I was hoping to have my best of 2015 post up for you all today, but I completely underestimated the time it would take to narrow down my favorite photos of the year! :/ I’m trying not to get all sad about 2015 being over, because 2016 hasn’t started out on the best note. Sick for the first week, the weather is crap, I spent far too much time yesterday dealing with my business bank account being hacked (yay!), and a bathroom that isn’t functioning properly. You think I’d be used to this after almost two years in our house, but it still makes me crazy.
I’m trying to think positive, that it can only go up from here, but I’m really just trying not to blow money on a plane ticket to a warm location and an unlimited supply of fruity drinks. 2016, you are on notice. Get yourself together and stop giving me headaches. Tell me I’m not the only one? 🙁
Anyway, when I sent off my film from our trip to Barbados, I also sent off a roll I somehow let roll around in my desk for about 4 months. I know, it’s sad. I’d completely forgotten about our trip to Port Townsend. H had a work trip, and I tagged along for a long weekend. It was a cute little town, and we loved being back on the ocean for a couple days.
Some of these will be available through my Fine Art galleries later this month.
Maple Pass Loop.
I didn’t really plan to go hiking the day after Natalie & Sam’s wedding. But when I asked them at the rehearsal dinner about a couple good Methow Valley hiking spots, they both recommended the Maple Pass Loop. So much so, that they told me H shouldn’t do the hike on Saturday, but we should go together on Sunday.
They promised it was easy, and even though it was 7.2 miles long, it was worth it.
I felt like I was going to die. At least a dozen times. We started early to “beat the crowds” — spoiler alert: we saw less than a dozen people during our hike — and to beat the heat. We also started early so that we wouldn’t be too late checking out of our hotel.
What I learned on my first hike after at least a decade:
- European hikes are better, because Europeans put little cafes on the top of mountains. Hiking = cake. Awesome.
- After about a mile, I started telling Hubert about the breakfast I wished I’d eaten: bacon, eggs, pancakes and a side of fruit. I’m always hungry the morning after a wedding, but wedding hangover + hiking resulted in me craving a diner breakfast.
- H is the best. He hauled my camera around so that I wouldn’t have to carry anything. And he kept encouraging me.
- I’d forgotten how amazing it is to be completely along, with no one around (at one point, H went ahead of me to scout something out) and without any devices to amuse me. It’s so peaceful.
- Climbing a mountain, hiking 7.2 miles, and doing it all before noon leaves you feeling pretty accomplished. Doing so the day after a wedding, then sitting in a car for 4 hours to drive home, leaves you sore enough to swear you’d never move again.
Maple Pass Loop is amazing. Even in the fog, when you can’t see the mountains in the distance, you’ll love it. The last three photos were taken by H, on his phone.
In April, I went up to Vancouver, BC for the Canada Photo Convention. This wasn’t my first trip to Vancouver, nor will it be my last, and I was pretty busy with the conference, so I didn’t get to see much around the city. Although I did escape one afternoon when my brain couldn’t take any more learning and went exploring with a couple ladies from the conference.
Mostly we explored Granville Island, but then we wandered downtown a bit too. I was shooting with a different film stock, and…I didn’t like it. Some of the photos turned out pretty different (terrible even) from what I’d hoped they would look like. I guess that’s the downside of film, and why there aren’t as many images as normal.
The conference was great, and someday soon I’m hoping to get a real recap of it up. I think it’s important to continue educating yourself, and while I probably won’t be going to CPC next year, since I’ve got some other travel plans in the works, I would encourage everyone to attend a conference like CPC or WPPI at some point in their career. The ability to network, in person, with people in your field from all over the world is fantastic. The crew at CPC is wonderful (I’m going to blame it on them being Canadian, because I’ve rarely met a cranky Canadian), and the sushi in Vancouver is cheap — and amazing. Mmmm, sushi.
I’m terrible at sending in my film, because I’m always frustrated to pay for the shipping. So I stock it up until I have a few rolls, which can take a while in the winter. I just got a batch of scans back from late last fall and early this spring!
When I crossed the border from Germany into the Czech Republic, it marked the first time I’d been back in the country since January of 2009. I hadn’t meant to be gone that long, but it happened. And, because most of this part of the trip involved catching up with friends and my Czech host family (I have new brothers!) and fighting off a cold, I was almost surprised to see that I had actually taken pictures when I got the film scans back this week.
Olomouc: I lived in Olomouc with my host family for a year as a high school exchange student. While I was there in October, the weather was kind of gross and I only really had time to walk around the main square. I used to walk through this square almost daily after school and while it’s changed so much in the past decade, the main things (the UNESCO monuments, the town hall) are still, of course, there. Some things have changed – significantly – since I was there almost 8 years ago, but it’s still recognizable.
Prague: I spent roughly a day and a half in Prague, most of it catching up with friends. I stayed in the neighborhood I used to live in (Prague 2, near the border between Zizkov and Vinohrady) which has also changed a lot since I was there, and out near the airport.
PS – while most of these are photos taken for my own nostalgia, you can purchase a few of them through the personal work gallery on my proofing site and add a little Czech scenery to your home.
This week, I’ll be out of the office, visiting Vancouver, BC and Portland, OR. I’ll be checking in on my email occasionally, and I’ll be back next Monday. If you’re in Vancouver or Portland, let’s grab coffee! Or take some photos, because I’m so excited to visit a couple of my favorite PNW cities and take more photos. Below are some photos from my last trips to Portland & Vancouver.
See you next week!
I have this habit of starting posts and then…nothing. I’ll get a paragraph or two, or sometimes I save a draft with a two sentence idea. This post, I started in Alaska. I’d just been on a glacier cruise in Wittier, and I was in awe, to say the least. And yet, I felt like it needed more. Instead, I think it just needed a photo or two.
I’m on the bus between Wittier and Anchorage, just after finishing one of the most spectacular days of travel. And as I sit here, I want to savor every moment. I want to savor the moment when I saw those sea lions, playing on the rocks, and how the glaciers didn’t look so blue because the sun was shining down on us but the sea was that perfect shade of teal. The shade I’ve always associated with the ocean, because it’s the color of the Puget Sound. I want to remember how absolutely thrilled I was to see sea otters playing and swimming around our boat. How cold and crisp the air is here, even only a few days in to fall. How the glaciers, larger than I could have imagined, more beautiful that I could have dreamed, have lost miles of their mass into the ocean due to our planet warming. How these mountains kiss the water as the tide comes in, how the clay bottom of the sound looked as the tide went out this morning.
Because this is why I travel. To experience the newness of life. To taste the beauty of the world. It’s not to check off a list or to brag to my friends. It’s to open my eyes to the beauty of the world. To feel my heart swell with admiration for what this world holds. And I hope that, as I see the beauty in this world, I appreciate it more. That I cherish it enough to do my best to save it for my children, and their children. Because I want them to understand the beauty of Alaska too.
These images can be purchased as prints here.