Wednesday, April 22, 2015

“My storm is my own...Enter if you dare.
However, bear in mind 
that the tempest of desire is fraught with unpredictability
 from the highest peaks to the depths of the abyss. 
Do not expect a smooth ride, 
but expect a true and passionate one...” 

― Virginia Alison

Sunday, April 19, 2015

 " Fire & Ice" 
Romancing The American Southwest 

Thursday, April 09, 2015

“Success is the ability to go from failure to failure, without a loss of enthusiasm” 
– Sir Winston Churchill

Only a few months after buying my first full-frame DSLR I ventured off to Utah to see Zion National Park in the winter of 2012 after having fallen in love with Utah, I had been there just 4 weeks before shooting the fall colors. Completely overwhelmed by the landscapes but in a good way. Utterly overwhelmed as a newbie photographer having never even shot a sunset. 

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

"You're the light, you're the night
You're the color of my blood
You're the cure, you're the pain
You're the only thing I wanna touch
Never knew that it could mean so much, so much…"
Lyrics-Love Me Like You Do

Saturday, April 04, 2015

"On rare occasions, we’ll still align.
 I will pass through your shadow and bask in your sunlight; 
my face awash in gold and red and 
I’ll remember the way things were.
 But lunar eclipses, they’re few and far between 
and they’re not enough to save us." 

— Stephanie Georgopulos

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

I've been mindful of a great expanse of emotions.
 I've been awed and I've been terrified. Seen monsters and miracles. 
Breathlessly excited and down to counting my last breath.
 Been deeply in love and even deeper in loss. 
When this existence is over should I be asked, Where did you find your wonderment?

I would say, I found it on a deserted and frozen sand dune.
 I looked around when I was alone and cold 
and as the dark sky began to glow with hues of elusive warmth, 
I forgot my woes. 
The shivering was replaced by a warm euphoria 
and I felt baptized by the light of a star that came all that way just to shine on me
 as I realized I had a place in the cosmic order of it all.

I closed my eyes because of all the things I've felt in my life, 
nothing compared to the warming  promises of the sun
 who asks not for whom it shines, 
it just shines.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sunday, March 29, 2015

"I do not exist to impress the world. 
 I exist to live my life in a way that will make me happy. " 
Richard Bach

In these places and these moments are where I find my happiness. 
Photographing them brings me back to them
time and time again

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Outdoor Photographer Magazine

Published in the Black and White Issue, August 2014

Starry Starry Night

Voices On The Edge

“You may encounter many defeats, 
but you must not be defeated. 
In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, 
so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” 
― Maya Angelou

The Blue Lakes Trail, Colorado

The year of preparation and anticipation buzzed by me since I'd read the article in Outdoor Photographer Magazine featuring the Blue Lakes Trail in Colorado. Nestled between rugged ridges and peaks over 13,000 feet in the Mount Sneffels Wilderness area sits the Blue Lakes Pass. Within the pass, this trail visits three spectacular glacial cirques, meanders past a breathtaking waterfall, all the while set among fields of seasonal wildflowers.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Crucial Elements

Canyon Sunrise 

I often feel like I live my life lurking around in the dark. I head off to work in the dark and more often than not as I move into a new landscape to shoot I'm heading in to catch the twilight hour or sunrise, thus traveling or hiking in the dark.  I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that this causes a bit of apprehension and anxiety, especially in an area I've not traveled in before. Going down the wrong dirt road in the pitch of darkness, navigating dark trails even with headlamps, encountering the wildlife on the move, all this can get ones adrenaline pumping. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Luminous Landscape

I was happily outed by the prestigious online mecca for all things photographic "The Luminous Landscape" in a article called "Portrait Of An Emerging Photographer".  
The site boasts a readership of over 1.2 million hits a month. 

Founded over 15 years ago by Michael Reichmann,  a professional photographer for over 45 years with an impressive background to say the least!  Together with Kevin Raber who also has spent over 40 years in the industry and is now the new CEO of Luminous Landscapes, the place is taking on a bit of a transformation, literally.  The new layout for the site was unveiled recently and is modern, colorful and visually exciting. 
The Luminous Landscape site has been an essential resource for my continuing photographic education from equipment reviews to video tutorials to discovering new and inspiring works from others in the craft. 
I'm happy to announce that I've written my second Lula essay, entitled "Life After Luminous"  and I'll be returning several times a year as a contributor. I couldn't be more excited to be part of such an extraordinary presence in the photographic community.   

If you enjoyed the essay, leave a note: HERE

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Published : Popular Photography Magazine 2015

"Popular Photography Magazine, 
formerly known as Popular Photography & Imaging, also called Pop Photo, is a monthly American consumer magazine that has the largest circulation of any imaging magazine, with an editorial staff twice the size of its nearest competitor"

Needless to say, 
I'm estatic! 
"Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms you would never see the true beauty of their carvings." 
— Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

The Blue Hills, Southern Utah 

Sunday, March 08, 2015

"Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; 
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night." 
— Sarah Williams

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

A snowy "Natural Bridge" in Bryce Canyon National Park 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thus, the task is not so much to see what no one yet has seen, 
but to think what nobody yet has thought about that which everybody sees.” 
Arthur Schopenhauer

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Grand Canyon 

"Beautiful doesn't begin to describe it. A flower is beautiful. But this is beautiful the way that a person is beautiful- terrifying with its jagged edges, yet seductive with its crevices that hide so many secrets." 
— Jeri Smith-Ready

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Hint Of Grandeur

“Thus, the task is not so much to see what no one yet has seen, but to think what nobody yet has thought about that which everybody sees.” 
― Arthur Schopenhauer

The Grand Canyon at sunrise 

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

"This is how I would die 
into the love I have for you: 
As pieces of cloud 
dissolve in sunlight." 
— Rumi

Desert View, Grand Canyon

Monday, February 02, 2015

Photographer Of The Month

I share the calendar spot-light with some of my absolute favorite photographers! 
Thank you, Aperture Academy for a thought-provoking interview and a fine platform. 
To see my name up there with the likes of  Art Wolfe, Guy Tal, David Cobb and Paul Marcellini and Stephen Oachs to name a few. 

Sunday, February 01, 2015

The Grand Canyon

“Beautiful doesn't begin to describe it. A flower is beautiful. But this is beautiful the way that a person is beautiful- terrifying with its jagged edges, yet seductive with its crevices that hide so many secrets.” 

― Jeri Smith-Ready

Friday, January 23, 2015

"Love at first sight is always spoken in the past tense. The scene is perfectly adapted to this temporal phenomenon: distinct, abrupt, framed, it is already a memory (the nature of a photograph is not to represent but to memorialize)... this scene has all the magnificence of an accident: I cannot get over having had this good fortune: to meet what matches my desire". Roland Barthes
"Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence." 
— Henry David Thoreau

One of the most exquisite of scenes I think I've ever viewed. The perfect time of day and light created this breathtaking back-lit scene that gives way to feeling lost and small in something of a displaced  Japanese garden perhaps.  Just somewhere else bright, exotic and surreal.  Beautiful reflective canyon light bouncing off 3 canyon walls at once.  Soft and warm as the tree mimics the canyon curves perfectly. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

"Take long walks in stormy weather or through deep snows in the fields and woods, if you would keep your spirits up. Deal with brute nature. Be cold and hungry and weary." 

— Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, January 15, 2015


I had a couple of hours to come up with a bio and photo of myself for a photography project I was working on.  To be truthful, I knew I had to do it but procrastinated hugely.   I was actually on my way out to hike with my dog and had to turn around when I got a email  to "get it done" today.

Even though at one point in my years as a California beach girl, I did print work. I was never prepared for the industry.  I'd been "scouted" one day at a gym and didn't give it much thought.  Easy money, side work until a "particular" shot went viral on the internet and while driving one day in my car, I actually heard the local DJ's talking about my photo and myself. It was utterly surreal. I became suspiciously fearful of that kind of attention and I started to change. 

I loved the photography but after a while, the act of having the camera pointed at me created a full-blown phobia. I have no idea why, I just know the anxiety it began to produced. If you want to get rid of me, you'll never have to insult me, just aim a camera at me and I'm gone.

  How do you explain such a fear?  At a breakfast meeting with a group of photographers, one literally sat across the table and aimed his camera at me while I tried to eat.  I got up and left never saying a word to anyone.  I now found myself avoid meetings, meet-ups, anything like that, and yes, I know it's my loss.   

After delving into a crash course in self-portraiture this weekend I realized the whole time my heart was pounding!  I'd get the camera in focus and my face wouldn't be. I'd get my face in focus and my tripod wouldn't be. I had  a tough time with focus and this is what I ended up with. I had this naive notion that as my work was getting more and more exposure, I could still live in an anonymous role as just the person behind the camera or behind the pen. However such theories were starting to break apart, into reality. Especially with the advent of social media, obscurity is an obscure notion.  Recognition happens, albeit uncomfortably. 

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Published: Arizona Highways Magazine

December 2014 Issue

Something wonderful this way comes…

In a letter that reads, Dear Contributor, my mind and heart fills with so so many emotions as I'm officially published in Arizona Highways Magazine for the first time. 

2015: While The Snow Falls

Winter came down to our home one night
Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow,
And we, we were children once again.
~Bill Morgan, Jr.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Everything in creation has its appointed painter or poet and remains in bondage like the princess in the fairy tale 'til its appropriate liberator comes to set it free. 
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, January 05, 2015

“I do an awful lot of thinking and dreaming about things in the past and the future - the timelessness of the rocks and the hills - all the people who have existed there. I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show.” 
― Andrew Wyeth —

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

“One love, one heart, one destiny.” 
― Bob Marley

A recent interview for a photography magazine about my images and time spent in Sedona had me reminiscing about the evolution of my work and how without sounding cliche, it changed everything about my life. 

After my mom died, I sort of threw myself into hiking and camping and Oak Creek Canyon and Beaver Creek became my favorite areas to explore and spend time.  I decided to start a writing project to document and create trip logs for my hikes and camping  for my blog.  I always carried a little Olympus C-770 point and shoot digital camera in my backpack but my hand-held and unsophisticated images just didn't do the landscapes justice.  I wanted a much more professional look for my blog and frankly, I blamed the camera. 

In what was a monumental purchase for me and marked the seriousness in which I approached this project, I bought a DSLR.  I worked two jobs and after almost a year I had enough money to buy a Canon 450D Rebel and a Sigma 17-70mm lens.  I came home with my new camera and unpacked it, stared at it, attempted to read the manual and broke out in a cold sweat. I was in way over my head and I put the camera back in the box and wouldn't touch it again for a year. I started checking out photography workshops and found that most cost even more than the camera did and I seemed back at square one.  It became clear after attempting to decipher the manual that everything evolved around the concept of exposure. 

I would sit on my floor and hold that camera and to me, it was one of most beautiful things I'd ever owned.  Yet, its complexities eluded me and in truth I was afraid of it. I had to teach myself how to use it and I needed a basic education in photography and starting with exposure seemed like the best place. I did a lot of research to find which particular book most people found helpful and I came up with Jeff Wignall's book "Exposure Photo Workshop" and that's where I started and it became my bible.  I started watching the video tutorials on how to operate the Canon 450D and slowly but surely things started to make sense. 

So I headed out. I had a small Canon backpack that held my little Rebel, one lens, water and snacks for an entire day and my book on exposure.  I'd camp at Beaver Creek or Manzanita and spend the day on either the West Fork Trail or the Bell Trail and practice my photography and I did this faithfully every weekend and every free moment I had. The images were mediocre at best but started to gain some attention via social media. I wrote often and honestly about my quest. The trials and tribulations, the frustrations and the set backs of a newbie photographer but more importantly discovering that in those countless hours of solitude among some of the most beautiful scenery, a life was transforming. 

The interview brought me back to one particular moment. A pivotal moment for so many reasons.  I had been photographing just down the creek from Slide Rock in Sedona and was trying to set up a composition that required me to get into the creek.  This was a cold and stormy morning and it wasn't particularly smart for me to be in the creek.  I was in up to my waist and it started to rain as the wind picked up.  I headed back up the side of the canyon and sat under the bridge for shelter. I was freezing and it was a long walk back.  I huddled under the bridge hoping the rain would subside and I had this clear realization that wasn't kind.  Sitting under the bridge in the rain and just started to cried.  Who was I trying to kid?  I couldn't afford workshops or the education that others could. I couldn't afford the gear or even a decent backpack.  I couldn't even afford the proper clothing to be out in the elements, hence sitting like a drowned cold rat under a bridge and I couldn't even tell my mom.  It was a spectacular moment of self-pity.

Delving into the world of photography in some ways has been more about defining my own character  than simply taking images. I can't even count how many times I've asked myself, "how bad do you want it".  In relating this story once to a photographer friend, I said I've always felt like the poor kid looking in the window at the more privileged, the drier warmer privileged.  In truth, I can't say that some of those sentiments don't still linger a bit with the constant barrage on social media of the daily posts of those purchasing the latest most advanced gear or exotic workshop locations far out of my own reach at least in this lifetime. 

A couple of years later, I'm still here. I still feel like the kid looking in but different. More at peace and extremely grateful because now I know why I'm here. I'm here because I simply love photography.  I love chasing the light, I love reading everything I can about doing just that.  I love those countless hours of solitude tinkering around sand dunes and studying rocks. I love capturing an image in those seconds of the day that are magic. I love editing and I still sit on my floor and hold my camera and think it's the most beautiful thing I've ever owned.  

Eventually, with hard work and time, I've acquired most of what I'll ever need.  I bought a down jacket and good winter clothing and gear that allows me to stay in the elements longer and dryer.  I upgraded to a full-frame DLSR (used) and added a few previously owned lenses.  I edit on my Mac laptop that I carry with me everywhere. 

So this is why I tell people that I learned my photography in a forest, the enchanted forest of West Fork. Countless hours wandering and studying the light. Working on sharpening techniques and simplifying compositions. Testing exposures  and new ideas. I never really needed anything that made me cry that one day under the bridge, except maybe the jacket.  Since those early days, I've branched out further and explored more complex locations. It's still all a learning curve for sure. 

I think of photography like I do poetry.  You can sit poised with a precious golden pen or an old pencil but either way, the art comes from the heart. Doesn't matter what you write with. 

In getting back to the story, I'd been contacted by a columnist at a major photography magazine (details later) who asked if I would do an interview and talk about my photography in and around Sedona. Now this alone, given the journey I'd just talked about was enough to put a huge smile on my face and certainly gives one that sense of validation but it gets even better.  The columnist just happens to also the be the author of that very first book I read on exposure.

That's Destiny 

Monday, December 29, 2014

"It's the heart that knows the path. 
The mind is just there to organize
the steps" 
J. Brown.