a huge catalog of photos and videos from the trip. In the meantime, I put together a video talking about the van and the various bits of gear and accessories I brought along for the ride.

Todd Domineyvanlife, travel, utah