Biweekly Wow: Norway Reflections

You’ve read all the exciting adventures in Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks (and if you haven’t, you should really check them out right here!), so it’s time for the next chronicle of the year: Norway!  As you know, we travel quite a bit, and it recently dawned on us that we’ve managed an international trip every year since the inaugural foray to Japan.  Without realizing it, the travel bug bit us, and we’ve been succumbing to its call frequently.

A rocky hill perfectly reflected in a Norway fjord | LotsaSmiles Photography

In our latest time of weakness, we were drawn to the beautiful and unforgettable NorwayContinue reading

TWOI: 6/25/18

We’ve already seen another week go by… and almost another month!  It’s crazy to think the summer is already halfway through when it feels like it’s only just begun (and sorry, but I don’t buy into the idea that the solstice marks the beginning of summer – much like I don’t believe midnight is the start of nighttime).

This week was busy as I’ve been working on some exciting new projects – be sure to subscribe to my newsletter or become a Patron to hear all of these announcements first-hand!  As such, I didn’t post as much as I initially intended to Instagram.  I actually ended up posting more to 500px this week.

Here’s the lineup!

It was so hard to sort these this week, as I love them all.  But something had to come first!  I took this one while coming down from Zion’s famed Angel’s Landing.  It was a memorable hike, and this evening tableau only heightened the exhausted excitement we all felt.  What a beautiful park.  You can read all about that day here.

Zion's beautiful valley, viewed near the top of the Angels Landing trail | LotsaSmiles Photography

Next, I took this with my sister during one of my last trips to Colorado Springs.  I had family out there (who recently moved closer to us – yay!), and we made the annual pilgrimage for the holidays.  My sister – a wonderful portrait photographer – asked for some pointers on landscape photography.  So I took her out to this lovely spot on a ridge overlooking the famous Kissing Camels rock formation in Garden of the Gods at the crack of dawn.  This was my takeaway from that day.

Garden of the Gods's Kissing Camels rock formation in front of Pikes Peak at sunrise | LotsaSmiles Photography

Finally, my favorite of the Instagram posts this week should be no surprise.  I love love love all of the beautiful photos I took home from Bryce National Park.  This was from our last sunrise in the park, just before we hit the trail one last time.  You can see more pictures and read all about that day here.

Bryce Canyon hoodoos at sunrise | LotsaSmiles Photography

I posted more to 500px this week, and I’m quite pleased with that gallery.  Here is this week’s collection:

Waves crashing over concrete tetrapods | LotsaSmiles Photography

Which photo is your favorite?  Let me know below!


Preview of Norway

My apologies for the short post this week.  We just got back from an exciting trip to beautiful Norway, and this week has been a scramble of getting back to our lives, scrounging for frozen pizzas and chicken nuggets, and resting up from the long journey home (and recovering a bit from the jet lag).

Aaron looking out from a viewpoint to the fjord far below | LotsaSmiles Photography

I still haven’t imported all of my photos from my SD cards, so I can’t even tell you how many pictures I took over the 8 days we were there.  Continue reading

Biweekly Wow: Sunset Point

We visited both Sunrise Point and Sunset Point in Bryce Canyon National Park, and we found they really aren’t very different.  Spaced just a half mile apart, you can get the same views from both.  However, Sunrise gives more of the valley floor and the northern distance, while Sunset focuses more on a little southern inlet.

Fire-orange hoodoos in Bryce Canyon at sunrise | LotsaSmiles Photography

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TWOI: 5/14/18

Greetings, all!  I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and that you’re enjoying the beautiful spring (or fall) weather, wherever you are.

This week was difficult to sort by my favorites, which just tells me it’s a good set.

This first image was from the top of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii.  We had ascended the famed volcano to capture sunset at its peak.  Unfortunately, we didn’t realize that we’d be kicked out of the viewing area just after sundown.  In the future, we’ll now know to get permission beforehand to stay late for the stars.

I did manage to capture this one image, just before we were forced to vacate.  I look forward to having another go.

Observatory under the stars atop Mauna Kea | LotsaSmiles Photography

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TWOI: 5/7/18

Another week, another seven photos!  How are you folks liking the new style?  I’ve been trying it out for a while now, and though I like the new consistency it lends to my feed, I’m not always pleased with the muted colors.  I have some more ideas that I’d like to try with my Instagram, so I might be rolling some of those out soon.  I welcome your thoughts below!

This first picture was from a sunrise attempt in Tokyo.  Honestly, while we were vacationing there, we didn’t give much thought to planning an official shoot.  We merely walked across this bridge the night before, saw the cool tunnel effect the buildings lent, and noticed it also happened to face east.  We just got up the next morning and hoped for the best.

As is often the case, the sun wasn’t in the right position to shine down this canal, and it was a bit cloudy anyway.  However, I did appreciate the flock of seagulls that all took off from the water, giving me a more interesting subject to this otherwise mediocre scene.

Seagulls flying over a river between two rows of buildings | LotsaSmiles Photography

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Biweekly Wow: Sunrise Point

I am quickly finding that most of Bryce is a Weekly Wow.  After all, how many places in the world have these unlikely geological features?  The colors – the rich red of the rocks, the deep green of the trees, the vibrant blue of the morning sky – all accentuated by the pure white of the snow, are hypnotic.  When we were there, we just stared at the valley; the scene never grew old.

Continue reading

TWOI: 4/23/18

Good morning, and happy Monday, yet again!  The weather is warming, and I’m getting out to shoot more, which is great!  Look forward to more adventures coming to my site; be sure to follow my blog to keep up to date with all the latest.

You should notice this set all have a consistent look.  I’m trying this out for a bit to see how it pans out.  What do you think?

I also realized there sure are a lot of beaches this week.  I assure you, that was not intentional!  Interesting how these things turn out…

This first image was from my trip to Alaska.  We backpacked 26 miles along this shore, across sand, pebbles, rocks, and boulders.  We saw bald eagles, foxes, moose tracks, and plenty of bears.  You can read all about that amazing trip here.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

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Biweekly Wow: Bryce Canyon’s Fire & Ice

About two months later, and we’re finally to Part II of our little trip to Bryce and Zion National Parks.  Much like Yosemite, we ventured out to these parks in late winter not only to avoid crowds but also in the hopes of finding snow.  We were pretty disappointed in that endeavor with Zion, but Bryce was ready to deliver.

If Bryce Canyon is beautiful in the summertime, with its rust-red hoodoos and fiery vistas, snow only takes it up a notch by contrasting those rich colors with its pure white.  Continue reading