art, film, landscape, nature, photography, travel

petrified forest + painted desert

A really great spot we happened upon was Petrified Forest National Park.

You probably won’t want to spend a week there, but it’s a fascinating and beautiful day trip at least.

They do have backcountry camping, but I would not advise it in the summer.

Thankfully, we had great clouds and summer storms to add to the already dramatic landscape.

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Remnants of ancient trees litter the desert…. now huge, colorful stones that were once a lush forest.

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And the painted desert!  Probably my favorite section of this park, for the amazing earthen colors and big blue sky.

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The historic Painted Desert Inn.  Worth a quick stop.  Ask a ranger to show you one of the rooms… amazing!  Great views too.

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all images and content © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2013

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art, film, landscape, nature, photography, travel

canyon de chelly // a disappearing act

When I was in college, I worked for a man who frequently raved about Canyon de Chelly National Monument in Arizona.

But I’m rarely passing through Arizona unfortunately, so it doesn’t often pop into my periphery.

On this trip, however, because of my planned route, a visit to the little known canyon that Ansel Adams photographed a half century ago began to materialize.

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Crossing into Navajo country near Four Corners was a whole new experience.

The vast, open, dry plains and amazing monuments rising out of the desert floor were simply awe-inspiring.

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And, at least for a while, the clouds didn’t disappoint.

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But then we got to the canyon…

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This ancient place was inhabited by the Anasazi first, it is believed, several thousand years ago.  Until, they seemingly disappeared.  Just like in Mesa Verde and Chaco Canyon.

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Then the Navajo moved in and began cultivating and farming the fertile canyon floor, and are still living off the land there to this day.

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Since the Navajo own, and many of their families inhabit this land, it is illegal to venture into the canyon without a Native guide.

The only exception being the White House hiking trail.  And since we were just passing through, and didn’t have a tour planned, we decided just to hike down.

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It was the wrong time of day to photograph the amazing homes carved into the side of this sheer cliff, but it was fascinating none-the-less.

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The visit really was too short to properly take this magnificent place in, but I’m glad we at least got a glimpse.

It truly is a beautiful and haunting place.

all images and content © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2013

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art, film, landscape, nature, photography, travel

telluride // a few shots

By the time we got to Telluride, I was ready for a much needed break.

I had been working night and day for nearly 10 days in the park, not getting much sleep or rest.

It was nearing the Fourth, so I set the camera down for a few days to enjoy some time with Elle and our friends…

Except, of course, on two hikes… Bear Creek and Silver Lake.

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Soon our restful time in Telluride was over and it was on to work more in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas!

all images and content © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2013

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advanced, art, film, film making, landscape, nature, photography, travel, wildlife

rocky mountain np // motion

For fun, I decided to make a short video of some of my time-lapses and motion captures from the trip.

And yes, I just had to sneak some marmots in for a cameo or two….

I hope you enjoy!  For best results, watch in HD.

All motion clips are available for commercial and editorial licensing through Tandem Stills + Motion.

all images and content © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2013

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art, landscape, nature, photography, random thought, travel, wildlife, writing

rocky mountain national park // pictures

Well, after 3 weeks and 4300 miles, I’m finally back home.

It was an epic road trip and I am so pleased with the work I had the chance to produce in 5 National Parks!

The first of which being, of course, Rocky Mountain National Park.

I spent 9 days exploring and photographing this phenomenally beautiful place.  Most noted subjects of this park are the fast flowing creeks, abundant wildlife, and majestic peaks.

It was certainly a challenging experience; waking up before the sun to shoot all morning, hiking 10+ miles during the middle of the day (with 30 lbs of gear) to scout locations, and then shooting until after dark, going to bed and doing it all over again.  Needless to say, I wasn’t getting a ton of sleep, and I lost a few pounds of excess belly :)

It was a ton of hard work, but it’s the kind of labor that I really live to do.

So, here are a handful of my favorite images from the first leg of my three week trip!

In the next week or two, I will post more images, videos, time-lapses, and as promised, equipment reviews…

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have, technical or aesthetic, leave comments/ feedback, but most of all, I hope you enjoy the beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park!

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All images are available for commercial and editorial licensing through Tandem Stills + Motion.  Prints of select images will be available soon!

all images and content © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2013

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art, equipment review, landscape, nature, photography, random thought, travel, wildlife, writing

rocky mountain high | road-trip 2013

I have never been to Rock Mountain National Park.  Yeah… seriously.

With all of the locations I drive to regularly in New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, for some reason, I have never been.

It’s especially odd, now that I think of it, because of how (relatively) close and how stunningly beautiful I hear it is.

So, I’ve been planning to spend a week there at the end of June.

I will piggyback off a job I have in Telluride over the fourth, and a stock assignment in Big Bend National Park.

Adding in a few extra stops like Canyon de Chelley in Arizona, this thing has really turned into quite the road-trip…

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To top it all off, Canon is sending me a few lenses to evaluate, which I will review here on the blog… check back to see me put some exciting lenses to the test!

I am really looking forward to spending some quality time in phenomenally beautiful Rocky Mountain NP with Canon’s long awaited 500mm f/4L II and 24mm f/1.4L II.

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The closest I’ve been to RMNP was a backpacking trip a few friends and I took in 2008 to Indian Peaks Wilderness.

IPW is within Arapahoe National Forest and borders the southern edge of Rocky Mountain National Park.

I’ve been to a lot of beautiful places, but Indian Peaks Wilderness was certainly one of the most stunning.

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And then of course… like an old friend waiting for a long overdue visit… Big Bend.  Except for 2012, I have been at least once every year for the last 10+ years.

It’s a magical place.  With a character and an energy like no other place I’ve been, it has the ability to soothe ones soul.  It’s a perfect mixture of southwest desert and rugged mountains.

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Along with the lenses, I will be testing out some new filters, new techniques, and I hope it will be a rejuvenating experience.  And I want to share it with all of you…

So please, feel free to ask questions, give tips, make comments, and check back over the next several weeks for updates.  I will be sharing some of the secrets and tricks of the trade!

Cheers!

— andrew

all images and content © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2013

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art, photography, random thought, travel, writing

the fourth

this year, the fourth of july was really special.

the day started by walking up early, the giant san juan mountains surrounding us.

i was with good friends, my wife was on her way, and a day full of festivities awaited.

we started with fresh washington state oysters and bloody marys at 9 a.m.  thanks to jw…

then we all headed to main street to watch the parade!

we were quite festive…

the f-16s are always a crowd favorite.

and then the vets came… and i assure you that not one eye was dry.  these men sacrificed so much for all of us.

needless to say, they received a standing ovation from the multitudes.

not a bad backdrop to a fantastic day…

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and you can’t forget the “men without rhythm”.

once the parade ended, we all headed to the patio at rustico, one of our favorite italian restaurants in telluride (or anywhere for that matter).

my big “pouty” lips…  okay, so they’re not that pouty…  just really chapped.

then it was on to town park to throw some horseshoes!

it’s good to take a nap in the grass in between matches…

we all retired for a few hours to get a little rest before the fireworks that night.

and as always, the fireworks display is unbelievable in telluride.  i guess, just like everything else in this idyllic little mountain town.

it’s hard to go back to dallas and work when you’ve spent a dreamlike week in a place like telluride.  it always happens that way.

so, to combat the shock of such a harsh contrast of realities, Elle and i decided to head up to wyoming for another week starting july 5th!

good philosophy, i think.  but i have to admit in hindsight, it didn’t make the transition any easier…

all images and content © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2011

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