Kingston...who knew?

Today I visited Kingston (NY) City Hall. I had been told it was beautiful, plus I wanted to meet and photograph the Mayor, Steve Noble. I had fun meeting the staff and the Mayor, and I will post some other pictures another time. But for now, I wanted to share this. I asked if it was possible to access the roof, and was told I could actually go up in the tower, and someone would bring me. Not fully comprehending what that means, I accepted that offer.

After ascending some crazy staircases, I crawled out of a small door that felt like something out of a fairytale. And I found this. What a view! What awesome brick work. I had a big smile on my face, enjoying the access I've been getting lately and the things I'm learning. Not a bad Friday morning!

Before I left, Steve asked me what I thought of the view up there. I said it was great. I also mentioned that of all the times in my life that I've been past City Hall, it never crossed my mind that there was an area up there where humans could be. He told me that not many humans ever go up there, so it was a special experience, and he was glad that I got to have it.

Thanks goes out to Megan Weiss, Kristen Wilson, Steve Noble, Jim (whose last name I don't know) and others at City Hall for making this morning happen. I look forward to seeing them all again.

Walking in uptown Kingston

While I'm enjoying "meeting our neighbors", all of the photos from the Life in Ulster County series so far have been from pre-arranged meetups for me to photograph people. Today, I was walking around uptown Kingston, NY hoping to maybe scope out some places to display my photos, and maybe strike up a conversation. For years I've wanted to talk with and photograph random people that I've just met, but it scares the crap out of me. I'm very awkward about it. So I didn't exactly expect to take any photos of people immediately today.

With my camera over my shoulder, I walked into an unnamed Vintage Shop on Fair Street, and I can't quite take credit for striking up a conversation, but the owner, Henrietta, pictured here in purple, struck up a conversation with me. It started with her saying "So you like taking pictures?" and it went on from there.

I ended up chatting with her for at least 10 minutes. At some point, Terri walked in, and she clearly knew Henrietta. They were discussing a charity event Terri was organizing. Terri recognized me from some photos I did across town last week, and so that was cool.

They said they needed a photo of them in their fabulous hats, and I agreed! I wasn't exactly prepared, and I didn't have my flash unit with me, but I think it came out pretty good for the circumstances.

I didn't get a ton of personal information, but Henrietta did say that she had a more traditional antique shop in Saugerties for 30 years, and has been in the Kingston location for 4 years.

I got their email addresses and am looking forward to showing them the photo.

I'm hoping to do more of this sort of photography as time goes forward..where I have no idea who I'm going to meet and photograph when I head out.

As always, stay tuned!

Doing fine

My friend Natasha popped off this photo of my legs and hands while I sat at the Grand Canyon earlier this year. I think the photo is fitting for how I have been experiencing life lately. I've probably spent more time without a camera in my hands in the past few months than I had in any similar time period in the past 6 years. And that's fine. 

You've probably noticed I haven't posted much lately. On a personal level, I've been visiting friends, working on my parents' farm, trying to exercise more, and trying to figure out how to play a decent round of golf again. On a professional level, there are things I've had to do for my part time non-photography job, and I've also been doing lots of behind the scenes work for my photography business. (Website improvements, online ordering capabilities, accounting, taxes, etc) 

I have also been continuing to work hard on the new project that I've alluded to that will include more photos of people and places that often go unphotographed. I've lined up several people to be involved, and I promise to finally release details fairly soon.

I also have been planning for several art shows this fall in New York.

In short - I feel as good as ever about how I am balancing my personal and professional goals, and I look forward to an exciting rest of the year. As always, stay tuned.

Home for a night

I'm "home" for one night...just passing through town. I hadn't been to the Rosendale Trestle at all in 2016, so I decided to go see my old friend. I was particularly excited because I have a wider lens than last time I was at the trestle. It was finally nice weather after a hot day with a storm, and I enjoyed relaxing and taking a few photos. I've now been to all 50 US States, and from what I have seen, there is nothing quite like the Rosendale Trestle. I won't be a total homer and say that it's the coolest thing I've seen, but it's definitely special and to the best of my knowledge, it's unique.

Rotary Park at Kingston Point, Kingston, New York, USA (Along the Hudson River)

It's been a good week back at "home". I have seen some good friends, got some work done on my new website, relaxed a bit, and shot some photos I'm really happy about.

Instead of just looking for the prettiest sights, I'm doing more photography of the places that have some meaning to locals and that show not only the history of the area but ongoing change, and the general vibe of the area. I plan to continue that sort of photography here throughout the fall. It's exciting to evolve and try new things. I hope you've enjoyed it. 

Once again, stay tuned!

Rotary Park at Kingston Point, Kingston, New York, USA

Back in Ulster County

Perrine’s Bridge, Rifton, New York
I shot this photo of Perrine’s Bridge today, as is tradition when returning to Ulster County.  (And I didn’t fall in the river or get poison sumac!)  It was quite a challenge to get a really nice photo, considering all of the greenery, so I figured I might as well include some of the greenery in the photo.
It’s my first time back here in over 7 months, after 1800+ miles of driving in 3 days.  I guess this means my longest road trip ever is over, and I’ve now driven across the United States 9 times in roughly 6 years.
It was almost a year ago that I decided to take this road trip, after doing lots and lots of events selling prints for a few years.  I wanted to rediscover what makes me tick, and I am still working on that.  I was less motivated to take photos than I expected for the last couple of months.  I feel like ever since I got done visiting Alaska, my 50th state visited, that there was a bit of a “Now what do I do?” feeling.  I have by no means seen ALL that I can see in the United States, even though I’ve visited part of each state.  But the motivation has still been lacking because I feel like I’ve seen and photographed so much of the country in these 6 years.
Thank you to everyone out there who has followed along on the trip, sent nice messages, and made encouraging comments.  And a big public thank you to everyone who opened their homes and lives to me.  It’s amazing how I was able to get around for nearly 7 months while having to pay for so few hotel rooms.  I think I’ve only spent 16 nights in hotel rooms all year.  And I never even had to go to a laundromat because I was always doing laundry at the houses of my kind hosts.  That’s crazy.
I really enjoyed making new friends and seeing old friends, all over the country.  It’s such a special part of how I’ve chosen to live my life.
I have lots to look forward to here in Ulster County.  I will be here for roughly a week this time around, before going to my parents’  farm for in Delaware a while.  But I will be here for much of the time between now and the end of the year.  As I’ve recently noted, I am planning a bit of a shift in the type of photography that I will be doing.  I’m not ready to talk about details yet.  I don’t mean to be a tease, but I want to get my act together before discussing.  If you think I’m doing events, portraits, weddings, etc, no, that’s not it at all!
As always, please stay tuned.

Heading east

Colorado - you've been good to me for the past 9 days. But I am still not excited about my usual type of photography on a day to day basis, which has been going on for a month or so. I am excited though about a photo opportunity that won't last long that's far far away from here. So, I am unceremoniously heading east in a few minutes. I hope to go 450-550 miles today on the dreaded interstate today, then a few more days of interstate driving ahead. Boring, right? But it's going to be worth it. In a few days, you might consider this "trip" that I'm on over, a few weeks earlier than I had imagined. If all goes well, a new and exciting chapter in my photography will begin. It won't be a total change, but I will be mixing in some new things with what I already do. Stay tuned!





One more photo of Utah

The "Tree of Utah" sculpture along I-80 West of Salt Lake City, Utah. Shot a couple of nights ago. My parents took myself and my 3 older siblings on a 5-week cross-country road trip from New York to California and back in 1987, and a photo of this sculpture that my father took was one of the reasons why I wanted to check out Northern Utah again. The Salt Flats looked interesting.

I haven't shot any photos today. I drove 280 miles to Craig, Colorado and saw nothing that inspired me to take photos. I was checked into my hotel by 1 PM. But I have done a lot of work on my project that will involve photos of people, among other things. I'm excited about it. And I'm still not that excited about landscape photography right now. I had been figuring on getting back to the east coast around August 20th, but I might actually move quickly from Colorado to the east coast and come back earlier than planned, see friends, and keep working on this new project. Details will be posted as soon as I am comfortable. Can you tell I'm pumped up about it?  :)



Warning: some people have considered previous posts like this as me complaining about having a pretty good life. That's not the point. I like my life, and I choose the life that I live. But I also enjoy sharing with you all what it's like to live this life that I've chosen, for better or worse. Also, it has a happy ending if you stick with it. So here goes.
I'm tired, mentally and physically. I've put almost 3000 miles on my Jeep in the last 15 days. I've only taken 1 full day off from taking photos, of those 15 days. I've wanted to come to Salt Lake City for a while, and being here hasn't really thrilled me yet. It's not Salt Lake City itself that's the problem, it's just me being worn out. I saw a buffalo today and wasn't even excited! Not much of what I've seen in the last few days has excited me much.
As I've probably mentioned before, I constantly think of how every picture tells a story, and I am trying not to repeatedly tell the same story. How many roads in beautiful settings can I find? And how many rusty trucks are interesting? You get the point. I also don't want to tell a story you can easily find from someone else. So a sunset at a famous location? I'm not really interested.
Today while driving through Antelope Island State Park, I had to head back to where I am staying in Salt Lake City because I felt like I was forcing myself to take photos when I didn't really want to. One of my only rules for myself is not to feel obligated to take photos. I should only do it when I want to do it.
Believe it or not, taking photos all day every day is not all fun and games. I'm still working on figuring out what makes me tick, and if this 8-month long trip that I am on makes me realize that I don't want to take photos of landscapes and things I find along the roadside EVERY DAY then that is a success.
Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed my adventures this year, taken some photos I'm very proud of, and wouldn't trade any of it for the world. But this is the longest period of time I've traveled like this, and it's just wearing on me. But here is the good news...
This all got me remotivated to work on a project that will involve photos of people, that I have thought of doing before, and I am working on details of it. Hopefully, I can announce those details in the next month or two. So that is something I am very excited about. I've wanted to take more photos of people for quite some time, but I just needed a project to keep me focused on it. Stay tuned!
And thank you for reading this far and for following and enjoying my travels. Cheers!

Long day

Abandoned house in the Sierra Nevadas, Markleeville, California, USA This felt like something out of the King's Quest computer game series.

I drove 385 miles today and returned the same place I started.  As has often been the case lately, it was very bright for most of the day, and I think this is going to be the only good photo from the whole day.  Oh well, you win some you lose some.  Tomorrow is a new day.  Life goes on.  All that good stuff!

Markleeville, California, USA

Morning in Yosemite

Yosemite National Park, California, USA.
I left where I am staying at 4 AM and headed to Yosemite, knowing that the crowd today would be massive later on in the day. I saw very few people until about 8 AM. At around 5:30 AM, I decided to wade into the Merced River to get this shot, just as the sun was getting ready to make its debut for the day. It was cold, and the water was up to my knees, just short of getting my shorts wet. The sky was already so bright, as it has been recently in California. I am pretty pleased with this shot, and I think it was worth the temporary discomfort. What do you think?1-5

As far west as I'll be for a while

Coleman Valley Road, Carmet, California Here you can see the last little bit of a sun going away over the Pacific Ocean for the night, and the last time I will be seeing the Pacific Ocean for at least the rest of this year.  It's all east from here.  I will explore the Santa Rosa area I'm in a bit tomorrow, then head east to the Sierra Nevada Mountains on Friday.  I have several stops of anywhere between 1 and 10 nights between here and the east coast.  It should be a good trip!  Lots of interesting people and places ahead of me.


Vroom Vroom

California Highway 33, Los Padres National Forest, California, USA Right before leaving my hotel in Ojai to head to San Luis Obispo for the night, I had a change of plans and decided to head over the mountain instead of along the coast.  I stopped to take a photo of the wildflowers along the road, and just about had accomplished what I had in mind.  Then I heard the unmistakable roar of a motorcycle speeding towards me and got ready to snap.  It's nothing that I imagined ahead of time, but I think it came out pretty neat.  Enjoy.


Bright Shiny Day

Somewhere between Malibu and Oxnard, California I have been driving north from San Diego, California today, with the excitement that accompanies the beginning of an adventure for me.  My excitement was tempered by the bright, cloudless sky along the Pacific Ocean, which I generally think of as uninteresting for photos.  I decided though that perhaps the bright cloudless sky IS what is interesting, and tells a story of the day, while being beautiful at the same time, in its own way.  So here's a photo I just shot, and edited on my laptop from the side of the road.  I hope you like it.