Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Inner Journey

“The geographical pilgrimage is the symbolic acting out an inner journey.
 The inner journey is the interpolation of the meanings
 and signs of the outer pilgrimage.
 One can have one without the other.
 It is best to have both.” 
Thomas Merton

Effie Yazzie

I think Thomas Merton had it right and for me, photography has been the passport that drives that journey.  I believe that it's essential to follow your deepest passions and I truly believe there is honor in seeking out your calling and purpose. Speak your dream out loud and live it. Whether it be the people you want in your life or the path you want to travel. Live it shamelessly and truthfully, even in the darkest of times. Don't abandon it. In my own life, I've noticed a synchronicity to it, an obvious algorithm. When I'm on course, it flows.  Always giving, always moving forward, always enlightening. Fueled by gratitude and stalled by ego. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

"Gratitude is the doorway to abundance. As we invite the energy of gratitude into our daily lives, we become alchemists, turning dark into light, scarcity into abundance, and fear into LOVE."

Saturday, November 23, 2013

“He's of the colour of the nutmeg. And of the heat of the ginger.... he is pure air and fire; and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him, but only in patient stillness while his rider mounts him; he is indeed a horse, and all other jades you may call beasts.” Shakespeare

Friday, November 22, 2013

“There is nothing these hands can hold worth having. They cannot hold the moonlight, or the melody of a song, or even the beauty of a woman. They can touch her face, but not her beauty. Only the heart can hold such things.” 
Adam Bagdasarian

Thursday, November 21, 2013

One of things that struck me so much about this particular trip was...there were times so personally evident to me...that it was NOT important to photograph. There were times when...the beauty of the experience had nothing to do with the camera.


“This word gets thrown around a lot. Well, it isn’t always a fire that blazes hot. Rather, it is the power and joy that gets sparked by being present in every moment. It’s getting up each day excited about what lies ahead. It’s having faith in the unknown eager to embrace anything that comes our way. It is loving the journey. The one you’re on right now. We all set goals and have dreams, but true abundance reached beyond the goals we set for ourselves. Exist more profoundly in this moment that this one, the one you’re in right now, is really perfection. You are right where you are supposed to be. Choosing to embrace the fullness of this moment, finding love and opportunity where you are right now is choosing the most powerful way to live. It puts each of us squarely in charge of our own journey and of course our destiny. As Ernest Henley said in his poem Invictus, “I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.” Enjoy this moment and begin to live a life filled with passion.” – Oprah

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Monday, November 18, 2013

“I realized it for the first time in my life: there is nothing but mystery in the world, 
how it hides behind the fabric of our poor, browbeat days, 
shining brightly, 
and we don't even know it.” 
The Secret Life Of Bees

Thursday, November 14, 2013

"I took my love, I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
Till the landslide brought me down

Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

Well, I've been afraid of changing
'Cause I've built my life around you..."
Landslide by Stevie Nicks

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Ghost Dog:

For the most part, you'll never see my silent partner in my images. 
My hiking partner, my faithful companion, my partner in crime and fig newton enthusiast, 
my border collie,

Friday, November 08, 2013


The West Fork Of Oak Creek in Sedona-Autumn 2013

"Gratitude bestows reverence,

 allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, 
those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life
 and the world." -John Milton 

Thursday, November 07, 2013


It's the first chilly wind and smell of wood burning fire. 
It's fresh and baked, pumpkin and spiced, snug, solemn and melancholy. 
It's time to remember the long days of summer 
and things never meant to be.  
It's wisdom and separation and sorrow. 
It's sinful and scarlet, lustrous gold, wrecked vermilion and fiery orange.
It's cider and tea, wool scarfs and hiking boots. 
And it's very, very welcome. 

Wednesday, November 06, 2013


"I remember awakening one morning and finding everything smeared with the color of forgotten love." 
Charles Bukowski

What a difference a year makes. I'd been here a year ago, my first visit. Roaming around the country side with an adventurous Australian pro-photograpaher, I came home with some of my best landscape shots and some of my best traveling stories. Truly an amazing adventure. During my processing, I'd realized that in being overwhelmed a bit by the landscape grandeur, I'd sacrificed a few things photographically. My compositions were not as well thought out as they could have been and most notably, many unsharp images. 

Tuesday, November 05, 2013


“You only need one man to love you.
 But him to love you free like a wildfire, 
crazy like the moon, 
always like tomorrow, 
sudden like an inhale and overcoming like the tides.
 Only one man and all of this.” 
C. Joybell C.

Monday, November 04, 2013


It's sinful and scarlet, lustrous gold, wrecked vermilion and fiery orange.

"She seems so cool, so focused, so quiet,
 yet her eyes remain fixed upon the horizon. 
You think you know all there is to know about her immediately upon meeting her,
 but everything you think you know is wrong. 
Passion flows through her like a river of blood. 
She only looked away for a moment,

 and the mask slipped, and you fell. 
All your tomorrows start here." 

The Path

"The autumn leaves falling down like pieces into place
I can picture it after all these days
And I know it's long gone,
 and that magic´s not here any more
And it might be okay, 
but I'm not fine at all…

Time won't fly it's like I'm paralyzed by it
I´d like to be my old self again
But I'm still trying to find it..."
Settle into Autumn and stay awhile. 
Warm hues and cool mornings. 
Winding roads that stir whimsy in the leaves. 
Autumn breezes to entangle your long hair in that dance of the season
 of color 
and magic.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Between The Shadow And The Soul

“I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, 
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.” 
Pablo Neruda

A Life That Matters

Live a life that matters 

Ready or not, someday it will all come to an end. 
There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days. All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else. 

Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance. It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed. Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear.

So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists will expire. The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away. It won't matter where you came from, or on what side of the tracks you lived, at the end.

It won't matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant
Even your gender and skin colour will be irrelevant.
So what will matter?

How will the value of your days be measured?
What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built; not what you got, but what you gave.

What will matter is not your success, but your significance. What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught. What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.

What will matter is not your competence, but your character. What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you're gone. What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you. What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.

Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident.
It's not a matter of circumstance, but of choice.
Choose to live a life that matters.

~author Unknown

Friday, November 01, 2013

Fall Colors of Oak Creek

Lowepro Flipside 400 AW Backpack Review

I had the chance to try Lowepro's Flipside 400 AW camera backpack on my recent trip to photograph a few hikes in Zion National Park. This camera backpack is a high capacity backpack built for the outdoor shooter.  

As an avid hiker and landscape photographer, I need a sturdy backpack that will carry all my gear and also accommodate enough essentials to at least take me thru through a full day of shooting. I need to be able to carry all my camera gear, food, water and some basic first aid supplies with comfort and security. I use the Rover Pro 45L AW for backpacking, camping and multiple day shoots. 

The Lowepro Flipside 400 AW will easily hold my Pro DSLR body and attached lens and accommodate  4-6 lenses. The gear compartment area is fully adjustable with velcro padded compartments.

 Body side access means nothing will accidentally tumble out of my backpack if I have inadvertently unsecured the zip compartment.  

Comfortable padded shoulder and waist belt distributed my gear with extreme comfort while hiking 11 miles of the Narrows in Zion. I experienced no fatigue due to the backpack. 

While hiking up the Virgin River in Southern Utah, there were a few  times when the water level was waist high, yet I found comfort knowing the my actual camera was sitting high between my shoulder blades.

 The bag is not touted as waterproof but and I brought along dry bags, fortunately for most of the hike, the water level was seasonably low enough that I didn't need to dry bag my gear.

 I did fall once into a deeper part the river and completely submerged my backpack, but after quickly whisking it off to the side, I was relieved to see all inside contents were completely dry and stayed dry during the 9 hour hike. Once the tripod is removed the entire contents of the gear compartment are easy to access and will lay completely flat on the ground.  No fumbling around, it's all right there. 

The built-in all weather cover can also be used to lay under the backpack in wet
environmentsI prefer to completely remove my backpack before I shoot, but while standing in water or even snow this backpack offers the option to access  your gear while standing. Being able to change lenses, re-zip and flip the backpack back around on your back without removing the bag from your body.  In certain conditions, this could be a life saver. 

To get to the main compartment you keep the waist strap fastened, pull your arms out of the shoulder straps, then swing the bag to your front and let the top of the bag fall away from you as the rest pivots on your waist strap. It becomes like a small table in front of you that allows you to make changes to your gear without having to completely take off the bag.

I chose the Flipside 400 AW over the 300 AW due to the extra amount of gear compartment  space. 

However, being of smaller weight and stature at  5'4", the bag is noticeably large on my body frame. Even though this wasn't an issue in regards to comfort while hiking, the bag at times felt cumbersome and bulky having to load and unload often on the summer shuttle system at Zion National Park while being heckled by the Australians!.

I also felt as though the tripod hideaway mount didn't fully secure my tripod enough and it seemed to have a bit of movement in it, even with the adjustable straps. I noticed this while attempting to hike Angels Landing, a precarious hike with a drop off on both sides of the trail of more than 1400 feet.  

I may have felt more secure with the lower profile Flipside AW 300 which would have shaved almost 3 inches off the depth dimensions of the bag but certainly could not have
carried the same amount of gear

All things considered, I like this bag! I love the size and organizational possibilities of the gear storage area. For 5 days of intense hiking in water, over large slippery boulders, wet sand, mud, heat and high elevations, the bag did much better than my body did.

When I return to hike Orderville Canyon in the same area, I'll bring the Flipside 400 AW in tow.

Visit Lowepro's website and find the bag that works best 
for your shooting style.