"More Than Ghosts" - Morning Sun Reflected in the Ausable River, Adirondack Park, New York

In a way, this image is a ghost still lingering from a distant trip to the Adirondacks 2 years ago. Like a lost loved one, it will always remain with me. This was a journey of hardship and growth. Just outside Saratoga Springs at highway speed, my vehicle was struck by a tractor trailer. As I veered off the road, time stood still. I watched every bit of glass break around me like an oddly peaceful silent movie. My car rolled twice and finally came to rest. Gathering my senses, I crawled out and realized that my body was still in tact. I guess you could say that I was lucky. Determined to continue, I asked the police officer to drop me off at the local Enterprise to rent a vehicle and continue my trip. It would have been easy to go home. Hell, it would have made sense to go home. Sense, however, was the last thing I had or desired after surviving that ordeal. I wanted to live life to my fullest possibility. I wanted to connect to nature in my raw emotional state. I took nothing for granted. I grew as a photographer, and became a more patient and grateful human. In the end, I am happy that I was able to live through such an experience. It truly changed my perspective.

"More Than Ghosts" - Morning sun reflected in the Ausable River. Adirondack Park, New York.

Techs: Canon 50D, 70-200 f/4 @ 70mm. 1.3 seconds, f/16, ISO 200. Polarizer. Tripod.

"Weary Eyes, Opened Wide" - Sunrise overlooking the High Peaks of the Adirondacks, New York

"One last cast". That's what my uncle Bruce would say when we were out fishing on his boat. That one sentence symbolized his passion for fishing as well as a desire to always keep trying. Sometimes, we would make 20 "last casts". And guess what? During those last casts, we sometimes even caught a fish! Trying just that let us achieve our goal. In photography, too, pushing just a little harder or staying right up until you need to leave is always worthwhile. When I created this image, I had already spent a week in the Adirondacks and to be completely honest, I was exhausted! I was contemplating leaving the night before, but decided to stick around for one for morning. Boy, am I glad that I did. While overlooking this lovely stream meandering through a marsh, leading eventually towards the High Peaks themselves, the sky lit up with gorgeous rays of warm light. Next time you are out on a trip and want to call it quits, try to remember this lesson for yourselves. It isn't always easy, but it's always worth it. Make one last cast.

"Weary Eyes, Opened Wide" - Sunrise over a marsh overlooking the High Peaks. Adirondack Park, New York.

Techs: Canon 50D, Canon 10-22 @ 19mm. 1 second, f/11, ISO 100. Polarizer. Tripod.

"Delicate Dance" - Great Blue Heron Fishing Below a Set of Cascades, Great Falls National Park, Virginia

I'm continuing to go through my Great Falls images from this year's great blue heron season. Not quite sure how this one got by me at first, as I love the flow of the water as well as the feeling of power it presents. The water level in the Potomac River was just right for this one. Not so powerful to prevent the heron from fishing there, and not so weak as to be boring within my image. The little rivulet of water on the right side is an added bonus of the perfect water level as it helps to balance the composition quite a bit. As another point to consider ... when photographing wildlife within a grand landscape, always think about the pose of the animal. I had to wait until this heron crooked his neck just right to satisfy my desire for the best photograph possible from this situation. If I hadn't paid attention, the heron may have appeared to be only an afterthought, hunched over and failing to gain the attention it deserves!

"Delicate Dance" - Great blue heron fishing below a set of large cascades, Great Falls National Park, Virginia.

Techs: Canon 7D, Canon 400 f/5.6. 0.4 seconds, f/16, ISO 100. Polarizer. Tripod.

"Ghostly Echoes" - Great blue heron fishing, Great Falls National Park, Virginia

I've been chillin' at Great Falls National Park over the past week. Hard. The great blue herons have returned in abundance and are really putting on an amazing show. They line up along the shore of the Potomac River and test their luck at plucking various species of fish like shad and bullhead out of the churning whitewater. I know it's easy for them, but as a human onlooker, the line between life and death here seems so startlingly thin. One slip and it's over!

In this image, I utilized one of my favorite techniques of leaving the heron small within the grand landscape. I also chose to use a relatively long shutter speed to blur the water while the heron stood perfectly still.

"Ghostly Echoes" - Great blue heron fishing along the Potomac River, Great Falls National Park, Virginia.

Techs: Canon 7D, Canon 400 f/5.6. 0.4 seconds, f/16, ISO 100. Tripod. Polarizer.