national parks, photography, travel


I have this group of guy friends who every year around the same time, head up to Estes Park, CO for a backpacking trip. I have been lucky enough to be included on it the last two years.

We had a permit to do a few nights backpacking the northern end of Rocky Mountain National Park, but because of fires, much of the park shut down. The parks service rerouted us to an off trail section in the south of the park.

It was a beautiful, easy hike in. And because of this, the glamper contingent of our group decided to blow it out for us and bring copious amounts of gourmet food.

The first night, prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, and Perini steaks, as well as manchego cheese and other charcuterie. It was pretty epic.

With full bellies, the next day we day-hiked up to a lake surrounded by a cirque at 12k feet for some adventure and an afternoon of fly fishing.

I am not much of an angler, but the gents slayed like there was no tomorrow.

That night, the glampers made us a hearty soba noodle dinner with homemade popcorn for desert. We figured it was all over, but when we awoke the next morning, they outdid themselves with a portable hand-pump espresso machine and pancakes. Lattes and hotcakes for all.

That was enough to fuel us for the hike out. Now, I am used to going minimal when it comes to backpacking, so all of this was a bit unusual for me, but I must say, aside from actually gaining weight on a backpacking trip, I enjoyed the spoils of glampacking.

Our last day, after having come out of the wilderness, showered, devoured a lovely steak dinner with the family, and stayed a night in the cozy cabin, we hiked into the park again for another full day of recreation.

The group fished while I meandered the moraine valley in search of images, wildlife and other.

The elk were in full rut, and posing beautifully for me.

They even had a few curve balls to throw my way. Lol.

Overall, it was a supremely relaxing day watching the light move across the valley with a seeming lack of any urgency. The fishing was tough, but the time was easy.

It is a wonderful group of friends that continually challenge my thinking and priorities. They are the good men, that do still exist out there, who enjoy some of the finer masculine activities. And not afraid to enjoy a few of the feminine… thinking of you, lattes.

— Andrew

SPECIAL OFFER for my blog followers – 10% off everything by using code “BLOG10” at checkout
Check out my free and paid video tutorials and learn from a 20+ year professional.

Learn photography and enjoy a guided travel adventure.
Give the gift of beauty, travel, and knowledge… buy a gift card. Help a small business.
The Photographic Guide to Our National Parks” series of eBooks:
Rocky Mountain National Park
Grand Teton National Park
Andrew Slaton // Limited Edition Prints
Andrew Slaton // Canvas + Metal Prints
Tandem Stills + Motion // Andrew Slaton
Thanks for visiting
All images and content © ARS Media, LLC 2020
art, photography, travel

telluride | color portraits

how fun to have two friends with birthdays, one after the other.

then add on top of it a quick trip to telluride to celebrate.

then, add on top of that a slew of buddies that are very good sports and will actually let you shoot their portraits in the midst of it all.

and here we are.  :)

_MG_6606F2 _MG_6635F2 _MG_6666F2

_MG_6736F2 _MG_6726F2 _MG_6953F2

_MG_6863F2 _MG_6764F2 _MG_6795F2

_MG_6972F2 _MG_6900F2 _MG_6743F2

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2013

photography, random thought, travel

ah… telluride

i made the 30 hour round-trip drive up to telluride, colorado at the end of february to celebrate my best friend john’s 30th birthday…

there are not many places i’d rather be for any occasion.  we enjoyed great wine, great friends, and equally great scenery…

on the way home, i took a route i’ve never taken before.  vast landscapes, towering earthen spires, and telephone poles dominated my field of vision.

maybe pointing my camera out the car windows while driving is not the smartest or safest practice, but it kept me busy.

all in all, i think i spent as much time driving to and from as i did in telluride…  but as willie sings… we wouldn’t have it any other way.

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2010

family, music, random thought, travel, writing

flipnotics again

a mermaid saw a swimming lad,

and picked him up for her own.

pressed her body to his body,

laughing, and plunging down,

forgot in cruel happiness…

that even lovers drown.

It Ain’t Easy (listen)

this bittersweet prose lines the table that i’ve sat at for three days now.

i always enjoy my time in austin, but this time especially, i have had a truly memorable experience.  lounging lazily at barton springs… swimming in her cool, natural waters.  spending time with my brother, his wife, and their three little ones.  enjoying time with my friends, whose lives have hurdled in different directions than my own.  and i feel in love.

austin has pressed her body to mine, and laughingly pulled me under.  i gladly kissed her lips and descended to the depths.

how long must i pretend that i don’t need austin?  how long must i pretend that austin doesn’t need me?

well, it would seem a little while longer.  but i have already drowned…

photography, random thought, travel

vegas redeemed

i traveled to las vegas a few weeks ago.  not my favorite place in the world.  but this time it wasn’t for a bachelor party or an extravagant birthday weekend.  i went with some friends and clients for a photography convention, and it turned out to be a great time.

i only set aside $50 to gamble before the trip began, but by the second day, i had convinced myself that $150 was the right number.  stupid.

_mg_7742f  _mg_7777f

the conference was very interesting though.  lots of good information, and i made a lot of new friends.

and actually, i ended up breaking even with my $150.  something i’ve never done before in vegas.  so i felt like a winner.

i also came home with three international awards for the below photos.  very exciting.




so i believe the trip was a success;  i made new friends, didn’t lose any money, and won some awards.  much better than the previous three trips i made to vegas in my younger days, where i lost money, my dignity, and won 0 awards.


all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2009