photography, travel

Ray Roberts // Night Lights

ARS_RRSP_140321_5258

Elle and I were itching to sleep out beneath the stars, so we made a last minute trip up to Lake Ray Roberts State Park to do some weekend car camping.  Not a bad spot at all.  Beautiful lakefront campsites, nice neighbors, and all the stars we could handle.

ARS_RRSP_140321_5708F

I even played around a bit, experimental painting with cell phone lights, headlamps, and flashlights.

ARS_RRSP_140321_5712

ARS_RRSP_140321_5719

ARS_RRSP_140321_5721

Sometimes I forget how important it is for me as a photographer to still get out there and “play”. ¬†I get used to the dog and pony show of being a professional where I feel like I have to act as though I know absolutely everything there is to know about light and photographic processes. ¬†The truth is; I am always learning and growing. ¬†And the minute I reach a point where I know everything… well, I imagine I can just pack it in and lie down to die… because it certainly won’t be challenging and fun anymore.

I sure hope that day doesn’t come anytime soon. ¬†I’m looking forward to “playing” and learning more this year. ¬†Join me!

— andrew

___________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
If you are interested in learning more about photography, taking your art to a new level please check out my new workshop dates:
 
Big Bend Photographic Tour/ Workshops 2014
More Destination Photo Tours/ Workshops 2014
 
If you are interested in licensing any of the images/ video from this post, please visit my stock agency:
 
Tandem Stills + Motion // andrew r. slaton
 
If you are interested in purchasing prints from this post, please check my prints for sale, or email me directly for a custom request:
 
andrew r. slaton // photographer // printsFor assignment work requests, please email me: andrew@andrewslatonphoto.comThanks for visiting AndrewSlatonBlog.com!
 
all images and content © ARS Media, LLC 2014
Standard
photography, random thought, travel, writing

vermejo again

i was lucky enough to be invited back to vermejo last week for another shoot.

_MG_0033AS

_MG_0039AS

_MG_0093AS

_MG_9991AS

the hummingbirds were very social.

_MG_0240AS

_MG_0292AS

_MG_0296AS

_MG_0819AS

_MG_0921AS

_MG_1044AS

_MG_1106AS

_MG_1410AS

_MG_1525AS

_MG_1712AS

_MG_1770AS

_MG_2003AS

there are a few groups of ferrel horses on the property. ¬†they don’t call them wild because at some point they were broken and used by humans. ¬†but they are now ferrel because they have been released and are free to roam the 600k acres.

i came across a group of about a dozen on the road down to the main lodge.  i stopped the car and stepped out to snap a few shots.  two of the horses came right up to me and began sniffing.  they gently rubbed their long faces against me.

i had no idea what was going on, but it seems these powerful, wild creatures wanted to be friends.  perhaps they missed the strange bond that horses and humans share.

_MG_2004AS

_MG_2005AS

_MG_2007AS

_MG_2014AS

_MG_2021AS

_MG_2025AS

_MG_2026AS

_MG_2029AS

one of them seemed interested in tasting my camera.

_MG_2032AS

i had a strong urge to hop up on one of their backs and see if they remembered what it was like to transport a human to and fro.  i decided against that idea.

it was really hard to get back in the car and leave my new friends…

_MG_2129AS

but i did. ¬†after all, we had lots of great wine to drink…

_MG_2281AS

the next day, we set out for lower underwood lake to catch some trout. ¬†i have never fly fished before, so i thought i’d give it a try…

_MG_2292AS

with the help of a fantastic guide, and a lot of luck, i got to land a 3 lb brown.  good looking fish!

_MG_2328AS

_MG_2334AS

_MG_2390AS

that afternoon, john and i headed for the streams.  fly fishing streams is a whole different game, and frankly, my confidence was high and i wanted to give that a shot as well.

the weather had different plans however.  the sky opened with reckless fury.  lightning and wind kept us from fishing the rest of the day.

_MG_2393AS

we set out at 6 a.m. the next morning to catch our flight out of amarillo.  on the way out of vermejo, we were treated to a spectacular sunrise.

_MG_2412AS

_MG_2414AS

_MG_2417AS

_MG_2428AS

_MG_2430AS

_MG_2432AS

a great last memory to hold in my mind of this amazing place…

i sincerely hope i have the opportunity to return, some day.

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2009

Standard
photography, travel

remembering travels of the recent past

a few weeks ago i posted about july being a boring month for me.  especially with the anticipation of an amazing upcoming august.  well, august has changed a little, but july remains the same.

so, with the “july-factor” in mind, i decided that reliving my recent travels might help lift my spirits a bit. ¬†and just maybe for a minute i’ll stop whining and feel thankful for the wonderful places i’ve been to see this year.

’07-’08 was a blessed year for me regarding travel, and ’08-’09 is already shaping up to be exponentially better.

i guess dallas is where it all begins and ends for me right now. ¬†and though i’m not so fond of her, dallas has enough work to allow me to travel more than most. ¬†so i’ll think kindly of her for the moment…

austin is kind of my secret girlfriend. ¬†we courted for over 5 years, but i had to leave her for a more practical lover. ¬†so sad. ¬†i do sneak around from time to time though… just to see her pretty face, and hear her alluring voice.

  

 

brazos bend, texas. ¬†my favorite place to play with alligators in texas!! ¬†if you want to see some prehistoric monsters, i highly recommend this park. ¬†it’s just a short drive southwest of houston.

cabo san lucas, mexico! ¬†my friends joe and erin got married there last summer, and guess who was able to go for free in exchange for a little wedding photography. ¬†well worth it…

  

not too far from the city, somewhere out in east texas, is a private getaway, known only as “timado” to the few elites who know of it. ¬†i was let in to the inner-circle last fall when i was invited to a double bachelor party extravaganza. ¬†well, okay, so it’s not very elite, more like a good place to drink beer, go fishing, and grow out your mullet. ¬†but it’s really fun. ¬†and a great place to catch snakes and shoot fireworks.

big bend national park, texas.  ah, the big bend of the rio grande.  one of my classic favorites.  this trip was the first of two for the year, but it ended in tragedy.  my truck somehow found its way to the bottom of a four-foot-deep washout.  at least i only had to hike 18 miles through the desert before i saw someone to get help Рhahaha!  what a great trip!

  

another friend of mine, adam, got married in wonderful savannah, georgia.  what a great place.  i had been once before, but rest assured that i could never get sick of savannah.

  

  

  

  

  

  

so, yet another friend, anna, got married in her home town of philadelphia, pa. ¬†big year for marriage apparently. ¬†and no offense to my other friends, but this was the best one yet. ¬†i’d never been to philly, but it quickly became one of my favorite cities. ¬†partially because two of my favorite people were there – anna and elaine.

  

another first-time favorite city, san francisco! ¬†i lucked out with this one because of some awesome friends of mine, john and bd. ¬†the brothers had an extra ticket to the 2007 baseball all-star game, and i got the invite. ¬†we had a fantastic time at the weekend’s festivities, and we even made our way out to¬†napa¬†for a day. ¬†amazing trip!

  

  

  

  

i lived in pinedale, wyoming a few years ago when i worked for a small newspaper. ¬†it’s a tiny town just south of jackson (or to you tourists, jackson hole… hahaha!). ¬†consequently, it is also very close to grand teton and yellowstone national parks. ¬†doesn’t get much better than that. ¬†so, since i reluctantly moved back to texas in 2006, i’ve made the¬†pilgrimage back at least twice a year. ¬†this was my first trip of the year, in the autumn. ¬†and it was breathtaking – just the way i remembered it. ¬†i hope to someday move back…

  

  

yee haw, boy howdy! ¬†ARKANSAS¬†|ňą√§r,kanz…ôs|!! ¬†the white river in arkansas is incredibly beautiful, no doubt. ¬†i went on a weekend trip up to northwest ar with some friends last fall to do a little fly fishing, and enjoy the scenery. ¬†i don’t know how to fly fish, so i just enjoyed the eye candy, and made photos all weekend. ¬†i think we’ll try to go again this fall.

  

  

  

  

 

oklahoma city, oklahoma. ¬†we have tons of family in oklahoma – our rival state to the north. ¬†and in all honesty, i don’t visit enough. ¬†it’s really a great state. ¬†though the university by the same name will always be my arch enemy.

the okc bombing memorial is stunning… a quiet experience… completely heartbreaking.

  

  

  

  

  

big bend, part deux. ¬†i took my new ride to experience the land that claimed my previous truck’s life only months before. ¬†wow, i really like my new car. ¬†especially with gas prices the way they are. ¬†i was able to do the entire 5 day trip for under $250!! ¬†that includes 1500 miles of driving, four days of bland camp food, and priceless nights under a clear desert sky. ¬†it was a really¬†rejuvenating¬†experience. ¬†i needed it.

  

  

the quintessential western road trip, executed at the worst time of year. ¬†my friend, bd, got a wild hair in early november, and decided to plan one of the most classic of american road trips, down the 101. ¬†it was originally planned for the next spring, but neither of us could wait that long…

we set off just a few days after thanksgiving.  we left dallas, and spend the first night in denver.  then from denver, we made our way through blizzards, over togwotee pass to jackson, wyoming.  we had the privilege meeting up with my old roommate, emily, and previous editor, noah.  we had way too much fun.

the next day in spite of splitting headaches, we were off to boise, idaho and then to portland, oregon. ¬†portland may be my new favorite city (i know… i say that a lot). ¬†it reminds me so much of austin, but even prettier. ¬†we spent a few days there, and then made our way up to seattle. ¬†another great city. ¬†somehow, we ended up at a seedy bar called “shorty’s” that night. ¬†it was clown-themed, which made it creepy to begin with, but it also happened to be in, what i found out later to be, seattle’s “crack district”. ¬†that was the first, and hopefully last time i’ve ever seen someone smoking crack. ¬†right outside the bar, in the rain!? ¬†interesting.

so we were ready to get back on the road after that night. ¬†from seattle, we drove back to portland, then on down to eugene… ¬†go ducks!!! ¬†from eugene, we headed over to the coast, and that’s where we hooked up with the legendary highway 101, which we followed the rest of the way down to los angeles. ¬†the scenery was absolutely amazing from the oregon coast all the way to big sur. ¬†and even south of big sur to monterey was quite nice. ¬†really, the trip down the 1 was so overwhelming in its grandeur and raw beauty, that for me (someone who is already a painfully bad writer), is too hard to put in to words. ¬†plus, i’m a photographer anyway. ¬†so i hope the images speak for themselves.

in spite of taking this trip in the most off part of the off season, it was incredible.  i can only hope that i have the opportunity to do this trip again at some point in my life.  i should be so lucky.

my virgin voyage to chitown. ¬†seriously though, i was such a nerd on the flight there, and in my rent car. ¬†the only two albums i listened to the whole weekend were sufjan stevens’¬†come on feel the illinoise, and greetings from michigan, the great lake state. ¬†but they fit so well! ¬†and¬†they are two of the best albums of all time. ¬†so at least they had that going for them.

chicago is certainly a cool town. ¬†i need to spend more time there. ¬†also, it was december, sooooooo, just a little cold. ¬†maybe i’ll see what it’s like in spring…

  

  

  

  

  

 

ah, spring in wyoming… what a segue – damn, i’m good!! ¬†so this was the second (well, technically third, if you count the short drive thru on the road trip in november) time for me to visit my old haunt in about six months. ¬†what a treat!

yet another friend, kim, was getting married in pinedale, so it was as good an excuse as any to go visit one of my favorite places in all the world. ¬†and it certainly did not disappoint. ¬†i camped for the first time in single digit weather on eight feet of snow pack too. ¬†so that was cool. ¬†but i learned a valuable lesson: ¬†don’t¬†ever¬†do that again!!

in all seriousness, there is something about western wyoming. ¬†a special quality that lacks clear¬†explanation. ¬†ask anyone that has spent any time there, and they’ll tell you… ¬†it’s a deeply spiritual experience. ¬†and there’s something about the winter (which is much of spring as well). ¬†it is what quiet looks like… if that makes any sense.

anyway, if you’re still reading, i feel sorry for you because you may have severe mental problems. ¬†or into s&m or something. ¬†but i promise that i’m almost done.

there are two innocence mission songs that always make me nostalgic about my travels, so i’ll end with some lyrics. ¬†if you’re unfamiliar with the innocence mission, i would highly recommend you give them a good listen. ¬†the first song is called,¬†song about traveling. ¬†really… go figure!? ¬†and the second is the brotherhood of man.

“a man said, ‘why?’ ¬†why does traveling, in cars and in trains, make him feel sad? ¬†a beautiful sadness, i’ve felt this before. ¬†it’s the people in the city, you’ll never know. ¬†it is everything you pass by, wondering will you ever… return.”

“waiting at the airport on my suitcase,¬†a girl traveling from spain became my sudden friend. ¬†though i did not learn her name. ¬†and when the subway dimmed… a stranger lit my way. ¬†this is the brotherhood of man.”

“i¬†never can say what i mean…¬†but you will understand…¬†coming through clouds on the way. ¬†this is the brotherhood of man. ¬†this is the brotherhood of man.”

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2008

Standard
photography, random thought

cool shoes

so, Anne and i walked the lake the other day and got some interesting shots of her shoes. ¬†we’re hoping to sell them to sketchers, but so far, no dice…

i can’t afford Anne’s¬†exorbitant foot modeling fees, so i’m really hoping to get the trendy¬†footwear¬†brand on board quickly.

she shot some really nice images, so i thought i’d post them as well. ¬†apparently, i wasn’t a good enough model however to make it into any of the shots. ¬†oh well, i don’t have blue steel perfected just yet.

  

 

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2008

Standard