On of my favorite things to do is explore new places, especially when I am doing so in a foreign country! There is nothing quite like the thrill of driving through an unfamiliar land, driving up any random road that looks interesting and being surprised by what you find.
With todays technology, it has never been more easy to do this! Exploring with an iPhone and Google maps may seem like “cheating”, but it can be very rewarding if you use them to push yourself farther than you'd go with just a simple map.
When I was in Bavaria last fall, I was simply driving along any road that looked interesting, but when I started hitting closed roads due to construction, I needed to whip out my trusty map app to guide me back on track. I started following any road on the map that looked interesting and found a very rural looking path along a lake. So I figured “why not”. It turned out to be a path along Sylvenstein dam, an incredibly beautiful area that I would have never found on my own.
Yet, despite the beautiful scenery, the truly special moment came when the sun started peaking through the clouds, creating these beautiful sunrays. I quickly got out of my car and sprinted across the dam to get into position and catch the fleeting light rays before they were gone forever.
You can only imagine the sigh of relief I produced when I realized that I'd successfully captured the glorious scene before me!
Image Code: A036
Stoney Creek Metropolitan Park
As a Michigan native, I have always been enamored by fall colors – it is truly one of the perks to living in the Midwest. This simple photo is an example of how the photography gear is not what makes the photograph; it is the composition that trumps almost everything else.
This photo was taken with a very inexpensive camera and lens (a Nikon D3000 with the kit lens, which can be purchased together for under 300$). It doesn’t matter though, because I will always look at this photo as being one of the best I’ve captured. This is simply due to the compositional elements that help make it a unique and impactful image.
I captured this image when I was first learning photography, and I will never forget the sense of excitement I felt when this composition caught my eye and I was able to capture it effectively.
Image Code: A013
Switzerland is a marvelous and enchanting country. However, the first time I visited, a layer of thick clouds blanketed the entire nation! It was so bad I couldn’t even see a single, beautiful peak. In fact, during my travels I befriended an Israeli tourist and we questioned amongst ourselves “aren’t there supposed to be mountains here?”
Luckily, on my second trip to Switzerland the weather was perfect and I was able to to really enjoy the scenery. After over a week on the road I decided to rest in Grindelwald for a few days. This town is almost like the Swiss version of Telluride, a sleepy village nestled between towering peaks.
During my time in town, I didn’t have any major shoots planned; I was merely relaxing and enjoying the alpine views surrounding me. I snapped this photo while leisurely riding one of those famous Swiss cable cars up to a mountains peak. Luckily for me, I brought my camera along and when the cable cars window framed the mountain so perfectly I was able to capture this shot!
However, my luck with the weather quickly changed. After I snapped this image, I noticed the cable car was carrying me up into a pea-soup thick wall of clouds! By the time we entered into the clouds, I could barely see ten feet in front of my face.
Hey, at least this time I actually got to see and photograph those beautiful peaks!
Image Code: A038