Good morning, and welcome to another new week!

This week’s set was very difficult to sort – I love them all for different reasons!  I hope you like them, too.

This first one is of Yosemite’s Three Brothers.  We ventured out early to catch them in the first rays of dawn, and we had to hike through several inches of snow to reach the viewpoint.  Truthfully, I didn’t make it all the way to the official spot selected for this shoot; I was too distracted by the beauty of this vantage.  But that’s ok; I like my angle better, anyway 🙂

Moody shot of the peaks of Yosemite's Three Brothers | LotsaSmiles Photography

Next, a scene from Alaska.  This was my submission this week for Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness, our leaving the field with bear cubs to return to the beach on the other side of the sedge grass.  I still marvel at that incredible journey; you can read all about it here.

Two backpackers hiking through the sedge grass toward the beach, in monochrome | LotsaSmiles Photography

Here’s another photo from Yosemite – another early morning adventure.  We woke up at 3am that morning to reach the base of Bridalveil Falls by 4am.  The moon was out and full, and we used it to illuminate the nighttime landscape.  But we had to somehow scramble up a sheer-ice incline and brave the chilly mist at the base of the falls to get this shot.  It was a bit crazy, but it makes for a fun story.  You can read it here.

Nighttime moonscape of Yosemite Falls with snowy rocks in a frozen creek in the foreground | LotsaSmiles Photography

Next, the Yokohama skyline.  We were fortunate enough to catch the city during an illumination festival.  There were glowing art installations all along the waterfront (much like our own local Winter Light Festival), and this view from Ousanbashi Pier was spectacular.  You can read about that exhausting day here.

The Yokohama skyline just after sunset, with lights illuminated | LotsaSmiles Photography

Can you tell I favored the blue hour shots this week?  This one was from our trip to Mesa Verde.  We unfortunately couldn’t get sunrise, as gates barring our way didn’t open until well after sunup, but we were gifted by a beautiful full moonrise.

Full moon rising over the Mesa Verde canyon at dusk | LotsaSmiles Photography

From a full moon to no moon, this was taken on a camping trip in central Oregon, and it was one of my first forays into astrophotography.  I’m still getting better at these Milky Way shots, but I like how this one turned out.  You can read about that weekend here.

Silhouette of Aaron in front of the Milky Way | LotsaSmiles Photography

And finally, my favorite for this week is a wow from a recent Duane-venture to climb some waterfalls in Oregon.  We have so many waterfalls in the area, we never get bored.  You can read all about that crazy adventure right here.

Waterfall cascading over a log, viewed from under another log | LotsaSmiles Photography

Which image do you like best?

As I mentioned last week, I am now also on 500px.  I will likely begin to shift my focus to that platform over Instagram, as I just like the format and the quality better.  I am holding myself to a higher standard over there, so if you want to see highlights of just my best work, feel free to give me a follow!  I’m still going to post to Instagram periodically, but it might become less frequent.

Here’s what I posted there this week:

You can follow me on Instagram and on 500px.  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!


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