Soggy Sakura

When we were planning our trip to Japan, we only briefly considered the cliche cherry blossom spring season. Sure, the beauty is unparalleled, and it’s classic Japan. But it’s also what everyone does (and we all know I like to stand out whenever possible), it’s crazy crowded – with tourists and locals, alike – and we have our very own sakura right here in our own back yard.

Benches under sakura trees in the pre-dawn morning | LotsaSmiles Photography

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A Winter Day at the Coast

I have just a quick one for you this week, as we leave soon for our next adventure: Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park!

Things have been incredibly busy for us lately; activities seem to come in waves.  So it was a relief to catch a break and escape to the coast for a day.

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We lucked out with perfect weather (rare at the beach, and even rarer this time of year), and it was nourishing for our souls to be away from the hustle and bustle for just a short time.

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Weekly Wow: Cityscape

Last week saw a spectacular celestial event: a trifecta of super moon (the moon was physically close to the earth), blue moon (second full moon within a single month), and a lunar eclipse (self-explanatory).  We woke well before the dawn to get ourselves into position and prepared to shoot this rare conjunction.

However, in true Portland fashion, the weather wouldn’t quite behave.  Continue reading

WC: Varying my Hobbies

I tried something new.

While I understand the world is full of unique experiences and packed with far more ways to spend my time than I could logically sample in a lifetime, I still endeavor to explore as many opportunities as possible.  As a result, I end up a collector of hobbies – music, coding, hiking, writing, photography – and it’s difficult to choose which activities I wish to prioritize.

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Even when I do focus on one thing for a while, the activity splinters into a thousand variations, any one of which could demand my full attention in itself.  Continue reading

Weekly Wow: Sunrise

Welcome to my new Weekly Wow!  Wednesday Wow?  Weekly Wednesday Wow?  I’m not sure.  I can’t promise these’ll be exactly weekly, as I’ll have other stories and adventures to share, but as I mentioned before, I wanted an opportunity to focus more on fewer, better photos than spamming you with an entire album.  We’ll see how it goes!

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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

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Backpacking Alaska – Day 1: Distance

Who’s ready for backpacking adventures?  I know I’ve been promising them for a long time, and you’ve had a taste here and there, but I’m finally getting into the heart of my epic adventure into the Alaskan wilderness.  I appreciate your patience.  It was truly a remarkable journey, and I’m excited to share it with you.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

After an hour’s bush plane flight out of Anchorage, we found ourselves on the beach in Chinitna Bay, and once our pilot departed, we were on our own.  We had finally arrived, and I was ready.  This was my first time truly backpacking, and I couldn’t wait.

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WC: Finding Time for Photography

I’m always a bit surprised when I hear folks say something along the lines of, “I’d love to find more time for photography,” like photography is an extracurricular activity for which one must set aside dedicated time.  I hear tales of sad cameras left forgotten in a closet for months on end, and I just can’t comprehend this.

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WC: The Waterfalls’ Spell

We’re quite spoiled here in the Northwest when it comes to waterfalls.

To be honest, when I first moved here, I wasn’t all that excited about waterfalls.  They were all photographed the same, and they all looked the same to me.  The hikes were pleasant, but I just couldn’t understand how the group would then park their tripods at the waterfall at the end and shoot for what felt like forever.  I was used to a quick shot, and I was done.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

How many pictures of the same scene can one take?

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WC: Eclipseption

Before we get too departed from the excitement of the great American eclipse this year, I wanted to share a fun photo with you.

With cameras painfully ubiquitous, it is increasingly difficult to present any new ideas.  But I love a good challenge, and I’m always trying to push myself.  Sometimes, the unique concept comes from how the picture is taken.  Other times, the creativity shines in the editing.

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