Happy 2024!

2024 Calendars are still available at lotsasmilesphoto.etsy.com!

Two new on Instagram; five on 500px.  TWO5: This Week on 500px! I got all 7 up this week – yay!  I have thousands of photos I want to share, but sometimes the weeks get away from me.  This week, however, was productive.
Blue hummingbird perched on a branch of a bush in Costa Rica | LotsaSmiles Photography
This first image was from our stunningly beautiful trip to Costa Rica.  We took a canopy tour in Rainmaker.  I primarily remember two things about that tour: the many tiny frogs, lizards, and snakes our guide pointed out that we otherwise never would have discerned from the lush undergrowth; and the cloud of mosquitos that surrounded his head without ever landing (and the “citronella” leaves he handed us to ward against them).  After the tour, though, I caught movement in a nearby bush – this lovely.  Those colors!
Palm trees lining a small Hawaiian cove | LotsaSmiles Photography
This next one is also from tropical lands, albeit a bit more domestic.  This was from one of our first days in Hawaii, where we ventured off across a lava field to a secluded beach.  We had the place all to ourselves, and I had fun experimenting with my new underwater camera casing.  As the rain sets in at home, I’d rather be lounging in this sunshine.
Landscape Arch in Arches National Park at sunrise | LotsaSmiles Photography
You should recognize this scene from Arches National Park.  I absolutely love Moab, and we discovered the area on a southwestern road trip with my parents (I actually enjoy traveling with my parents!).  I dragged my dad and Aaron out of bed on three consecutive days in an attempt at sunrise in the park.  It wasn’t until the third day that we finally managed mostly clear skies and a colorful dawn.  Landscape Arch will always be one of my favorites just from this experience.
An Alaskan bear looking back over his shoulder on the beach | LotsaSmiles Photography
Next, I posted this little guy to Instagram this week.  This, of course, is from my trip last year to Alaska.  I went backpacking with a small group for five days along the coast an hour outside of Anchorage, and we saw so many bears.  It was an unforgettable trip, and I smile at these pictures from it.
Crater Lake's Wizard Island at dusk | LotsaSmiles Photography
Getting into my top three, this is a dusk shot of Wizard Island in Crater Lake.  Believe it or not, this was actually taken in June.  And just the day before, we were caught in a ferocious blizzard atop this caldera.  Crater Lake is beautiful any time of year, though the summer tends to have more open roads (and unfortunately more people).  I’m just a sucker for snow.
Mount Hood silhouetted against a fiery sunrise in Portland, Oregon | LotsaSmiles Photography
From dusk to dawn, I took this picture much closer to home.  During the transitionary seasons, we can get some spectacular sunrises.  But it’s a tough gamble as to whether we’ll have enough breaks in the clouds to set the sky ablaze.  We lucked out on this morning, the sky looking like a vibrant watercolor painting behind the silhouette of Mount Hood.
A friend dressed as a white wolf at Oregon's Boardman Tree Farm | LotsaSmiles Photography
Finally, this is my favorite this week.  I’m fully in the autumn mood right now, and this image captures it so beautifully.  The Boardman Tree Farm is almost gone now, being cut down to make room for dairy farming.  I’m glad we got the opportunity to see it while it was still there, and we had a little fun with some costumes.  This is a friend of ours, and she’s just as adventurous as us.  You can read the full story of that day right here.
Are you out photographing your own local fall colors?  Feel free to drop a link in the comments – I’d love to see your pictures, too!
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    1. Thank you! It’s hard to catch these perfect sunrises, as it’s often clear skies or completely clouded in.. I jump at them when I can get them 🙂

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