Monday, July 24, 2017

Portraits of a National Park - Arches

When we planned our family get-together I just couldn't believe we all agreed to travel to the desert in July.  It was the only time which worked for all our schedules, and the location seems central for the younger families to get to.  Since we had a lot of time to work with we really didn't think about the distance for us to travel.   There were pros and cons to that decision!

As we crossed the Rockies, which never cease to amaze us, and entered the desert terrain, the geography became quite desolate, and bleak.  Miles and miles of nothing - we imagined the journey of the settlers of this early country and how they must have felt as they worked daily to survive.  Then the terrain began to change, rising up into hills and tall rock structures, the color changing from neutral to a warm red hue.

Nearing the town of Moab, we were in awe of the size and drama of the rock faces, and began to really look forward to seeing Arches National Park, and exploring the area more.

The campground we chose happened to be right in town, but set back from the road a little ways.  The way it was situated you didn't see the main street, or cars going by.  Road noise was also minimal, which was surprising.  It felt like a more isolated camping experience.  Settled in, we waited for the rest of the family to arrive, and spent the first night relaxing and catching up.

Park Avenue Viewpoint and Trailhead
Then we were off for a whirl-wind 3 days.  If you are 62 you are eligible for a Senior Park Pass - $10.00 currently, but the price is about to be raised dramatically.  Get this pass, as it is free admittance to National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands - for your lifetime!  It is good for your car full of people, and we used it to go in and out of the parks as many times as we wanted.  GREAT deal!
Tower of Babel

Unless there is something in the photo to give the landscape scale, it is very difficult to describe the vastness and drama of this space.  Due to weather, and fault line activity, this area of the state is created through movement and time.  And it will continue to change over the years.  Arches wear away to the point where they's only a matter of time.  But new arches are created even as the old disappear.
Delicate Arch
North Window - 3-photo sequence

We would love to go back again, as there was so much to see in such a little time.  But perhaps a spring or fall trip would be more comfortable?  Enjoy this portrait of another beautiful area of our country.
Tunnel Arch
Balanced Rock

Pine Tree Arch - 2-photo sequence 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Portraits of a Family

By definition a portrait is:  a painting, drawing, photograph, or engraving of a person, especially one depicting only the face or head and shoulders.  A portrait is also usually considered more "formal" than other photographs.

Who would have expected to run into someone you know, so far away from home?
This is Allison, a young lady who grew up in our town, our families went to the same church,
she was in band with my daughter,  and here she is working as a Park Ranger in Arches National Park!
What a stroke of luck it was that I decided to wear my Michigan t-shirt that day.
 It initiated the conversation that lead to our reacquaintance!
As a photographer, I have been asked to shoot senior photos, business photos, weddings and special events. And I have done all those things.  However, I do not enjoy that process as much as I do creating portraits which show personality, and a sense of time and place.

These portraits provide a visual storytelling element that a traditional portrait does not.  Don't get me wrong - there is still a place for those more formal shots.  But when I review the photographs of our kids and grandkids that I have taken the last couple of weeks, I see each as a piece which makes up the puzzle which is our family.  

I would love to hear what YOU think of my interpretation of what a portrait is.  Enjoy!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day and a Visit to a National Cemetery - Fort Custer

Memorial Day - remembering those who made the greatest sacrifice.

Today we spent time visiting the grave of Daryl's parents, and paying respects to all those who have served our country.  Hundreds of people could be seen doing the same thing...standing, sitting, chatting, silent, tears, dry eyes, all walks of life...sharing a moment to stop and pause and reflect.

We walked some, and drove some, and stopped in an area we have always thought was important - the German Memorial.  I am not sure how many people know this story, and it is one worth sharing.

We had stopped at a spot nearby for lunch, and Taps was being played.  A gentleman in the restaurant
stood and removed his hat...a lovely and appropriate gesture for such a day.

I don't know what you did today...but our day was just perfect.  Emotional, and bittersweet.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Don't You Just Love Spring?

My two favorite seasons are Spring and Fall - and I am sure it has to do with color and vibrance.  

Spring is softer than fall; gentler.  Nature gifts us an awakening of the senses after being cooped up all winter.  I have spent as much time as possible outside, generally walking the dog and teaching her how to be a photo companion.  She has learned "wait" might be frustrating, but she always gets her reward.  This Spring she learned where the squirrels go when they run away from  her.  It was hilarious!

Enjoy this celebration of Spring!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Neglected Pup

This is the look of a dog who is happy and content...for the moment.  See that silly grin?

The poor "child" has been sadly neglected, as you can tell by the lack of Facebook posts which feature her.  This does not mean we love her any less, it just means we lead busy lives.  As I finish up another semester of teaching, we are definitely looking forward to more time to play!

That being said, a growing 1 1/2 year old puppy (in a dog's body) needs exercise and play time.  The winter was not as harsh as it has been in the past - Hallelujah -so we did manage some excursions in the snow.

As the weather continues to become more spring-like, she has discovered she DOES like water after-all.  At least the calm variety.

 She is also intrigued by flowers...and fortunately has not had to taste them!

When she is not outside she has to occupy herself somehow, so there is the terrorizing of the cat...

...helping me write...

...begging for petting...

...watching nature programs on television...

...and after she has begged to go out...the begging to come in.

And we think one of her very favorite activities is to sneak onto the couch when she is sure you are still in the shower.  When she gets caught...she pretends she is totally innocent and simply looks away from you and out the window.

The one thing she does for both of us is enrich our lives, and keep us active.  There is also that thing about unconditional love.

And now we're off to enjoy a lovely spring day!  Get outside and play!