Arches: Chasing Sunrise

I have a thing for sunrises.  I’m up early every day anyway, so I see a lot of them.  And there’s nothing better than the quiet solitude that comes from being out and about long before everyone else.  There aren’t any noisy kids around, no one is getting in my shots, and I get crowded, popular landmarks all to myself.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

Long before we visited Arches National Park, I knew I wanted three things: sunrise, sunset, and stars.  We were going to be in Moab for about a week, so we had planned on Sunday in Canyonlands, Monday for Needles (which ended up being a day to patter around Moab), a casual Tuesday to see the sights in Arches and scout for sunrise spots, sunrise (and sunset/stars) in Arches on Wednesday, an open day on Thursday, then travel on Friday.  We had lots of hot sun in Island in the Sky, so I had high expectations for Arches.

However, like I found in Mesa Verde, trips seldom go according to plan. Continue reading

WC: The Greatest Life in the World

I have a pretty awesome life.  At least, I think so.  I am in good health, I am happy with a sweet husband who cares for me, I have two kitties who add tremendous joy to my life, and I have an amazingly supportive family who would stand behind me no matter what I chose for myself.  I have a warm roof in a city I love, I can walk along a beautiful waterfront to a job I enjoy, working with some of the smartest people I know.  I feel successful and financially sound, and I have the freedom to explore my creative hobbies in various parts of the globe.

I recently returned from one such opportunity.  A friend wanted to visit a national park in the wintertime, so he organized a photo trip to Yosemite.  What a blast! Continue reading

Snowpocalypse!

Ok, I know I promised more on our desert road trip, but something happened… SNOW!  Besides, I just hit 100 followers on my site, so I want to celebrate with a special post on this very beautiful phenomenon that brings me such great joy.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

So, a few things.  First, we almost never get snow in this area.  Our summers are mild, and our winters are temperate.  Generally, it only gets really cold when the clouds clear (which they are reluctant to do in the wintertime) and all the heat escapes into the atmosphere.  Clouds act as a blanket that keeps us warm.  Therefore, it’s either warm and rainy or cold and dry; we seldom see precipitation when it’s cold.

Second, I love snow.  Continue reading