View from the Rim (Grand Canyon National Park)

My one and only trip to the Grand Canyon was unforgettable – we want to go back but competing priorities have gotten in the way. Maybe when we have some little ones we can take a road trip like the Griswolds.

View from the Rim (Grand Canyon National Park)

View from the Rim (Grand Canyon National Park)

My goal is that after seeing ‘Grand Canyon,’ every person in the audience will go home knowing they have to conserve water: even something as simple as installing a low-flow toilet or showerhead, or turning off the faucet while they’re brushing their teeth.

First Light at Emerald Lake (Rocky Mountain National Park)

I came down with a pretty nasty cold last week that took me out of commission for a few days. I’m finally feeling a bit better today which is good because I’ve got a bunch of travel coming up the next three weeks. No personal trips mixed in there though so will have to keep drumming up old travel photos like this one from Rocky Mountain National Park during the summer of 2014. I was with my wife vacationing after a business meeting and woke up one morning to make the 3.5 mile round-trip hike to Emerald Lake.

The easily accessible trailhead, Bear Lake Trailhead – the busiest in the park, is often over crowded by 10 AM so if you plan on going hiking here be sure to get there early or just plan on parking in one of the remote parking areas and taking the shuttle to the trailhead. Alternatively, you can hike to this spot by adding some distance if you start at the Bierstedt Lake Trailhead. The trail is well maintained and takes you by two other lakes – Nymph Lake and Dream Lake – as it winds through pine and aspen trees.

First Light at Emerald Lake (Rocky Mountain National Park)

First Light at Emerald Lake (Rocky Mountain National Park)

I scouted this location out the day before when my wife and I hiked up to this spot. I envisioned framing the shot with this funky looking dead tree anchoring the foreground. If there were only a few more colorful clouds in the sky this shot would have been perfect but the clouds weren’t picking up the sun the same way the peaks of the mountain were.

Sunset in the Jungle (San Ignacio, Belize)

On our first night in the Cayo region of Belize we spent the night in San Ignacio. At our hotel (Rumors Resort) we ate a nice dinner of rice and beans followed by fried plantains for dessert as we sat on the patio watching the sunset behind the mountains in the distance. We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Belize and would spend the next couple of days in the jungle area searching through Mayan ruins and relaxing before heading over to Guatemala to visit Tikal.

The recent news of murder in this same region of a local Chicago woman brought alot of negative attention to the area – and for good reason – but during our entire two weeks in Belize we never felt unsafe so I do hope this is just an isolated incident that they’ll be able to solve and attribute to a single and random act of violence that can happen anywhere you visit.

Sunset in the Jungle (San Ignacio, Belize)

Sunset in the Jungle (San Ignacio, Belize)

Joshua Tree under the Moonlight (Joshua Tree National Park)

I went out to take pictures of the Joshua Tree’s under the stars but unfortunately the clouds didn’t cooperate. However, the fast moving clouds combined with the full moon made for some interesting compositions as well and I came away with several images that I liked from the middle of the Mojave desert in the full moon.

Joshua Tree Under the Moonlight (Joshua Tree National Park)

Joshua Tree under a Full Moon

This was shot with a 12-second exposure at ISO 640. There is a city in the distance (hence the orange glow) but not sure if that is from Las Vegas, Los Angeles or Palm Springs. Geography isn’t my strong suit.

Sunrise at Two Jack Lake (Banff National Park)

One of the most tranquil scenes in all of Banff National Park is catching the sunrise at Two Jack Lake on the Lake Minnewanka Loop Road. The large lake has spectacular views of Mount Rundle and is one of the nicest campgrounds in the park system. Imagine – waking up to this view in the morning….yes, please!

Sunrise at Two Jack Lake (Banff National Park)

Sunrise at Two Jack Lake (Banff National Park)

Busy week at work and then a delayed Christmas at home in Dearborn with my family. The life of a family of nurses (wife and two sisters)…..holidays never actually happen on the holiday :) That’s okay, we just get to extend the joy for months to come!

Cinque Terre From Above (Cinque Terre, Italy)

I think I’ve finally reached my breaking point. Windows 10 you’ve finally converted me to a Mac guy. I know that isn’t what you intended to do with your ‘new and improved’ system but the inability of the software and the hardware to talk to another – and thus causing your loyal users problem is an issue. The past two months, since upgrading to Windows 10, I’ve been receiving the “Blue Screen of Death (BSOD)” when using Photoshop, OnOne Perfect Effects, GoPro Studio and really any other photo/video editing software possible. Prior to Windows 10 I never had an issue. So last week I took my computer into the shop and explained my frustrations. I asked the computer experts to take a look through all the .dmp files (produced when the PC crashes) and also check for any viruses to see if maybe the computer caught a bit of a cold. After a week of them looking at my system they called today and told me they can’t find a cause for the issue – all my systems are updated properly, the computer is free of viruses and in their opinion there is no reason why my barely two year old, recently upgraded with new RAM computer should be crashing two to three times per day……

My wife meanwhile is laughing all day long as her three year old Macbook has NEVER had an issue like this. Apple here I come – I’m converted and you win. The computer world is moving and unfortunately program updates and different products (windows, video drivers, sound drivers, etc…) are not working together.

Overlooking Cinque Terre (Cinque Terre, Italy)

Overlooking Cinque Terre (Cinque Terre, Italy)

Cinque Terre was such a relaxing place – I will take myself (mentally) there as I have to re-spend $1000+ on a MacBook this year to replace my PC. I’m fed up with Windows.

River to Hallett Peak (Rocky Mountain National Park)

Often overlooked as a photographic spot is ‘Storm’s Pass’ on Bear Lake Road which offers nice views of Hallett Peak at sunrise. Storm’s Pass has a tiny parking lot that fits maybe four cars and it is surrounded by much more popular destinations along Bear Lake Road – like Bear Lake itself, Glacier Gorge, Sprague Lake, etc… all of which draw hundreds of hikers and photographers daily. As I sat here photographing cars flew by but not a single person stopped to catch the view.

There is a river leading down from the mountain which draws a leading line through the trees which also help to provide a nice foreground. The only negatives are the two trees that have jumped up and partially blocked the views of the mountain….if only I had a saw (just kidding of course).

River to Hallett Peak (Rocky Mountain National Park)

River to Hallet Peak (Rocky Mountain National Park)