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Happy April, all!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend (whether or not you celebrate the holiday) and you’re ready for a brand new week!

This week’s selection turned out well.  I usually mostly select my Instagram photos at random, though I try to pick a variety of my better images.

I’m trying something a little different with my set this week.  Check it out on my Instagram account to see it in action, and I’ll talk more about that next Monday.

This first image was from a leisurely stroll through one of Kyoto’s many shrines.  Everything was so green – even in the fall – and the views were spectacular.  I can’t wait to go back to Japan.

Sun poking through the trees along a shrine path in Kyoto | LotsaSmiles Photography

Here’s another from my fortuitous misty morning on Diamond Lake in Central Oregon.  The mist was beautiful that day, and I’m glad I got up to see it.

Seagulls rest on a log in the early morning mist on a chilly lake reflecting a sunrise-kissed mountain peak | LotsaSmiles Photography

Next, a simple image from Hawaii.  We were quickly shooed off the peak of Mauna Kea after this, so this is one of my few star photos from that trip.  Next time, we’ll have to figure out a way to stay after dark and capture the Milky Way.

Stars begin to shine as the last rays of sunset disappear from the top of Hawaii's Mauna Kea | LotsaSmiles Photography

This photo is from a 4th of July trip to Lincoln City.  We wandered the beach to this beautiful spot, and Mother Nature put on a spectacular show for sunset prior to that evening’s fireworks.

A man stands silhouetted on a rocky shore in front of the last rays of sunset | LotsaSmiles Photography

Next, one of my favorite shots from Mesa Verde.  This is an iconic shot, and plenty have taken it before me, but I still like this scene of a little ancient city, hidden under the cliff’s edge.  You can read about our adventures in this spot here.

Mesa Verde's Cliff Palace at sunset | LotsaSmiles Photography

From inland to the coast, this is another wonderful nook.  We happened to have perfect clouds that day.  This was also my submission for Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness.

A small beach cove, dominated by a large boulder, under fish-scale clouds | LotsaSmiles Photography

Finally, you know I had a biweekly wow this week, so it’s no surprise that it topped my list.  This was the pre-dawn view from Zion’s Canyon Overlook, and you can read the story here.

The view at Zion's Canyon Overlook just before dawn | LotsaSmiles Photography

As always, I’d love to hear your comments below.  Which image do you like best?  What kinds of shots do you think I should try next?

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