Photography Vacation

A Little Drive: Another Great American Road Trip

I don’t know if there’s such a thing as a perfect road trip. I suppose the imperfections make a road trip endearing enough that people continue to take them.

In case you haven’t guessed, my fully-vaccinated self just got home from a road trip. And I wanted to see places I hadn’t seen, so my mom and I set off to drive to…


And…guess what?

I still feel like there are plenty of parts of Colorado that I still haven’t seen. A lot of that had to do with the weather. It’s tough to see the tops of the mountains when the clouds have settled in for the long haul and the elevation is already higher than the tallest mountain in your home state.

However, we did have some breaks in the weather that allowed me to take my trusty Nikon D7500 for a spin in the Rocky Mountains.

Look! There’s a sky underneath those clouds! And mountains! (Rocky Mountain National Park)
Look! We found even more blue sky! (Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs)

These photos are just a sneak peak at some of what I plan to add to my Etsy shop in the not-so-distant future. Getting to these locations by car from Arkansas was a lot of work. And by “a lot of work,” I mean driving for two days through places like Kansas.

See this view? Watch it for about seven or eight hours while sitting in front of a large fan to get the idea of road tripping through Kansas and Eastern Colorado.

I do feel the need to say that the people we came across while stopping in Kansas were very friendly. Plus, the scenery in the eastern part of the state is actually pretty nice. However, I did make a mental note (repeatedly, and over the course of a few hundred miles) that if I choose to make a return trip to Colorado someday, I will be flying.

Works for me.

As for the photography opportunities in Colorado…WOW! If you are a photographer and you want to make the most of a trip to the Rockies, I have a few pieces of advice:

  1. Pick out the place you want to go and go early. I was at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs around sunrise and there were already people starting to gather by the time I left. However, the golden hour in the morning was perfection.
  2. Be prepared for all kinds of weather. I packed lots of different clothing options and I feel like I went through every season and set of conditions every day. (Rain, unfortunately, was in abundance during this trip as a stationary front had stalled across the state. However, they needed the rain, so I tried not to complain too much about it.)
  3. Vary your settings. Bracketing is your friend. I usually make more adjustments to shutter speed than anything, although I did take some time to play with the aperture, ISO, and filters.
  4. Above all else, stop to enjoy what you’re looking at once in a while. While I took a ton of photos, I don’t think I took as many as I anticipated because I was simply taking in the experience.

Despite the weather hiccups and the long drive, it was a great getaway. I hope you’ll come back soon to take a look at the new photos when they are available!

(I also hope you’ll stretch today and think about how wonderful it is to do that. Seriously–it feels pretty good after hundreds and hundreds of miles in the car.)