Happy 2024!

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

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

Next is a scene from Denali National Park, just before we hopped a bus to traverse the single 93-mile road into the park.  The clouds that day were so beautiful, lending some excellent texture to the sky.  You can read about that day right here.

Clouds above a mountain ridge near Denali National Park | LotsaSmiles Photography

This next photo was from a night in Kyoto.  We had been wandering around the city all day, and we stumbled into the Gion Corner, just in time for a historical culture show, complete with comedy, music, and puppets – all in Japanese, of course.  It was one of those odd perfect timings, and it was interesting to experience.  Just outside the theater hall was this building, and with the clouds overhead, I couldn’t resist snapping a long exposure.  This image almost doesn’t look real…

Clouds over a pagoda in Kyoto | LotsaSmiles Photography

Next, a relaxing image from our photo trip to Hawaii.  Life just moves so much slower there.  Our trip was still too short, however.  This was also my submission this week for Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness for the theme “relaxation.”  Does this image bring about a sense of calm?

Palm trees lining a Hawaiian beach | LotsaSmiles Photography

This is from a little beach on the Oregon coast.  There are dozens of these little coves all along the shoreline, and they’re just begging to be explored.  We lucked out that day with those fishscale clouds.  Best part: there was nobody else there.

Large driftwood logs on a rocky beach under fishscale clouds | LotsaSmiles Photography

This is a different beach on the Oregon coast and certainly more well-known.  This is a night shot at our favorite beach, Cannon Beach.  I didn’t expect to get many stars with all the clouds in the sky, but I wouldn’t give up.  I’m glad I went out to shoot anyway, because I was actually able to spot a few stars shining through the gaps in the clouds.

Stars peeking through the cloud cover above Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach | LotsaSmiles Photography

Finally, my favorite this week is unsurprisingly from Bryce Canyon.  This is actually from my Biweekly Wow post this week.  Truly, there were hardly any bad pictures from that park; everything was just phenomenally beautiful with all of the snow.  I can’t wait to go back (already).  You can read that post here, and stay tuned next week for more stories from our trip to Bryce.

Snowy hoodoos in Bryce Canyon at sunrise | LotsaSmiles Photography

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