Weekly Wow: Atop Angels Landing

After such a rainy start to our trip to Zion National Park, we didn’t expect the sky to clear out so beautifully.  And when it did, we further didn’t expect it to invite a few elite clouds back into the scene to perfectly diffuse the harsh sun at just the right moment, providing a spectacular view of the valley below.

Yes, we survived the famed (infamous?) Angels Landing Hike (though six people, sadly, have not), and we were in for quite a treat when we reached the top.  I have a more in-depth photostory to share with you about the full hike next week, but for now, I wanted to focus on this one photo.


Continue reading

Photostory: Zion’s Canyon Overlook

I have fallen in love with Utah and its many national parks, and I seek to add many more from across the country to my list.  We were in Utah quite recently to explore Arches National Park and Canyonlands, and we couldn’t wait to return.

Photostory: Canyon Overlook | LotsaSmiles Photography | Click through to read all about our exciting adventure hiking in the dark and shooting a Zion sunrise in the rain!

We had arrived in the famed Zion National Park, and we were ready.  After a long, five-hour drive in from the Salt Lake City airport (word to the wise: Las Vegas is actually much closer), our fingers were itching for our shutters.

Continue reading

WC: A Break in the Weather

This time of year in the Pacific Northwest, it’s typically dreary.  We’ll get nice days as well, but “nice” merely means “not actively raining.”  These days are usually accompanied by a thick blanket of clouds, threatening, but not yet releasing any precipitation.

Every so often, though, we get true sun with bright blue skies.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

Continue reading

Backpacking Alaska – Returning Home

As we were turning around at the Johnson River to head back to the lodge and our pick-up spot, our early pilot spotted us and touched down in the soft sand.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

Good news: we didn’t have to hike anymore.  Bad news: that sand was really soft.  So much so that the plane got stuck.  Continue reading

Backpacking Alaska – Day 5: Bears

Ordinarily, this post would be for my monthly photo challenge, but that didn’t seem too popular, so I’m tabling that for now.  Perhaps I’ll revive that sometime later.  In the meantime, you get more bears!

In fact, this is the last daily installment of my grand backpacking adventure through the Alaskan bush.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

Continue reading

Backpacking Alaska – Day 4: Rain

Day 4 of our backpacking bear adventure was a bit damp.  We woke to moisture on the tents, and we really couldn’t avoid packing up wet gear. The tides once more amazed me.  While I had been brushing my teeth fairly close to camp the night before, the morning routine required a decent stroll.  We were in no hurry, so we took our time eating breakfast after sleeping in; we didn’t hit the trail until almost 2pm.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

Continue reading

Phono Photos: December Challenge

Welcome to the third month of musical photo challenges!  I hope your holidays are shaping up well and you’re a little less busy than I am!

You can see last month’s submissions here.  You’ll have until the end of the month to submit your responses for December’s challenge.

This Month’s Prompt

“Giants” by X Ambassadors
The Reason

Continue reading