walking

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Today on our road trip we’re driving from Oklahoma City, OK to Roswell, New Mexico. Over the weekend we zipped past the east coast and most of the central time zone with only a few stops. This was intentional because Sue and I wanted to spend most of the time in the south west.¬†The temperatures will be hot but the pictures will be too, amiright? *high five* Really looking forward to the rest of this adventure. Follow along on my instagram stories to see what we’ve been getting up to in real-time.

The image above was taken just a few weeks ago in Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. I loved seeing these little cacti along the walking trails. Every time I saw one, I’d squeal. They’re just so cute. I bet if you were just walking, you wouldn’t even notice them. They aren’t very big and there weren’t very many of them but it’s little details like this that I love photographing. Things other might have passed by but if you really take your time and look around, they’re so fun to see. The sunrise lighting was perfect. Perfectly describes the mood I felt while I was there, happy and warm.

I did not have a macro lens with me on this trip, so I shot this with my 16-35mm wide angle. That was so I could make sure to get enough foreground and background in this shot. My camera settings for this image was f7.1 at 1/25th of a second at ISO 250. My favorite part is seeing the glow on all the plants in this image. Especially the tall purple flowers on the right hand side. Barely noticeable, but it’s there ūüôā And who knows who’s foot prints those are in the very front. They definietly were not mine.

 

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I know I’m skipping around a lot. I just took so many pictures on our trip that it’s difficult to decide where to start. I’m all over the place when it comes to editing, but this one is another one from Rocky Mountain National Park. Can you tell it was my favorite national park that we visited? I really enjoyed the fresh air and the snow-capped mountains. Although you can’t even tell there was snow in this image. It looks like a beautiful spring day, which it was. And you know me, when I see a puddle, I have to check out what reflections I can see out of it. This one was a particularly awesome puddle. It was huge and so reflective. I got a few shots and decided it needed something else. So I asked Andrew to stand there and model for me. This is obviously his best model pose. LOL.

In case you were interested, this was on along the trail walking to Alberta Falls. It was one of the only trails we could confidently walk on. So many of them still had snow on them. And forget about making it to Emerald Lake. It was the ultimate goal but the elevation was so high and there was so much snow still on the ground that it was impossible. We only had sneakers on so we were slipping and sliding all over the place. Note to future self: Always pack hiking boots. Even when you don’t think you’ll need them, it will just make life so much easier.

The settings for this image are F/14 at 1/80th of a second at ISO 400 handheld. If any of you know of a tripod where you can shoot really low to the ground, I mean flush to the ground, please let me know! I’m always finding myself wanting something that can get that low but just haven’t found one yet.

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This one was fun to shoot. My intention was to photograph the Washington Monument and cherry blossoms through the puddle and get a really cool reflection shot out of it. ¬†I didn’t use my¬†tripod because it¬†doesn’t go as low as I’d want and ¬†I couldn’t get the right angle. So I bent down to get low. I figured out the composition using the live view function on my LCD screen. ¬†The lens was hovering right over the puddle.

While I was getting all of that sorted, I didn’t realize I was holding up people behind me. They were being nice and was ¬†trying to avoid getting in my shot by waiting but I figured I’d let them pass because it’d be faster that way. As they were passing and without even thinking, I pressed the shutter. There was no real plan¬†for people¬†to walk through this shot or anything like that but I’m so glad they did. It turned out way better than anticipated.

I then posted this image Saturday night on instagram and almost immediately got a message from the girl in this image! She was saying how after they walked passed the puddle, her and her husband were talking about how cool of a shot that would of been. It’s so funny how all of these things come full circle. I love that they found themselves and I’m even more happy that they like¬†this image.

I’d say my favorite¬†part is the sun burst on the guy’s leg. My eyes keep on drifting¬†to that part of the image and am super grateful how everything lined up so nicely. It looks like I had my¬†own little cherry blossom parade but without all the balloons and streamers. Just some beautiful cherry blossoms and very nice people.

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We ended up taking the bullet train down to Kyoto and spending a night there. Thanks so much to everyone who recommend we do that because that little trip made such an impact. I loved Kyoto. What a great little city with so much history.

So in the little time that we spent in Kyoto, we got to visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine. It was so cool to walk through these torii gates. My favorite part was seeing all the light peak through the individual gates. I also loved the engravings. It was like a little surprised when you turned around.

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I finished reading Big Magic a couple of weeks ago and it’s a book that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about since. If you haven’t read it then I’d highly recommend it. It’s a book for creatives but when it comes down to it, it’s a book for everyone because we all have hidden treasures inside of us. You just have to be brave enough to seek them out. (A little tidbit I learned from the book.)

One of the biggest ideas that I got from this book is that there are other people out there like me! Sometimes you get frustrated or discouraged by your art and sometimes it can be labeled as suffering for your art. Another word to use instead of “suffering” is “dedication”. Dedication to what makes me happy and also what keeps me feeling alive. If an image I created is less than perfect, it’s ok. I’ll still keep on working on it because it’s what I love to do.

“My work loves me as much as I love it.” – Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic.