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Exposure: Alex Washburn looks for where the Autopista Ends


Some photographers are so driven, so passionate, and so adventurous they can inspire people around the world. Alex Washburn is one of them. And I should know, I went to school with her.

A year ago, she was working as a photographer for when she told me about this crazy idea she had about getting on a motorcycle and riding from San Francisco to the tip of South America. The craziest part about this idea? She decided to do it. 

In October, she and her boyfriend Nathaniel left their jobs, put their stuff in storage and sent their cat to live with Alex's mom. Then, they got on their motorcycles and started riding. 

Right now, Alex is somewhere in the middle of Colombia, using whatever spotty Wi-Fi connections she can find to upload photos to her Instagram account. Every once in a while, they get a chance to upload blog posts and videos to their website. Follow her if you want to read about how to pack a DSLR in the shadiest looking way possible, avoid scammers at border crossings, and MacGyver a motorcycle back to working condition.

Their journey, titled "Autopista End," (autopista is highway in  Spanish) is ongoing. Check out a few of my favorite photos so far:


Total comments: 23

Great adventure you are on! Jack Kerouac and Hunter Thompson are smiling down on you!


Love these choice pics as examples. Wish I was there with you. Be extra alert (You know what I mean).
Crystal Gold.


blacdove, "Autopista" is the spanish name for highway


Thank you.
I did read the article all the way to the last line (and even looked at the blog!); though still unsure what any of it has to do with exposure ¿exposición? except in that cynical commercial sense.
Again, pleasant images but I'm missing the substance; why the Exposure on this pre-eminent photographic website? The blog appears to be (quite rightly) a travel blog with images adding colour & texture - but light on photographic info.
The Autopista I'm on is to find out how people use this medium to best effect and this journey even includes developing a better understanding of the limits of exposure!


Many people have made such trips - even I joined in one back in 1981. Some write books or publish their intent for commercial reasons, some just do it for the fun.

Part of my journey can be seen at:

Re Ferling and fuego6 - too true, I was fortunate to stumble across the opportunity, something I am forever grateful for.


Pleasant photos but was perplexed by article as I took the headline to indicate that someone from the connect team was investigating exposure and the limitations of auto settings 'Autopista' (you're always introducing terms I've never heard of)! Alas, I discover an article about a talented 20-something with no anthropogenic responsibilities sending photos back from Interzone ... Oh well. Hopefully there's the genesis for a wothwhile article in this comment for all us dslr shooters?

Barney Britton

Alex is a DSLR shooter - I suggest taking a look at her blog.

1 upvote

She made the right choice by going when she's young and able, free from the burden and responsibility of raising a family, (imagine doing these things in one's retirement years when the joints are failing and the heart is weak).

It's ok to have your dessert as the first course of the meal. I applaud her decision and wish her well.

1 upvote

I agree... wish I had taken such an adventure when I was young... now, life responsibilities, mortgage, kids, pets, etc... forget about it. LIVE LIFE YOU YOUNG FOLKS!!!!!

1 upvote

Young? I have 45, no mortgage, no kids (but a wife), no pets. Few life responsibilites, just about myself and my wife without taking care so much for the future, We living freelance, taking (any) job during our non stop traveling.
Off course, I can't buy the last Canikon, but find with my NEX-3 so many subjects to shot. Big IQ camera doesn't really matter for me.
Everyone doesn't take the same road on a life.
My salutation to all from my tropical island!


Buena idea pero ten cuidado con tu vida, hay partes muy peligrosas ahí , y no me refiero solamente al tráfico.


huh.. that video of endless miles after miles passing those cargo trucks are scary..never seen such a long convoy of trucks here in the US in a two-way lane. But you guys i bet hadn't anticipate those scene. you guys rock living at the edge.


I 'm glad Alex knows the country is Colombia not Columbia….bueno me gustan las foticos.


Very nice, but hardly "stunning"

Kid Plutonium

These days everything is 'stunning' or 'amazing' and I'm so gullible. I always click on the links and end up disappointed.


On a KLR? Never make it! Kidding of course, very jealous.

1 upvote

yes, your life sure is boring.


Better than yours, loser.


Kindly post more picture from Alex..pls.

2 upvotes're awesome!!!! someday i'll do that too...

1 upvote

Wow, If I was young that sounds like a great idea. One of the "Bucket List" thingy's.

1 upvote

Will be a great adventure I'm sure. After seeing so many great images on this forum and FM maybe my expectations are too high.

1 upvote
Total comments: 23
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