Bruneau Sand Dunes
Sometimes it is nice to just sit back and chill. I have realized that it is a necessity occasionally. Life moves way to fast and will get us down if we don’t take time for ourselves. It is refreshing.
Last month I had a chance to do just that. My wife and I took a weekend and headed out with no plan in mind. I did throw in my camera, but had no intentions or expectations. We just drove. We talked. No kids or responsibilities for a couple of days. It was wonderful. I returned with a renewed spirit and zest for life. It made me a better person and a better artist.
We drove southeast and, as the sun was nearing the horizon we came to Mountain Home, which is not far from Bruneau Dunes State Park. Christeena had never been there, so we decided to stop. It is reported that the taller dune is the tallest single-structured sand dune in North America, rising approximately 470 feet above the lake at its base. We arrived as the sun hit the horizon, so we did not have time to really look and seriously photograph, so we just walked around in the sand enjoyed the view. We had a great time!
Turret Arch through the North Window
Photography has been a major aspect of my life for a long time. I took photography classes in high school. I studied photography in college, receiving a BFA with a photography emphasis from Utah State University. I have worked as a custom printer, owned my own high end portrait studio for nearly 20 years and now teach photography for a living while pursuing my own fine-art photography passion. As far as a career field, it is all I know.
Arising early in the morning, long before most have even considered rolling out of bed, in order to be at a predetermined location to witness and photograph in the sweet light of sunrise is not a sacrifice for me, it is an opportunity! On my most recent trip to Moab, Utah, it was not uncommon to leave the hotel at 5:00 AM, drive to a destination and hike in the predawn darkness to get where I needed to be for the sunrise. The brisk, early Spring temperatures were quite refreshing. The lack of crowds that fill the parks during the daytime hours was wonderful. Working alone gives plenty of time for reflection and renewal of spirit. On occasion I would meet one or two others searching for the same thing as me. The morning I photographed Turret Arch was one of those occasions. I got a little late of a start that morning, so I was in a hurry to get to the North Window. While carrying nearly 40 pounds of gear, I rushed up the trail, realizing then just how out of shape I was in. I went through the arch and then began to scramble up the rock to a small ledge that allowed me this view of Turret Arch. I was the second photographer in search of that location, and thankfully the one already there was able to direct me to the easiest route up the rock. We shared a very pleasant morning and witnessed a wonderful sunrise. I continued photographing in the area for about an hour, then as the light became harsher I returned to the hotel in time for breakfast with my family.
Following breakfast, I spent the day with my wife and kids enjoying the incredible scenery in the area. We visited the National parks in the area together during the day, hiking in to several arches, picnicking together for lunch and then finding locations to view and photograph the sunset together in the evening. There really is no better life that I could imagine. Family, photography and nature. Life is good!
The Christmas Spirit is supposed to be cheerful and happy, however around my house the stress and tension levels seem to escalate! I am not a shopper, but shopping needs to be done. I want to be involved in the Christmastime decisions, but I only last about a half hour at the store before I get edgy and am done. I like to go with a list, get what is on the list and get out. Others in my family love to browse. It drives me crazy! It is my challenge that I must overcome. In an effort to promote the Christmas Spirit I attempt to control my emotions so everyone can be happy! When I succeed in this effort, I notice that our home is a much happier place.
This image reminds me of one of the best Christmastime experiences in my life. I post it as a reminder to myself that Christmas is about being selfless and making others happy. By putting others first I find the strength to persevere the commercialism of the season and find the peace that can enter our lives at this time of year if we allow it.
I wish all of my readers a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of holiday seasons. Now it’s time to start the shopping!
My Pride and Joy!
Today is a great day to pause from everyday life and give thanks for everything and everyone that is important in our lives. My family puts up with a lot to allow me to pursue my dreams and aspirations. It is not easy being a photographers wife or a photographers child, so to those most important people in my life, I give thanks! To all of you who support me and give encouragement when needed by reading and commenting, or even purchased a print or two, I thank you. It is the people in my life, not the things, that make life rewarding. Without you, everything I do would be of no worth.
I have the most wonderful family. The kids keep us busy, that’s for sure. Football and basketball games, marching band and wrestling, dance and voice lessons, boy scouts and church activities, and the list goes on and on, but it is so worth it. This portrait was taken just 2 days before our oldest son left to serve a two year mission for the church. It will be a lasting reminder of who we are as a family while he is away. I couldn’t be more proud of all of my children and their accomplishments. My wife has raised them well! To her I give thanks. For her countless hours of shuttling kids around and making sure our schedules are kept, cooking meals and cleaning house, the never ending laundry, grocery shopping and on and on. I am forever indebted to her. I could not do what I do without her support. She is also my biggest fan.
Let us all remember on this Thanksgiving day what is truly important and remember to give thanks!
I have spent many hours on this dock fishing with my kids. This particular night, however, just after sunset the dock emptied and was a perfect subject for a photograph. After shooting, though, I did get out my fishing pole and Christeena and I caught some fish. We had a great time watching the light dim on McGowan Peak as the reflections in the water changed minute by minute and then watch the stars as they began appearing.
I think this image has more meaning to me because it brings back the great memories of vacations with my family to this very location. It is one of my very favorite lakes to spend a summer day. My goal is always to create a feeling in my images, this time a feeling of the peace and calm that I feel when spending a lazy summer evening watching the sun set and the stars come out. Nothing compares to that wonderful relaxed feeling at the end of a long day when you get a few minutes in nature with the one you care about most. I could do this every day!
Thunderstorm, Bear Lake
A couple of weeks ago I was at a family reunion at Bear Lake in Southeast Idaho. It started out a great day, warm and sunny. A perfect day for the lake. It didn’t take long to change. This thunderstorm rolled over the mountain and within just a few minutes everything turned dark. We could see lightning in the distance, but that did not stop the playing in the water. After a few minutes, though, hair started standing up on end. It was scary. When that happened, the entire beach cleared out. It was interesting to watch as everyone moved to the shore and packed it in. The feeling was very eerie. you could feel the electricity. Car antennas buzzed with static. People sat in cars just watching, then seeing that it wasn’t going to change for the better anytime soon, they left. I got out my camera and began shooting, trying to recreate the feeling. Just as the rain hit, with no one else left on the beach, I packed it in as well and we headed out.
Feeling in landscape photography, it makes all the difference.