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The road to California: Land of the giants.

There is a place where you can wander a forest full of giant trees.  Isolated in a spot of high elevation between two deserts, these trees are left alone to grow, and grow, and grow.  Taller than 26 storey buildings, wider than some roads, and with 2500+ years of life experience under their bark…these trees are humbling.  Every once in a while I stumble upon a place that is so surreal it feels as if I am dreaming, and the giant sequoia belt just east of Death Valley, California, is one of those places.

Had someone tried to explain this place to me before I experienced it myself, I would have had a hard time believing them.  It is difficult to put it into words, or even photos as I found out.  You really need an element of the ordinary within the frame to try and give a photo the perspective that it needs to portray the feeling of the place.  Here is an attempt, however I must add that I think everyone should try and find their way to the paths of Giant Sequoia National Park at some point in their life.  There’s nothing quite like hugging one of the largest trees in the world.

Sun rays against a sequoia tree

Early morning sun rays.

Amidst a grove of giant sequoias

It is humbling to stand amidst a grove of sequoia trees.

Looking up at giant sequoia trees

Looking up.

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Rocky Mountain Postcard

Bow River Postcard

A recipe for staying warm on chilly nights along the Bow River: a stoked fire and a strong double IPA from home (Half Pints: Humulus Ludicrous).

Would you believe me if I said that this postcard is a few weeks late because it got lost in the mail?  Okay, I didn’t think so.  In reality, I have been busy wearing my app developer hat since getting home.  Apple released iOS 8 while I was out of town, which meant that there was was a pile of work waiting for me.  Yadda yadda…I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice to say that the code is now complete, changes are in, releases are in the queue, and now it’s time to put my photography toque back on.

As some of you may know, I disappeared on a road trip up to the edge of the arctic circle this past August and September.  Well, disappear might not be the right word.  A travel first for me, I was posting to my Instagram account along the way.  Friends and family were able to check and make sure I hadn’t been eaten by a grizzly bear, and new friends (read: strangers) were given a window into the often wondered about, but more rarely seen, beauty of the north.  I was honoured to be noticed by the folks at Hello BC and Travel Manitoba, and happy to join the social media team of the former and contribute to an upcoming printed book for the latter!  Overall, the feedback was great and I was happy to be able to share the trip this way.  One of my main goals whenever I press the shutter button on my camera is to inspire others to get out and live life more fully, and this proved to be a great way to do just this.  In the future, I may not always be able to stay so connected on the road (due to different technology and/or safety restrictions of places), but I will certainly try to when I am able.

Being a bit old school in the matter, I only post photos to Instagram that were taken with my phone.  This means there is still a lot of gold from my SLR to be mined on my computer right now.  Beginning selections, I am excited by what I see.  Stay tuned – there is much more to come.

Winnipeg Folk Festival 2014

The 41st Winnipeg Folk Festival has come and gone.  Once again, an empty field in Bird’s Hill Park was turned into a vibrant community.  We came and we went, but forever we will have the memories. Every year is different but I always leave feeling the same: my head full of music and my heart full of love.

Campground Lineup

The long lineup to get in to the campground is a part of the festival.  Best to relax and enjoy it.

In the tent.

Rest of some sort is usually in order once camp is finally set up.  Rest, and planning.

Long live fun.

“Long live fun…” is a good way to sum up the general attitude towards all aspects of the festival.  Games, art, music, dance, community…long live fun indeed!

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August 6, 2014 - 11:11 am

Marc Neufeld - Fantastic pictures!

August 6, 2014 - 12:43 pm

Courtney Rae Jones - Love the photos! I missed out on folk fest this year, but your photos made it feel like I was there.

August 6, 2014 - 10:07 pm

Karenia - What a lovely synopsis of one person’s experience of Folk Fest. I’m glad I got to share a few of those moments with you. My favourite shot… the rubber boots on stage, the sound booth and Pope’s Hill at night. Elephant Revival was also my favourite discovery for this year’s fest.

August 7, 2014 - 12:47 am

Dua Hamed - Great shots that accompanied a flood way of memories. Thanks for sharing!

August 7, 2014 - 9:54 am

David - Glad you enjoyed these folks.

@Courtney: I missed running into you at the festival this year! Europe though, is a good excuse. Hope you’re having a good trip.

September 1, 2014 - 10:22 am

Ivor L - The Folk Festival seen through your talented eyes behind the camera. I could almost hear the music. Many thanks, David!

September 3, 2014 - 10:57 am

Sheldon Emberly - Incredible photo essay David! Incredible images! Thanks so much for sharing these.

Postcard from the Winnipeg Folk Festival

Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite Postcard

Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite killing it on main stage at the 41st Winnipeg Folk Festival.

August 3, 2014 - 11:57 am

Chris - What a jam! Are you going to post other photos from this years festival?

August 4, 2014 - 6:50 pm

David - Hi Chris. You bet. I am in the midst of captioning and organizing my choices into a story. Check back on Wednesday and I should have something up for you.

A glimpse of New York City

This is New York, or at least a glimpse of it.  In a city this dense, it feels that one might never explore all of her nooks and crannies, so here I’ll focus on the city itself.  A post on the culture of food and drink will be saved for another time on Liquid Meets Solid.

NYC Approach

First sight of New York City.  This moment had a strange excitement to it that isn’t always there when arriving in a new city.  There is an immediate sense of familiarity, probably from the city’s prominent place in western culture.

Jersey City shore

Flying into Newark, we spent a couple nights in Jersey City.  Located just across the Hudson River from New York City, there are beautiful views of west Manhattan’s iconic skyline all along the shore.

Hudson River fish evidence

Evidence that there is still life in the Hudson River.

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July 23, 2014 - 7:21 am

Karenia - Interesting photo essay… it does seem like a place that would overwhelm. My favourite image (although one of the simpler ones) was the fish sign with the real fish overlayed.

August 4, 2014 - 1:43 pm

Sheldon Emberly - I really need to get to NYC sometime! Awesome blog David! Love the cityscapes made as night was falling!