Road to the Rockies


It’s been a while since I posted, miss me? Moving to a new state and starting a new job, turns out, is pretty time-consuming. Who would’ve thought? I have had to put my photography on a bit of a back-burner, but I hope to get things going again here soon! I was out in the Rockies this last weekend and it was amazing.

The shot below is a small step in the right direction. I hope to better hone my landscape skills out here with such ample subjects!

Road to the Rocky Mountains

Snow? What’s that?


Coming from the deserts and beaches of California, we aren’t too familiar with snow….fast forward to us living in Colorado and that is quickly changing! We find ourselves going outside in heavy snow to just wander around and be in it, which is fun! Totally new life experiences for us that I am glad we will be able to look back on.

 

My snow princess!

Snow Princess

Change has most certainly arrived


Well here we are 2 months into 2014 and I have been dealt my first large dose of change. I can’t say that I am entirely surprised, there was a part of me that knew this could happen any moment for the last 3 years. However, surprised or not, it is hard to be fully prepared for change…that’s why it’s called change! The best I can do is be as ready as I can with how to process a life blip.

Different can be scary, and right now it is scary. 

But, there is this other part of me, deeper inside me and not in my moment to moment thoughts, that knows this is good.Why? Because I value personal growth, rebirth, newness. Not in theory, but in reality and practical terms. I know that from this tearing down of my once manicured routine, I have the opportunity to reshape and rebuild – to grow. Sure I could have done this on my own before, but I didn’t. Now, I have been lovingly ‘kicked out the door’ to make this happen, ready or not.

Well, I’m ready.

This is not a crossroads. Full steam ahead into my great unknown.

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The Road Less Traveled, Literally


(Click to enlarge)

On my recent trip to Maui, my wife and I “found” a road that unexpectedly turned out to be one of my favorite adventures of the trip. We were looking to get back to a certain part of the island and the GPS kept taking us back through what looked like the long way. Going the ‘short’ way was never shown as an option…I thought “hmmm, well now I just have to see for myself if there is a road this way, because it just looks closer on the map.” That and I like exploring, so this intrigued me. I soon found out why the GPS never gave this route as an option.

This was a fantastically scenic route, but it was also a fantastically SCARY route! The road quickly turned into a two-way road, but with barely enough room for one car… for miles and miles. Luckily, not many people were on this road, either from all the mainlanders blindly following the GPS’ instructions or because they have taken it once before and swore to never voluntarily take it again! However, there were a few cars on the road and these few were enough to really make me sweat. [The video below is a short clip showing the moment where we faced oncoming vehicles on a very narrow road, rocky cliff side on the right and a straight drop on the left.] Luckily I found a small indentation in the mountainside and backed my perfectly pint-sized Nissan Versa into it, allowing for barely enough room for a couple of cars to squeak by. Mind you that the trusty Versa was not my first car choice, nor my second. Or third. In fact, I literally told the rental car attendant when she came back with my keys and told me my choice that “I hate that car.” Little did I know that it would take me almost 800 miles in a week and through the edge of insanity, above the clouds to the top of a volcano, and miles into “4×4 only” country to see a Hawaiian Red Wood forest. By the end of the trip, I had a deep respect for that little car!

But I digress.

When it was all said and done, I would definitely take this wild road again. There was a spot at the top that just seemed magical. Isolated on the top of a Hawaiian cliff with the ocean and valley surrounding each side of me, along with rolling grassy hills and the best tropical winds you can imagine. All at dusk. Does it get any better? I will save you the guessing, it doesn’t. I think the crazy road allowed for this place to stay special and isolated. The shot above (best viewed large) was taken at this spot as my wife took a moment to take in the scenery. This little spot will stay with me for some time for two reason: It felt totally tranquil, serene even. And almost dying for 2 hours straight has had a strange effect of burning the experience deep into my psyche!!

If you get a chance, take the road less travelled. You might will be glad you did.

This picture below is when we successfully returned from our experimental off-road journey to the Red Wood forest! Notice the sign…but more importantly notice the thumbs-up!

Versa

Before & After


I recently took a business trip to Calgary, AB Canada and, of course, took my camera. I still plan on posting a few more pics from the trip, but in the meantime, I had to share this Before & After image. The image below was captured at approximately 7:30pm in a rural park. It was very dark outside, but I had a fast lens (F1.4) on my camera and knew I would be able to extract some light; not to mention I shoot in the RAW format and this allows me to drastically adjust exposure to my own liking.

The park was so quiet, calm, and even serene. Being born and raised in the desert in Southern California only added to the spectacle I was experiencing. I snapped the shot below and knew I had a decent image, but I knew I would have to wait until I got it onto the computer to really see what I got. I was able to extract so much light, that the ‘After’ picture looks like it was taken mid day with the sun out! Also, the processing I did gave the image a slight “painting” feel as a result which I think really added to the final result, kinda surreal.

In any case, I think the latter picture really ‘feels’ like December and I wanted to share!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!



BEFORE



AFTER