Summer in the Sierras - From King's Canyon & Sequoia Through Yosemite's Tioga Road to Tuolumne Meadows

Summer in the Sierras - From King's Canyon & Sequoia Through Yosemite's Tioga Road to Tuolumne Meadows

ae Lakes Loop - We came, we saw, we didn't conquer! Kinda...

Ok, we needn't get into the finer details, but the one silver lining of our failed attempt to backpack the entirety of the Rae Lakes Loop in Kings Canyon National Park was that we got to spend the week in Yosemite National Park's Tuolumne Meadows instead - a rare case when the consolation prize turned into the Grand Prize!

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A Sun Set Moon Rise Moon Set Sun Rise Shoot at Oakwood Gardens. Oh, and alpacas. Yes, alpacas.

A Sun Set Moon Rise Moon Set Sun Rise Shoot at Oakwood Gardens. Oh, and alpacas. Yes, alpacas.

The strawberry moon. That’s what they called this one. And that strawberry moon gifted me the opportunity of a lifetime.

But let’s start at the beginning.

About a year ago, I first met the founders and owners of Oakwood Gardens when I was assigned to photograph one of their cottages for Airbnb. When I drove onto that property, I did NOT expect to be greeted by a field of alpaca.

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I Just Went Through My THIRD Spring in the Pacific Northwest? Three!?? Wuh!? When? How!??

I Just Went Through My THIRD Spring in the Pacific Northwest? Three!?? Wuh!? When? How!??

I have no idea how it happened, when it happened, and if it wasn’t for these images as proof, if it even ever happened at all. It seems like just yesterday I packed up all my stuff and migrated to Portland, Oregon. But apparently it was many many yesterdays ago. So just for documentary’s sake, here’s the evidence of my third consecutive Spring in the Pacific Northwest - some of my favorite images from the past few months here. Hope you dig’.

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Gallivanting Around Grand County, Colorado to Capture Her in All Her 360 Glory

Gallivanting Around Grand County, Colorado to Capture Her in All Her 360 Glory

Not too long ago, I shared a post about my adventures shooting 360 in our country’s heartland and some of the eye-opening adventures along the way. Well, then Winter came and most of that gone done kaput - no one really wants to shoot their beautiful destinations in the midst of leave-less trees, mud, and colorless gardens. Well, we’re back in shooting season again, and the first destination client Miles Partnership sent Superswell VR, my Virtual Reality production company, was to Grand County, Colorado, along right on the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park looking upon the great Continental Divide. We were there to capture some of the prime destinations in both traditional still photographs and 360 images for Google Street View. Here are a few scenes I managed to bring back from a whirlwind trip to the Rockies.

For the 360s, keep an eye on a Google Map or Google Street View soon…

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Just To Show Me Who's Boss. Her Majesty, Mount Hood, Just Wanted To Show Me Who's Boss

Just To Show Me Who's Boss. Her Majesty, Mount Hood, Just Wanted To Show Me Who's Boss

T'was a crisp winter's day in the mountains high above the city is where this tale hath begin...

For real though, it wasn't just crisp, it was frickin' freezing! I was up in Welches, Oregon, essentially the gateway from Portland to Mount Hood, to shoot a property for sale in the area for a client. She offered me run of the condo if I wanted to stay a few nights, and being as the mountain was covered in fresh snow from the day before, my camera would not allow me to say no.

So…

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Bearing Witness to History and a Country Evolving - 360˚ Journeys Through the Heartland

Bearing Witness to History and a Country Evolving - 360˚ Journeys Through the Heartland

It's been a pretty wildly eye-opening last couple o’ months.

Recently, my virtual reality company, Superswell VR, was blessed with the opportunity to work with Miles Partnership, a marketing company that specializes in the tourism and travel industries. They contracted Superswell VR to shoot 360˚ Google Streetview campaigns for various destinations, including Oklahoma's Chickasaw Nation, the Kentucky State Parks, and Kansas' Visit Wichita.

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The Meeting of Life - A Weekend at the SITKA Center for Arts & Ecology

The Meeting of Life - A Weekend at the SITKA Center for Arts & Ecology

As a self-employed freelancer you spend most of your life looking for jobs, bidding for jobs, creating decks and proposals and quotes and presentations for jobs and, if you're lucky, about 15 to 20% of your time actually doing jobs.

Furthermore, more often than not, 80% of those jobs that you're actually doing are ones you don't even want to do but have to do to pay the bills.

But every now and then you get a gig that reminds you why you're doing what you're doing to begin with.

One of those gigs where you have to stop, slap and ask yourself "Am I seriously getting PAID for this!??"

Well, this was one of those gigs...

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Nature + Kiddos = Happy You Happy Me Happy We. The Future of Science and the Environment is in Your Hands.

Nature + Kiddos = Happy You Happy Me Happy We. The Future of Science and the Environment is in Your Hands.

For all of you that know me, you know that there are few things more important to me than ensuring that not another generation goes by that doesn't connect to Mother Nature and understand her importance and role in every aspect of our lives, from clean air we breathe to the water we drink.

I will do everything in my power to ensure that not another single generation goes by downplaying the effects of climate change and the role we humans play in it.

And one of the things that I'm proudest of is getting involved with Ecology in Classrooms & Outdoors (ECO)

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The Future of Forestry Coming into Focus - Breaking Down Barriers at the Society of American Foresters Annual Convention

The Future of Forestry Coming into Focus - Breaking Down Barriers at the Society of American Foresters Annual Convention

I recently had the distinct pleasure of photographing the Society of American Foresters convention, this year held in Portland, Oregon, and I must say, it's quite refreshing to see how the face and core of the organization is adapting and evolving with the times and today's realities.

For one, while there was plenty of talk about forestry in the sense of the old paradigm - logging, clear-cutting, lumber and industry - there was an equal, if not even more pronounced presence bubbling just underneath the surface prepared to discuss things like climate change and sustainability…

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The Columbia River Gorge and Mount Rainier National Park: A Great Pacific Northwest Smoke Out

The Columbia River Gorge and Mount Rainier National Park: A Great Pacific Northwest Smoke Out

The last couple of weeks are exactly why I now find myself living in the Pacific Northwest.

Sort of.

So it's no secret that this region of the country has some of the most incredibly beautiful and inspiring fodder for landscape and nature lovers and overall wanderlusters.

If anything, the region is known for its copious amounts of water and incredibly liberal natural display of every shade of green known to man.

It's what I moved up here to explore and embed with.

Between the forests, the waterfalls, the rivers, the coastlines, the almost-religious focus on sustainability and conservation and nature-worship, and perhaps the world's most concentrated populations of tree-huggers on the planet (myself proudly and unapologetically included), it's enough to occupy infinite lifetimes of discovery.

What we didn't see coming (well actually we did) was…

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The Tale of two Teslas, a Trip and a Tire. Oh, and the Palouse. A Photography Trip to the Palouse was part of it...

The Tale of two Teslas, a Trip and a Tire. Oh, and the Palouse. A Photography Trip to the Palouse was part of it...

We were only 55 miles in when it happened. 

This was a trip that has been in the works for a year.

Ever since we won a raffle prize for 72 hours with a Tesla, we’ve been giddy about getting the thing scheduled. Time gave out on us during the Summer of 2017, and winter in the Pacific Northwest is…well…winter in the Pacific Northwest, so we held out and waited until just before the one-year expiration date on the prize - Spring of 2018, which seemed totally worth it - I mean look at those Falcon doors:

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Guanajuato - Millions of Gallons of Happy

Guanajuato - Millions of Gallons of Happy

I hate dogs.

I've always hated dogs.

And if you were living with the trauma of being been bit by numerous dogs as a child, you’d hate dogs too.

So when a friend’s friend asked if I wanted to dog and house-sit for her, my immediate internal reaction was ‘NO chance!’

Then she threw a curveball – a Google Images link for ‘Guanajuato.’ This triggered my self-diagnosed compulsive wanderlust disorder (and unreasonable addiction to tacos) and my fingers found themselves frantically replying "YES ME!"

It was beyond my control.

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Young Scientists Growing Up Early and Embracing Ecology

Young Scientists Growing Up Early and Embracing Ecology

I walked into a 3rd grade classroom to hear them asking their teachers if they had to worry about being shot by guns. An hour later, I found myself joining the school in a walkout to protest gun violence.

The next class I walked into had a list on their TV of steps to take to identify 'fake news.'

While I haven't been in a third grade classroom in decades, I was pretty sure this was certainly not the 3rd grade I knew...

I was here to shoot photos for Ecology in Classrooms and Outdoors (ecologyoutdoors.org), a non-profit I've recently joing the board of that's dedicated to connecting children to nature, especially minorities and those in undeserved areas.
 

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Gettin' To the Heart of the Art at San Jose del Cabo's Hotel El Ganzo

Gettin' To the Heart of the Art at San Jose del Cabo's Hotel El Ganzo

Back in September, I was EXTREMELY lucky to have the opportunity to spend a week at Hotel El Ganzo in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. It sits on the other, quieter, more civilized side of the Baja peninsula from Cabo San Lucas and it's no ordinary place. Not only have artists like Thievery Corporation and Telefunkt recorded in their underground recording studio, but they have an artist-in-residence program in which they invite artists of different disciplines to stay in the rooms and decorate them however they please.

Needless to say, we ran into some pretty unique stuffs!!

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Bringing Nature to the Kiddos & the Kiddos to the Nature! I've Joined The Board Of ECO!

Bringing Nature to the Kiddos & the Kiddos to the Nature! I've Joined The Board Of ECO!

As you are all aware, a big part of the mission of my life, especially in the current climate in the United States, is to help bring science and nature to the up-and-coming generations. I'm attempting to do this by using emerging imaging technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality to introduce them and help stoke their curiosity in our natural world. This is a generation coming up that will never know a world in which these technologies do not exist, and I am determined to take full advantage of that.

So it is with great pleasure that I have accepted a role as

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Greatest Hits (aka Personal Favorites) From My Inaugural Pacific Northwest Autumn

Greatest Hits (aka Personal Favorites) From My Inaugural Pacific Northwest Autumn

If you've been following along, you know how integral our natural world has been over the past near-decade to my development and evolution as a human being, both personally and professionally. You may also be aware that I migrated up to the Pacific Northwest after a lifetime in Los Angeles to work on photography and virtual reality video projects to help connect people, and especially the younger generations, to science and our natural world. Well, with that move has come no only a drop in blood pressure, a rise in energy, and a higher genuinely-nice-to-acting-genuinely-nice-to-get-something-out-of-you strangers ratio, but, well, my first experience experiencing the seasons.

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On The Same Walls As Ansel Adams and Art Wolfe!? This Must Be Some Sort Of Mistake (But Sshhh ... Don't Tell The G2 Gallery)

On The Same Walls As Ansel Adams and Art Wolfe!? This Must Be Some Sort Of Mistake (But Sshhh ... Don't Tell The G2 Gallery)

The world hath DEFINITELY gone done lost its marbles!! When somehow, someway, I find my photos on a wall in an exhibition alongside images by Ansel Adams and Art Wolfe, among a slew of additional top-notch talent, it is irrefutable proof that insanity has infiltrated the collective human mind. But hot damn, I will do all I can to take advantage of that and roll with it...

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Leading Scott Kelby's WorldWide PhotoWalk - The Portland Chapter

Leading Scott Kelby's WorldWide PhotoWalk - The Portland Chapter

So it was early August and the posts and information for Scott Kelby's WorldWide Photowalk began to trickle through my streams. I've attended a few as a walker in the past, and was excited to participate again, this time in a new city, but when I logged on to register, there wasn't a Portland chapter or event scheduled. Seeing as how this was the 10-year anniversary of this annual event, I wasn't having any of that!! So I applied to lead a walk in Portland, and hot darnit, they agreed to let me do the thing.

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My Olympic National Park Zen (And Some Not So Zen) Moments - Backpacking the High Divide Loop

My Olympic National Park Zen (And Some Not So Zen) Moments - Backpacking the High Divide Loop

This was one of the main reasons I moved up to the Pacific Northwest...the great outdoors are not just a thing to do, they're the thing to do. Life, for the most part, revolves around Mother Nature and the wondrous gifts she bestows upon us, both physically and mentally, and one of the best ways to experience this is by disconnecting from anything and everything that dings, rings, or pings, and giving yourself completely up to her. 

In this case, it was some good ol' backcountry backpacking.

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