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Ok so I couldn’t say that White Sands National Monument in New Mexico was my favorite place I traveled to this past year because I LOVEDDDD Colorado. Colorado as a whole is amazing. I felt like every turn we made was something even more beautiful on the other side. I’m pretty sure I said “wow” about a million times. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to spend more time there in 2018. Theres something about those snow capped mountains that gets me so excited.

And among all the beautiful places in the Centennial state is Rocky Mountain National Park. Unfortunately there were parts of the park that was closed due to snow while we were there but still really enjoyed the park in general. That’s just another reason to go back right? This was image was taken on our first sunset there. We arrived to our walk early which meant we were able to take our time and take in beautiful views like this.

But it can be difficult at times finding balance. Photographers, let me know if you feel this way too. Usually when I’m out I feel some sort of pressure to find the right composition with the right lighting and to keep it moving so I don’t always end up with the same shots. But with all of that going on in your head, when do you find the time to just stop and enjoy the sunset? I’ve even heard of photographers saying that the only way they could really enjoy the sunset is just leaving the camera at home. I don’t agree. I think having your camera enhances the experience but there does need to be some sort of balance.

If you want to see more from our adventure, watch this youtube video. Shoutout to cheetos for being so delicious šŸ™‚

My camera settings for this image is f/9 at 1/640th of a second at ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Reflections day 4. Man, this is gettin’ easy.
Check out day 1, 2, and 3

I took this image earlier this summer at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. It was an early morning hike around Bear Lake and the water was so still. It was literally like a mirror when I saw it and immediately knew exactly how I wanted to capture it. I knew that I wanted it to look as if it were printed on a piece of paper and you folded it in half, you would see the exact same thing on either side. Kinda of like what you used to do with paint and paper as a little kid but with nothing else seen especially in the corners. I don’t know why but I was paying particular attention to the corners when I was capturing this. I didn’t want to give it any kind of location context.

A majority of the time, I’d probably want something in the foreground or something to divide it up, but not for this particular image. I wanted it to keep it as simple as possible and just enjoy the beauty of nature. Man, can you imagine what this place looks like now? It’d be so cool if the leaves changed color with this reflection. Praise hands emoji!

After I photographed this image, we ended up hiking around to this side of the lake but it was so difficult. The water levels were really high, there was still some snow on the ground (which you can see little bits of), and it was super muddy. Let’s just say the hike didn’t last too much longer after that. I’m really hoping to go back to Colorado in 2018. I seriously fell in love.

The camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/250th of a second ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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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 linkĀ from the National Park Service pageĀ 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 ofĀ the trip. The sunrise itself wasn’t that great but as soon as the sun cameĀ 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.Ā 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 fetchingĀ 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 womanĀ 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 šŸ™‚

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 itĀ at sunrise or sunset. That would make me so happy.

A big shout out to photography for teaching me to loveĀ the outdoors. Ā 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.Ā Some of my most preciousĀ 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 ourĀ 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. Ā 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.