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.


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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.

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Weekly Wow: Zion’s Watchman

A visit to Zion National Park often comes with seeking out the iconic shot of The Watchman.  Generally viewed from atop the Canyon Junction Bridge, I wanted to (excuse the pun) shoot for something different.  I love getting close to my foreground so I can make full use of my wide angle, so I ventured down to the riverside.

Weekly Wow: Zion's Watchman | LotsaSmiles Photography | Every photographer takes the same picture of Zion's famous Watchman landmark.  Click to see a different point of view!

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WC: Rock Candy

I’m afraid this one will have to be really quick, as I’m on the road.  We are spending a few incredible days in Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park.  We’re having an absolute blast, and I’ll have some fun stories to share.  Be sure to follow my blog here so you don’t miss out!


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Photostory: The Bean

I love observing the world around me.  Over the years, I have found there’s so much to take in, to appreciate, to love.  I enjoy photographing the everyday wonders – sunrises, vistas, waterfalls – and I get excited for the less-common opportunities: events, travel, candids.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2011

But when I come across a surprise that catches me completely unaware.. well, then.  I lose all sense of rational adulthood as I devolve in the presence of sheer joy.  The object of my delight becomes my sole focus, and I’m as giddy as a kid in a toy shop.

You think I’m exaggerating, but I assure you, I’m quite serious.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2011

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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