"I remember awakening one morning and finding everything smeared with the color of forgotten love."
Charles Bukowski

What a difference a year makes. I'd been here a year ago, my first visit. I came home with some of my best landscape shots and some of my best traveling stories. Truly an amazing adventure. During my processing, I'd realized that in being overwhelmed a bit by the landscape grandeur, I'd sacrificed a few things photographically. My compositions were not as well thought out as they could have been and most notably, many unsharp images.

So this year, I changed up my mindset a bit and even though I came in about a week early on the color and missed out on the dramatic skies, I was happier with my images as a whole. A personal journey in that I could see and sense my own growth as a photographer. I took less images but for me, better quality. My shooting was slower and more determined. I was happy with the evolution.

I also made an effort to take time away from the photography to get a feel of the place and the people. I left the backpack in the SUV and wandered into the little towns and the little shops. I searched out the rustic and most bohemian of coffee shops. I borrowed their patios for some time to be in "the here and now". I watched people, walked streets, met dogs and talked to strangers.

In a quaint little Colorado town, reminiscent of Lilliput Lane, I chatted with a little old lady who owned an antique store in Ouray about where the best pancakes were. When she talked, she looked straight into my eyes and reached out and held my arm. I was whole-heartedly charmed by the gesture, so I kept talking. So goes the incredible metamorphosis that photography has brought to my life. I wonder what next year will bring?

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