Wanderlust is contagious, thanks to envy-inducing travel photography, .
Isolation with a View
In California along the eastern side of the state line lies Death Valley National Park. Death Valley was established as a National Park in 1994. It features places like Badwater Basin which is the lowest point in the US at 282 feet below sea level. It also features the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, which is where this photograph was taken.
My Favorite Photos
When I was a kid, my parents bought a Nikon D40, which I quickly claimed as my own. My birthday and Christmas lists shifted from My Little Pony to telephoto lenses and polarizers, and I took “my” camera everywhere. And I was a snob. Phone cameras wouldn’t cut it. Now I don’t carry around my five-pound setup so much anymore, but I still manage some decent photos once in a while. These are my favorite photos, taken by me, from the length of my hobbyist career.
Visiting NC State Parks
I have visited NC State Parks throughout my life but a recent visit to my local art museum motivated me to try to visit all 41 State Parks this year. The Art installation “Safe Places” by Robert Johnson located at the Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, NC . The artist visited various parks in NC and recorded in his field journal the complexities and unique characteristics of each park. He then turned his field sketch journal into larger pieces of artwork.
The Short North
West Virginia Hills Where I Was Raised I was born and raised nestled in the hills of Wild and Wonderful West Virginia, and though I will always love my Almost Heaven, I moved away at the young age of 18 and ventured to Northern California with my high school sweetheart and lived-in the wine country for a time and then settled down in Columbus, Ohio where I have lived for over 30 years.
The "Small Town" in New York City.
I know what you're thinking. "A small town IN New York city??" But yeah, a small town inside the Big ol' city of New York. Or at least that’s what I like to call it.
Welcome to Winnipeg - Don't Forget Your Coat.
It’s a tale as old as time. Girl grows up, girl leaves town, girl moves to the big city, girl realizes she doesn’t need said city, girl moves home. At least the last time I checked. Well, that was certainly the case on August 3, 2020. After a grueling 3-day road trip across the country, and a 4-year hiatus, my minivan and I hurled back into orbit of my beautiful, old, prairie hometown. It was a moment I had tried to evade for years and yet, I couldn’t have been happier. What began first as a reentry into reality became nothing short of a love story. A story about old love, and about falling back in love.
History and Hope
My hometown of Columbia, SC is a city with a rich culture, a sinister, yet triumphant history, and an auspicious future. Columbia, is home to the beautiful and expansive Lake Murray, the World Famous Riverbanks Zoo and the Columbia Museum of Art. Columbia is home to legendary musicians, civil rights activists, medical pioneers and historic firsts in our nation. It was selected as the capital in 1786, after the capital was originally in Charleston, SC the country's most infamous trading post for slavery. While that history will be forever woven into the fabric of who we are as a state, South Carolina and the residents of Columbia have a hemorrhagic emission of hope-as reflected in our state motto:"While I breathe, I hope."
Toronto became my hometown relatively late in life. I grew up in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia during the Arab Spring which, needless to say, was a painful and traumatic experience. At the age of 5, my school was bombed and we quickly transitioned to at home learning. Everywhere around me I saw indescribable pain and suffering but I also saw hope, community, love, and determination. Alongside bake sales, school clubs at the middle school I attended sold revolution wristbands that we all wore with pride. We organized fundraisers, held each other during active shooter and bomb threat lockdowns, and had fierce debates about contentious issues – we had no choice but to be engaged and well informed about the suffering that surrounded us.
A hometown is where your soul sets on fire.
You may have heard stories of an amazing experience your friend had while travelling, or maybe a family member might have just got back from their vacation with amazing stories from a town that they absolutely loved (and this would obviously be before our new-world order with covid19 travelling restrictions), or perhaps there is something about travelling to a specific country and exploring it that is appealing to you. You might feel at home in a town you were born in. For some of us there is really no denying that a hometown is not always a town we were born in to call it home, nor a town we moved to at some point in our life. Sometimes that town is a place, where for the first time, your soul sets on fire.
Home Away From Home
Ever since I gained my independence via a driver's license, I've made it a priority to escape to Lindsborg, Kansas anytime I have the chance. It's the first place I go when I want to walk freely in the sunshine, mourn a breakup over a hot cup of coffee, or cozy up in the library to find a new book. The town holds many of my favorite memories and overtime has become my hometown away from home.
The Village Of Tijeras
Located 6,322 feet above sea level, The Village of Tijeras (which in Spanish means "scissors") is located about 15 miles East of Albuquerque. 15 miles doesn't sound like a whole lot of distance, but it was enough that I had a completely different experience growing up than any of my high school friends.
My introduction to the town next door- Just 10 minutes from the town where I grew up is the city of Northville. I’d often go visit my friend Susan who lived there for many years. On one such occasion I went into the downtown area and saw the latest children’s theatre production announced on display on Northville’s historic 100-year-old "Marquis Theatre" that said; “Alice In Wonderland.” As a photographer I immediately had an idea. I would ask Susan to drive my car with her dog Maggie in the front seats while I took some wide shots as we travelled around the block several times. I was picturing the two of them in my little car driving into a magical place which I would emphasize and highlight by hand-painting the town, complete with the “Alice & Wonderland ” signage while keeping the vehicle black & white in the final print. Susan drove around the block about 5 times while I stood in the back seat holding the roll bar so I wouldn't fall, as I clicked away grabbing the shot I was visualizing in my mind. At one point, Maggie moved her paw into the foreground near the gear shift. Through my lens it looked as if she was co-piloting the vehicle! That’s when I knew I had my shot. I titled the photo “Follow My Bliss,” a favorite quote of mine from the late author Joseph Campbell.