It’s hard to know when something happens in one’s life that can alter their current reality. Could be turning left instead of right, going to that party that you really were too exhausted to go to and meeting your future husband/wife, ordering cream of broccoli soup instead of minestrone and getting food poisoning…whichever it is….life has those events. Approximately 4 years ago I was able to capture an image that changed my career. Did I realize it at the time? No…I was just excited to photograph this wave phenomenon. And that year I decided to say @^!# it and enter some contests. Then it started to happen. Waking up one morning early fall to see an email from Popular Photography Magazine that I had won their “Through The Lens” competition. A little ways down the line an email from American Photo Magazine come in….Nature Photo Of The Year…and it continued.
It’s hard to say what it all meant. Whether it was the impetus to keep me moving in a direction I wasn’t sure was going to work out or just briefly validated that I got lucky once and was in the right place at the right time.
Well, now we are here, 4 years later, 3 aFeinberg Galleries and over 1,000 Collectors from Beijing to Britain. Who knows what the next 4 years will bring but I know that I have been truly blessed by the island of Kauai to have been able to cultivate my being and abilities out here to be able to share with all of you.
As a thank you for being with me on this journey I am offering a special 15% off online orders.
Enter KABOOM15 at checkout.
May we continue this together….to infinity and beyond 😉
Up on a ridge in Arches National Park I had spotted a location to photograph a great panorama of sunset over the park. Of course, like any photographer there was a significant amount of waiting. So there I was, perched on this rock with my camera at this great expansive scene. Then I turned around.
Untitled Ke’e Beach
Low tide, pre-dawn twilight, earth shadow near the horizon and perfectly ribbed sand. Ke’e Beach, one of the most popular on Kauai if not the state of Hawaii, has a rare empty moment before the day brings sun bathers and hikers to wonder in the amazing Na Pali coast.
One of my main goals for this trip was to finally get to explore some slot canyons first hand. Having seen pictures over the years of various shapes and colors this part of the expedition was what got me most excited. After a dissapointing first day in which I was thwarted by mother nature and water that was deeper than my dry pants (read; <40F degrees and NARROW), my second attempt at different slots was much more of a success.
But of course success doesn’t come with some errors. After hiking up the first slot of the day I encountered some rangers who just better marked a trail over the top between the 2 canyons so that the second could be down-climbed instead of the more traditional way. Well, what I didnt expect was to spend an additional 1.5hrs wandering around a random wash in Escalante trying to find it. Finally I back tracked and came to rest from the sun under a tree and well would you believe it there was the trail heading up to the left. Doh!
Finally getting to the top enterance there was a rockfall that had blocked an easy entry soooooo….down climbing. First squeezing my way on to one of the rocks before the 7′ drop to the canyon floor. Too far to slide with my 25lb pack on so on to my belly, sliding to the edge, lower the bag as far as I could and ‘poof’, on to the floor. Now for me.
Gaining entry to this slot was interesting however I do not think I was mentally prepared for how narrow this actually was. For a majority of the time I was not able to carry my backpack but had to hold it by the strap and turn my body sideways and drag this ‘not so light’ pack behind me. Every now and then stopping of course as the texture, lines and light were just amazing. Besides the extremely narrow rock walls, because I was descending instead I would encounter people coming up! Uh oh. Then it was finding a spot were we could all slide by each other. Entertaining for sure. Admittedly, about half way down there was a point where the never-ending narrow walls started to etch its way in to my consciousness and had to talk myself down to calm. Never a dull moment!
This particular section of rock wall had these amazing knobs on the sides, as most of this one did, and the reflected light was glowing perfectly. Setting up a very awkward tripod position I was able to catch this ephemeral light and unique landscape. There is one thing I know is that I could come back here for days and experience different light every day and capture something new here. Truly a magnificent experience!
After not returning back to my car from the previous night’s shooting until after 11pm I knew the morning was going to arrive too quickly. Packed my car and headed off for the 45 min drive to my next location, Arches National Park. For whatever reason I knew I should photograph Arches but internally I wasn’t overly excited. Of course this changed when I woke up in the parking lot about an hour before sunrise and saw the landscape before me. In a serendipitous offering the entire Milky Way was arching over the exact landscape I was walking toward. Brilliant! I got about 30ft from the car before my camera bag was already on the ground and camera being prepared for the first photograph of the day. While the sky still felt dark the slight glow of dawn was already apparent through the camera’s sensitive settings. With sunrise still over 45 min away I was amazed at what could be seen. Over on the far right was the distant glow from the town of Moab. I made a number of panoramas of the scene before me and then off to my intended destination for the morning. Now if every day could start like this… 🙂