Life's Little Moments

My Journey Capturing Time


Heaven's Landscape

Location: Guilin, Guanxi, China

     I was fortunate enough be able to spend some time in Guilin in April of 2014. We hired a driver instead of taking a tour so that I could spend more time taking photos and less time keeping up with the tour. The city of Guilin is on the Li River with not much to see in my opinion. The real beauty is in Yangshou County which you can get to by taking a 4 hour ferry ride down the Li River. As you meander through endless hills and mountains, you will see many different villages, people commuting to work on bamboo rafts, water fowl, water buffaloes, and waterfalls. The day I took the ferry happened to be an extremely foggy day making it difficult to see the layers and layers of mountains. I had to do a lot of burning in Photoshop to bring out the mountains in the background.

After The Storm

Location: Kirkjufellfoss, Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland

     I left Reykjavik early morning and headed 3 hours north to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. My wife and I were tired and jet lagged and a bit disappointed that it was pouring rain and the outlook for the rest of our trip was overcast and rainy. The highlight of the day was going to be our last stop at Kirkjufell. Kirkjufell is the second most photographed mountain in the world and is prominently featured in “Game of Thrones” as the site where the white walkers were born. We stopped along the way at different beautiful locations in the area. As we headed back east on the northern part of the peninsula, the clouds broke and a rainbow formed over the north Atlantic Ocean. We were still 30-40 minutes away from Kirkjufell but I said, “Can you imagine if this rainbow was still here when we got to the mountain?” Within seconds, the clouds closed back over the sun and it started to pour. The rainbow was gone. Typical Icelandic weather. We finally arrived at the famous peak. It was a downpour. My heart sank. I traveled over 2000 miles to shoot at this famous location and even timed it out for the best light and I couldn’t even get out of the car. Exhausted and still to early to go eat dinner, I said, “Let’s just take a nap in the car for a few minutes. A few minutes turned into an hour. As I slept, I felt warmth on my face. The sun had come out behind me and woke me up. I turned and looked at Kirkjufell. My jaw dropped. “Rainbow over Kirkjufell!!” I yelled. I think I gave my wife a heart attack in my excitement. I quickly grabbed my camera and my Rokinon 14mm lens leaving my tripod in the car because I knew that this rainbow might not last. I really wanted to set up a shot with a tripod so I could slow down the falls but I knew the rainbow was more important. I sprinted up a very muddy hill behind the falls falling twice on the slippery ground. Out of breath, I turned and started shooting. I took a few shots that were terribly overexposed. I realized in my haste, I didn’t even change my camera settings from my last exposure. I quickly stopped down and started shooting again moving side to side to get slightly different angles. I shot about 20 exposures. I fell in love with this shot because of the lone man walking in silhouette up the same hill I ran up. This is certainly not my most technical shot but it is my favorite because of the luck of being at the right place at the right time. Kirkjufellfoss is a location I will never forget.

Bass Harbor Headlight

Location: Acadia National Park, Maine

     Cold, crisp, salty air penetrated my face mask as the wind blew in from the Atlantic Ocean. I carefully climbed out on the wet, slippery rocks with my camera around my neck and tripod in my left hand. My right hand was holding on to my 8-year-old’s hand who wanted to be part of the adventure with me. I found a large enough rock to accommodate my tripod, myself and my daughter. I had to work fast as the sun was setting and more visitors came to capture the beautiful view. I placed my camera down and placed my 10 stop ND filter over the lens. I timed the shutter with the tide coming in to capture the water’s brisk motion on the rocks and cliffs. As the sun set further, the red lamp of the lighthouse turned on allowing me to capture a magical moment in time.

Home

 Location: Nanjing, China

    This is the home where my wife grew up in China. Her home was built by hand by her father and his brothers in the late 70s on land owned by the Chinese government. Calling it modest would be an understatement. This small concrete structure had 4 apartments inside including my wife’s family’s 2 room apartment. There was a common outdoor kitchen that the 3 other families shared and there was no plumbing at all. My wife and the other occupants had to walk 10 minutes to a public bathroom to wash and go to the bathroom. It didn’t matter what the weather was, the temperature or time of day. If you had to go, you had to go. There was also no heat or AC. Temperatures in Nanjing reached 105 and humid in the summer and below freezing in the winter. Today, through studying and hard work, my wife is a successful leader of a New York City Public Relations firm. Her story is a real story of working your way up to the top and never giving up. In February of 2019, the Chinese government bulldozed my wife’s childhood home to make way for expensive high rise apartments and luxury shopping. Her success allowed her to buy a new apartment for her parents so that they will not be displaced from the rest her family. Home isn’t a physical structure. Home is where your loved ones wait for you after a hard days work. Home is where meals are cooked and shared with loved ones. Home is where you feel safe.

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