When I head out on my weekly photo hikes, I do so with two things in mind: to find something beautiful to photograph, and to find some peace and quiet.
My typical day is far from of exciting. I’m a stay-home mom to a virtually grown son. At 17, he can be fairly self-sufficient. He’s not always, but that’s another story for another time. I spend the bulk of my time trying to stay ahead of the avalanche of black hair from our Labs, keeping our parkour running cats from destroying our house, and shifting an endless onslaught of dirty clothes from the washer to dryer. Folding said clothes is sporadic at best.
Living on the Gulf Coast, photographing at the beach seems a given. During the off-season that’s do-able. During spring and summer months, unless you want lots of barely clad bodies in your photos, not so much. (Trust me on this, the vast majority of those barely clad bodies should never be photographed.)
Over the years, I have found secluded sections of beach where I can find people-free photo opps, but I tend to stick to less traveled spots, hoping to avoid crowds. The isolation I find walking a trail, totally devoid of other hikers, is a welcome hour or two of solitude.
Of the many state parks I frequent with trails away from beaches, I can count on one hand the number of people I’ve encountered in my many hours of hiking. The freedom that offers is priceless. Being in the middle of nowhere, all by myself, allows me to free my mind of concern and worry, and simply exist in the moment. I find that I smile a lot while on my hikes, something I don’t always do on my ‘day job.’
(Photos shot with a Nikon D60, using an 18-55mm, 55-200mm, 20mm f/2.8 wide-angle, 50mm f/1.8 prime lens and/or a Nikon CoolPix S205)
For more photos, please visit my Flickr photostream.
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