Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas To All

Well, folks, I am actually going to shut down for a few days. Your comments will be displayed but there will be a few days without new posts. They will be my first days without a post since mid February so I feel a bit like Forrest Gump near the end of the movie when he is in the running mode, back and forth across America and he finally turns around and speaks to the hundreds that are following him, saying ... "I'm pretty tired, ... I think I'll go home now."

Well, I am not quittin'. I hope to do this for the rest of my life ... but I think I will spend some time chillin' for a few days. I thank you all for your kind wishes at this season. I hope you all have a blessed Christmas with your families. May God bless you all with His mercy and grace. Wise men still seek Him today.

Catch you in a few days.
NikonSniper Steve

Friday, December 18, 2009

I'll Be Home For Christmas

Perhaps those of you who live in America's Southern States will understand when I say that if you are from the North, it does not feel quite like Christmas if you aren't in snow. It is almost wild to my eyes to see the decorations on businesses and homes when it's 72 degrees and beautifully sunny outside. In the North, Christmas and New Years are often in snowy weather that you dread as soon as the ball drops in New York and the tree is crammed back into the closet. Everyone seems in good spirits through the school breaks and then the drudgery of Northern winter hits you like dropping both boots into 24 inches of salty slush.
ARIZONA ... you are looking mighty good about then! Well, as good as being South in the winter might feel ... especially as I get older ... I wouldn't trade the Northern Christmas season. It's home for me. I am sure you understand. Home is home ... no matter where that is for you. Here's hoping that you are home for Christmas. This is the end of the 2009 travel road for me. Very early tomorrow morning I will be heading to Santa Ana to fly to Chicago. I hope you have enjoyed this run. I look forward to some new places in 2010. Photos will continue in the next few days from our snow covered Chicago area (Well, we had 12" about 10 days ago but I'll believe it when I see it). I will probably continue to post some random trip shots from the past year as well. Hope you have enjoyed.

All the best.
NikonSniper Steve

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Everyday Is A New Experience!

Well, I am here in Moreno Valley, California tonight. This trip already appears like it will be somewhat photography-challenged at best. The good news is ... snow in some mountainous regions. We who call ourselves Chicagoans like to think we know how to deal with snow. Though the mountains DO present a new twist to tobogganing downhill out of control while trying to remember to steer the car in the direction of your skid and avoid the chained 18-wheeler climbing the same hill.

Rain is quite another thing here. Oh, sure, we get rain in Chicago. We usually get rain all summer long or on weekends or on any days we take off work for vacation. That's why sick days always occur on awesome sunny days. You can spot a Chicago tan anywhere in Phoenix in February. I like to call it "engineering white" or "killer whale white". That's me! I burn so bad now that I don't go to beaches any more with out 2 layers. Well, that ... and I also got tired of pulling somebody's harpoon out of my back.

But, this is California rain. Tomorrow it's 1-3 inches of scattered showers, 5-10 inches of snow in some more mountainous regions with scattered periods of "Hey, Uncle Bob your house is slidding down the mountain again ... should we get the winches out of the garage?" What? That's not a weather forcast! That's an apocalypse.

So, I just thought ... maybe I should ask someone who actually knows about this kinda thing in this area. And who better to ask than the night clerk at a Comfort Inn. So, just as I walked in the door of the hotel lobby ... there was another broadcasting of the weather being played on a TV with the night clerk actually watching it. I asked him what he thought about tomorrow. He said, "It'll be Monday." I am not really sure he understood me ... but if he did ... I am concerned.

I am going to do my best on this trip but as of now I see a lot of windshield photos in my future.

Leaving The O'Hare Ramp Bridge

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Last Road Trip for 2009

Well, the last trip for 2009 is about to take flight. I will be leaving for Los Angeles early Sunday morning to pound out another two-weeker that includes San Diego and Palm Springs. I caught my first look at Illinois snow earlier today. Not much. It snowed previously here but I was in Arizona experiencing my first snow there. That was weird.

This year I have been very lucky. Well, I don't really believe in luck. I think God has sent a group of angels to protect me from my stupidity. I mean ... Did you ever do something so profoundly stupid that when you realized it ... you just sat there stunned that you were still alive. One of those events was so dangerous that I can't even joke about it. My wife knows. She was there ... and I am glad we are both still here. But sometimes, I swear I can hear the angels in the back seat laughing their butts off about what I might try next. (Oh, by the way I did finally complete my California Highway Patrol recommended driving school by computer from Illinois. I got a 90% on the test. Wow was I proud. I studied for 14 hours. What a waste of a day off.)

When I started this blog officially sometime in February, I had no idea how fast it would grow. When I started to travel in June there were still only 600 followers. Now, nearly 1200 more have joined. AND I KNOW WHY!!! People are wondering just how I will accidently get myself killed. I heard it is the heaviest gambled pool by readers from my employers corporate offices. HA-ZAH!

Back around Father's Day when I was in Oregon, I saw this guy out in his small boat with two sons going out for a day fishing. Beautiful waters and trees. He was going around the river and it was a fantastic photo opportunity BUT ... I had to go fast or he would be out of sight before I could shoot the photo. So I pulled off the road with horns behind me blarring for my sudden stop without warning. I was chasing the new most important thing in my life and no angry Oregonian would be able to honk sense into me. I quickly jumped out of the car with my camera and POW ... just like that ... I got a great photo. Fantastic Father's Day shot. I know ... you were thinking a car hit me. Is that what you bet in the office pool?

Then I wandered around the corner and saw a fish hatchery. Cool, I thought. It was a blast. I walked around for 40 minutes taking photos of these Rainbow Trout and Salmon. Great time watching them tag fish. Just having a great old time on that perfect Saturday. No worries, certainly no cares.

I finally decided to get back on the road when I noticed ... hmmm, I left the car running. I got in the car and was further stunned when I discovered that the car was still in gear. Seriously! The only thing that kept the car from going down the hill and into the river was a slight incline in the road that the idle of the car did not surpass. So the car sat still ... IN GEAR. I don't know but the sound of laughter from the back seat was deafening. I think they were laughing at me and the unlucky angel that had to hold the car still for 40 minutes. Well, all I can say is, my funeral WILL be a riot. A contest of sorts. Who saw me do the stupidest thing? You're the winner!

If you want to read which of my adventures I think was the hands down dumbest, Click Here!

Well, I am thankful ... and a little more careful than when the year began. So here's hoping you will keep looking in during this Christmas season as I finish the photo collection for 2009. It is a hecktic time of the year. Pause and reflect on the meaning of Christmas. Try to find some time to really do it. Christmas is part of the reason that the fear of my eventual demise doesn't phase me a bit. I know where I am going after this life is over ... and it's not because I am a really good guy. Rather, it's because I am a forgiven guy. I am by grace alone in Christ. This sure helps me relax a bit when I a sliding down a hill or when smoke was coming out of our overhead compartment on a flight in preparation to land in Chicago.

I wish you all the very very best. You have all been so kind with your comments and support. Thanks so much. The map above charts out the approximate route for this trip. It is also placed here in advance so that you might be warned that I am on the road.

Stay tuned.

NikonSniper Steve

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Over The Top Award

The Sylvester Stalone "Over The Top" Award ... for Sissy Blogs Is Mine At Last!
Wow, I just won my very first award with an apron on it … thanks to JordieGirl in the lovely UK. “UK” is not Upper Kentucky unless you’re from LA ... which is Lower Alabama. Anyway, go see her very cool blog when you get a moment.

Well, as I was saying … I am sure you all know I have won my share of awards in my lifetime including that third place (white and wrinkled) ribbon in the 4th grade all-school kick ball championships in Mesquite, Texas. BUT, I have never won ANYTHING with an apron on it. What joy! Truthfully, I am feelin’ kinda weepy about this notoriety.

According to the RULES … which everyone here knows … I am not exactly a rules kinda guy. In fact, I break rules if they exist to this day and I am not at all afraid to advertise that. I’m sick of rules in all forms. Well, not quite, but almost.
I have decided not to fight all the media coverage that has been thrusted upon me and our family as a direct result of being the recipient of this most prestigious lifetime achievement award. Apparently, I have to answer some questions for the record ... but I am not sure why. I think they sent the wrong questions.

So ... as JordieGirl so eloquently said in her acceptance speech, … "Let’s get on with those flipping questions now”!

1. Where is your phone?
I never know where it is until it rings.
2. Your hair?
Very grey but I am not attending hair club meetings. However, I do like clubs.
3. Your Mother?
Still Mom. Ate pea soup at her house tonight.
4. Your Father?
In heaven. Probably waiting to slug me for all those jokes at the funeral.
5. Your favourite food?
Too many. Wife makes everything. Chelsea spaghetti is up there.
6. Your dream last night?
I am on way too many pills to remember stuff that happens when I am awake. Forget remembering dreams.
7. Your favourite drink?
I just noticed that favorite = favourite in the lovely UK. Drink? Hmmm, what’s the temperature? Mom’s tea, McDonalds coffee, Red’s turpentine. Bring it on!
8. Your dream/goal?
Middle management, trailer home, and seniors discounts! That’s livin’ the dream.
9. What room are you in?
My wife’s bedroom. I am on the road too much to call it mine.
10. Your hobby?
Photography? Knaw! That’s a way of life to me, not a hobby! Now “being arbitrary” THAT’s a hobby!
11. Your fear?
I fear less everyday but maybe it’s not being able to solve all my problems. I thought I could years ago or at least I was foolish enough to think I could.
12. Where do you want to be in six years?
That’s easy! I would like to be eating crackers in one of the party rooms at the Bartonville State Asylum in Peoria, Illinois. “IT’S MY TURN TO HOLD THE GUINEA PIG!!!”
13. Where were you last night?
At home in Illinois.
14. Something that you’re not?
Afraid to put my foot in my mouth. I like it!
15. Muffins?
I thought you would never ask. After all you had two big plates sitting in front of me for the last half hour. I already ate three when you walked out of the room between question 4 and 7.
16. Wishlist item?
Nothing? Who says nothing? OK … let’s see, I want a wallet big enough to stash the national debt in $5 bills. Then I want to walk in and pay it off … but I want members of the Senate and House of Representatives (OF BOTH PARTIES) to take turns counting out the bills to make sure I pay them the correct amount. Yeah, that way they would be useful for a change!
17. Where did you grow up?
I have spent major portions of my life in the suburbs of three major cities. They are Toronto, Chicago and Dallas. I have yet to show any inclination to actually grow up. Still crazy after all these years.
18. Last thing you did?
THIS! I know I got that right!
19. What are you wearing?
A large tube sock! Sassy!
20. Your TV?
I do not own a TV. I got sick of it.
21. Your pets?
My wife owns a Rat Terrier and me.
22. Friends?
Oh yeah!
23. Your life?
One Adam Twelve, One Adam Twelve.
24. Your mood?
Umm, I don’t know. I’m not in jail.
25. Missing someone?
Really no. Does that sound bad? Is everyone supposed to miss someone? I feel like Boy George singing “I know you’ll miss me, I know you’ll miss me”. I am not missing anyone that I won’t see again. So, I really have no capacity to miss them. I miss my family when I am out of town for extended periods. BUT RIGHT NOW, I am home so I am not missin’ anybody. I think this means I should spend more time missing people. Maybe I miss some relatives. That’s a great line! Now they need to guess who they are!
26. Vehicle?
My wife has a car. I bought it but I really only get to drive an AVIS rental car in cities far away.
27. Something you’re not wearing?
Gee, what kind of sicko would ask that? OK, I gotta say underwear to make my family sick.
28. Your favourite store?
Coles Supermarket in Port Douglas, QLD, Australia.
29. Your Favourite colour?
Green! Geniuses pick green … but you didn’t pick it.
30. When was the last time you laughed?
I saw my Great Grandma fall down two flights of stairs this morning. I was dying.
31. The last time you cried?
Right after my Great Grandma got her Colt pistol out of her purse.
32. Your best friend?
She knows.
33. One place that I go to over and over?
The bathroom.
34. Facebook?
My teacher used to say “Face the wall and read your book.”
35. Favourite place to eat?
The courtyard in front of Coles Supermarket in Port Douglas, QLD, Australia.

Well, I am finally finished.Thanks again for the “Over The Top” Award JordieGirl.

NikonSniper Steve

Lake In The Arizona Mountains

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sitting At Las Vegas Airport

Well, I'm here watching all those one-armed bandits going strong at the Vegas airport. I think everyone is hoping to make up their losses before they board their flights. People seem to be a little more snippy than when I arrived a few weeks ago. "Sorry Sir, ... I can see the hangover is still running hard at ya today."

I love what everyone says when they are leaving.
"So, how did ya do?"
"I broke even", they reply.
HilaRIOUS mOOhOO HA ha hahahahaha!
That's funny! I can see them building another monster casino from the airport waiting lounge ... AND your wallet looks only as thick as the credit card that got you here.

Well, I know there are winners out there. BUT, I know I wouldn't be one of them.

BUT, today ... I am the winner ... because I get to go home. Heading back to Chicago after 18 days of Arizona / Nevada rodeo bull ridin'. I covered 3186 miles of yippee-ay-yea since my arrival.

SO, ... Stay tuned for more pictures from Illinois and Wisconsin in days ahead as well as many others from previous trips to Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California, Arizona and New Mexico. Next trip will be to the Los Angeles / San Diego areas starting on December 6th.

Thanks for all your support and kind words while I tread water on the road. Still hoping that Braff starts his own travel advice / sports satire / and hair care column with NikonSniper.

All the best. Home in a jiffy!

NikonSniper Steve

Thursday, November 12, 2009

NikonSniper Now Featuring Braff Zackton

Well, as many of you may know ... I don't really like to write too much on this blog. BUT, ... it is clear that many are asking for more interaction in the written form. I recently wrote about my latest idiotic travel event when I was driving to Payson, AZ titled Asleep At The Switch. Many of you seemed to enjoy this story. It was here that I introduced Braff Zackton. Read the story and comments here ... Asleep At The Switch if you are interested in learning more about Braff.

Anyway, I asked Braff to consider writing on this blog for those of you who are demanding more. Your demands are being heard! I was recently with Braff and discussed this with him. He was eating Nachos at the time as I recall it ... Braff said, "Uhhhh, No!" So there is a good chance Braff might reconsider and become a featured writer with NikonSniper. Braff's clearly uncertain response has prompted me to think of a name for his weekly post ... you know, something really creative like, "Braff Was Here". So anyway ... stay tuned for more news.

All the best, NikonSniper Steve

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Road Trip Coming Soon

Well, I feel the road approaching fast as this is my final weekend at home for a bit and I have to get some things this weekend for making the next trip. I leave Wednesday and will be landing in Las Vegas this time. I actually be spending time in Vegas till near the end of the trip. You can see the approximate stops along the way of this 17 day trip. I hope to have an opportunity to shoot some more at the Grand Canyon, Canyon de Chelly, Tucson Cactus Sunsets, Vegas Lights and maybe even Death Valley.

Let me know if you see something along my route that is worthy of a look. All the best to you and thanks for following.

NikonSniper Steve

Monday, October 19, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

Well, we'll be heading to the airport in Albuquerque, NM for our flight home to Chicago in a few more hours. I really can't wait to be home again. As some of you know, I have only been there for ten hours in the last thirty days ... so you can imagine it will be nice not to be lugging bags for a while. New Mexico and Arizona are very beautiful and I will be happy to return after some "road rest".

I have captured hundreds of blogworthy photos (this is only my oppinion, you can tell me when they don't float your boat) on this trip and I will continue posting them with a mix of Fall photos from Illinois and Wisconsin in the next few weeks.

The weather in Illinois has drastically changed since I was there. Fall bit summer off in one big bite. That bite was through the gloves and half way to the second knuckles. I have heard that snow has already been in the Illinois air. Ouch! I know I will enjoy taking some photos at home this winter season mixed with a few warmer departures out of the snow to Arizona and Southern California.

Again, thanks for coming along on this trip with us. Your comments are always appreciated. I hope you can plan trips for yourself to New Mexico and Arizona. They really have a unique beauty you will never forget. Stay tuned as we continue shooting photos from no matter where we are in the USA. I will be making another road trip beginning October 28th to the Las Vegas area and Arizona.

God bless and stay tuned. NikonSniper Steve

Friday, October 9, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hit And Run Season In Albuquerque

All is well. I am pretty sure the New Mexico is better than the Old Mexico ... but you wouldn't believe that after hearing what the car rental people told me about getting the insurance adders. "Oh, well you should get the adders cause this is the time of year that people DO A LOT OF HIT AND RUNS". Oh, really? It's hit and run season and I'm sorry maddam but I have lived on the edge for my first 51 years ... you aren't gonna stop me. I'd rather send the car flying off a cliff myself than get sucked into that telemarketing-type line. It sorta makes you think that the car rental agencies hire people to drive around town looking for their own cars in order to damage them during the nights to get a few extra Balloon Fiesta Bucks.

So, I'll be looking for Hit and Run Bumper Stickers along the way.

Hey, there's real Indians out here! Who knew? Ha! Just kidding.

Off to see Mary Poppins near the balloons.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Heading Home For 12 Hours

Well, as beautiful as it has been out here in the San Francisco Bay Area ... I am looking forward to heading home again on Wednesday. But, I will only be there for one night before heading to Albuquerque for the Balloon Fiesta and to the Grand Canyon for a few sunsets and some vacation. This has been a long road trip and I am looking forward to a little more laid back photgraphic adventure in New Mexico and Arizona. I guess the only real difference is that I take family and more cameras on this type of trip. So, it's WAY better!
As always, I want to thank all of you for your kind words and comments. You have no idea how much they help to pass the evenings in the hotels when there is nothing else to do. I don't own a television at home so it feels strange to have a TV in a room. I really don't watch it very much ... sometimes I forget it's even there.
So, here's an updated schedule for the upcoming areas I will photograph. Your suggestions of what to see along the way are also very helpful.

October 8 - October 15 Albuquerque to the Grand Canyon
October 28 - November 14 Las Vegas, Flagstaff, Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma
December 6 - December 18 Los Angeles South, San Diego, Palm Springs
January 10 - January 26 Los Angeles North, Santa Barbara, Bakersfield

All the best to all of you. Keep shooting those photos. I learn from everything I see!
NikonSniper Steve

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

SF Bay Area Trip Update

Here's the update. I will be heading west in 14 hours. I have a very early departure tomorrow and will fly to Sacramento via Dallas to pickup where I left off in my travels in August.
Everything is booked, bags are just waiting to be closed and open to add the last minute stuff that I almost always forget.

I will be covering the entire San Francisco Bay Area and more of Northern California on this trip departing September 16 and returning to Chicago on October 7. This trip will be very intense as there are many customers to visit in a 3 week period. See the approximate travel map above.

I will get back from this trip for 1 night and will get away for a bit of vacation to Albuquerque for the Balloon Fiesta and the Grand Canyon. This is a trip I have always wanted to take and I am really looking forward to these uniquely American photographic opportunities.

I really appreciate your comments when I am on the road especially. You give me much to read when I am away and your ideas often spark new adventures and sidetrips along the way. You will never really know how much that helps pass the time on these longer treks.

So, fasten your seat belts ... and get ready for another trip to California. I always look for things that I have never seen or photographed before ... and it's really cool being totally clueless as to the new opportunities that can jump out in front of you to the sound of the blarring horns behind you.

My weekend plans at the moment are going to put me near Merced, CA so I think I will try to go to Yosemite. The following two weekends will be in the San Francisco Bay area. I gotta get to Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge ... and the Fish Market ... and uh, stay tuned!

NikonSniper Steve

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sitting In Sacramento

Well, I am back at the Sacramemto airport waiting to fly home via Dallas. It's now looking questionable that I will arrive in Chicago tonight or tomorrow. I can't wait to see familiar faces again. It has been wonderful to see Northern California and Northern Nevada. I have learned a great deal about the terrain on this trip and look forward to seeing the San Francisco Bay area in a few weeks. Stay tuned to NikonSniper in the next 3-4 weeks for shots from Illinois, Wisconsin and a few extras from past trips to Washington, Oregon, Nevada and California on days I need to rest a bit. It's funny ... you would think I would get home and want to drop my camera for a while ... but I am usually shooting within 12 hours of my arrival with John, a friend of mine or my youngest daughter, Leah. See her blog at

Thanks again for all your comments and suggestions over the past two weeks. You make traveling and being away from my family a little more tolerable. Thanks to all of you.

Have a great weekend ... wherever you are!
NikonSniper Steve

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Thanks Trooper Lund

I just arrived in Elko, Nevada. I got a tip (without souvenir) from a Nevada State Trooper. What a great guy. Trooper Lund pulled over to make sure the old man (me) was OK. I was stopped on the side of the highway photographing mountains. What incredible rugged beauty. Nevada! You are such a surprise. What a gem to have in our great 50! State Trooper Lund told me about a great place to photograph near Elko. I am heading to the Lamoille Canyon for sundown on his advice ... and as you may know by now if you read this blog ... I listen to State Troopers.

NikonSniper Steve

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Travel Update

Well, folks ... this trip is at the half way point. I have driven approxiately 1400 miles in Northern California. I have seen incredible rugged beauty here. In an hour or so I will be heading for Reno, Nevada. I will take a drive around Lake Taho on the way. This coming week I will be heading out towards Elko, NV before returning to Sacramento for the flight home. So there are still many miles ahead of me. It has been hot ... but I gotta tell ya ... 96 out here ain't that hot! If you don't believe me ... come visit Northern Illinois when it's 84 and humid. Many people must think I am crazy out here walking along the roads with my camera in full sun. It really feels nice to me.

Oh, I know ... it's that dry heat!

I had another really cool opportunity while rushing to the McArthur-Burney Falls. Remember that TV show CHiPs? Well, I gotta to meet one of them personally! Is that cool or what? Very nice officer that turned on the lights for me and everything! Gave me a souvenir proving our meeting together. Me being me ... you know I asked if I could get a quick photo of just the two of us by the squad car. I even asked if I could sit in the back for a quick snap. Well, ya can't get everything ... but she did give me some tips on driving if I did not want the souvenirs on next time I saw an adjunct member of the CHiPs cast.

Note: If you don't know ... CHiPs is what they call the California Highway Patrol.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Packed & Ready - August 9-22

Update: Packed and ready waiting my pickup to head to O'Hare. My next two-week trip is about to launch and will begin in Sacramento on Sunday afternoon. I will be heading to customers in Northern Nevada and Northern California. Here is the approximate route I will be taking along the way. I have decided to work Northern California first and wrap the trip up out in Nevada. As you can see from this approximate map, it does appear I will dip back into Oregon for a few hours again along the way. I will try to get photos as time allows. I should be near the forests that burned last year in California by next weekend so I know I will get to spend some extra time hunting for shots in that area.

Thanks for all your suggestions. Keep them coming. Time won't allow me to hit them all but maybe on the next trip to this area I can plan something.

Additional Schedule As Of Now
September 16 to October 7 - San Francisco Bay Area
October 8 to October 15 - Albuquerque to the Grand Canyon
October 28 to November 14 - Las Vegas and Complete Arizona Loop

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

Feel A Bit Like Dorothy

On Saturday, I will be heading back to the flatlands of Illinois. Illinois does not have the variation in terrain that is in the Pacific Northwest ... but still I am looking forward to getting home. Truly, Dorothy said it best ... "There's no place like home." I miss my wife, kids and grandkids and well, ... I haven't told the dog to shut up in almost two weeks. That alone is going to feel great!

I am sure most of you feel drawn to some area of the world. That's home for you. Well, I am heading back to the quirky little town of Woodstock, IL. Many of you have seen Woodstock but do not realize it. Woodstock was used in the filming of the Bill Murray movie "Groundhog Day". That is where home is for me. And, yes! The people are as weird as depicted in the movie.

Washington and Oregon have been a great adventure for the 4+ weeks I have spent in your mountains, rivers, desert fields, ocean fronts, forests and cities. My eyes have been opened. I always envisioned the beauty from photos I had seen before I came ... but there are many wonders that were a complete surprise. This has been a great experience. Many of the recent followers that have joined us are from Washington and Oregon. I thank you for all of your suggestions of what to visit along the way. I have driven 5500 miles of your roads on these two trips. In the words of the Terminator ... "I'll be Bach".

I hope you will continue to look in on NikonSniper as I continue shooting from Illinois. My next trip has been scheduled. I will be returning to Northern California and Northern Nevada from August 9 to August 21.

Thanks for all your support.
NikonSniper Steve

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Washington And Oregon July 12-25

More photos from Washington and Oregon soon!

I may be on the way by the time most of you read this post. This trip will be two weeks and I will travel approximately as shown above beginning in Portland and heading sorta clockwise as seen here. It's a long very busy haul over 2100 miles but I know the scenery will help pass time between visits with customers.
Many of you have writing e-mail to me and have commented that I should be going to Astoria, Seattle or Tacoma. I agree. However, I was there about 3-4 weeks ago and posted many photos of that trek on this blog. You will have to back up a bit to find them. There are close to 900 photos on this blog now (100 per page) so I would guess many of those photos are back 100-200 photos by now.

Again, Thank you to all of you who toss travel tips my way. This route ahead is unchartered water for me. I only hope to do photographic justice to this beautiful part of the USA. This trip will be my last scheduled trip to Washington and Oregon for a while but I do expect to be back late this year.

Looking ahead. I have scheduled August 9 - August 21 for Northern California and Northern Nevada. Followed by September 16 - October 7 in the Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose areas. Then October 8-15 in Albuquerque for the Balloon Feast as well as a trip to the Grand Canyon, Painted Desert, Petrified Forest and Canyon de Chelly. So that's a bit to look forward to in the late summer and early fall.

Thanks for all your kind comments. I appreciate all your encouragement as well as your memories or impression of what the photo says to you. I purposefully do not write a lot of stuff on each photo. I'd rather just hear the many varied meanings or thoughts a photo has to others. I am still trying to figure out how we could all charter about three 747's and go on a long trip taking photos together!

All the best. NikonSniper Steve

Sunday, June 28, 2009

More News

Well, I am starting to feel rested up from my very first trip to the great states of Washington and Oregon. I have bought my tickets and will be heading back again from July 12 - July 25.

I have now confirmed my tickets for two additional things I have wanted to photograph since I have owned digital cameras. They are the Grand Canyon and the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. My wife and youngest daughter will be traveling with me in October to have a bit of vacation seeing these places and events. We will also visit the Petrified Forest and Painted Deserts which also have beautiful landscapes.

That's just a bit of the photographic road ahead but as for the more immediate future, there will be two more weeks in Washington & Oregon, then on to Northern California and Northern Nevada.

Thanks for all your encouragement and kind words. I hope many of you are getting your cameras out to try some new ideas perhaps gleaned from something you might see here. If you keep on shooting ... you will score hits. I know it. I am living proof.

All the best to you.
NikonSniper Steve