I had this fabulous idea that I was going to share my Morocco images with you day-by-day, story-by-story, shoot-by-shoot and then still have plenty o' time to tell you about everything else going on in my photography life but Morocco was way back in APRIL. It's October now and honestly, while I still have one more shoot to share with you, I think we need to be done with Morocco. It was amazing and if you haven't been, you should go AND if you want to go with me, send me an email.
I have been adding images to this gallery and this one too so if you want to see more images from Morocco, check back periodically. This coming January, I'm also giving a presentation on Morocco with my good friend Tony Reynes. Details are here and guests are welcome. With that, let's move from the African continent back home to North America.
In May, beyond a weekend trip to Holland, Michigan to photograph the Tulip Festival, which I mentioned here, I didn't travel. I spent time making images at the Chicago Botanic Garden and trying to improve my macro photography skills. My frustration with macro photography is directly related to my patience level which typically hovers at about a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10. While I want my macro work to be spectacular, if I'm honest, I need to spend more time at CBG and more time patiently studying flowers, lighting and locations. It's going to be a long learning curve for me. The good news about that is that I love to keep learning and I will have this goal for many (many) years to come.
Arlington Park's thoroughbred racing season opens in May too so I was there pretty regularly on Friday afternoons. A few times this summer I brought photography students to the track with me, for an afternoon workshop. Teaching was a great way for me to push myself to improve my own images from the track. It's easy to get comfortable in places that you can shoot all the time and I think I was definitely too comfortable by the end of last year's racing season at Arlington, shooting the same sorts of things over and over. In preparation to teach fellow photogs some of my secrets for getting great images at the track, I pushed myself to discover new locations and new ways to photograph the same subjects. By the end of this past summer I wasn't able to shoot at Arlington as much but I'm excited about the work I made and even more excited that I forced myself to grow as an artist. Check out my gallery of Arlington images here.
In June, in addition to shooting at the track and at the Garden, I traveled to Utah to photograph the wild horses at the Onaqui HMA, near Dugway. I made a terrific new friend there and fell in love with the two large herds of horses on this beautiful range. My Onaqui gallery is a work in progress but I made dozens of images of these horses that make my heart very happy. I'll share more images and details on planning a trip to Onaqui in upcoming blogs (I promise, I will!). If you're interested in going and want to go with me, email me.
I wrapped up my trip to Utah with a few days at Antelope Island State Park where I learned that, while I call myself an equine photographer, I love photographing wildlife. I don't think I'm ready to wear camo and hide in a blind in the forest but Antelope Island was right up my alley. Golden light, beautiful landscape potential, birds, bunnies and bison, all easy to find and photograph. While this gallery isn't solely from Antelope Island, I created it because after traveling and shooting there, I realized that I'd been been making images of wildlife all along. Photographing more wildlife in more places has been in my thoughts a great deal lately and I can't wait to plan a few more trips with wildlife photography opportunities and explore where this could take me.
June wrapped up with the always-amazing Out of Chicago Summer Conference. I'm lucky to be part of the staff that runs the conference and while I was too busy this year to get out and shoot with any of the visiting instructors and presenters, I'm hoping to be involved as the Volunteer Coordinator again in 2017 and hopefully even teach a class. Teaching equine photography at OOC is high on my wish list. If you haven't looked into Out of Chicago already, the Fourth Annual Summer Conference will be back at the University Center. Dates are June 22-25, 2017.
Despite not traveling much and, for the first time in years, not traveling to Italy, May and June were good photography months for me, filled with new experiences, new friends and a lot of contemplation about why I make the images I make and how I can make those images more meaningful.
What did you all do this past May and June?
Check back in a few days for Part II, July and August.