Colorado

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I was talking to my friend, Sue the other day on the phone. We have a lot of the same interests. Cute animal videos, funny memes and travel – so we have a lot to talk about. LOL. We both have done a lot of traveling this year, both together and separately. So we were talking about our favorite places. Obviously, our cross country road trip came up a lot but one thing we both had in common was that we did a lot of traveling within the United States. The best part was that we both had gone to places that we have never been to before.

One of the top places on my list this year was Colorado. I’m not sure how many times I can say this, but I LOVED it. I am definietly going back. This image was taken while I was waiting for the sun to go down at Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. It sort of reminds me of the sheet music for a piano scale. (OMG I can’t believe I just said that. If my mom just read that last sentence, she’d be so proud of me right now. HAHAHA I haven’t touched a piano in like 20 years). The way that the trees on the left flow into the mountains and then right back into more trees. I find the rhythm in this image very interesting. I also really enjoy the subtle streaks in the water. It may take a second to notice but once I saw them, I keep on looking at them.

So cheers to Monday! Cheers to Travel! and Cheers to our next adventure together in Maine, Sue!

My camera settings for this image is 1/160th of a second at F/9 and ISO 125 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Not to call anyone out, but are you a senior citizen? If so, you should definietly know about the new changes to the National Park passes. Starting August 28th, the National Park service is increasing the price of the pass from $10 to $80. So you have exactly 2 weeks to get one if you are old enough. The best part is that you get free admission to any National Park for the rest of your life. That’s a freakin’ deal if you ask me!

Right before our trip to Colorado and Utah, Andrew and I purchased a regular National Park pass. It was $80 and it’s only good for a year. With that trip alone, it paid for itself. A lot of the parks that we went to were $20-$25 admission and the amount of parks we visited paid for the pass within 5 days of our trip. So awesome and convienet. There were even some state parks that accepted the pass too. It’s totally worth it.

So if you’re interested, click on this link from the National Park Service page for more information. Share it with your family and friends too! They will thank you.

This image was taken in Rocky Mountain National Park on our last sunrise of the trip. The sunrise itself wasn’t that great but as soon as the sun came up above the horizon, it turned everything around Bear Lake pink! And that rock in the middle of the water was so beautiful. I knew it would make a great piece for foreground. The perfect way to end our trip even though I really didn’t want it to end. I really enjoyed my time in Rocky Mountain National Park and I look forward to visiting again soon. And any other National Park I visit if a senior citizen wanted to take me. LOL JK.

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Soon after this image was taken, this lady got yelled at for letting her dog go into the water. LOL! Aw man!

It was literally picture perfect. This girl was just relaxin’, having a great time with her dog and that awesome hat she was wearing. The dog was having a blast swimming into the middle of the water and fetching the stick. The snow capped mountains, beautiful weather, both of them were loving life. It was seriously like a scene straight out of a movie. But after getting yelled at, the park service woman told them about another body of water that was close by that dogs were allowed to swim in – so it was all good by the end of the day 🙂

But looking at this image, it still gives me that calm/relaxing feeling that I never want to end. Next time I visit Colorado, I definietly want to make sure we spend more time in Aspen. It looked like such a cute little town with beautiful scenery. Best part is that Maroon Bells is just 15 minutes away from the town. I’d love to capture it at sunrise or sunset. That would make me so happy.

A big shout out to photography for teaching me to love the outdoors.  I don’t think I would have been able to appreciate it as much as I do now if it weren’t for photo. It has allowed me to go to places I would have never imagined and meet some amazing people along the way. Some of my most precious memories have been from exploring the outdoors and trying to capture its beauty.

My camera settings for this image is F16 at 1/400th of a second ISO 200. I pulled out my 16-35mm wide angle to make sure I captured the entire scene.

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This summer has been so good so far. I’ve been to more new-to-me places in the United States these past few weeks then I ever have in my whole entire life. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! So grateful.

And our trip to Colorado seemed like it was so long ago but it really wasn’t. It was just the jump off to so many amazing adventures. I had a blast just driving around and checking out the sites. Beautiful mountain ranges at every turn. I remember purposely staying awake in the car so that I could see more of Colorado and once we hit Utah, I was out like a light bulb. LOL.

So this image was taken at one of our many pull over stops. I have no clue where it was but I just really enjoyed the cloud formations and the way the light was hitting the mountains. Can you imagine seeing this on your daily commute? That’d be bananas. I feel like after this trip, I am much more in awe of snow capped mountains than I am of any beach or anything like that.

I really don’t know what it’s like in the winter time but if it weren’t too bad, I’d definietly consider living in Colorado for a little while. That’s how much I liked it. So if you’re reading this and you have experienced the winter in Colorado, let me know! Is the snow just ridiculous? Would I have to get a SUV? What do you do in the winter time besides ski? These are the questions I need answered before I move.  The weather while we were there in the beginning of June was absolutely perfect! The air was so crisp and clean. Perfect weather to walk around or enjoy a meal outside.

 

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So here it is, the deer story! As Andrew I were walking around Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park around sunset, we noticed about 3 or 4 deers drinking the water. I thought it was the cutest thing ever and from a distance, I started taking pictures. Then we noticed some other people even closer to the deer walking towards them. The deer didn’t seem to be scared or anything because they didn’t run away, so after witnessing that, I wanted to go closer, obviously.

We slowly walked closer to them and noticed that there were so many more than just 3 or 4. There were like at least 10 of them! AND there were some baby deer too. They were sooooo cute. Pretty soon there was a big group of us people surrounded by all these deer! I’ve seen deer before but not this many at one time and never this close up and calm. All of us were taking pictures but moving really slow to not scare the deer. But eventually, after standing there for about an hour observing the deer, the sun had set and it was getting dark fast.

Andrew and I decided to break away from the pact of people and continue on to the trail to walk back to the car, but the deer had another idea. As soon as one of them saw us walking past them, he started CHARGING AT US!!! OMG scariest ish EVER! So I ran towards Andrew, looked behind at the deer and he CHARGED AT US AGAIN!!!! By the third time he charged at us, Andrew and I had ran so far down the lake that we put everyone else in between us and the deer. At one point, we heard this lady scream “Stop Running!” In my head, I was like ‘lady, are you crazy?!?!’

After freaking out for 20 minutes, I confessed to Andrew that I had made eye-contact with the deer and that’s probably why he charged at us. Oh man. Never again deer! So we ended up back tracking and taking the long way back to the car.

The best part is that I got the beginning of the first charge on video! It will be up on youtube soon but I stopped recording as soon as I realized what was happening. Biggest regret- turning off my camera 🙁 Oh well, I got a little bit of it that I will share soon….

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We arrived in Estes Park, right outside of Rocky Mountain National Park around dinner time. So naturally, our first stop was to get some pizza. OMG you need to try this place called Antonio’s Real New York Pizza. The pizza was outstanding! And believe me, I’ve had a few slices in my day and I really liked this pizza. And to walk off all those calories we headed to Sprague lake right after dinner in Rocky Mountain National Park.

It’s a super easy walk around the lake thats about a mile long. It was perfect because each side of the lake provided some amazing views. Good thing I had my neutral density filter with me because the sunset wasn’t actually as vibrant as this image makes it look. The clouds were looking very nice but the longer exposure by the ND filter really brought out that extra umph of color that it really needed. It also helped that it was a very calm and peaceful evening with not a lot of wind to create ripples in the water. So if you’re a fan of reflection shots, Rocky Mountain National Park has tons of them. From all the lakes to puddles. Everything is just so reflective and beautiful. You would love it.

The settings for this image was F5/6 at 1.6 seconds at ISO 400. I used my 16-35mm wide angle lens to try to capture as much of the scene as I could. I didn’t have my tripod on this one but I managed to find a good ledge to balance this on. The key is to try to get your camera body and lens to stabilize on something to make sure theres no extra shake. If your lens isn’t leaning against something or supported somehow, it probably won’t work out as well.