After seeing some of the pictures of Tim McKenna taken at Big Bend National Park during this year’s Bluebonnet super bloom, I knew I needed to go. I quickly reserved a cabin in Terlingua and left after work a couple of days later.
That week, I decided to invite anyone from my photography group on Facebook if they wanted to go on this grueling trek across the great State of Texas. One person answered the call, so Betty Gaw went with me.
Betty and I set out after work on a Thursday and arrived 11 hours later at Big Bend National Park. The both of us were just stoked to be there and get some images of the beauty that awaited our arrival. The first night, we shot all night long and into the next day past lunch. It was so much fun, but by late afternoon, we needed a nap.
After 6 hours of sleep, we sprang out to the car to get another great night of astrophotography and shot all the way through mid-morning. After a couple trips to Alpine, TX, we ended up meeting Tim McKenna for dinner.
Tim McKenna is a salt of the earth kind of guy and he was a lot of fun to hang out with. Tim has some beautiful photography of the Big Bend area and being that he lives out there, he is able to get shots throughout the year. Tim’s motivation for his photography is to share something positive with everyone and he is doing a great job of that.
After dinner, Betty and I got another 6 hours of sleep and headed back to Houston with stops in Castroville, Poteet and Floresville. We got some shots of wildflowers along the road and finally made it back to Houston around 10:30pm.
This trip was at a dizzying pace, but it just makes me want to go back again. The images that I came home with are just phenomenal. I cannot wait to plan another trip… Maybe next year?
Ever since I got into photography, I have always made the statement, “I will never shoot a wedding!” You know they say, “Never say never…”
This past December a friend of mine, that I have a high level of respect for, asked me to shoot his wedding. Of course I said “Yes!” While were in Kenya together last January, he was talking about his then girlfriend and I joked with him that one day he’d ask me to shoot their wedding. There was no doubt in mind at the time that the two of them would end up together; they are perfect together.
Not only did the wedding go very smoothly, but I got great satisfaction out of capturing this special moment for them. The images that I walked away with were great and it was a wonderful experience.
In November 2018, I set out on a journey with three friends. Every year, the four of us try to plan a photography trip somewhere. We have been to the Smokey Mountains, New Orleans and all over Texas. This time, we decided to head west and go to Moab, Utah.
If you have never been to Moab, it is breathtaking. The city is surrounded by mountains and two very large National Parks and a State Park are nearby. To the North, you have Arches National Park. The West, there is Canyonlands National Park. And, in between those two National parks is Dead Horse State Park.
Arches National Park gets its name from all of the naturally formed stone arches. Everywhere you look, you find arches that look like nature’s windows. It is a very cool place to visit.
Canyonlands National Park is famous for the deep canyons that fall off from the park. You are literally up on an island in the sky. Many of the westerns that were filmed in mid-twentieth century were made in the area.
One of the other great things about these parks is that they are designated as “Dark Sky” Parks. You can get some amazing views of the stars and during parts of the year, you can see the Milky Way very well. We were fortunate to be there with good weather and mostly clear skies.
One night, I was with my friends Tim, Andy and Jeremy shooting a magnificent scene and I just had to soak up the moment. Here I am in the desert with some of my best friends shooting some epic shots of the Milky Way. It just doesn’t get any better than that.
In January 2018, I got the opportunity to travel to Kenya once again on a mission trip. We flew to Kisumu, Kenya and I was reunited with friends that I have made on past trips.
Our mission trip concentrated on facilitating pastoral training for some of the local ministers in the area. Once we had completed the work of our mission trip, we headed down to the Masai Mara for some Rest before returning to the States.
If you have never been to the Masai Mara, basically you drive around in open top vans all day waiting for your driver to hear of something exciting on the radio. The buzzing of Swahili over the road ramps up and you know that you are about to see something very cool.
One of my favorite shots of the trip was actually during our brunch out on the Mara. I have seen the Superb Starling on past trips, but I was never able to get close enough to one to get a good shot. This past trip, I was sipping on my coffee under a tree and this Superb Starling stopped by to see what was for breakfast. I carefully set down my coffee and grabbed my camera. The Starling just sat there and posed for me while I got my shots. It was an amazing moment. I personally think the Superb Starling is one of the most beautiful birds in Africa.
Recently, I was able to fulfill a longtime calling to travel to Costa Rica on a photography trip. The plan came together quickly after I saw a special on airfare direct from Houston to San Jose, Costa Rica. I booked the flight before I even knew where I was staying, what I would be photographing or anything else that might resemble a plan. While this was rather spontaneous and uncharacteristic of me, it also led to one of the greatest photography trips that I have taken. I want to share my experience along with recommendations so that you too can go and enjoy Costa Rica. While I am happy with the pictures that I brought home, they pale in comparison to actually going to Costa Rica and sharing in the experience. I hope to return next year with my family so that everyone can enjoy.
The Flight to Costa Rica
Did you know that Southwest Airlines flies directly from Houston to San Jose, Costa Rica? When I received an email advertising a special on direct flights from Houston I hopped on the chance and booked my trip. The flight was just as a I come to expect from Southwest Airlines – No extra fees for for your first piece of checked luggage and the same comfort and level of customer service that have become the brand of Southwest Airlines.
The flight from Houston to San Jose, Costa Rica is only 3.5 hours, so before you know you it, you are off on your adventure. A pleasant surprise was that for an extra $8, they offer wifi on the flight!
Business Cards or a Sticker? Recently while planning to a trip to Sweden, I ran across an ad for stickers. I started thinking to myself, “Who doesn’t like stickers?” So I decided to design a sticker for the trip and hand them out along the way in addition to my business cards. This gave way […]
How can you help with the Kenya Flood effort? April 22, 2018 – For the past several days, Kenya has been subject to severe rains and flooding. The forecast over the next 5 days is calling for more of the same. What is compounding the issue in Kenya is that they have been in a […]
The Preparation When shooting the Northern Lights, there is a bit of homework that should be conducted before traveling to attempt to get any shots. This step is often overlooked and can lead to poor results when ignored. Scout locations by satellite view on Google Maps prior to travel Focus your location search on areas […]