Photostory: Rainy Camping

I’ll be frank.  It’s kind of miserable camping in the rain.

As most of you should know by now, I am preparing for a big backpacking trip in July.  I am going to Alaska to shoot bears (not that kind of shooting – this is a photography blog, folks).  And if you read my post on my first backpacking training hike, you’ll also know that I’ve never done backpacking before.  I refuse to be the one holding everyone else up; I’m dedicated to getting my weak butt trained and prepped for this thing.

Continue reading

WC: A Green Backpacker

I am very excited.  In a few months, I will embark on an amazing journey by train, bush plane, and backpack to photograph bears in Alaska.

I can’t believe I even considered possibly saying no.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

Here’s the deal.  I don’t really do much wildlife photography.  Sure, I catch the occasional moose, but I haven’t really made the effort in the past to seek out wild animals.  And when things like bear spray and a portable protective electric fence are mentioned, I begin to get a bit nervous.  Add to that the fact that I’ve never been backpacking before (and this trek will require over 20 miles of it), and I’m feeling somewhat out of my element.

But the price is reasonable, and let’s face it – when will I have another opportunity like this?  As you know, I live by “no regrets,” so why the heck not?

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Arches: The Second Pass

Much of our second day in Arches was spent getting lost in the Fiery Furnace (what an incredible place!  I encourage you to read all about that adventure here), but we had more park to explore!  Besides, we were excited to share some of the park’s wonders with Mum.  And our second day in the park was just as rewarding as the first.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

Continue reading

Stanley Park

One of the highlights of our brief jaunt in Vancouver was Stanley Park, a vast, 1001-acre public park that dominates the peninsula north of downtown Vancouver.  It’s mostly old, dense forest (many trees are hundreds of years old), and it features bike paths and trails spidering throughout.  It’s understandably a popular destination for daily exercisers. Continue reading

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