Exploring the World

Frames

Over the past summer, a few friends and I road-tripped west to New Mexico, Arizona, and finally California (you can see a few photos of New Mexico that I blogged but I haven't posted the others yet) .  We traveled over sweeping plains, through deeps canyons, into the giant Sequoias and the Redwoods, and along the coast of California.  I'm still amazed at what a variety of gorgeous places exist in our country and now have an awesome portfolio of landscapes photographs. Fast forward to the fall- I decided to enter the Georgetown Art Works Art Hop Competition and had to choose a photograph.  Of course, one of the lovely new landscapes I had taken on our road trip was the obvious choice, but I decided instead to submit a photo of Alex standing in the mouth of a cave on the shoreline of California.  In my submission, I wrote that we put frames around pieces of art or photographs to signify that image's importance, but in the moment that I took the picture of Alex, nature made that distinction for me.  Even after seeing some of the most beautiful places in the United States, the way that Becca, Alex, and I grew in friendship really did impact me more than any breathtaking landscape.  It's so easy to get caught up in taking stunning, award-winning photos that sometimes I need my focus to be re-framed around the things (aka people) I find most precious.

Ironically, I actually placed third in the Art Works competition with 'Frames!'  I guess paying attention to my philosophic musings paid off this time.  Yay!  Check it out, along with 'Rest,' the photo of swallows I took from my balcony.

Crystal Colorado

You send me angels You send me air

Like a crystal Colorado

You take me there

                -Crystal Colorado, Alpha Rev

The air in the mountains of Colorado refreshes me somehow.  It's crisp and clean and pure.  Don't get me wrong, I'm very loyal to Texas.  But Colorado has this invigorating quality to it that I just love and can't really explain.  Since my trip was infused with music and organic beauty, I thought that quoting one of my favorite bands, Alpha Rev, would be appropriate.  Their third album, City Farm: Roots was completely funded by fans and was recorded simply for the love of music and creating.

I am in awe of mountains.  Nothing else to be said there.

So how did I end up in Colorado?  One of my dearest lifelong friends, Jenny, currently calls Colorado home, so I couldn't resist a visit while I had some free time over the summer.

Jenny teaches music at Orsch, undoubtedly one of the coolest schools I've ever seen, and I got to enjoy playing and running and skipping and cartwheeling with the sweet kids there.  It's not often you get to play with a cowgirl, a princess, and the cutest raccoon ever, all in the same day.

I also had the privilege of photographing two sisters and another girl who took on the "Passion Project" of writing and recording their own songs.  These young ladies have beautiful voices and hearts.

Not only does Jenny inspire youngsters to pursue music, but she lives to make beautiful music herself!  I convinced her to let me take photos for her upcoming album with amazing original songs (like this one).  Or at least maybe if we all gang up on her, she'll actually record more of her songs!  Maria, Jenny, and I drove up and up and up to catch a gorgeous sunset over the Blue Mesa Lake.  While Jenny usually moves too quickly and freely to be caught on camera, I couldn't get over how much of a connection she had with the camera.  Dancing through the golden sunlight pouring over the mesa, we created some of my favorite images yet.

I'm showing serious restraint in posting a few as I did, just FYI.

We're now going to take a commercial break to recognize Subaru, the official sponsor of outdoorsy Coloradans.  Doesn't this photo just make you want to load up your camping and climbing gear and go on an adventure?

Ok, and now for possibly my favorite photo I've ever taken.

Maria and I had to get in on the pretty light before the sun set, too!

This past year, I've fallen in love with rock climbing, so I got to go bouldering under the bright blue Colorado sky!

The final thing to check off my Colorado to do list was seeing the stars in their untainted-by-city-pollution glory.  I still have a lot to learn when it comes to long exposure star photos, but it's a start!

California Road Trip!

I am currently in the middle of a camping, road-tripping adventure through Arizona, New Mexico and California!  I don't have much time tor write, but here's a few photos from the first few days of our crazy escape across the country.  I have been blown away by the beauty of our country and our Creator more times than I can count, from the tiny colorful caterpillars to the stunning mountain landscapes.