TWOI: 11/24/17

Greetings all!  Another Friday, another week on Instagram.  Yesterday was Thanksgiving in the States – a day of friends, family, and much feasting (and of course I had my camera close by).  I had only one reasonable plate, but I still managed to eat too much.  It’s tough with so much amazing food!

A very happy Thanksgiving to all of you out there; I’m thankful to have so many people see my photography every week.

As for the photos this week, this first grid photo was from this week’s photo challenge, “experimental.”  I tried something new, that I’ve always been curious to try – focus stacking.  Read all about it and see the final result here.

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Arches: The Most Amazing Day

Our first day in Arches wowed us with nature’s splendor and the phenomenal discovery of these gravity-defying works of natural art.

Our second day revealed to us the remarkable playground of the Fiery Furnace and saw us delve deeper into the park.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

But the third day?  The adage says “third time’s the charm,” but that assumes prior failure.  While that might have been somewhat true in our quest for sunrise, the remainder of our days were anything but disappointing.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

Nevertheless, our last day in Arches was absolutely the most incredible, by far.  Who knew each day could just get progressively better?  But somehow, it did.

And as much as I love the English language, I struggle to confine this truly remarkable experience to inadequate, paltry words.

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Hiking Season

I used to hate hiking.  Perhaps it was too grueling for someone out of shape.  Perhaps I didn’t like always being left behind because I walked slowly.  Perhaps it was because a “hike” meant an arduous vertical ascent for two thousand feet, collapsing at the top with water that tastes like plastic and a squashed sandwich somewhat reminiscent of ham and cheese (though tasting like a gourmet meal to my starving stomach), enjoying the lofty view for a short time, then racing down the mountain (trying to not kill myself on the scree) before the ominous thunderstorms hit. Continue reading

Photo of the Week: Lingering Autumn

My photo this week is actually a preview of next Tuesday’s main post.  We were finally able to get out for the season’s first real hike, and we made a full day out of it, capturing all the beauty the location had to offer.

I have previously made my love for autumn quite clear.  Now that we’re amidst the explosion of spring, fall is a distant memory.  Despite this, I still see evidence of its presence.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

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A Taste of Japan: Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

A visit to Kyoto isn’t complete without a trip through the stunning bamboo grove of Arashiyama.  There is nothing more humbling than acres of majestic trees towering above your head, cutting thousands of completely vertical lines 115 feet into the sky.

Bamboo has been revered for its durability for centuries, and it grows incredibly fast, making it a popular renewable resource; the wood is used in thousands of applications.  It is particularly important to the Japanese, who view it as a symbol of prosperity and see its simplicity as representing purity.  Bamboo is unique in its elegance, which is why stalks frequent many zen-hopeful desks, but they are seldom seen in such magnificence.

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