As I mentioned in my last Post – One big Rule of Travel/Adventure Photography… You don’t have to leave home!

Here I am, back again finally.

As many of you, who may live in the Pacific NW may know – It rains a lot here!

Here it is mid-July and it’s still rainy days and grey skies. Not real inspirational for photography – Unless of course, you happen to live in an area where all this rain produces beautiful rain-forests to hike in, all within a couple minutes to maybe a few hours of my home.

A couple days ago, I did just that. Here, on Fidalgo Island, which is about 1.5 hrs or so North of Seattle, I’ve got many places to go hike and explore without ever having to leave the island. We also have this nice little thing called Mt Erie, which you can either drive to the top, or hike up and/or all around it’s rain-forest for as long as you’d like, all within 10 minutes of home. Bring a map though, as many have gotten themselves turned around and lost their car.

So, as mentioned earlier, it’s still raining here. The only difference between now and January, is that the rain is warmer and there are more bugs to deal with (I had a tick hitch a ride home with me a couple weeks ago). But, being a photographer and avid hiker/mountain climber, with only about an hour or so to play – I head to Mt Erie every chance I get.

Part of growing as a photographer is to take challenges and risks – If for nothing else, just to learn what happens when you go outside your comfort zone. You may surprise yourself and find something new to explore. Or, you’ll find something new that you don’t actually like, but would have never known if you didn’t try. And again, even though this new blog is for “Adventure & Travel Photography”, that doesn’t mean that you have to go half-way around the world for photographs, or have the most expensive gear to capture them.

One challenge I bring upon myself every couple weeks is my “One Lens Challenge.” I leave home with my camera and only one lens. Now, I know many of you think that’s easy, I’ll just bring one of my zoom-lens and have everything covered. Well, yes, you can do that too. I’ve got Canon’s great overall 28-135mm IS lens, which is perfect for that. It’s my “street lens” for those days that I’m just going for a walk. No, to make it a challenge, bring a prime lens, whichever one you have. Mine’s a 50mm f2.5 macro that I picked up used via Craigslist, for about $60 or so (don’t remember exactly). Some of you may have a 24mm, 100mm, etc. If not, go ahead and take your zoom, but set it to about 50mm and tape it down so you won’t be tempted to use its zoom.

Just put on that lens and get going. The 50mm is a great inexpensive lens to work with. Here’s a few images I’ve shot during these hikes.

So, go out and shoot. If you don’t know where to go, or don’t happen to have a rain-forest in your backyard, maybe you have beaches, lakes, mountains, farmland, desert, prairie, whatever’s near you. Even a strip mine can be photographic. I’ve been there too. Nice layers in the dirt and unique trucks and tractors. For another challenge, go somewhere you either have never been too, or haven’t been too in a long time, especially with a camera. Get out a map, point to something new on it and just go there to see what you find, not only once you get there, but along the way too. Keep your eyes open, keep your schedule loose if you can.

Get out there and show the rest of the world what they’re missing by not visiting your part of the world!

The point is, get out there and shoot something – Even it’s still raining , like it is in the Pacific NW, while the rest of the country is enjoying Summer, and many of you in the Mid-West are sweltering in heat (which I cannot handle)- Go out and shoot!

Thanks for visiting, pass the word to all your friends/fans/contacts to visit too,

Tony

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