November 2013 Desktop Wallpaper – Foggy Golden Gate

Finally, the Bay Area is starting to get some of the lower fog creeping in during the early morning hours. After the high fog of the summer months, America’s most famous bridge is once again becoming easier to photograph.

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October 2013 Desktop Wallpaper – Capitol Peak Autumn

The wallpaper is back! My apologies for the delay, but I’m now settled into San Francisco and things are back to normal. This month’s photo comes from my favorite mountain in Colorado, during my favorite season – Capitol Peak in autumn. For a few weeks out of the year, Colorado explodes with yellows and oranges as the aspens change colors. Soon, all the leaves will disappear as winter sets in.

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July 2013 Desktop Wallpaper – Window to Capitol Peak

When two good friends pay a visit from California I have to bring out all the goods and show them the best locations to photograph in Colorado. Michael Bonocore, Natalia Stone, and I spent all night photographing the Milky Way over Capitol Peak and just after sunrise resorted to our tents for a quick nap before heading off on our next adventure. The view out of my tent door wasn’t too bad!

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Sunrise Above the Fog – Patience Paying Off

Recently I wrote a post titled 10 Things Photography Has Taught Me About Life. In that post, the item that I gave the most value to was patience. A few weeks ago this paid off for me in the best way.

Mount Evans is a 14er which sits on the front range just outside of the Denver metroplex. On it is the highest paved road in North America which is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year. Since moving to Colorado in 2007 I’ve kept a daily eye on the weather hoping to see a prediction of slow moving storms which bring low fog through the valley below the peak’s summit. Time and time again I’ve left my house at 3:30 AM only to catch a cloud-free sunrise or a dense whiteout. Watching a new day begin from 14,000 feet made each trip worth it, but continually not getting what I set out to see was a huge test to my patience.

That all changed last week.
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June 2013 Desktop Wallpaper – Trout Lake and Mount Shasta

This photo was shot on an early morning at Trout Lake in Northern California. This adventure led me into the countryside where myself and 3 of my photographer friends spent all night capturing the Milky Way over an abandoned barn. We wrapped up the all-nighter at Trout Lake before heading back to San Francisco on little sleep.

(A big thank you to Aperture Academy’s Brian Rueb for the GPS coordinates and location help in finding this and other epic spots throughout this weekend.)

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Loveland Pass Colorado Stars

My Bucket List

The following is my bucket list. It’s a list of things to see, to do, and to be before I die. I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not to make this list public. I consider this list very personal and for a few years it has set in a dirty, wrinkled notebook that I’ve occasionally added to. Pages are beginning to fall out of the notebook, so instead of converting to a private digital copy, I’ve decided to put this list on my site to share with the world. I believe it’s important to put things out there – both to inspire and also to be held accountable.

Be prepared – this list is long. Some of it might be considered unrealistic. Some things I’m more passionate about than others, and some things may be easily achievable. My greatest fear is leaving this world having not really experienced it. Having a list that I can turn to for inspiration keeps me driven. This list will continue to evolve – both checking off and adding to.

Because this is just a giant list of text, I would love to hear tips on a better way to organize this. Contact me if you have any recommendations. If you have a bucket list I would encourage you to put it online. Share it with the world. Put a link in the comments below so that we can take inspiration from each other.

Travel

  • Fly first class
  • Hike the Overland Track, Tasmania, Australia
  • Attend a Kentucky Derby
  • Motorcycle from Goa to Kathmandu
  • Explore the Temples of Angkor
  • Live at least 3 months in San Francisco, CA
  • Live at least 3 months in New York City
  • Live at least 3 months in Vancouver, BC
  • Live at least 3 months in Anchorage, AK
  • Live abroad for a period of time
  • Have a straight razor shave from an alley barber in New Delhi
  • Drink tea with a lama
  • Take the next flight out
  • Obtain dual citizenship
  • Spend a night in Everest Base Camp
  • Drive the PCH
  • Drive Highway 1
  • Drive Highway 1 in a convertible
  • Get a second passport
  • Volunteer for a month at an Italian winery
  • Take a gondola through the Venice canals
  • Ride camelback across the Sahara
  • Ride an elephant through any jungle
  • See the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower
  • See the view from the top of One World Trade Center
  • See the view from the top of the Sears (Willis) Tower
  • See the view from the top of Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro
  • Ibiza, Spain for New Years Eve
  • See Niagara Falls lit up at night
  • See Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet
  • See Jerusalem’s Old City
  • See The Hagia Sofia mosque in Istanbul, Turkey
  • See The abbey of Mont-St-Michel in France
  • Tour the MOMA in New York City
  • See the ancient city of Petra, Jordan
  • Rent a Tuscany villa for the weekend
  • See the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza near Cancun
  • Drive through The Dark Hedges, Antrim, Ireland
  • Attend Holi Festival of Colors in New Delhi
  • Explore the ice caves on the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia
  • Walk the circumference of Uluru
  • Stand on top of Victoria Falls
  • Stay in the Burj Al Arab Hotel, Dubai
  • Explore Benagil Cave in Algarve, Portugal
  • Swim in the Maldives
  • Camp among the Italian Dolomites
  • Attend the floating lantern festival of Loy Kratong in Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Stand in the Solvay Hut on the side of the Matterhorn
  • Stand in the valley below the Eiger
  • Work on an archeological site
  • Walk the Great Wall of China
  • Hot air balloon over Bagan, Burma
  • Explore rice fields in the Vietnam Red River Delta
  • Visit Japan during the cherry blossom festival
  • See the aurora borealis over Crater Lake
  • Bathe in the Ganges River as the sun rises
  • See the 7 Wonders of the Modern World
  • Drink wine in Paso Robles
  • Drink wine in Napa Valley
  • Follow the Buddhist pilgrimage from birth, enlightenment, to death
  • Boat from Laos to Vietnam on the Mekong
  • Convince my parents to take an International trip
  • Attend a live sporting event for the 5 major professional sports
  • Ride across Mongolia on horseback
  • Set foot on every continent
  • Prepare a meal for a family in another country
  • Eat real Kobe beef at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant, in Los Angeles
  • Ride the London Eye
  • Ride the Santa Monica Ferris Wheel
  • Have a glass of champagne at an Aspen ski lodge
  • See the Cardiff Kook
  • Play guitar for one hour on a street in another country
  • Participate in the Brazilian Carnival Festival
  • Stay in an over-the-water bungalow in Bora Bora
  • Have a beer at Oktoberfest in Germany
  • Golf at Pebble Beach
  • Wake up to fog and snow on Jenny Lake, WY
  • Drive the Amalfi coast near Sorrento, Italy
  • Have an hour long conversation with a local in a foreign country
  • See the Acropolis and Parthenon in Athens, Greece
  • See the Sistine Chapel and Vatican City in Rome, Italy
  • See the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy
  • See the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • See the Banaue Rice Terraces in the Philippines
  • See the Borobudur stuppa in Java, Indonesia
  • See every US National Park
  • Attend Sundance Film Festival
  • Watch a traditional Muy Thai fight in Thailand
  • Attend Telluride Mountainfilm
  • Attend Cannes Film Festival
  • Attend Burning Man
  • Attend the Iditarod
  • Attend Coachella
  • Drive the Pan-American highway including the Darién Gap
  • Attend a World Cup
  • Take a food and wine tour throughout Italy
  • Saint Patricks Day in Dublin

Adventure

  • Climb an active volcano
  • Climb the tallest mountain in Colorado
  • Climb the tallest mountain in all 50 states
  • Climb the 53 Colorado 14ers
  • Climb the 91 US 14ers
  • Climb Everest
  • Climb the Grand Teton
  • Climb the 7 Summits
  • Climb at Railay Beach, Krabi
  • Create a campfire with no tool
  • Walk on flowing lava in Hawaii
  • Hike The Narrows in winter in Zion National Park
  • Hike the Subway in winter in Zion National Park
  • Camp with no tent under a clear night of stars
  • Camp on a beach in Alaska
  • Hike the Stampede Trail to Magic Bus
  • Surf in Costa Rica
  • Follow any river from mouth to source
  • See the aurora borealis from the summit of Denali
  • Become certified to scuba dive deeper than 30 meters
  • Swim with dolphins
  • Camp on the beach
  • Zipline through a jungle in another country
  • Raft a portion of the Amazon
  • Skydive
  • Hike Angels Landing in Zion National Park
  • Take in the shoreline view of Teahupo’o while straddling a surfboard
  • Hike Lago 69 in Peru
  • Surf in solitude at the end of the world
  • Cage dive with sharks in South Africa
  • Search for Javanese Rhinos in Indonesia
  • Learn to sail
  • Catch a wave at Pipeline
  • SUP Lake Tahoe
  • Call a loved one from the Everest Summit
  • Cliff dive higher than 30 feet
  • Dive in Great Barrier Reef
  • Run with the bulls in Pamplona
  • Go zorbing in New Zealand
  • Catch a wave off Kodiak Island, Alaska
  • Heli-ski
  • Make friends with a penguin in Antarctica
  • Sleep on the side of El Cap
  • Speedfly

Moments

  • Watch sea turtles hatch and make their run to the ocean
  • Save a life
  • See the Papal Inauguration in the Vatican
  • Witness the first show at a band’s reuniting tour
  • Experience a double rainbow
  • Watch the sunrise from a peak above 14,000 feet
  • Witness the last show of a band’s farewell tour
  • NYC for New Years Eve
  • Catch a home run ball
  • See a concert in the rain at Red Rocks
  • See a grizzly in the wild
  • See wild horses
  • See a grey wolf in the wild
  • Witness a concert at Wembley
  • Kiss under the Eiffel Tower
  • See the Dali Lama speak
  • Shake hands with a president
  • Build a kid a treehouse
  • Witness a sunset that you won’t shut up about for years
  • Return to a place where initials were carved into a tree years earlier

Photography / Video

  • Publish a photo in Outside Magazine
  • Photograph the Milky Way over the Easter Island Moai
  • Go on a photo expedition with Chris Burkard
  • Capture a unique photo of the Taj Mahal
  • Capture a unique photo at Machu Picchu in Peru
  • Capture a unique photograph at Horseshoe Bend, AZ
  • Photograph a keeper black and white photo of El Capitan
  • Photograph Santorini, Greece at night
  • Document something important
  • Photograph from a boat at Pipe Masters
  • Publish a photo in National Geographic
  • Film and edit a short travel documentary
  • Capture a unique photo of Moraine Lake
  • Photograph the Milky Way over Stonehenge
  • Fly an octocopter through Heaven’s Gate, China
  • Photograph The Racetrack in Death Valley at night
  • Serve as a photo guide in Antarctica
  • Photograph Na Pali Coast, Kauai, Hawaii by airplane
  • Photograph something that needs to be made aware to the public for the first time
  • Present a short film on a humanitarian issue at a festival

Personal

  • Help at least one person escape extreme poverty
  • Pay for the person behind in the drive through
  • Develop a family secret recipe
  • Build a house/cabin with my own hands
  • Donate more than $1,000 to an important cause
  • Attend a TED conference
  • Inspire someone
  • Take ballroom dancing lessons
  • Complete a Masters Degree
  • Learn to play guitar
  • Play a sport with a current professional athlete
  • Run a 5K
  • Run a 10K
  • Run a marathon
  • Be a mentor
  • Win more than $1K in Las Vegas
  • Tribute someone by releasing a paper lantern
  • Front row seats for a game 7
  • Be able to speak another language conversationally
  • Milk a cow
  • Plant and eat from my own garden
  • Leave any wealth or assets I have when I go to people who really need them
  • Discover my passion
  • Dine with Shamu at SeaWorld
  • Have coffee with the CEO of a Fortune 500 company
  • Sit in the co-pilot’s seat of an airborne 747
  • Live for more than one month without Internet
  • Hit a walk-off homerun in beer league softball
  • Meet all of my neighbors
  • Sell a house for profit
  • Adopt an animal
  • Have a picnic of champagne and lobster on a beach at sunset
  • Stand in a crowded place wearing a FREE HUGS t-shirt
  • Read 10 books in 10 days
  • Marry someone who wants to do half of this stuff together

Writing

  • Get a travel article published online
  • Write an eBook
  • Take my blog to over 10,000 subscribers
  • Write over 100 Haikus
  • Get a travel article published in print
  • Write (and play) a song for someone
  • Write and publish a book Justin Vernon style

Business

  • Grow my passive income to greater than $2K a month after taxes
  • Grow my passive income to greater than $4K a month after taxes
  • Live self-sufficiently on passive income
  • Collect people
  • Sell a successful product online
  • Create a product that makes over $50K
  • Create something that makes over $100K

Friend’s Bucketlists

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10 Things Photography Has Taught Me About Life

Since I began this hobby two years ago, I have found that I do my best thinking camera in hand. Photographing in beautiful locations leads my mind to philosophize and romanticize. While I’m in no way the next Nietzsche, when I go out to shoot everything becomes clear and the world seems to make the most sense. Here are 10 things I have learned standing in open fields, sandy beaches, and on snowy mountaintops.

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1. Patience

Stay with it. Things are ever-changing and the most breathtaking thing could happen a matter of seconds after you decide to give up.
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2. Preparation pays off

A little planning and preparation goes a long way. I check weather forecasts, sun/moon angles, and terrain maps before heading to any location – and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to dig a headlamp out of the pack to hike back to the car after deciding to stay at a location well past an epic sunset.

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May 2013 Desktop Wallpaper – Bowling Ball Beach

Late April and early May has been a whirlwind for me with a cross-country move and several trips in between, so my apologies for the delay on the May wallpaper. Better late than never, though, right?! May’s photo comes from a little known beach in northern California called Bowling Ball Beach. These boulders range from 1 foot wide to some close to 4 feet. A long exposure really sets a nice mood and this particular evening I was blessed with an amazing sunset to complement the boulders.

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April 2013 Desktop Wallpaper – Golden Gate and Bay Bridge

In late March, many iconic structures across the world turned off their lights to celebrate Earth Hour. The Golden Gate Bridge was no exception, and I wanted to make sure I photographed the rare experience of the tower lights going dark. After capturing several wide shots, I decided to shoot the Bay Bridge underneath, showing a view of the two major Bay Area bridges from Kirby Cove.

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