Happy 2024!

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

Happy Monday, and welcome to a shiny new week!  First of all, I’d like to say that today is a special day.  It’s our anniversary!  Aaron and I have been together a crazy 17 years now.  And what’s also cool: this original date back in 2001 also fell on a Monday.  We’ve been on a lot of adventures since then (as this website can attest), and you can look forward to many more!

Now, getting to the photos from this week…

You might have noticed last week that I started keeping to a certain color theme.  I kept that going this week, but I additionally added a moody tone to my edits for a more uniform look.  I’ll try this for a while longer to see how it pans out.  What do you think?

This first picture was from a trip out to the Oregon coast.  We ended up having a rather remarkable day prior to this planned evening shoot, and we made a fascinating discovery that was far better than this sunset hoped to be.  That was a good day.

Cloudy sunset at an Oregon beach with seagulls on the shore | LotsaSmiles Photography

Next is a shot from Tokyo.  This was the only time during our entire trip to Japan that we saw Mt. Fuji, and it was from atop the Metropolitan Government Building.  The next time we visit, we’ll be sure to see Fujisan in all her glory!

Sunset over Tokyo, with the silhouette of Mt. Fuji as a backdrop | LotsaSmiles Photography

For anyone who has been following my blog for any period of time (or if you’ve visited this location), you should recognize that rock.  This is our favorite local beach: Cannon Beach.  This particular image was taken during a winter trip to watch the storms come in.  A beach day doesn’t always have to be all sunshine and sandcastles; a lot can be said for a cozy hotel, a jacuzzi, the lulling sound of ocean waves warring with the rhythmic pounding of rain, a bottle of wine, good company, and no responsibilities.

Blurred figure walking along the beach in front of Cannon Beach's Haystack Rock | LotsaSmiles Photography

This next picture was from my epic trip to the backwoods of Alaska (you can read that entire adventure here).  The cabin here was our first indication of returning to civilization after 5 days of sleeping with the bears.  It was sad to see the trip come to an end, but I’ll never forget our time there.

This was also my submission for Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness.

A cabin in the sedge grass of the Alaskan backwoods | LotsaSmiles Photography

From chilly to tropical, this sunset could be found off the Puntarenas coast in Costa Rica.  Life is just so much simpler on a warm beach…

Dark sunset off of Costa Rica | LotsaSmiles Photography

Back home for this one!  This was taken from my favorite sunrise spot in Portland.  We lucked out with the clouds that day.  Unfortunately, I missed the view the following day, when the colors were even more spectacular!

Sunrise over Portland's Mt. Hood, with the Hawthorne Bridge in the foreground | LotsaSmiles Photograhy

And finally, one had to rise to the top!  My favorite picture this week is from our hike to see Zion’s Emerald Pools.  The hike itself was somewhat underwhelming, but I still enjoyed the day.  You can read that story here.  Interestingly enough, I didn’t think this picture was all that special the way I originally edited it.  But when I applied the new “moody” look, it became my favorite of the week!

A waterfall trickling down a cliff face into Zion's upper Emerald Pool | LotsaSmiles Photography

I post daily on Instagram, and I’d love to hear from you either there or in the comments below.  Let me know what you think – which image is your favorite?  What do you want to see more of?

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