A few weeks ago I was sent a jacket from Mountain Hardwear with the mission of exploring/adventuring in it (findingwinter.com). Unfortunately I got the jacket right when school started, so I wasn’t able to take a very epic trip. And, the weekend Scott and I were able to go on a trip happened to be around 60 degrees during the day, so it wasn’t exactly your typical idea of winter.
We went out to Kanopolis State Park, which is about an hour and a half west of Manhattan, KS. Scott has been there before, and thought there could be some potential climbing that we wanted to scope out. I was also excited for the weekend in part because I had rented a lens to take with, to give me some variety in images for the trip, and also to test it before purchasing. We got to the park Saturday afternoon, set up camp, and went out hiking. It was a beautiful hike, and I was pretty surprised to find such a landscape in Kansas. The sun was getting fairly low on our hike, and down in the canyon without the sun on us it got a bit cool. I was impressed by the Mountain Hardwear jacket; it was warm, but breathed well and didn’t get too warm when we were in the sun. After hiking for a while we went back to our campsite, started a fire, and made a delicious (and warm) dinner. It was a pretty windy, chilly night, but once again I was impressed at how well the jacket blocked the wind; that was one of my favorite features. It is also a great layering jacket; flattering to the figure yet lots of room for warmer layers underneath, so with a synthetic down on as well I was nice and warm. In the morning the wind had calmed down some and the sun was out, so after a quick breakfast we went for another hike before packing up to head back to Manhattan.
I also played around with some time lapse stuff on our trip, but that will have to be posted to youtube/vimeo once I get it edited and pieced together. I will be sure to post a link once it is done, I’m pretty excited about it!
Over Thanksgiving break (which was ages ago, I know) I was lucky enough to be able to get together with Luke and Katie to shoot their engagement photographs. I have been friends with Luke and Katie since 10th grade or so, and they have been dating for just about as long. These two are some of my favorite people, and so I was ecstatic when they asked if I would photograph them. We decided that our hometown of Stillwater, Minnesota would be the best location for our shoot, since it was where we did our growing up and where their relationship got its start. They are two of the most laid-back, easy-going people I know, and were complete naturals in front of the camera. I rarely had to direct them, and we spent the entire session laughing despite the bitter cold of the evening. We ended the session in a local coffee shop to warm up and thaw our fingers, though at that point we were mostly just catching up and laughing about the old days.
So, without further ado, meet the wonderful Luke and Katie!
*Friday, February 1
Friday I went to meet up with a fellow photographer and friend of a friend, Michael Strickland (be sure to check out his work, it is extraordinary), to explore around Lawrence a bit. I had never been there before, so he was kind enough to show me around a bit, and we did some location scouting for a self-portrait of mine. The sunset ended up being amazing, though we had to kind of rush to find a somewhat decent spot to shoot from.
More to come from our adventure in the next few days probably.
And I may edit this some more still, but I just wanted to get it posted.
Wednesday I had originally planned on heading back to Kansas, but then it was supposed to almost hit 60 degrees and I couldn’t resist staying. We took a long walk with the twins, with stops for caramel apples and popcorn along the way.
*Tuesday, January 8
Tuesday my sister-in-law and I went on some short hikes to a couple of waterfalls in the canyon so I could get some pictures. The sun poked out at the last-minute, giving me some stunning light on the cliffs. I definitely want to go back to this place and take some longer exposures (and proper ones, on a tripod). And I would like to make it my goal to make it to both waterfalls in every season, and shoot them in the same spot. Hopefully I can make it happen sooner than later.
Monday morning my brother and I got up and went for a quick (relatively speaking) climb up Bridal Veil Falls. It was a bit easier than the ice climb on Sunday, so a bit more fun for me. It was quite the different situation than the day before though. This time my brother was belaying from the top, and when I got up there we were able to hike up the frozen stream bed for a while. It was absolutely beautiful up there, and I find myself already missing the canyon. I also got to clean an anchor and rappel for the first time after we were done, which was exciting (though admittedly slightly nerve-wracking at first). Again, this day calls for multiple photographs, so I hope you enjoy!
I thought I would share another of me in action.
The view right at the top of the falls.
And last but not least, my favorite shot from the day after rappelling down.
Sunday was an awesome day, and so it calls for multiple pictures. My brother, his friend and I got up early and headed to one of the ice climbing spots in Spearfish Canyon. It was my first time ice climbing, but I am hooked (unfortunately I live nowhere near a place to ice climb). After we all had a chance to get on the ice we packed up and went rock climbing just up the canyon a bit. It definitely reignited my desire to climb again. My school just finished a climbing wall in the rec center, so I plan on checking it out as soon as it is open.
Not taken by me (obviously), but I thought I would share one of me ice climbing.
Saturday I morning I packed up my car and headed out to my brother’s house on the far side of South Dakota. It was incredibly windy, making driving in some parts quite difficult. It was such a bizarre sensation driving through these patches of blowing snow; it felt like I was floating on top of a cloud.
I drive past this stack of railroad ties almost daily and have wanted to photograph them since I got home before Christmas. Since I don’t have many more days in Minnesota I knew I needed to get out there soon, and the snow this morning was just the push I needed.