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Chicago Food and Travel Photographer

Moab Utah

I recently took a trip to Moab Utah with the Out of Chicago crew. They put on their second annual travel workshop and Moab Utah was on my long list of bucket list travel locations. The drive from Salt Lake was long but extremely scenic. Leaving Salt Lake and heading into the mountains of Utah reminds me of how much I miss the mountainous terrain.

When I left Chicago it was 70 degrees and sunny. As I headed to Utah the forecast was for rain all week. Not good. The day I arrived was perfect desert weather. Dry, clear and perfect. I had a night shoot scheduled for my first night in Moab. This was lining up to be a perfect night for star shooting.

For those of you who don’t know Moab is home to Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. Both parks are just minutes from downtown Moab. As I bundled up for my night out the weather looked like it would be perfect. Clear skies, cold and no light pollution. Moab is out in the middle of nowhere, the skies are pitch black but apparently there are darker areas of the country. I really can’t imagine darker skies that what I experienced in Moab.

As we got out of the car our guide told us to look up. “See that?” he asked as we all looked up. “That’s the Milky Way. Give it a few more minutes and your eyes will adjust and you’ll see it as clear as day”. He wasn’t wrong. I don’t remember ever seeing the Milky Way in my life but it was soon as clear as day.

As we walked through the arches I have only seen stars like that in Monument Valley. But in Monument Valley I didn’t get to see the Milky Way. Being out there was like sitting in a planetarium. So vast, and so many stars. It really gives you some perspective of how small we are in this world and how incredible this world is.

I left that night with some incredible shots of the Milky Way and left even more in love with the beauty of the southwest.

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Yosemite 2017

 


My past photo adventures have taken me all over the world. I actually began this photographic journey to capture the beauty in the world we live in. That is what drives me to travel and drives me to dedicate my time an energy to create these images. 

A trip like Yosemite is amazing but requires a lot of planning and extra gear. I’ll be working with a photographer that has been shooting in Yosemite Valley for over 35 years so I expect to come home with some amazing images.

Historically I've planned a trip and then and showed the world my images months later. But this trip is a little bit different. I didn't realize the amount of gear I would need to undertake a trip of this size. Most of the time my travels take me to somewhat urban locations or locations not far from the modern amenities we have become accustom to. Although I'm not camping on this trip, it did require more resources and planning that I originally expected. 

Due to the higher cost of the trip I wanted to find a way to involve my audience to help fund the project while providing value to everyone. At first I considered a Go Fund Me project but I quickly realized that this didn't provide the value I wanted to you (my audience). I quickly pivoted to the idea of selling discounted prints. This will allow you to help me fund this project while receiving a print at a heavily discounted price. You have been so great to me in the past with supporting my business and I want to find a way we can work together to fund more art from around the world. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your past support and I hope you will consider helping me fund this project!

Below are a few of the common questions that I anticipate you will have when considering participating. 

 

But What if you don’t like any of the images from Yosemite?


I'm working with a guide that has been photographing Yosemite for over 35 years so I expect to come back with some amazing images. But If you don’t like anything I create from Yosemite I’d be more than happy to make a print of any of my portfolio images as a replacement. 

I really like your work but I don’t need/want a print.  How can I get involved?


I get it. I’m running out of space on my walls and will need to clear some room for this next wave of images too. Consider buying me a cup of coffee for the road and you’ll also be in the loop of seeing all the pre-released work. 

If you are interested in helping me fund this trip click the link below and it will take you to the donation page. I'll have all the new images ready for the holiday season so if you are planning on giving one as a gift I can assure you it will be ready by early December. Thanks again for all your support!

Pricing
20x30 Paper Print - $125 (Normally $250)
12x18 Paper Print - $50 (Normally $150)
Cup of Coffee - $5

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Arizona Adventures

I grew up mostly on the east coast and southeastern portion of the US. While growing up I saw some of the landscapes that the eastern seaboard had to offer but my travels were relegated to the coast I grew up on. I've recently started to travel out west. Particularly to the southwestern portion of our country.  In the past 12 months I've been to Sedona, Monument Valley, Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon and Zion National Park. I've quickly realized that I'm falling in love with this portion of the country for a lot of different reasons.

Since my childhood I haven't been much of that outdoor adventurer. When I was a kid I used to play outside and would camp with the Boyscouts but much of that left me as I grew up. I now find myself attracted to the natural beauty of the outdoors, especially America's amazing national parks. 

I've always had an affinity for the national park system but it wasn't until I visited Arizona last year that the desire kicked up a notch. I was so blown away with Monument Valley because of how far it was from everything else, the beauty and the unforgettable stars that I was able to see. It had a feeling of another planet and it rekindled the adventurous feelings I had as a boy. 

Capturing images in these types of locations is an amazing experience. The reason I was drawn to the camera was to capture images that I wanted to hang in my house and visiting these locations inspires me to do just that. Even though I sell my work, the guiding principle of all my images is if I would hang it in my house. If I've accomplished that goal then all the others don't really matter. 

Since my travels to Arizona and Utah my thirst for the southwest and the national parks has grown dramatically. I'm currently working on the edits from my Zion National Park trip and you will see them when they are ready for public consumption. If you get a chance I can't recommend taking some time to wander the state of Arizona and Utah for their natural beauty and the relaxation. And by the way the stargazing isn't bad either. 

The Rockhouse Jamaica

I recently had the opportunity to visit the renowned Rockhouse Hotel in Negril Jamaica. The hotel sits right on the cliffs of Jamaica and has some of the bluest and clearest waters that I've ever seen. 

Rockhouse - Jamaica - Views of the villas during sunset. 

Rockhouse - Jamaica - Views of the villas during sunset. 

We left Chicago on a snow filled winter day in February and were delayed almost two hours due to the de-icing procedure. So much for a good start to our trip. But luckily that was the worst part of the trip. Once we were in the air the plane felt like a party bus with everyone sipping on cocktails and enjoying the relatively quick 3.5 hour flight straight to Montego Bay

Rockhouse - Jamaica - In just a few minutes the sun changed so much. 

Rockhouse - Jamaica - In just a few minutes the sun changed so much. 

As we landed the hills and mountains in Jamaica were hard not to notice. Everything was lush and green and once the cabin door opened I could feel the warm air revitalize my cold hardened Chicago skin.

We quickly navigated customs and headed out to find our driver. After a 90+ minute drive through winding roads and some pretty desolated villages, we found our way to the parking lot of the Rockhouse Hotel. It was tough to tell how beautiful the hotel was at night but I could tell that the morning would bring a great reveal. 

Rockhouse - Jamaica - Views of the stars at night. 

Rockhouse - Jamaica - Views of the stars at night. 

The next day I wasn't disappointed. The hotel sits directly on the cliffs of Negril with a small coral reef in its bay. The water was clear and the view facing west was nothing but blue ocean. Since I was only there for three nights and I missed the first sunset, I knew I would have to take advantage of the rest of the days. The first day I witnessed one of the Jamaican sunsets that everyone raves about. 

Rockhouse-Jamaica-4

The rest of the trip I spent some time wandering the resort shooting a few shots but the sunset shot was the one I wanted to get and I'm thrilled with the result. I've since moved this photo into my portfolio. Although the trip to Jamaica got started with a few bumps, I had an amazing time at the Rockhouse and hope to one day return. 

Rockhouse - Jamaica - Look at that water!

Rockhouse - Jamaica - Look at that water!

If you like my blog posts and work consider buying a print, sending a donation or buying my soon to be released book. Thanks for reading, following and engaging!

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