Author

The Gentleman Wayfarer

Browsing

Digital Photo Magazine Interview
“Venice :: How I Got The Shot”

Venice Canal at Night

How long have you been taking pictures?

 I’ve been taking photos for as long as I remember.  I’ve always had a camera tho’ I began taking photographs professionally in 2005.

What’s your favourite kind of photography, and does this image fit into it? 

Typically, I gravitate toward night photography, reflections, and motion.  When there is opportunity to combine the three, all the better.  Venice provides sublime opportunities for reflection photography, especially at night.  Too, many of my urban shots tend to be void of people which reflects the quiet I strive to find in every day life.

Tell us about what made you want to shoot this particular picture?

This particular scene attracted my eye not only for its reflection, but also for the long lines leading to a vanishing point, which allows a viewer to be drawn into the image.  Additionally, the “super moon” was illuminating the sky offering a beautiful blue hue to the sky and adding a bit of extra natural light.

What equipment did you use to capture the shot ­ type of camera, lens, tripod, etc?

A Canon 5D Mark IV with a 18mm wide angle Carl Zeiss lens was used to capture this photograph.  Rarely, while travelling, do I use a proper tripod.  The camera was steadily planted on a pavement stone at the edge of the canal.

Tell us about how you shot the image?

Certain scenes may capture my eye while standing, though more times than not I find myself lying on the ground, or squatting in a low position, for a different perspective.  This was not an instant shot, but one in which I paid particular attention to the edge of the building on the left, the reflection, and the unique character of the curved bridge on the right.   As with any image, my view of the scene was through the viewfinder moving the camera about until I was satisfied with the composition.  I rarely use the LCD screen to view a scene before capturing it.

What camera setting did you use to get the shot ­ was this important to achieving the final result?

In urban settings the ISO on my camera is always set to 100 as I prefer the absence of “noise” in an image.  Aperture = f/6.7  Exposure = 30 seconds.  The exposure time allowed the water to “smooth out” to insure a perfect reflection was achieved.   The smoothness also adds to the calm and silence I was seeking to achieve with this image.

Does this image fit in with your usual approach to photography, or did you try anything different to shoot this?

Today my eye is trained to find reflections in low light situations, so it is safe to say my technique did not differ from other times.  Not carrying a tripod in urban settings does present a challenge as I sometimes must be creative to keep the camera steady.  Let’s say, a lot of holding the breath happens from time to time.

What problems or challenges did you encounter when shooting this picture?

Even at night this photograph was a rather easy task given the amount of light along the canal, as well as the full moon above.  That said, the electric lights along the canal presented issues as I had to adjust the aperture to compensate the highlights.   My intention was to keep the exposure at 30 seconds to “smooth the water,” and keep the ISO at 100, so my only other option was to play with aperture.

Tell us briefly about any imaging or Photoshop work you did to the image ­ did you find any of the Photoshop work you did tricky?

I am not much of a photo manipulator.  In fact, I have no clue (or interest) how to use Photoshop.  If any image needs tweaking, I put it through Lightroom adjusting only exposure, or highlights.  With this image highlights were slightly adjusted given the issue with the lights along the canal.

What tips would you give to people who’d like to get shots like this?

The best advice for anyone wanting to capture an image is open your eyes to every possible angle and perspective, and look for the unexpected.  Not all photographs should be taken while standing.

Digital Photo Magazine Mark Paulda Story

I write extensively throughout this blog about Bali.  It would be easy to say – This is Bali, but there are so many sides to theIsland of Gods.  If you prefer Bali is also “Paradise Island”.  How your refer to Bali all depends on why you visit.  If you travel to Bali with an open mind and open heart, it is quite possible to have a travel experience you never expected and even an experience of a lifetime.  In other words, you can have everything Bali has to offer.

Bali is beaches, beach resorts and the vast Indian Ocean that can sometimes be unforgiving.  Bali is sacred temples, some of which date back seven hundred years.  Bali is some sort of ceremony every day of the week.  Bali is the jungle and the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud.  Bali is creativity and the Balinese’s openness to share.   Bali is motorbikes zooming past you in rapid fire.  Bali is lush green rice terraces and palm trees.

Bali is spicy food.  Bali is the great sense of humor of the Balinese.  Bali is friendly and welcoming.  Bali is rich in tradition.  Bali is Balinese Hinduism.  Bali is winding roads through lush green tropical plants and foliage.  Bali is peaceful and quiet.  Bali is yoga and meditation.  Bali is art.  Bali is woodcarving and basket weaving.  Bali is spiritual offerings to the gods.

Bali is anything you want it to be quite honestly.  I think what you experience in Bali is entirely up to you.

The first time I visited I went on a whim.  I had just traveled to Bhutan and Bangkok and thought “What the heck?  I’m  close enough I might as well go to Bali.”  I stayed in Ubud and didn’t venture much further than a fabulous resort.  I did meet Ketut Leyir in person and saw a rice field, but that was it.  I left Bali wondering what all the fuss was about as it didn’t leave much of an impression on me.  The truth is, however, I didn’t take the time to know Bali.

For some odd reason I was drawn back to Bali during another trip to Asia.  I can’t tell you why I thought I had to go.  I just did.  Instead of staying in Ubud, I stayed in Nusa Dua at the Conrad.  I love the Conrad, by the way.  

There must have been an invisible hand guiding me during this trip as I was led to a full moon ceremony in a small village.  It was in this village when I met Gede.  And in an instant, both my world changed and so did Gede’s.  It is because of Gede that my love for Bali began.  He is my touchstone to Bali.  Gede is my teacher of everything Bali and Balinese Hinduism.  I owe a debt of gratitude to Gede.  That was five years ago and our friendship turned to brotherhood.

My best suggestion to you as you consider if Bali is the right destination for you is go.  Make the long trek to Bali.  Travel with no expectations.  Travel with an open mind and an open heart.  And once you are in Bali, let her take you in her arms and take care of you.  Let Bali and the Balinese teach you.  Your peace and happiness are already inside of you.  Allow Bali to bring those elements of life out of you.

Bali is a treasure trove of travel photography moments.  Consider the following iPhone travel photography tips for your next journey.

22 Travel Photography Tips And Tricks

1. Do Your Research
While planning your trip, make a note of destinations that are beautiful. Find out if they are easy to get to and what sort of transportation you’ll need. Will you need a permit for the area? Figure out the logistics ahead of time so you don’t run into problems after you’re already there.

2. Get Inspiration From Others
The best way to learn is through others. Look at other photographer’s blogs and social media to see if they’ve been to the location you’re visiting. As you look at photos, create a bucket list of places you’d like to photograph while exploring. And make note of the composition and angles to capture.

3. Practice At Home
You don’t need to travel far to practice your travel photography skills. Look up local attractions and go visit them with your camera. Learn how the light works in natural settings compared to more industrial ones.

4. Travel Light
You don’t need to (and shouldn’t) bring every camera accessory you have with you on your journey. Not only will they be heavy to lug around, but there’s a danger of losing or forgetting pieces behind. Bring only the key items such as the camera, a charger and memory cards.

5. Charge Your Equipment The Night Before
Make sure everything is charged and ready to go before you set out for the day. Bring along 2-3 extra charged batteries for your camera and external flash.

6. Learn A Few Words In The Native Language
If you’re going to a foreign country where the language is not your own, try learning a few phrases. Things like “hello”, “thank you” and “Can I take your photo?” will go a long way and might lead to a better photograph.

7. Listen To The Locals
Ask the locals where the best places to shoot are. Ask about their favorite photo spot and they’ll likely be excited to share the wonders of their home. Be sure to be respectful of their space and leave them alone if they’re not interested in talking with you.

8. Follow Basic Photo Rules
If you’re a beginner photographer, take some time to learn the basics. When taking photos, keep in mind guidelines like the rule of thirds and your depth of field. Learning photography terms will help you take better quality photos.

9. Get Candid Shots
Not all your shots should be posed and planned out. Try a variety of angles, capturing candids. Take photos of everything, the one you least expect may be the one that ends up the best.

10. Give Yourself Time
When shooting, make sure you give yourself plenty of time at the location. A time crunch will lead to blurry and rushed photos. Leave yourself enough time to set up, learn what setting your camera should be on and find the right light. This may mean starting your days earlier than normal.

11. Embrace Golden Hour
Lighting is everything. Make sure you know the different sunrise and sunset times of the location you’re at. Even places only a few hours away can differ. It may also be helpful to know what direction the landmark is facing that you’re trying to photograph so you can plan to be there when it’s in full light.

12. Get A New Angle
If you’re visiting a place that’s been photographed thousands of times, try a new angle. Find hidden details that aren’t always noticed like paintings on the ceiling. Shoot through an alleyway that frames the photo or move around and try to find a new vision.

13. Stay In The Moment
Don’t overthink the shot. Stay in the moment and go with the flow. Don’t be afraid to switch around your schedule to get a good photo.

14. Take Notes
Bring a small notebook with you as you travel and when you take photos to make sure you’re noting the place and your camera settings. This will help you later on as you go back to see what worked and what didn’t.

15. Be Wary Of The Weather
Look at the weather forecast if you’re shooting outdoors. Remember, just because it’s raining or snowing doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go. Sometimes a foggy backdrop can reflect the light and make for an even better photo.

16. Bring Secure Bags With Locks
You’ve probably invested a lot in your camera and accessories, so make sure they are kept safe. Bring a camera bag with you that has a lot of padding and can be locked.

17. Backup Your Photos
Every time you return to home base, whether that be a hotel or friend’s home, make sure you backup your photos. This will free up space on your camera and will keep your images safe.

18. Always Bring A Camera When You Can
Bring your camera with you wherever you go. The perfect shot could be where you least expect it. This will also let you document your whole trip, not just parts.

19. Be Respectful Of Your Environment
You may be visiting this place but to others, it’s home. Be respectful of the people and animals you meet along your journey.

20. Get Lost
Get out of your comfort zone and a venture off the beaten path. Try finding something unique to photograph. Get a little lost.

21. Share Your Work
Once you’ve returned from your trip, make sure your photos don’t just sit on the memory card or computer. Share them by creating a photo board on your wall or styling a travel photo book.

22. Print Everything Ahead Of Time.
Before you start your travels, don’t forget to print your boarding passes, itinerary and other documents just in case your phone isn’t working properly. By printing everything ahead of time, you do not have to wait in any lines, worry about the digital kiosks in the airport or lack of wifi connection

Travel photography is a fun way to document your trips. It allows you to take your stories home and share them with friends and family. Try creating a collage with a photo collage app and sharing your experiences on social media.

 

 

 

When defining the Underground
You might list some statistics,
You might mention 249 miles of track,
or 1.1 billion who ride,
You might ride up the 426 escalators,
and then back down again,
You might stay on one Tube train,
traveling 114 thousand miles one year,
Might even mention the lifts,
totaling 164 in all,
or that there are 270 stations served,
260 stations managed,
and 19,000 who help you manage
When defining London’s Underground,
it seems a traveler’s anthem has been
a moan, and a groan,
and maybe that’s where they are
At the oft’ signal failure,
it’s true
Being packed like sardines at the peak of the day,
but when defining London’s Underground,
don’t forget to mention nearly 2.7 million journeys
each, and every day.

The trains whiz by, and oftentimes screech,
they jump, they jolt on many miles of track,
but all 4,134 get you to the spot
where you wish to be
And, yes,

Waterloo is busiest in the a.m.
when 57 thou’ hop on, and go,
though nearly 82 million
use it each year making it the liveliest of the lot.
Though the Circle Line is said to be torture
going slowly round, and round,
The network goes under only 40%
while the rest is on top of the ground,
And, 29 stations placed south of the Thames,
really not very many at all
Regent’s Park,
Hyde Park Corner,
Bank, then Piccadilly
have no buildings to mark their spot.
The District Line serves sixty stations
Piccadilly fifty-two,
While the Northern and Central
stop at fifty-one and forty-nine, respectively.

50 steps will take you up Chancery Lane
for a short journey up the escalator,
While a whopping 318 await at Angel
for the longest western European glide.
The first was at Earls Court in 1911,
when a one-legged man took the first step.
Bumper Harris taught us to stand right,
and let the movers go on the left.
400 plus escalators to ride each, and every week
will take you ‘round the world,
and that is no small fete
Up, down, moving around is what you see all day,
Four flat moving conveyors make the walk ever so slight,
but only Bank and Waterloo let you take this flight.

The temps are 10C warmer well down below,
though buskers may jam to their music
making you hum through the tunnels
long after passing away.

The Underground name came to be in 1908,
yet “Mind the Gap,” could not be heard
till the year of ’68.
You know the famous “roundel,”
more than a hundred years old,
and Henry Beck’s famous map is still in use today.

Love it, hate it, or be indifferent all the same,
a nuisance, a god-send –
whatever it means to you,
the Underground is cracking
it’s the way London made it be.

Turning off of Chispa Road’s crisp smooth pavement deep in the heart of West Texas, I veer onto what seems to be an unassuming stretch of dirt road.  “Take a left at the fork in the road about ten miles in,” Fred had told me.  “Unlock and pass through the gate then drive right into the ranch.”  Driving right into an unexpected driving adventure is just what lie ahead of me.

The thirty thousand acre Coal Mine Ranch is a privately owned investment and playground for a group of businessmen who have called the ranch their sanctuary for more than twenty years.  On the rear side of the Sierra Vieja Mountain Range, a world away from the flat grassy desert plains of Highway 90 and thirty miles of rough dirt road winding through steep arroyos from the end of the pavement on Chispa Road, is the Coal Mine Ranch. 

Less than midway, with the pavement far behind me, the only sound I hear is the gravel and rock being churned by my 4×4’s wheels and hitting the underside of the vehicle.  Clank, pop, clackity clack, in an erratic yet rhythmic cadence. 

Lightning fast jackrabbits race by every so often; otherwise, there is no sign of life save for the desert brush,  blooming yuccas along the way and a petrified rattlesnake or two.  I reach for my mobile phone only to see there is no signal.  Immediately, thoughts of the 4×4 breaking down, a flat tire, or more dramatically, a sudden ailment race through my head.   Who would find me?

No one would find me and I had convinced myself of this.  “Keep on going,” I told myself after the first 60° dive into an arroyo and a serious rev of the engine in a low grinding gear to carry me up and out at the other side.  And forward I traveled through several more arroyos with bright clear blue skies above and a piping hot West Texas sun glaring down upon me until I reached a tunnel, twenty feet high and fifty yards deep, blasted from solid rock more than a hundred years ago. 

At last, after a wild hour and a half adventure drive to what felt like the middle of nowhere, I turn the corner to find the Coal Mine Ranch.  What lie behind me is what some would call extreme terrain with civilization somewhere behind that .  Directly ahead of me was a modern ranch house, a feeling of peace and solitude as well as a fantastic time for introspection. 

The ranch lies on the rear side of the Sierra Vieja mountains, a world away from the flat grassy desert plains of High- way 90.  From the end of the pavement on Chispa Road, thirty miles of rough dirt road winding through steep arroyos lead to the Coal Mine Ranch.  This road features its own tunnel, twenty feet high and fifty yards deep, blasted from solid rock by Chinese migrants.  How did they ever find their way deep into the rugged and unforgiving West Texas landscape

Eighty-five-million-year-old fossils of clams, turtle shells, coral, and snails can be found below the sandstone bluffs where once a river delta said to be six hundred miles wide—bigger than the Amazon— fanned out as it approached the sea. Deeply nestled in West Texas, the ranch is about solitude, introspection, and the crackling of the campfire at night.

The rugged West Texas landscape is most definitely the master of the scenario but the adventure is what one gains internally from the experience.

Called the Queen of the Adriatic, Venice has a setting that no other city in the world can rival. It is a network of rii (streams), canali (canals) calli (streets) and campi (squares). The richness and charm of Venice does not derive solely from the presence of significant works of architecture and art (Bellini, Tiziano, Veronese, Tintoretto, Palladio, Sansovino, and many others) but also from the general layout of the city and its way of life.  “The rules change in Venice,” I’m told by Janys Hyde, long-time Venice resident and friend.  For me, Venice is pure magic.  In some ways the city is like a movie set tho’ it’s not fair to minimize Venice to make believe.

Venice is unique among all great cities of the world in that its streets are full of water.  Made up of 118 islands only two to four feet above sea level, crisscrossed by 117 canals, and connected by some 360 bridges, its main avenue is the curving Grand Canal, its buses are the vaporetti.  There is no other city in the world of this size and sophistication where the automobile is absent.  With no better way to explain, Venice is all about the water.  Janys tells me “when furniture is delivered to your home, it’s done by boat or when an ambulance is called it arrives on the water.  To truly understand and ‘get in touch with Venice’ one must embrace the water.”  Embrace I did, and instantly, feeling a sigh of relief from the usual bells, pollution and whistles of the big city.

The richness, color, light, texture, and history create a scene of overwhelming beauty. Venice is the city of canals, stunning Venetian Gothic palaces, intimate restaurants, and intrigue. Whether slipping along the canals on private water taxis, strolling the labyrinth of meandering alleyways, or sipping a Spritz to the mellifluous sounds of a live orchestra, there are plenty of ways to experience this charming mecca.  Once the economic pulse of Europe, Venice is replete with many cultural and historical activities and treasures. In fact, there are few more memorable things than a cruise along the Grand Canal, disembarking among the cooing pigeons at St. Mark’s Square.  The whole city is an extraordinary architectural masterpiece in which even the smallest building contains works by some of the world’s greatest artists such as Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese and others.  While the glories of the past are evident at every turn, the outlying neighborhoods and islands are still animated by a villager lifestyle which must have been unchanged through the centuries.  The Lagoon of Venice is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

No one seems to be in a hurry and no one seems to be trying to own the sidewalk as they stroll with friends and greeting passers-by.  I love the quiet of Venice.  No motor vehicles nor loud noises,  just the slap slap of the water against Venice’s buildings and people calling out to each other.  The incredible shifting light from dawn to dusk changes the dramatic mood of this Italian jewel and can fill the soul with a sense of pure fulfillment.   I could have loved Venice on my own but Janys and her husband, Claudio graciously opened my eyes to “their Venice” and ensured I made it my own.   Janys sums my Venetian experience best by saying “it is like a never ending story.   Falling in love with Venice is a love affair which is difficult to shake off.   Once you fall, you are lost and there is no way to appropriately tuck Venice neatly into a little box.”  And fallen I have.  There is no doubt in my mind that you, too, will not only be mesmerized but also madly deeply in love before you leave Venice.

There are few places in the world where you can stand in one place to watch the moon set then turn around and watch the sun rise simultaneously.  One such place in El Paso, Texas at the top of a road called Transmountain Road that runs through the Franklin Mountains.  The state road connects the east – northeast in particular – with the westside of the city.

I arrived at the location with the intention of capturing the sunrise and light streams of passing cars.  I knew I had to arrive around 6:30 to catch the rising sun and early morning traffic.  To be honest, I was ignorant of the fact that moonset was at the exact same time.  I was also oblivious to the fact that this spot on Transmountain Road would allow me to view the start of the day and the end of the day at the very same time.  

Needless to say my camera got a workout as did I pivoting back and forth to capture the photographs.

The experience had a profound affect on me as I couldn’t quite work out in my brain what a truly special moment this was.   How many places in the world is it possible to see both the sun set and the moon rise with unobstructed views at the same time?  I can’t think of  many.  It was also a special moment to be able to capture the experience with my camera.

Years later the photographs found a home in two of my books, “El Paso 120 : Edge of the Southwest” and “Sí El Paso.”

The experience also got me to thinking about El Paso’s Franklin Mountains.  For me, the mountain range is like an old comforting friend.  I see the mountain as a being as opposed to a thing.  And, as a being, the mountain must have a mood.

The Franklin Mountains display various moods through- out the day.  The temper of the mountain is calm at sunrise, almost in a slumber in the brisk January morning air.  There are no giant pine trees to soften the winter wind whipping around my face, no singing birds or running deer to take my eye off the sky.  Only high-elevation cacti and desert brush crawl along the slopes and boulders, often jutting out like nature’s high rises on either side of the mountain.

Moon SettingLooking west I see the near-full moon sinking below the horizon.  Seconds later, I turn to the east, marveling at a fiery ball nudging above the desert floor, and the royal blue sky rapidly transforms with bursts of splendid golden hues as if Mother Nature’s paintbrush sweeps across the heavens.  In an instant natural fireworks fill the sky as the moon sets and sun rises and I watch in awe.  A moment passes, and the sun’s rays stretch across East El Paso, tickling the sides of the Franklin Mountains, waking them for another day.

Sunrise With Franklin Mountains in View

The mysterious moon.  The full moon with rays casting shadows as if it were day.  The illuminated rays stretch from the heavens across the lands below.  I close my eyes, and travel.  The nocturnal vibes invade my body, my heart, my soul.  I hear the mystic, yet soft voice of the wind whisper in my ear, “the night is yours”.

The moon guides me, the stars tell me not to worry, guiding me towards a place unknown by the world, yet so familiar.  I sit in silence in awe of the natural glow as if a comforting night light guides me down the hallway.  Melodic sounds of swaying branches, crashing waves, or blowing leaves tell me the night is alive with beauty.  They scream their joy.  They sing life.  Crickets hiccup their nocturnal sounds, bull frogs bellow in deep harmony and critters scatter under the brush here and there.

The moonlight disperses through my skin, through my bones, through my soul.  I become one with the night.  The sounds and stress of the day are a distant memory.  Calmness sinks into me.  Peace surrounds every bit of my being.  I join the symphony of the night.  I once again become human, I become the night; I feel the pains, and I feel the joys.

At last I feel warmth.  I was a prisoner of the present – surviving through days, weeks, months, and years.  Never knowing that what I missed most was inside my soul.  The drums of the night were my heartbeats, the guitars spoke through my voice, the moonlit night shining in my eyes, and my surroundings revived through my skin.

Now I am back again.  Whole.  Centered.  As One.

I have been photographing idyllic landscapes illuminated by the full moon for over ten years.  A new book project
is on the way.

I have been capturing landscapes under a full moon for over a decade.  From Fredericksburg, Texas, to El Paso to Croatia and Venice and London to the Sahara Desert and Bali – I’ve been there.  It’s been me, a tripod, a remote control and my camera all in the silence of the night. 

Photographing scenes that would normally be pitch dark are illuminated in such a way that some viewers think the landscapes were captured during daytime.  The shadows are different and at times have an ominous feel to them instead of the stark contrast during a full sun day.  The colours and perception are richer, and for me, more meaningful.

I tend to like quiet at any given time.  I also feel quite comfortable being alone.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m a social sort of fellow but I thoroughly enjoy time and place just for me.  Capturing landscapes and city scenes during a full moon are perfect excuses to excuse myself from the crowd.  And in my mind, you’re never really alone being alone.  I never feel isolated.

As I’ve traveled around the world, I’ve learned the full moon can be an auspicious time for both Hindus and Buddhists.  Purnama is the term used in Bali.  The Balinese believe the gods descend amongst Balinese Hindus to answer prayers and honour wishes.  This is a comforting notion.    I’ve begun researching what the full moon means to various cultures around the world because of my experiences with the Balinese and Bhutanese.  If they believe the full moon has special powers, then others must look to the soft glow in the sky as something remarkable as well.

So, I continue capturing night images during the full moon or super moon with the idea that one day I’ll have a large enough body of work to present in an exhibition or book.  This is a special project for me.  I look forward to one day sharing what I’ve seen and captured with the world.

Unexpectedly arising from southern New Mexico’s barren landscape is a natural arrangement of larger-than-life rocks reminiscent of urban high rises.   Formed of hot volcanic ash that solidified nearly thirty-five million years ago, these formations have been carved by the elements into gnomish shapes and fanciful columns that can reach forty feet high.   Only a handful of places in the world have formations like these.  I know all too well they are not easy to climb.  I tried.

Popular with many overnight campers, the “city” is webbed with pathways that I curiously trundle through, feeling dwarfed along the way, until dusk.   It is during the golden hour, when the sun begins to set, that the magic begins.   The sun’s rays bounce from the ancient volcanic rock giving off an exquisitely rich cornucopia of color—sparkling hues of pink, orange, yellow, and purple—that you can only see in these moments.   The “city” comes to life, making this an ideal time to begin clicking the camera’s shutter.

The reason to visit City of Rocks is to escape routine and stress.  Trust me, it will be you and the rocks and no phone signal when you visit.  The landscape is a nice blend of the west’s rugged rock formations and grassy plains.  You’ll be in the desert, tho’ the land is not barren like you see in Arizona or Southern Utah.

I always to see Fred Flinstone as the large rock formations literally remind me of Flinstone’s Bedrock.  Close your eyes and envision for a moment.  You see this, too.  Don’t you?

City of Rocks
LATITUDE
32 ̊35’24” N

LONGITUDE
-107 ̊58’33” W

ELEVATION
5,250 feet (1,600 meters)

AREA
1,230 acres (497.8 hectares)

Time has a way of being a flash before your eyes, and catching you unaware of how quickly time can pass in a metropolis.  One minute you wake up and it seems like the next minute it’s time to turn out the light.   Just yesterday I was younger, embarking on my new life into adulthood, unworldly yet eager to discover.  In fact, I remember being extremely nervous with the responsibility.  It seems like eons ago, and I wonder where each year disappeared.   Like a flash, the years flew by.  I know I lived them all.  I was there.  There are glimpses of how my simple life was back then.  Time seemed to move by so slowly.  My idealistic hopes, and dreams, seemed to be the truth ahead.  Everything, and I mean everything, seemed so clear without muddled sight, or any sort of distortion.  I did not think about options because I wasn’t worldly enough to know much beyond the other side of town.

Here it is, years later, and the speed of time catches me by surprise.   Yesterday was Christmas and now here it is again.  How did that happen?  How did I get here so fast?  Where did the years go, and where did my youth go?   I still feel young in my mind and yet my body tells me something entirely different.   I remember seeing older people through the years, and thinking that they were years away from me.  Man, they were old.  Quite honestly, I never gave it a thought that I’d ever be where they are.   Winter was so far off; I could not fathom this, or imagine, fully, how my body would change.   Someone played a trick and flipped a switch.  I know that’s what happened.  One day I had six pack abs and the next thing I knew my trousers didn’t fit.  My mind matured, and now I am not so sure of many things these days.  I used to be sure about everything until other people’s actions slowly changed my view.   I’m getting grey, move a bit slower, and now my view is untidy; the world seems to bend, and buckle.  Did I miss the memo alerting me to the fact that our values and morals changed?  Why didn’t anyone consult me?  And, why did it take being taken advantage of in obscene ways for me to wake up to the changed world?

I wake up, and before I know it, the time has come to turn in for the night.  Everything seems to move far more quickly than I am able, and time is rarely my good friend like it once was.  Is there a rush for me to keep up, or is time moving so quickly I can’t possibly keep up?

To explain my life and the way I live it would be fruitless quite honestly.  Not many people would understand how I make everything work.  It’s safe to say I live under a proverbial rock.  I’m social and I get out and I travel the world.  So much is foreign to me to say the least.  Have I slowed the cycle of life by living the way I do?  No, life rushes by no matter what.