Just last week I was spending time with my family in Lassen Volcanic National Park, one of my favorite places on Earth. We had just finished a hike and were driving to a nearby lake to relax before heading back to the cabin. I was in the passenger seat, my dad was driving, and I just happened to look left and there, right next to the road, was this bear! I probably scared my dad half to death as I yelled "Bear, bear, bear! Please pull over, please pull over!" I just happened to have my camera in my lap with a 300mm lens already mounted. I expected the bear to run away immediately, so I started snapping any and every shot I could get, but I kid you not, this bear stayed around, sniffing, eating, and exploring the roadside for at least 10-15 minutes. I must have taken 40 or 50 photographs during that time, my favorite of which is the one you see here, of this beautiful fluffy bear climbing it's powerful mass up a tree with the greatest of ease. An absolute privilege and extremely humbling experience.
"Bears keep me humble. They help me to keep the world in perspective and to understand where I fit on the spectrum of life. We need to preserve the wilderness and its monarchs for ourselves, and for the dreams of children. We should fight for these things as if our life depended upon it, because it does."
On my recent trip to Europe I had less than 24 hours in Paris. There were two things I wanted to photograph while I was there - the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. The problem with photographing the latter, is that it's located in the center of a giant and busy roundabout, so getting a photograph without cars obstructing the view was nearly impossible. After about 10 minutes of waiting I almost gave up hope, but then the traffic cleared and for about 15 glorious seconds there were zero cars in the roundabout. The cars you can see to the right of the photo were just parked there, inconveniently. But I’m still happy with what I was able to get!
"London is a riddle. Paris is an explanation."
I've expressed my love for Berlin before, but let this be another example of why I love it so much. Not only is it a beautiful, clean, safe and fun city, but there are gigantic wooded parks just a short walk away from the city center where one can escape the city noise for a while and just be in the quiet peacefulness of nature.
"And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul"
My brother, sister-in-law and I were aimlessly wandering around Prague during our recent trip to Europe. We stumbled upon this gigantic courtyard with beautiful green grass, fountains, statues and to our surprise, peacocks! I have been wanting to photograph a peacock for quite some time now. Turns out all I had to do was head to Prague!
"Like a peacock, your beauty is multiplied when you spread your wings and show the world your stuff! Don't be afraid to be who you are - each peacock feather is flawed and imperfect, but collectively they create something of great beauty. Your flaws are what make you perfect!"
The Quadriga, the picturesque statue of the goddess of victory in a chariot being pulled by four horses, sits on top of the iconic Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany. It has witnessed some of the most monumental moments in modern history, and was even stolen and shipped to Paris by Napoleon Bonaparte. However, after Napoleon’s defeat and Paris fell, the Quadriga was returned to Germany where it remains to this day. An icon, sitting atop an icon, in a beautiful and historic city.
“Nobody has forgotten anything here. In Berlin you had to wrestle with the past, you had to build on the ruins, inside them.”