Mt. Tom - Eastern SierrasI will write more about this spot later, but again, the Owens Valley and the Eastern Sierras are pretty magical. I think, in all honesty that this is where I will want to be living in a few years. There is so much to explore just in this region: Ancient Bristlecones, Mono Lake, Mammoth Lake, Yosemite, Mt. McKinley, honestly the list goes on and on. I learned about Robb Hirsch, a photographer from the region whose work I recognized, but knew nothing about personally. He was killed in a plane crash, along with his wife who was piloting the single-engine plane, but they both left behind a legacy of art and philanthropy in the region that will long outlive them. This particular peak is Mt. Tom. It creates a beautiful backdrop for the town of Bishop, California, and all of the Upper Owens Valley.
Mt. Tom Post B&WFence lines seem to say something to me. I'm not sure what, yet.
In Situ5000 years of history. This was one of the biggest shocks of the trip. I've seen many petroglyphs panels, and stumbled upon some that few know about. Sky Rock is well documented, but it's location is kept quiet. Archeology wasn't on the itinerary when I set out, but I'd read about this site before, and when I realized how close it was, and that I wasn't going to exploring Yosemite from the east, I had to scratch this itch. I won't say where it is. It took about six hours to find it. I'll show Andrew and Tanner where it is, when we take our trip to see Methuselah and Hyperion.California, you hold so many treasures.
Redwoods State and National ParksThis is the place where you can feel the world breathing... I will never stop being amazed by these trees. #riotofcolours
Moss...Green, it just drips from here. Breath it in, exhale it out.
The wonder of wavesChaos and symmetry, and it seems simultaneous. The outcrop that contains Thor's Well has many points and fissures, and with the incoming tides, gusting winds and muddy light, this moody palette was created. I'll hopefully catch a colorful sunset over Cape Perpetua, until then I'll take the ocean's darker moods.
Bridal Veil FallsAlong the Columbia Gorge dozens of waterfalls carry the ever melting snow away from Mt. Hood. Each fall is obviously unique, but something timeless does connect them, maybe that's why it's easy to view them over and over. I want to mention here that I did take some still images, images that actually freeze motion. My preference though is a long-exposure image like the ones I have here (obviously.) The long-exposure it more technical, but really boils down to trial, error and patience. The blur is how I think most people see water moving, to me showing the motion is makes the experience of the image more real.
ObscurityThis had started out as a “great escape” road trip. Getting on the motorcycle for a week or so, just to get out of my routine, to see some new parts of the west. I'd hope to revisit other places now with a new “photography” perspective, trying to emphasize the art in the photograph instead of simply documenting what I encountered. With the school year coming to a close and with a new relationship forming, the excitement of this prospect was making me giddy, even if a bit reckless, too.The planning of the trip evolved from a solo motorcycle journey, with an emphasis on riding, to a trip that would include a partner for at least a part of the time. This meant ditching the motorcycle in favor of four wheeled comfort, and it also meant that “more stuff” would be going along. I could bring all of my photography gear and truly take my time with some thoughtful images. The destinations were easy to choose; Grand Canyon, Yosemite, San Francisco, the coast of Oregon, Portland, and Crater Lake. Some things old, somethings new, it felt like a nice balance of “adventure” and places where a couple could enjoy being a couple.
Fairy Tale FallsThis was the second waterfall of the day. Composition is off on this, but the water is just about perfect.
Wiesenberger FallsIn my mind, this is my best waterfall picture of the trip. I walked into the pool as another group was leaving, so I had time to work on getting it right. The solitude and the calm seeped in. I started losing count of the images, and repositioned the shoot more than once, and with the water splashing and the lens misting over and another group coming in, and the 6 miles I'd already hiked wearing on me, I shot one more image, this one, and it is the best.
Tributaries...Needless to say, with Mt. Hood as the source, gravity doesn't have much to do to carry the melted snow the short distance down to the Gorge and into the Columbia River. Just beautiful.
Latourell FallsPicturesque falls, with soft, setting sun. Not as creative an image in hindsight, but one that I enjoy more and more.
Multnomah FallsEveryone goes to Portland, everyone takes a picture of Multnomah... It's beautiful, and the tallest falls in Oregon, it is photo worthy.
Ponytail FallsI really couldn't take all of the pictures I wanted. By this point I'd been on the road for two and a half weeks, and I was tired. Ponytail was the last waterfall of the trip. Lower Oneonta Falls, and the Oneonta Gorge are in the neighboring valley and I'm genuinely disappointed I didn't take the extra hour to seek them out.I am happy with this photo though, I will be printing it for myself.
Mirror LakeA sinuous road travels through the heart of the Medicine Bow mountains. It is called the Snowy Mountain Parkway, and even though is shorter than I wish, its views are grand, and its impressions even grander. Nestles along this track is Mirror Lake. This was my first chance to photograph the lake, even though I have ridden past it many, many times. It brought out its best, and lived up to its name.
How the light fadesCounting days to fall colors, but enjoying the quiet moments of summer’s end. Taken from the highest point on the Snowy Mountain Parkway, in the heart of the Medicine Bow mountains.
Medicine Bow Sunset - Libby FlatsAt the highest elevation on the Snowy Mountain Parkway is the Libby Flats overlook. It is a serene spot most times, this particular night, with orange and lavender and a darkening sky, is one I’ll hold on to for a long while.
Medicine Bow PeakNot the highest point in the Medicine Bow, but an iconic peak and framing in its own right. To patiently wait out the sun, to let it’s final rays trace the ground, illuminating lichens and moss, and reminding the grasses that they will grow again.
Midnight - Mirror LakeThis seemed more appropriate than “midnight in the garden of good and evil,” but it was midnight and the rising moon, though not washing out the stars, was creating creating beautiful light and shadows. Mirror Lake was the calmest I've ever scene it, reflecting in a supernatural way.
Medicine Bow Sunset - Libby Flats
Pine River Light - Lake MichiganMy favorite lighthouse.
Pine River“Going home” can mean so many different things. I first moved to Charlevoix when I was just 5, entering into a new town, home and school, all in the same week. But “home” is what Charlevoix became. Raising pets, long solitary walks, triumphs brought on strong, boyhood camaraderie, and grief borne on broken families. But yes, all of it is still “home.” There are still moments when there’s no place I’d rather be.
Round LakeA not so pale, Thanksgiving morning.
Myakka LakeMesmerizing still doesn’t do this sunset justice… No tricks, just a stillness that lasted well into the dark.
New Orleans - Crescent City ParkJames had a 50th birthday. James and Wendy wanted to have a nice dinner with their closest friends for James’ 50th birthday. James and Wendy wanted to have the nice dinner with their friends, in New Orleans! So, 13 of us headed to the Big Easy to help James celebrate! Certainly not my strength, the city, it’s parks, cemeteries, Oak trees and architecture gave me the chance to play with new compositions and subject, and take in more amazing food in a weeks time then I have in a very, very long time!
Jackson Square The rising sun sneaking through the green.
Jackson Square - DawnSite of the oldest cathedral in America, New Orleans 300 year history is evident at every turn.
Royal Street - DawnThis “spring,” as the locals call it, has been flowing for nearly six months. The city intends to repair it, soon. Until then may more talented photographers find it, and take full advantage of to clear, beautiful reflections.
French Quarter - Blue HourJust one reason to go back… this style of shot has intimidated me as a photographer, but the abundance of compositions in the French Quarter had me excited to seek them out, and style them the best I could. Truly, a motivation to return.
French Quarter - Royal StreetYes, we did see Bourbon Street, yes we did see it at night, but there’s so much more to the French Quarter than Bourbon Street. 300 year old architecture, amazing food and throngs of tourists all add to the interest! But my favorite in the French Quarter? Royal Street.
Oak Row - Audubon ParkAnother signature sight in New Orleans are the Oak trees. City Park is home to an 800-year old specimen, but many of the giant oaks are the city are 300 plus years, predating the city itself.This long row, along the west side of Audubon Park created this composition. I can only image the glowing morning light, and a low fog mixed into this scene.
DenizensFamilies each must wait their turn. The fact that New Orleans is below water means it’s impossible to bury the dead. The crypts serve families for generations, with bones piling onto of bones as the years pass by.
City Park - OakCity park is home to the oldest trees in the city, the oldest having survived Hurricane Katrina, and countless other coastal storms. I walked right passed the oldest tree, the Tree of Life as it’s known, but found this one out of the way, standing guard over the eastern side of the park.
French Quarter - Final MorningThat quiet dawn, always rewarding, never a loss for surprises.
French Quarter - Gas LightYes, a gas light! Many of the buildings in the French Quarter still illuminate their fronts with gas lanterns. The flickering glow is a welcome contrast to the crushing of the modern world.
French Quarter - Waking UpThe streets get cleaned every other day, in alternating order, east-west one day, north-south the next, and so on. Walking around early, between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m., the Quarter is quiet, deliveries for the day’s needs are taking place, and a sense of place settles in; this place is old, and it’s stories are rich.
Lake PontchartrainI truly did not expect this when heading out to the lake. This was my final stop for the trip, and getting there a welcome surprise
Crescent City ParkNot a very long exposure, but a just over a second and a half, the water is a little smoother, the glow behind the city a little softer. The sun streaking across the water and onto the concrete are more comforting elements for me; this city offers a little bit of everything.
New Orleans - SunsetI did not get a chance to get all of the footage that I had wanted. Just a couple of quick time-lapse down by the river, but this trip was less about photography and more about exploring and time with friends.
River WalkThe river is very high right now, in March, 2019. There has been flooding up and down the Mississippi as heavy rains compound already melting snows in the north. My first night on the river I watched a mother, who probably went through a similar ritual as a child, teach her daughter about impermanence and how to gracefully let go. Throwing a cherished bouquet in the river, even as her daughter cried protested, the mother spoke to her calmly about the losses that others have experienced, and that respecting the river and respecting time were of utmost importance. It seemed initially like a terrifying lesson, but reflecting now, it seems an appropriate one; we all lose things, and people, and time. How we accept these losses determines our course.
French Quarter - Morning RainThe streets can be clean, even if momentarily.
Taos MountainThe last of the high clouds capturing and reflecting the falling light.
Rio Grande - John Dunn BridgeKit Carson made his men swim across it, that or they had to travel a 70 more miles north to find a reasonable place to cross the river. The John Dunn Bridge is a lonely old relic, but a perfect perch to watch the light invade the canyon. In slower years the river would have already been full of boat traffic, but with the record run-offs, few were yet daring the water.A long exposure shot of a 10 seconds; enough time to see the motion, but not so much to loss the force of the river.
Gorge of the Rio GrandeI don’t always have concrete ideas on where I want to go, and what I want to see. Three weeks into my summer and I started to feel pretty restless, and I started to feel that my photography needed some different challenges. I’ve made an effort to stay local, and pick out compositions in and around Denver that I might normally ignore, but the two quick trips that I’ve make with Andrew and Tanner this month had left me wanting to see more.There were two routes that I have traversed yet; one in Colorado, Cordova Pass, and one in New Mexico, the Valle Vidal. So, getting an itchy feeling to travel, I packed, and headed south. I did stop in Colorado Springs to photograph a sunset over the Garden of the Gods, and then journeyed on in search of wildflowers. The big Crested Butte festival is coming up, and I wanted to practice my com positioning skills, and further test a new lens. From the outset of the trip, Taos was a “maybe.” I ended up there late in the afternoon and wondering which part of the river to see and hoping for big, fluffy, New Mexico clouds. Well, I figured out the part of the river to shoot, but no clouds arrived. Wildfires were dampening the mood, and surprisingly added a much needed glow.
Rio Grande Gorge - BendingThe rivers course taking a long, slow bend; Pinon holding on, steadying to progress, not resisting, simply absorbing the change in course.
Cactus and GorgeShooting with a very fast, telephoto prime lens, the Sony 85/F1.4 GM, the flowers standout in a way that otherwise shown them as the tiny things they are. The bridge in the background is over a mile away, and the hanging 800 feet above the river.
Rio Grande Gorge - Scale650 feet above the river, two football field lengths. Impressive and imposing.
Albuquerque Ballon Fiesta - IBreak in the clouds… October 5th, 2019
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta - IIThe first morning did not include the mass ascension, as a fog swept in over the river valley knocking out visibility for the pilots and chase crews. But the spectacle of the the crews rehearsing their well choreographed maneuvers and lifting this giants skyward was not less spectacular. The 18,000 BTUs of heat adds to the festive mood and gives a welcome blast of warmth from many feet away.
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta - IIIFogged down, October 5th, 2019
Albuquerque Ballon Fiesta - IVMass ascension, October 6th, 2019
Albuquerque Ballon Fiesta - VThis image has a story, like most all of them do, and sometimes it’s hard to honor the history and support the story at the same time. What I can definitively say is that I have a photo of my dad and one of my brothers, in field of balloons that are about to launch. I know that photo was taken in the early 80’s, and I know it was in one of three locations, but that is all I know.I can’t get the answers to any of those questions because the two people who could answer them are both gone. It’s a funny thing this affair with photography, it can give use so many details, while at the same time very little information. That was my motivation. Maybe not to find that answers, but to find the emotion. I wept during the early morning launches, and I’m really not sure why. Was it for the sure beauty, or just finding a little sliver of the answer, or maybe just to spend time with those who know.
Albuquerque Ballon Fiesta - VIMass ascension, October 6th, 2019
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta - VIIDawn Patrol - October 6th, 2019
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta - VIIIDawn Patrol - October 6th, 2019
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta - IXDawn Patrol - October 6th, 2019
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta - XThe night event is called the Balloon Glow, and do they ever glow.
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta - XIThe night event is called the Balloon Glow, and do they ever glow.
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta - XIIThe night event is called the Balloon Glow, and do they ever glow.