The year of 2016 was the year of the camera for me. Those who have known me the longest know Dad threw an old Pentax in my had at around six years of age. So I have had a camera in my hand for quite some time. It put me through school. It defined college and high school. It took a hiatus as my career headed to the world of college bowl games and sunny Miami. But it never left.
The last five years the camera has come back. In a big way and it has become a part of my professional journey, for sure. But it grew to be a part of my every day, defining my adventures. I took more images this past calendar year than any before and as I looked back at what I captured – I have been truly blessed.
From a road trip where the fisheye remained on the dashboard, to thousands of images from the basketball arenas around the country, the camera was at my side. The blue angels never disappoint. Mother nature, truly one of my favorite subjects. The simplicity and peace of the first-ever 14er to the family trek to Miramar.
2016 Miramar Air Show U.S. Navy Blue Angels
So many have joined me on this journey with the camera and what a fun ride this year was. I tried to find some of my favorites in MY BEST OF 2016. I am sure I left some out. In fact I know I did… but it is on to 2017. I can’t wait.
For Christmas I decided to put together some photo books for those that mean so much to me, putting together some of my favorites. The theme for this book was my love of nature. And in putting together these books, I realized I have been truly blessed to be in a profession and live an active life that has taken me and my camera around the world. And I was amazed at the images I had taken over the last decade. But one thing became clear – I live in one of the most amazing outdoor places in the world where you can surf and ski on the same day (well, traffic can often say otherwise) and yet, I had not really taken the camera out on an adventure right in my backyard.
Well, I changed that. I am not shy about claiming Colorado as home. But Southern California has been where I have laid my head for 17 years and it, too, has given me great blessings. So I ventured out with my newest gear (thank you loved ones for outfitting me for great hikes) and got some amazing shots of the Pacific Ocean and the ever popular Santa Monica Mountains. Also met some incredible people, too.
Since I entered college more than 24 years ago, I wanted to work in the industry known as Sports Information. It is not for the faint of heart. Last to leave. First to arrive. Days off – when? But it is what I was born to do and I have been blessed to be in a profession that has taken me around the world, allowed me to see some of the greatest sporting events of today and not to mention the people.
However, the holiday season is the most challenging, especially working in the world of NCAA college basketball. You take holiday breaks when you can and they are rarely on the actual day itself. And this year is no different. I squeezed in a trip back home to Colorado before Thanksgiving, celebrating Turkey Day with my Colorado family the day before Thanksgiving (see the gallery THANKFUL FOR HOME), traveling home to Los Angeles on Thanksgiving day for a triple-header that Friday.
And then this past week… During Finals Week I traveled to the Florida Gulf Coast to visit my Florida family, spending some amazing time on the Panama City Beaches. Returned home to Los Angeles on Friday for a doubleheader of hoops that saw a buzzer-beater and an overtime classic. And then back on the road the next day to take on Colorado State on Monday. The benefit, back home for a quickie to deliver presents and a chance to see my home in a blanket of snow. So to recap. Thursday, Dec. 15 on the beaches of Florida and 72 degrees. Friday, Dec. 16 back in Los Angeles for two inches of rain and about 65 degrees. Doubleheader basketball on Saturday. On a plane Sunday to Colorado where it was 7 degrees when we landed. That is an SID life.
Check-out what my lens caught this past week in AN SID LIFE.
This past Thanksgiving there was enough break between basketball games to take a rare trip home for the holiday. Still had to travel back the day of Thanksgiving, but I got a good five days home. And the front range of Colorado delivered. One brief rain/snow storm did a traditional Colorado pass, arrive in the morning gone by midday. And the result was that perfect blue sky and weather the best anywhere.
Usually the roughly 90 minutes between the time the basketball team arrives to an arena for a road game and the actual tip-off is painfully slow. Nothing to do. Set-up is done in 10 minutes. And we sit and wait. However, with a moon event of a lifetime taking place, it was an opportunity on November 14, 2016.
“This full moon will be not only the closest and brightest supermoon of 2016but also the largest since 1948, Bob Berman, an astronomer at the Slooh Community Observatory, told Space.com. What’s more, the full moon won’t come this close to Earth again until Nov. 25, 2034, according to a statement from NASA.” — http://www.space.com/34515-supermoon-guide.html
Playing at the University of Nevada, we arrived at 5:05 for a 7 pm start. Set-up, run tests. Now 5:10. So I grabbed the camera, and found a peak sitting at 4,600 feet. And I waited. At first it looked like I might have to leave. The Super Moon was taking it’s sweet time arriving. Slowly the glow began behind the mountain peaks. Before I knew it, the fullest moon we will see until 2034.
I hope the next one I am not waiting on a game to tipoff.
Since leaving Colorado after college, every trip home has included a trek up to Estes Park. This year’s was even more special as my Mom wanted to go even higher. Fresh with her new senior pass to all national parks (just $10 and its good for the rest of her life, best DEAL EVER!), we headed up Trail Ridge Road. It has been many decades since I have traveled that majestic road. The images my camera caught don’t do it justice. What a wonderful day. Thanks Mom. Check out the full gallery here.
A trip home to the front range of Colorado has become a tradition, and the beautiful state I so love did not disappoint. From a bike ride on the Coal Creek and Rock Creek trails in Lafayette and Broomfield, a visit to the cemetery and an evening of fireworks, July 4 at home was once again a memorable one. Enjoy a little slice of my home in this PHOTO GALLERY.
Making the trip of Los Angeles back home to Colorado, decided to keep the fisheye lens and camera handy. Mother nature and some of the most beautiful scenery did not disappoint. From the abandoned water park to overcast skies to a downpour into the tunnels, it was another great 1,100 miles. It was capped to one of my favorite places, Waneka Lake. Truly blessed. View the entire gallery HERE.
Went home to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to see mom for Mother’s Day. Had every intent to head home on Sunday morning. One little twist, Mother Nature wanted me to spend more time with my mother. One of the latest snows on record hit the front range, and while I did not have my camera (very upset about that), I did manage to get out. And I was given a true gift.