I consider myself pretty lucky these days. The line between work and play has diminished to the point where I find myself doing pretty much the same thing on vacation that I do when I’m on assignment. I’m a photographer through and through. Every getaway is planned just enough to set me on a path that is likely to intersect with inspirational subject matter, but I never know ahead of time exactly what will be on the other side of the lens when I begin releasing the shutter.
My Wife and I made our annual journey to Crested Butte, Colorado last week to see the high alpine wildflowers at their peak. After finding a place to call home for six nights, a powerful thunderstorm descended on the valley and dropped an inch or two of rain. About an hour before sunset, the skies began to clear and I set out into the woods to see what I could capture. At first I found myself struggling find anything but by the end of the outing I had filled the better part of a 16GB data card. The golden hour did not disappoint. I returned to camp after dark. My jeans, sneakers and socks were just as soaked as they would have been if i’d jumped into the river.
Several days after returning to Denver, I found myself immersed in the business of processing seven SDHC cards. As is my routine I began working on the images that I was most excited about, the ones that I anticipated to be the best and I made sure I saved all of the images with potential to the hard drive. As is also my routine, I took one last tour through each of the cards to clear them for formatting (erasing) only to realize that I had hastily written off the images from that cold, wet first night. I had forgotten that in that moment I was inspired by the mood of the evening and I was shooting with a purpose. I very nearly tossed these moments into the trash can. Once again I’m reminded not to judge an image unworthy without first considering why I captured it in the first place.
We had a huge spring weather event in Colorado this week. Two feet of very wet, very heavy snow blanketed the area for 36 hours straight. How could any of the early season color survive? About halfway through the storm I attempted to knock the weight off of our sagging trees and bushes, a exercise in futility. Somehow, some way within a few days most of the flora will pick up right where it was when the snowfall began.
As an artist I can really relate to this scenario. So often I tell myself that I’m just not quite ready to put myself out there. If I wait a little longer, develop my craft a little more…then I’ll be ready. Last night, we celebrated the end of the storm by ordering Chinese food. You probably know about me and my fortune cookies..I take them very seriously. Here’s what I got.
The universe seems to be saying loud and clear “It’s never too early to give it your best shot. Last week, I launched my first ETSY store and I’ve been quite busy stocking the shelves with my art. I’d love it if you would click on the link below, check it out and give me some feedback. While you are there, if you would throw me a “favorite” or two it will really help with my SEO.
Have a great week!
Whew! I barely made the deadline this week but could not blow my 52 week challenge in at #9. This Mantra may not be terribly original but it’s hitting home for me right now. Have a great week!
“From Here To There” ~ Thanksgiving in Southern Colorado
We live in a dynamic, ever-changing world. We can pretend that it doesn’t change all that much and that we can bring back the “good old days”, but we are just fooling ourselves. I shot this photo last Friday morning as I trudged through a foot and a half of fresh powder snow at daybreak. This is the moment that I experience each year where I accept that Summer will not be coming back for a very long time. This is the moment that I accept the cleansing power of the frozen landscape. This is the moment when I look through the storm and the lifting fog and I can see new possibilities. This is how it should be.
I wrote this one before the Broncos beat the Patriots 30-24 in overtime last night. Does it still stand true? Absolutely.
Please feel free to share your #mondaymantra in the comments below.
Colorado State Capital
Twice this past week I have been out the door at zero dark thirty with coffee in one hand, my camera in the other. On both occasions I had a fresh opportunity to see me hometown with a fresh eye and I wanted to share. Yesterday’s agenda was to take my Mom to the train station to put her on the “Zephyr”, bound for Grand Junction where she will spend the Holiday with my Sisters. As I sat there in Union Station, sipping coffee and waiting for the Train, it occurred to me that Denver has matured into a living work of art and so has my Mother. How could I not be inspired?
I’ve been to Moab, Utah region many times and have found with each visit that there is always something new to discover. Potash Road, as I found out during our October trip, is a must see and do. Just North of town near the entrance to Arches National Monument, a road crosses and follows the mighty Colorado River. Vertical red rock canyon walls are Mother Nature’s embellishment to a landscape that is an absolute world of art. Slow down and look a little closer and you’ll find that the Native Americans were inspired to follow suit. Rock Art is everywhere and mostly untouched for centuries except here and there where someone felt to compelled to destroy it.
If you continue up the road beyond the pavement, you will find yourself skirting a number of tailings ponds, leftover from the cold war era uranium mines. You’ll want to make sure you have a high clearance vehicle, preferably four wheel drive because this is no place to have car problems. I didn’t even want to stop to take pictures for fear that we might start glowing in the dark. We continued on up the road and eventually ended up driving through a real life Hollywood movie set (read my recent post “The Accidental Paparazzi”) before climbing up to the entrance of Canyonlands National Park.
Mankind leaves an indelible imprint on the land, there is no way around it. Hopefully, we will learn from past mistakes and strive to make our mark on the world one that says we were a caring and respectful people. If we don’t….well, the handwriting is on the wall.
You know the drill. It happens when you are really hungry, you don’t feel like cooking and you can’t come to terms with exactly what you desire. You pick up the phone and a short while later the door bell rings and you are handed a paper bag that has way more food in it than you can possibly eat in one setting. Chinese Food Rocks and life just doesn’t get much better. Or at least that’s the way you feel until you open up your fortune cookie only to discover a losing Lotto Number on one side and a disappointing message on the other…..WTF.
I have an idea that I’ll share with you if you promise to keep it a secret. In fact, If you want in on the ground floor there is still room for you (just send me a small check to secure your spot). You see, the world wants good fortunes in their cookies and the declining standards of the fortune cookie monopolies have created a ripe business opportunity. I mean, where is the quality control? My case and point are made by my most recent experience. Can you guess which one I kept for myself and which one I gave to the Cat?
My start up will deliver a product that tastes infinitely better than vanilla laced cardboard and every single message will be uplifting and positive. I don’t see how it could fail. Are You In?
Each Fall I find myself struggling to accept the seasonal loss of light and color. The Northern Hemisphere is tilting toward the dark and cold side and there is nothing I can do about it. This year I held on as hard as I could for as long as I could and I’ve stored up the images that I need to sustain me until Spring. Beginning at the end of September, I went on a fall foliage bender like never before. Before it was all said and done, denial fueled a journey to the relatively low elevations of extreme Western Colorado and Eastern Utah.
Alexander Supertram (the camper) at Sand Flats near Moab, Utah
The high desert around Grand Junction and Moab is always visually stunning. Add the colors of fall to the red rocks and big vistas and you have a beauty that is hard to describe. I’ll let the pictures tell the story.
“High Desert Sunrise”
I always love comments and I’m finding that connecting with others is more and more important to my growth as an artist. Please visit and like my Facebook page to keep up with my adventures!