Having Fun

Photographic trip does not have to be all about art. It can also be fun.

I’ve just returned from a trip to the Death Valley where I spent several days with a photographer friend photographing at various locations around the valley. It involved a lot of driving and hiking and of course photography. We woke up before sunrise and hiked in the dark to a location to photograph at sunrise every day. We drove quite a bit to remote locations where we photographed sunset, then drove back in the dark.

It sounds very tiresome but it was not because we’d have fun playing photographic jokes on each other, taking silly pictures, sharing and laughing at them. Photographic trip does not have to be all about art. It can also be fun.

Never Get Tired

I never get tired of the same place. I might think I got most of the place on a single trip but after a while I want to revisit the place, see it again with new eyes, experience it with me being different than last time.

About a month ago when the weather was absolutely dreadful in Seattle as it typically is at the end of November my wife, my son and I went to Hawaii. It was a family trip but as I always do I hauled all my photo gear with me.

My focus during a family trip is of cause on family activities such as building sand castles with my son (ironically, first time I misspelled it as ‘sun’, which is very much the case, he is our son and our sun). I take all the gear with me on a family trip nevertheless just for a chance. If the Nature gives me an opportunity I would be able to use it.

My wife understands my passion for photography (after all she is into photography herself). Thus she gave me most sunrises and sunsets and was rewarded with nice breakfast and romantic nights. I was limiting my range of subjects to the ones that are close by, so, I would be back in time of my wife and my son waking up in the morning or in time to kiss my son good night in the evening.

Having such limits is an interesting challenge. It makes me find something interesting in otherwise mundane landscape; pre-visualize what place might look like at sunrise or sunset; carefully plan where to go by looking at maps and areal photos ahead of time. The limited area of travel also meant that I would visit the same places multiple times, see them in different weather and in different light.

So, get ready for a series of photos from that trip, see how I dealt with the challenge, and experience the same places in different ways.

I’ll start with this one which I really like for how the waves of clouds in the sky repeat the waves of the ocean, the row of yachts resting on the water and great light breaking thru the the clouds.

Enchantment Lakes [20]

Epilog

When I got back to civilization I had strange feeling: the world of cars and buildings did not seem to be real. It took days for realities to shift around. By now couple months after the trip the reality of the trip seems to be elusive. The only proof of it ever happening are the photos that I brought from the trip.

This was my first backpacking trip. Would I do it again? Absolutely! I did like backpacking and photographing a lot. Being in one place with a mobility limited to human abilities was a great way to study one place very-very deeply, look at the same place in different light, let the place sink into me. Backpacking opens up new possibilities of photographing distant places that can only be reached on foot.

I would certainly be more prepare next time. There is a lot of weight I could shave off from my backpack by bringing lighter clothes and equipment. At the same time I missed a few things from my backpack: mineral salts to add to drinking water, high calorie food, better first aid kit, more better batteries for my camera. I needed a different backpack too – it should be more sturdy, better fit, and with many different compartments, so I can reach different items without unpacking everything. It would be better to have camera bag, so I could quickly reach for my camera to take photos. It would also make my backpack lighter.

I hope all of you will have a chance to visit this magical place – Enchantment Lakes. Just leave as small imprint of a human on it as possible, let the others coming after you enjoy it too. Happy backpacking!

Enchantment Lakes [19]

Day 5. Descent

Our 5 day trip to Enchantment Lakes was over. It was time to go back home. After photographing sunrise we packed up and started our descent.

What a difference the 5 days spent in Enchantment Lakes made to the outside world! When we were hiking up the trees and shrubbery around us were green. When we were hiking down we discovered that they turned all kind of bright colors: yellow, orange, red. it was a feast for our eyes.

We had a goal in site: home. So, we’ve made almost no stops on the way down. It took us more than a day to get all the way to Lake Viviane. It took us only 5 hours to come down from there.

When we got down to the parking lot I was overjoyed that I lived thru such an experience. I was screaming out of the top of my lungs with joy and happiness. What an amazing trip!

Home

I’m back home from my week long trip to Enchantment Lakes! It has been a life changing experience on many different levels.

Enchantment Lakes is a magical place – one of a kind. Lots of stories to tell. Lots of photos to share. But that’s later. Today my two most important tasks is to kiss my son good night and spend time with my wife.

Enchantment Lakes

On this Monday I’m off to adventure of my lifetime. With 3 other people I’m going on a 5 day backpacking trip to Enchantment Lakes. 18 miles, 6000 ft. elevation gain, 7800 ft. above sea level at the highest point with a large backpack on my back will put to test my body and mind.

I’ve been preparing to it for the last month with hiking longish hikes and running every day but still the longest I went was 9 miles with less of elevation gain and lighter backpack. I’m very curious what 18 miles and 6000 ft. elevation gain feels like. And I’ve never been backpacking before. But the place have been intriguing me for a long time. I’ve heard it is magical. And finally I have a good company to go there.

It is going to be peak of larches golden fall foliage that Enchantment Lakes are famous for. So, I hope to come back with great photos. Ok. Maybe it should have been two sentences. I hope to come back. And with great photos. 🙂

Spring Is In The Air

Spring… What do you do to us. Emotions over the top. Creativity spruces.

After dreadful winter rains nice spring weather came to Pacific Northwest. And I cannot stop photographing. I have not sorted thru all the photos from Death Valley trip yet and I already took photos of cherry blossom, that I have not even looked thru, tulip festival, that I only quickly looked thru.

Today I wanted to hike up to some waterfalls, stopped on the way there to check out a creek running over the rocks and got stuck there for hours photographing the creek, rocks, flowers, reflections. I have not even made to the trailhead to the waterfalls that I was originally planning to go to.

Here is one of the photos from today’s trip:

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I really need to step up processing of all my photos.

PS And today while reviewing photos in camera I accidently navigated to the first photos on the card a discovered interesting images of plum blossom that I have not even download off the card yet.