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One of the reasons why I’ve dedicated five years to exploring the Dolomites is that I keep finding new and wonderful vantage points there each year. Unlike some regions where there might be one or two prominent massifs to enjoy, the Dolomites have more than I could possibly count. Because the seemingly innumerable peaks are all so close to each other, the terrain is incredibly diverse, offering an endless variety of options for photographers. That amount of variety combined with the frequently phenomenal atmospheric conditions is a recipe for pure photographic bliss. It reminds me a lot of the American southwest in that regard, another region where I have been spending a lot of time enjoying the diverse marvels that nature has to offer.
It was incredibly gratifying to be able to show other photographers some of these areas last summer, when I led a number of workshops in the region for the first time in the many years that I’ve been photographing the Dolomites. If you are interested in joining me there, get in touch soon! Brochures about my group workshops are available on my website, and I will be taking private bookings again this summer as time allows. Thanks for looking, and please feel free to share!
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Consider joining Alex Mody and myself for three days and two nights of sunrise, sunset, nighttime photography, and fully-outfitted camping on this remote desert plateau, featuring the world’s most interesting, unique, and otherworldly sandstone formations in October 2016:
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Anyone who knew Jeff, even just through photography circles on the internet, genuinely adored him. His inimitable wit, playful charm, and positive attitude made him an internet darling and, to those of us lucky enough to know him “in real life,” a cherished friend. We all knew that he had melanoma and was fighting it valiantly, but somehow I felt that nothing could bring down a guy like Jeff, at least not so soon. It’s really hard to communicate even an inkling of the pain that I still feel today, pain and frustration that this amazing world with all of its wonders and miracles couldn’t save this awesome person. Perhaps with more support, the Melanoma Research Foundation will achieve a breakthrough that will make a huge difference, maybe even a cure. Wouldn’t that be awesome? If you would like to help, please consider visiting the memorial page set up in Jeff’s honor and generously hosted by SmugMug, with all proceeds from print sales going to fund the MRF.
ABOUT THIS PHOTO
Of all of the photos that I could dedicate to Jeff right now, this one seems the most appropriate. It is about friendship, about photography, about the trials and wonders of life, and it perfectly encapsulates Jeff’s famous motto of “f/it and be there”.
While exploring some of the higher elevations of the Dolomites with my dear friend Ted Gore, we both caught a nasty cold from someone we had been shooting with earlier in the week. That cold took us down hard, and we spent days holed up in a tiny room of a refuge hut just big enough for two bunkbeds, feeling pretty sorry for ourselves as we sneezed, coughed, sniffled, groaned, and slept the hours away. We were completely off the grid, with no data signal or WiFi, and because we were in bunkbeds, we couldn’t even see each other. It’s about as close to solitary confinement as I’ve ever come, but there was great consolation in knowing that I was in fact there with my friend, and we were in it together.
Finally, we decided that we would try to “f/it and be there” for a sunset outing. Could we muster the strength to venture out, hike up a peak, and try to be creative? Would it even be worthwhile, given the thick weather that day?
Well, it wasn’t easy, but we got ourselves out and up the peak, and I soon found this spot to park my tripod and wait for a clearing. Just as it started to happen, Ted came down from where he had been scouting and asked if I wanted a figure in my shot. Of course I did, but I replied, “No, I think I like you too much for that.” The cliff where he wanted to stand would put him in a death-defying position with a drop of hundreds of feet beneath him, so I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of him standing there. He climbed up anyway and took a few photos of the drama unfolding before us, while I shot a couple of frames and held my breath, hoping that he would be sure-footed as usual. My concern amounted to a complete double standard, since I tend to be pretty foolhardy around cliffs myself, but I had already lost one close friend in the last year, and I couldn’t bear the idea of losing another one. I don’t ever want to lose another friend, especially not Ted.
I remember us being all giddy after having seen such a wonderful display of nature, and Ted remarking that, for a while there, he had completely forgotten that we were so sick; I had forgotten too. So we accomplished something, went somewhere awesome, and got in some quality friend time. Thankfully, Jeff’s spirit of optimism came alive in us and made us head out instead of remaining incarcerated in our bunks. Like I said, life is too short. Make the most of it. Get out and do awesome things. Love your friends. Peace.
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If you like this fantasywork please Like ✔ Comment ✔ Share ✔ Follow ✔
I recommend strongly to view it on black background
Ps,,,I have a fantastic group “500px photo show off” where you can promote great works,,,you are welcome to join : http://ift.tt/1OIc0xz
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