Tuesday, December 31, 2019

19 from '19 a year in Images

Zoroaster Window
Now that the new year is almost upon us, I have been looking back at some of the images I've created the past twelve months. Creatively speaking, this has been a pretty good year for image making for me. I had one of the most memorable epic trips, river rafting the Grand Canyon for my birthday. I revisited and backpacked to some remote hoodoos in Escalante National Monument. I became heavily involved at the Sedona Photography Symposium.  My involvement with the fine folks in Sedona landed me a fun trip to the Valley of Fire in Nevada. It was also the hottest place I had ever been in April, clocking in at 97 in the shade.   I wrote and self-published a book on photographing the Grand Canyon, which received positive reviews, as well as a successful presentation at the Sedona Camera Club. I created some interesting night images, as well as some intimate ones as well.

The year started off with a winter trip to the Grand Canyon.  There were some areas that I had to shoot to fill some gaps in my book, and I came away with images that really showcased the canyon in the season.

Click on the images to enlarge them!

I was packing up my gear getting ready to head to dinner since the canyon was full of clouds, then this ephemeral window opened up revealing Zoroaster Temple in spotlight. There are a few wondrous events that I've witnessed this year and this remains at the top of the list.

Canyon Snow and Stars
 Later that evening, the storm began to clear, and the moon and stars began to make their appearance. This was one of those evenings that I was glad to be in the right place at the right time.

Saguaro Startrails
 Spring in the desert started off with a bumper crop of wildflowers. I found this field near Horseshoe Reservoir.  I had envisioned saguaros with star trails, but was treated to moonlight and wildflowers in the scene as well.
Firestone Arch
I found this image scurrying around in the rocks at Valley of Fire looking for things to shoot in the early morning shade. Like the famous Windstone Arch from David Muench, the delicate sandstone structures and warm and cool tones made this image stand out for me.

Tower of Silence Startrails
A hike in the back country of Escalante got me close to some hoodoos. I camped overnight with some interesting characters.  Needless to say, I didn't get that much sleep.

Ghost Hoodoos
Newsey Hoodoo

Humphreys Peak Milky Way
Since Milky Way photos are so in vogue lately, I thought I might try some new gear a at a reflecting pond near home. The coyotes were not too happy to share their turf.

Seven Sacred Pools Sunburst
Hanging around Sedona so much, gave me the opportunity to spend time among the red rocks. I made this image after a meeting on a beautiful December afternoon.
Sedona Snag
                 I found this interesting snag on a hike up Cathedral Rock one spring afternooon.

About the Hunt
Evidence of Ancient Puebloans can be found everywhere around Sedona, if you know where to look. I spent most of an afternoon looking for this pictograph panel near Palatki ruins. 
Fall on the Creek
A visit to West Fork this fall was a nice hike.  It did begin to get crazy as word was out about the great colors this year.
The Portals
 My final trip during the Solstice helped re-align my Shakra, and got me this image, a panorama made from five images in this famous cave.

Nankoweap Granary

I made this pano of ancient Anasazi ruins in the bottom of the Grand Canyon,  from three images, now weighing in at 55 megapixels!  I've wanted to visit these ruins for years and was stoked I got to get there.

Patio Falls

I really wasn't familiar with this little slot canyon hike above Deer Creek Falls, but man when I got there my eyes were poppin' and my camera clickin'.  This little area called The Patio had Deer Creek cascading through the slots.

Marble Canyon Reflection
Little Elves Falls

Canyon Rafts at Night
Maple on Ice
Lastly I made this image across the street in the Rio de Flag.  I rescued a leaf from a maple tree a few feet away and placed it on the delicate ice after the first freeze.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

My Book Review

On November 1st I awoke to an email stating that my book I had submitted had been reviewed by David Hay at Landscape Photography Magazine. It was a really great review, and it felt really good to be recognized by a credible publication. Thanks Landscape Photography Magazine!

Here is the review.  Landscape Photography Magazine is subscription only, and only available online and sadly not in print form.

Presentation at Sedona Camera Club

On October 28th I had the chance to present two presentations of my choosing to the Sedona Camera Club.   I chose to do present a how to called Inside Self-Publishing, The Dos and Don'ts and What I did.   It was a 35 minute presentation on how I created my own self published hard copy and eBook on A Guide to Photographing the Grand Canyon National Park from the South Rim.  The other presentation was called Inside Inspiration. It was a 40 minute presentation on the ways and means I get and stay inspired as a landscape and travel photographer. The presentations went really well, the small venue was packed and the audience was engaged.   It also gave me a chance to sell some books!  Awesome.  Thanks Sedona Camera Club! 

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Rafting the Grand Canyon of the Colorado

Earlier this year in January I got the wild idea that Kristi and I should take a once in a lifetime trip rafting the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.  I looked at a few rafting companies and found a trip that put in the river on my birthday in September.  I booked the trip through Hatch River Expeditions.  We got to see all the highlights, ride in the front of the raft the whole trip and eat really great food.  Definitely the trip of a lifetime.  And I took some really great images as well.

Canyon Reflections

Nankoweap Granary

Elves Chasm

Sedona Photography Symposium

At the end of August this year I helped the Sedona Photography Symposium get off the ground with it's first annual event.  A year and a half ago at the Moab Photography Symposium I approached the founder Sarah Dolliver and offered to volunteer at the event.   In April she asked me if I would be interested in serving on the board, and to help in the planning and running the event at the Sedona Creative Life center. I offered to help set up chairs, and make coffee.  I did that and much more. It was a great event and I got to meet and hang out with some of my favorite landscape photographers such as Erin Babnik, Kurt Budlinger, Adam Schallau, Suzanne Mathia, Cole Thompson, and David Cobb. 

Erin Babnik conversing with Elaine Belvin at J Wine Bistro
I took some pretty nice images as well.

Secret Slickrock
Crescent Moon Barn

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

What is it we are chasing?

 “It is in fact not our dream that makes us happy, 

but chasing that dream!” - Mehmet Murat Ildan 

It's been a year now that I've left my full time job.  Stuck in a tiny office with no window to the outdoors, sucking paint fumes, and fielding the constant influx of unhappy people, I had enough. I couldn't bare another day daydreaming while viewing my computer screen, gazing at images of the outdoors, adventure and travel.   

Indeed it has been a great year, full of photography and travel. I've even had time to put pen to paper and write ( but not as much as I'd like ).  I'm still dreaming though.  I dream of the day I can call myself a full time photographer (or my bank account can). Somehow the dream is just out of arms reach, the proverbial carrot in front of the goat.  But what is it that I'm really chasing?

I've spent more days in the field this year than all the other years put together. I spent a whole week chasing rainbows. A month chasing fall colors, then two chasing ice.  A month chasing tides and sunsets, and weeks in sandy deserts. It was... dreamy.

Surely it is what photographers do, chasing, always chasing. We're chasing opportunities, and expectations. Chasing high hopes for moving experiences, and award winning photographs.    Chasing likes on social media accounts, and schmoozing people at art fairs for attention (or a dollar).

Reality is beginning to take hold.  Maybe I'll never stop chasing. Or maybe I'm not chasing, I'm really running away. You only live once, the fear of missing out, old YOLO and FOMO.  That sense of urgency.  Maybe I've placed more attention on living in the moment instead of planning for the future. Certainly that's what my dad would have thought, were he still alive.   Seeing him slip away, however, flipped a switch in my brain.  I was watching myself pass away in front of my eyes. Life is too damn short.  I put the clipboard of insurance property loss away, and ran away to deal with my own losses. I think I've earned that, at least.

Maybe I'm just a crazy man trying to catch raindrops, but I'm happier chasing the dream.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

On Landscape- The Toadstools of Escalante

 I am happy to announce an article I've written can be found the the 177th issue of On Landscape Magazine.  This subscriber supported magazine is a repository of photographic artistry, with very thought provoking articles. My article is a reader submission to their 4x4 gallery, featuring a four image portfolio of a related subject. 

Again, the magazine is online and subscription only. If you enjoy nature photography it is well worth the couple of bucks a month.

On Landscape