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.





Almost time to say goodbye to Delaware

Leipsic, Delaware I did a fair amount of driving around today looking for stuff to take photos of, and I settled on an old standby...the little town of Leipsic, about a mile from my parents' house.  It's hard to go wrong with photographing the boats on the Leipsic River when the light is right.

I'm almost ready logistically, and definitely ready mentally, to fly back to California on Friday.  I thought a lot today about how happy I am that I have built a life free of commitment to being in a specific place.  It was good to be able to jet off to Delaware on short notice, and to be able to pretty much not miss a beat with my work.  And now I'm ready to "Leave no road unturned" in California, Utah, and Colorado in the coming weeks.  Life is good.  Stay tuned.



Historic Ellicott City

Historic Ellicott City, Maryland No matter what's going on in my life and whatever my commitments to others, I'm trying to make time each day for myself.  So I took some time this morning to walk around Historic Ellicott City and drive around it a bit as well.  It is an old mill town turned shopping and restaurant and eatery district.  It's pretty neat.  I have been there several times, as my father grew up in the area, and we used to visit sometimes when I was a kid.  My grandfather's worked there as well, but before I was born.  You don't have to go far from the main drag to find things that are still in disrepair.  That said, these buildings were fenced in (thus the less than optimal composition) so maybe they will be updated soon.  Time moves on.


Good Morning Delaware

Route 9, Kent County, Delaware I have been meaning to take a morning walk to the little town of Leipsic, Delaware, which is just a bit over a mile away from my parents' farm, and has lots of boats along a winding river.  I've shot many photos there before.  I finally did it this morning at 6:45 AM or so, and this photo I took along the way to get to Leipsic is actually my favorite.  I've driven this stretch of road countless times to and from visiting my parents since they moved to Delaware, and never noticed this particular house.  But, it is very indicative of the style of the area at the same time.  I've said it's cool what you notice when walking instead of driving.



Ulster County Travel Guide 2016-2017

One positive to my unexpected side trip back to the east coast is that for the first time, I've now seen a physical copy of the Ulster County Travel Guide for 2016-2017.  It had been sent to my parents' house in Delaware. It features one of my photos of the Ashokan Reservoir on the cover.  It looks great, and I am pretty proud that I am able to take a self portrait of an Ulster County Travel Guide with my photo on the cover of it for the second straight year. By the way, how obvious is it that I'm exhausted?  My brain and body weren't quite ready for this unexpected change of plans, but I'm making it through okay.

I plan to fly back to California and get in my Jeep and continue exploring out west in about a week and a half from now most likely.




Old Bay

Abandoned boat with a horseshoe crab.  Port Mahon, along the Delaware Bay, Kent County, Delaware. I learned about this boat from seeing photos of it that my friend Stephanie Seeman has posted.  I hope I'm not stepping on her turf too much with this one.  And by turf, I mean disgusting waterside muddy area, with insane amounts of tiny bugs that bite, and a horrific smell, that altogether feels like a horror movie, even when it's not dark out.  I had to get out of there!  The smell and bugs were truly unbearable.


Back east for a bit

Near the Maryland/Delaware line. I have had quite a change of scenery since I woke up in San Diego, California, Friday morning.  There has been a death in my extended family and I will be back east for a little while, spending time with my relatives.  At some point in the next 2 weeks I will fly back to California to resume my journey. Well, I guess it's all one continuous journey, even if it involves airplanes and rental cars and unexpected twists and turns.  The circumstances are sad, but it is nice to be back east for a bit, and I am currently in the quiet comfort of my parents' farm.  (Not the farm pictured)  Have a good night out there everyone.


The little things

On my morning walk around the North Park neighborhood of San Diego today, I shot this photo of a simple plant on a fence in an alley.  It's fun to see the little details when I'm on foot instead of in a car in a city. My plans to be in California for the next few weeks have been altered.  One of my relatives is in a hospital in Maryland, and today I bought a one way ticket to fly there overnight and be with my family.  My Jeep and many of my possessions are staying in California, and I expect to be back fairly soon.  I am bringing my photo gear with me to the east coast, so don't be surprised if there are no posts with quite a change of scenery.  Have a good night y'all.