Colorado Part 2 (on the new blog)

8392webThis post is mostly to serve as a reminder that my blog has moved, and it will likely be the last post here. But, the second part of my Colorado trip is now up on my new blog! Head over to abigailithompson.com/blog to check it out. And, while there, hit the subscribe button on the left side to continue to stay up to date with my work. Drop me a comment or email to let me know your thoughts on the new site or images as well!

Happy Friday everyone!

Colorado (Part 1) + News

I have meant to get a new post up for ages, but graduate school has kept me quite busy. This weekend Scott and I went to visit his parents, which generally means some pleasantly lazy days. Today is no exception, and I am taking advantage of the gloomy, cold day by sitting in a big comfy chair while a fire roars in the fireplace next to me; perfect blogging conditions if you ask me.

Before I get into the images, I wanted to announce some rather exciting news (which is somewhat old news at this point unfortunately). A few months back I finally got a website up and running. I had put it off and put it off because I am too indecisive and couldn’t decide on formatting/organization, but finally bit the bullet and put one together. I am still adding images to build galleries and things may shift around some more, but it is up for your viewing pleasure (I hope). There is perhaps a bit of bad news to go along with this update though. In order to keep things more organized and unified I am going to be switching my blog over to be connected to my website, so soon I will no long be posting here. You can head over there (abigailithompson.com) to follow along though, and I hope you all do!

With that out of the way, let’s get on to the images. Back in the middle of October (almost a month ago at this point, yikes) Scott and I went out to Colorado for a long weekend of climbing, hiking, camping, and a wedding thrown in as well. It was an incredible weekend, and as I slowly got around to editing the images I found myself feeling homesick for a place I have never lived.

8298web scottweb 8308web 8313web 8320web 8322web 8324web 8340web 8349web 8355web 8362web 8363webThis will be a two-part post, so more images will be up soon! Also, don’t forget to head over to the new website and follow along the blog there. There is even a post of moments of light up there that I didn’t post here, so head over to check it out. Happy weekend everyone!

Colorado in October

I am so very behind on sharing things here. My old computer was struggling to edit photographs and share them as well. It was a pain to do and so I just avoided it. But, I recently purchased a beautiful new laptop, one that is powerful and fast, and so I am getting back on track with all my images finally.

In October, Scott and I went to Colorado to hear one of our climbing idols speak. We also made some time for climbing and camping in the mountains. It was a quick trip, but we had wonderful weather and were able to see some beautiful things.

Our first day was spent climbing in the Clear Creak Canyon, near Golden, Colorado. It was a stunning area, maybe even one of my favorites that we have climbed in. That night we camped in Guanella Pass, which is just past Georgetown, Colorado. We were the only ones camping out there (that we saw), and were able to find a stunningly beautiful and quite campsite in the subalpine forest. Our campsite was around 11,000 feet in elevation, which I felt the effects of when we woke up the next morning. There was snow on the ground, and the creek near by had lots of ice formed over it. It was a cold night for camping, but one of the most memorable ones for me.

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The next day we woke up and tried to keep warm with tea and eggs and sausage. We had plans to try to hike Mt. Bierstadt (a 14,000 foot peak just up the pass) but when we woke up I was feeling the effects of the elevation (loss of appetite, headache), and we decided we just didn’t have the time or the provisions to do so. We ended up driving to the parking lot for the trail to the peak and explored some of the shorter trails from the same parking lot. After taking some photographs we went back to pack up our campsite, and I wandered around shooting some more in the frosty, late-morning light.

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Scott, excited about being in the alpine air. Mt. Bierstadt is behind him.

Scott, excited about being in the alpine air. Mt. Bierstadt is behind him.

Scott grabbed this one of me; I think it sums me up pretty well.

Scott grabbed this one of me; I think it sums up my personality pretty well 🙂

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The double exposure series of my feet continues.

The double exposure series of my feet continues.

Long Overdue Film

I haven’t been doing such a great job of keeping this place updated lately. Graduate school has kept me busy that is for sure. But I am in a blogging mood tonight and decided to share some images with you all (some long overdue ones). I also have plans for a few more posts that I will hopefully be able to get to in the coming days to update you all on how my graduate work is coming.

This post, however, is all about film. I recently got some rolls developed, some of which I had forgotten about since shooting them years ago. The first set, was from a trip to North Carolina that I shot with some very expired film. If I remember correctly the expiration date was the year I was born (1989), so that is why the grain is so intense on these images. They were shot on a 35mm Holga camera.

5web 9web 16web 19webThis second group is from about a year ago. I went exploring an abandoned farm with a fellow photographer and shot these on my Pentax K100 I believe.

2web 9web 11web 14web 20web 22web 24webThese next images were shot this past spring on 120mm film with a standard Holga camera. Each image is from a different trip/mini adventure. The first and last are from two separate trips to Colorado, and the middle ones are from two different adventures outside of Manhattan, KS.

2web 4web 6web 7webLast spring I also took a cartridge of polaroids that I never shared for some reason. Some are from Manhattan, some from Scott’s parents’ farm, and some from a climbing trip to Colorado.

couch field clouds 2 field clouds hill shelf road1 shelf road2 shelf road3 cactusAnd lastly, one from Scott’s parents’ farm that I shot with 120mm film in a large format camera.

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Happy weekend everyone!

Colorado in July (Part 2)

Welcome back! Hopefully you all didn’t get bored with the first post since there are still more images to share. These are my favorite images of the trip, so in my opinion it was all worth it. Without further ado, enjoy part 2!

Friday morning we woke up early and drove to Golden, Colorado to try climbing at the Golden Cliffs area. The hike up to the cliff was incredibly beautiful, and the view once we got there was just as amazing. From the cliff side we could see almost all of Golden, including the Coors Brewery, mountains in almost every direction, and Denver in the distance; near perfection I would dare to say.

It is always interesting when going to a new climbing area; it tends to be a slow process to begin climbing as you try to get oriented according to the guide-book and figure out what routes are what. We ended up on some rather sketchy routes to begin the day, and encountered very polished rock (which we later read in about on mountain project). After finishing a particularly bad route Scott and I were both frustrated and angry, but he spontaneously decided to climb the route right next to it before we headed back to Denver. The route ended up being the hardest route he has ever lead climbed, and a terrific one to end the day on.

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Saturday we managed to wake up even earlier, and again headed to the Golden Cliffs. Our friends that were in Colorado Springs drove up to climb with us for a bit, and despite some serious pain due to my elbow injury we had a great morning of climbing. A storm rolled in right as we were wrapping up a route, so I grabbed some photographs quick and then we sprinted down to our cars with thunder exploding around us the entire time.

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The four of us grabbed lunch in Golden while the storm passed, and then Scott and I made a snap decision to drive up to the summit of Mt. Evans, a 14,000 foot mountain near by. It is a narrow, winding road to the top. I was driving and was terrified while doing so (you see, I terrify me despite the fact that I climb). We drove through a hail storm, some rain, along with some sunshine while driving up. When we got to the end of the road we hopped out of the car, noted the crazy effect of the altitude on us, and started to hike around. The road takes you nearly to the top; there is just a short hike to get to the actual summit. Near the parking lot there is an A-frame building where the first high altitude research ever done took place. Scott was all giddy since that is something he hopes to pursue, so we hiked around there for a bit and then headed up the short trail to the summit. While we were at the summit the clouds opened up just right, and I got some truly amazing light. I have never been in the alpine environment during golden hour before; it was one of the most magical things I have witnessed. I have already vowed to go back when I can spend more time there and explore a bit more for the perfect shot.

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I had a guy at the summit snap a photograph of me and Scott quick, so that there would be proof of us being there together 🙂

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Sadly this was our last night in Colorado. The next morning we woke up to drive back to Kansas; not nearly as exciting as finding a new place to climb and explore in the mountains.

Colorado in July (Part 1)

The week before I was in Lexington to shoot Darren and Mary’s wedding I traveled out to Colorado with Scott for a week of vacation. The first part (Monday-Wednesday) of the trip was spent in Colorado Springs with some friends, and then the rest of the week we were in Denver with Scott’s parents. We managed to climbed every single day that we were there, in a few different locations. It was an absolutely incredible week and I am already looking forward to our next trip out there. I will be breaking the trip up into two posts to avoid one painfully long post.

As I mentioned above, the first part of the week we were in Colorado Springs. We were able to climb for two days in the Red Rocks Canyon Open Space, which was a very different from anything I had climbed before. The rock there is sandstone, so every hold is covered in sand making traction a bit tenuous in spots. The routes we climbed weren’t very vertical and holds were sparse (especially the starts), which really forced you to trust your feet (even though it felt like you would slip off everything), and focus on balance and smooth movements. And, for those of you who may know climbing terms, it forced us to become professionals at mantling. It took a bit to get used to, but was still great fun and was an incredibly beautiful area.

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135web 139webAfter our second day of climbing in Colorado Springs we headed to Denver to meet up with Scott’s parents. Thursday morning (which happened to be the 4th of July) Scott and I headed out to the Clear Creek Canyon area to try to climb a little before festivities that night with his family. Clear Creek was vastly different from the Red Rocks area. Just getting to the wall was a bit of an adventure; it was a steep scramble (a 4th class scramble to be exact) to the wall, with a road and a river raging below. Instead of slick sandstone it was blocky granite, which was kind of a relief for me. We didn’t have much time there unfortunately, and due to an elbow injury I wasn’t able to climb much anyways. I also didn’t take many photographs at this particular spot (and I didn’t really get any of the wall that we climbed), other than quick shots before we left.

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It is tough to see, but there are 3 giant eagles' nests up there.

It is tough to see, but there are 3 giant eagles’ nests up there.

That night we went to a Rockies game at Coors Field. It was an incredible stadium, and the perfect place to be on the Fourth of July. In front of us sat a beautiful baseball field, to the right a stunning mountain range; perfection in my mind. We also watched the fireworks from the stadium and even though our view was blocked by part of the building it was still one amazing night.

214webThat’s all for now though, so be on the lookout for the second installment very soon!

Colorado

The second part of my spring break involved a quick trip out to Denver, Colorado to visit my best friend, Blair, as well as my brother and his family who came down to visit. It was unfortunately cut short because of the storm that hit out there, but I still was able to have two solid days of spending time with some of my favorite people.

The first day out there Blair and I drove to Boulder to do some hiking. It was raining when we got there, but right when we started out hike it cleared up and left us with some awesome clouds.

595web 608web 628web boulderwebFriday (my second day there) I met up with my brother, his wife, and twin boys who were in town to see me. We spent most of the day at the aquarium in Denver. I didn’t shoot nearly as much as I expected, since I was more focused on just enjoying my time there with them, but I did get some images of jellyfish, which I have always wanted.

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