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Sunset, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Sunset, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

I have so many fond memories of watching sunsets on the west coast, and I always try to catch them whenever I can. There’s something magical about seeing the sun drop down and then disappear below a wall of waves – giving a final valedictory glow to the continent before darkness. When I visited Carmel-by-the-Sea last month, I knew I wanted to catch that same experience with a photo from the beach.

Mars and the Milky Way, Quartz Lake, Colorado

Mars and the Milky Way, Quartz Lake, Colorado

Taking astrophotos can be a challenge – you need to be in the right place (dark skies) at the right time (little moonlight) with the right weather (no clouds) at the right time of year (the Milky Way is only visible in the warmer months of the Northern Hemisphere). Fortunately, all of this worked in my favor on my backpacking trip to Quartz Lake in August, letting me take a truly dream come true photo of Mars and the Milky Way together in the night sky. There was a reason I lugged all of my heavy camera gear up and over a mountain pass, and this was it.

Barn at Sunrise, Waitsfield, Vermont

Barn at Sunrise, Waitsfield, Vermont

When I think about my many photos of Vermont, this one has long been one of my favorites. And like so many of my photos, this one has a story about combining timing, location knowledge, and weather. They all aligned to let me take this photo, and any one of them could have ruined it otherwise. Thankfully, the end result is a nearly perfect capture of Vermont as a place and a feeling. 

Clouds at Sunrise, Grand Tetons, Wyoming

Clouds at Sunrise, Grand Tetons, Wyoming

When my company had a team trip to the Grand Tetons in 2016, I was super excited for the opportunity to see an incredibly beautiful mountain range. One of the activities we could choose was an early morning animal photography experience, where hypothetically we would get to see some of Wyoming’s extraordinary wildlife up close. This event turned out to be kind of a bust – we mostly stayed in a bus and drove around looking for wildlife. And while we got to see some animals here and there, it was tough taking great photos from a bus by the side of the road. 

Macquarie Lighthouse at Dawn, Sydney, Australia

Macquarie Lighthouse at Dawn, Sydney, Australia

One of the things about traveling to Sydney from New York is that the jet lag will wake you up early. The time difference is 10 hours ahead, tomorrow, which more or less means that you want to be awake when everyone else is asleep and vice-versa. While this can be incredibly annoying, it does have the one benefit of making it easy to plan for sunrise photos. If I’m going to be wide awake anyway, I might as well capture something special. So it was with this in mind that I started looking for a place to go and see the world wake up.