Baja Sunrise - Transition from Blinding Sun to Stunning Views

Introduction to Our Baja Off-Road Adventure

Welcome to a thrilling recap of our day.  This video specifically covers our day from Loreto to La Paz, a day that started in the dark at 4:00 AM and showcased the striking contrast between the blinding sun and the stunning landscapes of Baja.

On our 1,300-mile Baja Off-Road Adventure in our Can-Am X3 Max, my favorite part was the last three days of driving from San Ignacio to Loreto, Loreto to La Paz, and La Paz to Cabo San Lucas because we traversed the Baja peninsula from the Pacific Ocean on one side over the rugged mountains to the Sea of Cortez on the other. A hurricane had passed through this area before we arrived, making the vegetation unusually green. The video above was shot on our fifth day of driving and was part of a 300-mile jaunt from Loreto to La Paz. We started at 4:00 AM when it was still dark. This is one of my favorite videos for many reasons:

  • The vegetation is unique with tall white trunk trees in the wash and shots of the Can-Am racing through the mesquite flats with trees taller than the vehicle and only a couple of feet on either side, making it very interesting, especially when we would come around a corner and be completely blinded by the sun.
  • While the dust and blinding sunlight were irritating to drive in, they added a ton of character to this video.
  • Just before shooting this video, I had tire trouble which persisted throughout the day.
  • Editing this video was also very challenging and took a tremendous amount of time to adjust the settings to make it look good.

Technical Challenges on the Road

Just before shooting this video, I broke my second factory Can-Am rim (the bead lock bolts broke off and the tire would no longer hold air). This meant I had to borrow a spare from someone else in the group, and unfortunately, it was a rotted-out POS that completely fell apart after multiple falts. I ended up having to borrow yet another spare from someone in the group and eventually had to get a Can-Am dealer in Cabo San Lucas to drive to La Paz to bring me two take-off rims so I could finish the trip.  This act of assistance from the dealer underscores the tight-knit nature of the off-road community and the extraordinary lengths to which its members will go to help one another.  I owe a big Thank You to the two folks in our group who loaned me their spare, and the dealer who brought up the rims from Cabo to La Paz!

Editing the footage

This video was shot in Baja between Loreto and La Paz. We started at 4:00 AM, and between the dust, shadows, and bright sun, this was a difficult video edit. To make matters worse, this once-in-a-lifetime 1,300-mile trip was shot with a GoPro 8, which doesn’t take the best footage for YouTube. (I have now upgraded to multiple GoPro 10’s and 11’s). I had issues with the first few edits of this video, and a person I hired to edit even had a harder time. So, I thought I would share the Adobe Premiere Pro settings that I used for this video. It’s not perfect, but it’s much better than any of the previous edits:

  • Shadow: 32
  • Sharpen: 10
  • Vibrance: 20
  • Saturation: 115
  • Export settings are custom (Exporting at 4K rather than 2K)
  • Frame Size: 3840 x 2160
  • Render Max Depth
  • Max Quality
  • Bitrate Encoding: CBR
  • Target Bitrate: 75
  • Best viewed at 2160p on YouTube

The Beauty and the Beast of Baja

Despite the technical and physical hurdles, the beauty of Baja cannot be overstated. From the lush aftermath of a hurricane to the stunning sunrise that greeted us at dawn, every moment was a testament to the raw beauty of nature and the thrilling pursuit of adventure. This video not only captures the essence of off-road adventure but also the spirit of perseverance and excitement that comes with exploring uncharted terrains.

Join Us for More

If this recount of our Baja adventure excites you, we invite you to watch the full video on our YouTube channel. For a deeper dive into our journey, check out the accompanying detailed blog post and explore our Google Earth map to see exactly where our adventures took place. Stay tuned and join us on more ‘Adventures of a Lifetime’ with AZ Outdoor Adventure!

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