Some days don’t work out exactly as planned, but you have to make the most of it as best as you can. It’s easy to get frustrated and discouraged if you let it get to you. None of us know why it happens–bad luck, I suppose–but those days can be made into valuable learning lessons if you see them in that light.
The picture above was taken at Mono Lake, CA. It’s a place that’s all about seeing the natural structures in the right light, at a proper distance. If you do, you come away with amazing shots to show to friends and family–or to just add to your portfolio of photos.
-Vincent Lowry (Author of American Vineyard)
Caption: A strong and beautiful woman walks among the wildflowers of California.
Yesterday that woman, my sweetheart, helped me record a speech I gave to a camera club regarding photography and metal prints. I was the guest speaker of the night. I got to show pictures like the one above to the club’s members, and I even brought in a few metal prints so they could see the that photography medium in person. It was a great night. It never would have happened if that strong woman didn’t negotiate a plan with a coffee house to show my prints on their walls (a member at the camera club saw the prints and asked me to speak).
Thank you, sweetheart.
Today’s picture was taken five days ago at the Salton Sea. It’s interesting how the place looks so accommodating at first glance–picnic tables, grills, ample parking–that you almost forget that few people travel to the region for recreation. But then you step of the car and remember why the lake is abandoned. The smell. It’s tremendously strong, so much so that any guests in your car are likely to pass on exiting the vehicle even for a minute because the odor is too much to tolerate. I remember my first trip to the lake. I walked around for hours taking pictures during the afternoon–ignoring the smell as best as I could–to the point where my sneakers became two mucky swamp creatures. I don’t recall how many times I had to wash my shoes to get the smell out, but I know the job was akin to removing what dogs jettison on lawns for unfortunate, unaware soles (pun intended).
Nevertheless, the Salton Sea still a beautiful place to photograph. Some of my best shots have come from the lake, and that speaks volumes when I consider how many places I’ve visited over the years, and how many pictures I’ve taken of those destinations. There’s a surreal sadness that hangs over the area. It hints at a time when the air was once fresh and the water was once swimmable. You can almost picture women sunbathing, children running and laughing, and fishermen casting their lines into fish-rich waters. You know the present and past are two different worlds, and only God knows what the future holds for the region. (I’ll save talking about what happened to the Salton Sea for another blog entry.)
-Vincent Lowry (Author of American Vineyard)
Today is the last day of my thirties. I took a walk this evening to reflect on the past decade and all the changes that have happened in my life during the last decade. It’s amazing how much I’ve been through, good and bad, and how much is different today verses ten years ago. I won’t get into the details, but I will say it’s very surreal thinking about it. It’s almost as if my younger self is a different person entirely, and my memory of that young man is just some memoir I happened to read and mistake for my own.
All the same, I’m thankful for the years I’ve been given thus far. I know exactly what I’ll be wishing for when the big forty hits tomorrow, and I think most people wish for the same when wisdom of experience outweighs the arrogance of youth. I will wish for it tomorrow out in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Spring flowers will fill my eyes, and a spirit will fill my core with a beauty that is unrivaled and glorious.
And the vast horizon shall unfold the next journey.
The shot above was taken at Yosemite National Park. I had a customer who asked me for photographs of forests and mountains, so this was one of the ten pictures I sent his way. Only time will tell if he likes one enough to place an order. For me, the goal has already been achieved simply by taking the picture in the first place. Yosemite, and places like it, are so amazingly beautiful that it’s a pleasure traveling to them and experiencing the wonder and serenity of nature. They erase my stresses and fill my life with peace and love.
I hope they do the same for others.
-Vincent Lowry (Author of American Vineyard and #LucysLetter)
In LA, you can run into celebrities at the most random places. It could be Pierce Brosnan at a beach, Jennifer Aniston at a parking lot, David Grohl at a mall, or Kim Kardashian at a restaurant. I know because all of those scenarios happened to me with those people. It’s a part of the daily life in the City of Angels.
Sometimes I’m thrust back into the busy metropolis, and celeb culture, right after a relaxing photography vacation in the same state, just a few hours north of LA. It’s an odd feeling. It’s like I was on a different planet just hours ago, and that I’ve traveled millions of miles to now be on one surrounded by endless freeways, buildings, cars, and people. When taking a look through my pictures (such as the one posted above), it’s hard to believe that it was me who took the photo in the first place. I feel like a thief. I must have grabbed the wrong camera on the subway, discovered some cool shots on it, and claimed them as my own. My world is the city. That beautiful planet on that camera is light years away.
But it did happen. As strange as it may be, it’s all in California–the celebrities, the skyscrapers, the coastlines, the mountains, the forests, and the desserts. I have to remind myself that it’s not just about the traffic and high prices, which is not easy when traveling on the 405 at rush hour and discovering I need to refill my gas tank. I have to revisit my pictures to refresh my memory that the state has a lot to offer as long as I’m willing to invest the time to see it. It’s always waiting and available.
And it won’t take light years.
Just another tank of gas.
(Vincent Lowry – Author of American Vineyard and #LucysLetter)