When I’m not taking photos, I love to scuba dive. It’s a great sport that takes us to amazing places where we often encounter some incredible things underwater. Recently, we took a trip to the Isle of Shoals, which is a small group of islands that span the border of Maine and New Hampshire in the Gulf of Maine. These islands are a summer haven for seals who haul out onto the rocky shores and rest – especially on Duck Island on the northern part of the chain.
Until COVID came along and disrupted global travel, I would usually take a business trip to Seattle about once per quarter. The weather in Seattle can be notoriously hit and miss, and on many of these trips I would often have trouble getting both good light and a free schedule at the same time. Frustrated after a few trips where I had brought my camera and gotten nothing, I nearly left it behind on my trip last June. But I sensed something in the weather forecast that one evening might be nice, and my calendar looked free from a distance. So I took my camera along, and nearly missed the critical time window anyway.
When we lived in the Denver area, I absolutely loved visiting the Rocky Mountain National Park whenever I could. It was about 1.5 hours away, and had some of the most spectacular scenery in the United States. On one visit in 2015, I wanted to find some scenery from the Trail Ridge Road up high in the tundra, but I struggled to find a good spot. On a hunch, I parked at the Lava Cliffs Overlook and walked up the hill across the road where I found this amazing view of the Trail Ridge Road zigzagging down the mountain with Longs Peak in the background.
Last year on a trip to Hawaii, I took a nice morning walk along a trail between Hapuna and Kaunaoa beaches. I was looking for sunrise light, but I slightly overslept and just missed blue hour, getting golden hour instead. The bright sun was already harsh, and there wasn’t a lot of morning color in the sky on the western coast of the Big Island. But after walking for a bit, I discovered this wonderful view of trees, water, ocean, and clouds from a vantage point above the Pacific. I loved the orientation of the trees and how the light and shadows fell between the trail, the inlet, and the trees themselves.
During this period of pandemic lockdown, and as the weather has begun to warm, I’ve started smoking meat again on my backyard Weber grill. Being a good Texan, I’ve loved eating smoked meat ever since I was a little kid. One of my grandfathers was a tremendous home chef who enjoyed smoking everything from fish to game, while my other grandfather was a master of pit barbecue, delivering up extraordinary chickens that I still haven’t been able to recreate. When I lived in Austin (and later San Antonio), I fell hard for the central Texas barbecue belt – eating at places like Smitty’s and Kreuz Market whenever I had the time to pop down to Lockhart. So yesterday, as I was smoking meat in my own backyard, I remembered this photo from a visit to Kreuz in 2014.