Every Image has a Story
It’s that time of year where we post images which we think represent our body of work from the past year, the Best of the Best. Usually limited to 12 images, one from each month, it’s really hard to decide which moments from our life to include, which images really speak to us.
Because I’ve been blessed to be able to travel extensively this year, I’ve chosen the images that tell a story. If you’re on my Facebook page, you’ve read some of these stories, laughed at my silly videos, hopefully been inspired to get off the grid and into the world to live your life larger than you ever have, to find your True North, to become the person you’ve always dreamed of being.
I’ve traveled through eighteen states this year, from the foggy West Coast, through the hot dry desert, up into the Rocky Mountains, the Smoky, very smoky, mountains, finally ending up back home after ten years living in Reno just 25 miles from Lake Tahoe, in Sunny, hot, humid South Florida. I thought I might stay in Florida, but the mountains are calling me, there’s more to see, more stories to tell, more beautifully brilliant light filled with vivid color to witness and share.
A Portuguese Man O War lit by the early morning sun.
Dixie National Forest, UT
Cape Royal North Rim Grand Canyon
Deer Creek Lake Dixie National Forest, UT
Crater Lake, OR
Ship Rock, NM
Just before Sunrise on a remote rim of the Grand Canyon
Klamath River, CA
Mossbrae Falls, Dunsmuir, CA
Lake Tahoe East Shore
Lake Tahoe, NV
Commons Beach, Tahoe City, CA
Marlette Lake, NV
Poppies in Amador county, CA
Poppies blooming in California
An Alpine Meadow at Sunset
An Alpine Meadow outside of Truckee CA
An Alpine Meadow outside of Truckee, CA
Tahoe Meadows, Nevada
Snowstorm on the Truckee River
Lake Tahoe East Shore
Finding the perfect place to photograph a scene when you’ve never been in the area before can be especially daunting, especially if it’s pouring buckets of water all over you and your equipment.
I think the hardest thing about photographing a location that’s new to you is finding the best place to set up for sunrise or sunset. You can read other photographer’s blogs, research the area online, map it all out with a pretty good idea of what you want to shoot, find the location, then realize that it’s bigger than what you expected, or the clouds are in the wrong position for what you thought was going to be the perfect composition.
That happened on my first day in Oregon last week. After driving to my hotel in a torrential rainstorm, which felt almost like a hurricane, dropping off my luggage, unpacking, then changing rooms because there was a party going on next door, I finally headed out the door at 4pm. I found the Tom McCall Preserve, and started hiking out into a beautiful field of flowers. The sun was still high, the clouds were thick, the wind was still steady and strong, I had plenty of time, so after an hour of dawdling there, I headed up the trail, passing photographers in another field of flowers that overlooked the Columbia River. Little did I know that I should have stayed there…
The climb up the Rowena Crest Trail was consistently steep, and slippery in a few spots, the rain kept coming and going, and the wind kept the fields of flowers dancing, making it hard to photograph. I kept passing signs that said the path was closed for reconstruction, so somewhere near the top, I turned around to make my way back down to a beautiful area that looked just right for sunset.
By this time, the sun was starting to vanish behind clouds, and I realized that the sunstar I was planning to shoot was going to happen sooner than I expected. I started running downhill.
I stopped when I saw the sun disappear behind the clouds, and pulled out my Sony, which I never use, but it had the wide angle lens on it, so I cranked up the ISO to 1600 to try and freeze the wildly dancing flowers, and hand held these images. I wasn’t where I planned to be, that field was another 5 minutes down the hill, but the light was right, right then, so that’s where I stopped for sunset.
I came back to the open field of flowers that overlooked the Columbia River the next morning for sunrise. It was indeed beautiful, and there were about 20 other photographers spaced out all over the field. Mainly men, (what’s that all about) ? and a few latecomers who kept pacing around looking for the perfect shot, (basically a flower in the foreground that’s facing the camera). One person was still walking around looking for a spot as the sun crested the mountains and washed out the scene, ruining the beautiful soft light that happens during magic hour. Certainly there were still plenty of options for beautiful images, and I stayed there another hour playing with macros and compositions to the west where the sky was deepening into a beautiful blue.
I did hike up to the top of that hill the next day when the winds had finally died down, but that’s another story.