An evolution of passion…

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When I reflect on my photography journey, I think about how all of the little things I picked up along the way shape the photographs I take today.  The biggest lesson I haved learned is that although technology undeniably improves capability, it doesn’t matter how great your camera is if you don’t know how to use it, have terrible lighting, and/or no composition skills. I also learned that it takes a lot of practice to get better and you really have to push yourself.  Many decisions can go into a single image.  Some photos/edits are simple, yes, but others require tremendous thought, coordination and patience.  It gets even trickier when you become the subject of the shot you envision.  And editing? Editing is an art form in itself! Continue reading “An evolution of passion…”

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Coastal Charm in the Outer Banks

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Duck, North Carolina

Spanning 200 miles along the coast of Virginia and North Carolina, a string of islands known as the Outer Banks attracts visitors from all over the world in search of expansive beaches, subtropical climate and American history.  Native Americans originally inhabited the area with English settlers first setting foot there in the 16th century.  In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, piracy became rampant in the Outer Banks as Spanish and British ships carrying gold, silver and other riches were often intercepted.  In response to numerous shipwrecks, both accidental and intentionally caused, the state built several lighthouses on the islands.  The Currituck Beach Light Station, completed in 1875, is among them.  It offers 365 degree views from 158 feet off the ground.  But first, you must climb the 220 steps of its spiral staircase to get to the top.

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The Neon Museum – Las Vegas

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When you have been to Las Vegas about a million times, it is (believe it or not) hard to find new things to do.  However, on this last visit, I did something I had never done before (insert clapping hands emoji)!   I ventured away from the Strip just north of downtown to take in all the signage at the Neon Museum which features hundreds of signs from old hotels, casinos and attractions.

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Monkeying around in Thailand…

I felt the delicate fingers of the small monkey climbing up my arm, around my back and before I knew it, I had a new friend sitting on my shoulder nibbling my hair. This little monkey was so cute but I didn’t want to scare him or piss him off.

Courtesy Meghan Bunchman

It was my first experience seeing monkeys in Thailand. We traveled by longboat that first day in Koh Phi Phi to Monkey Beach and observed a handful hanging out near the water. They were completely unphased by us, as if entertaining tourists was part of their daily routine and I’m sure it was.

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Winnipeg eh?

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The Forks

When we relocated to Fargo, North Dakota, I wondered where we’d actually be able to road trip other than Minneapolis. What were our options? I used to think the edge of the world was at the northern border of North Dakota because if Fargo is that cold, how could life be sustained even farther north? I didn’t even know what the closest city in Canada was until we moved to Fargo. To my surprise, Winnipeg, a city of 700,000 people, was just three and half hours away.   No one we had met since moving to North Dakota mentioned traveling there before we planned our trip so I was a little suspicious of venturing “north of The Wall.” However, the chance to visit an area of Canada I’d never been to was extremely appealing. I also thought it would be fun to take our three-year-old daughter on her first international holiday.

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The coffee shop revolution

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Young Blood Coffee Co., Downtown Fargo

If you are someone in need a caffeine fix to get you going in the morning, you likely have a favorite coffee shop. Starbucks continues to be a choice for convenience; however, a new breed of coffee establishment is popping up around the country.  Ambiance, modernity and artistic details envelope these spots that don’t just market coffee but a feeling, a lifestyle.  In an all too complicated world, coffee houses are pairing things down and adhering to simplified business plans.  Rather than offering extensive variety, they are favoring minimalistic marketing and decor, abbreviated menus, and environmentally concious business practices.

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Four misconceptions about people who enjoy art

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25th and 10th, Manhattan, New York City

Misconception 1:  You have to have a degree in Art History to understand and appreciate art.

Not true. It is true that the art world can seem daunting and even unwelcoming. You can hear a pin drop in most galleries and curators seem to size you up by asking questions to assess your knowledge.   Many people would rather skip the embarrassment of not recognizing the stylings of artists like Monet and Picasso than begin to explore the kinds of art and artists that inspire them. Continue reading “Four misconceptions about people who enjoy art”

Musical Inspo

Perhaps my favorite thing about the social media age is being able to effortlessly connect with likeminded individuals across the globe.  I heard this song for the first time doing research for my upcoming trip to Thailand on a travel blog.  The blogger, who lives in Ireland, personally offered up her best travel tips for two of the islands I will be going to.  This song was the background music of her vlog of a similar trip to the country in 2015.  I am touched by her graciousness and inspired by this music and the images from her trip.

If  you would like to see Maya’s vlog, you can go to:
travelinmayasstilettos.com