Real Life | Week 3: Camping in the Uintas

Now that life has slowed down a tad and I’m not on full-time National Guard duty anymore, I’m picking up where I left off in my Real Life Photography series. This week’s theme was nature. Luckily we had planned a camping trip with the in-laws to the Uinta Mountains, so I had a lovely landscape to practice on.

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I tend to prefer photos of people, so when it comes to landscape photography, I’m really picky. There’s definitely a certain look that I like, and it’s not necessarily the wide-angle, everything in focus, HDR shots like the one above. But as long as I was practicing, I had to take some time to whip out my tripod and explore the HDR function on my camera, which is how I got the photo above. Not too shabby, I think. And that was literally the view from our campsite! Like when I took that picture, I was sitting on a rock next to the firepit, facing away from everyone else, while my family members were giving me the ol’ side-eye for doing my own “fancy pictures” stuff while they were roasting marshmallows.

But as I was saying, there’s a certain look in nature photography that I like, and that’s what I was working on capturing this weekend. I like shots that highlight the details and show the texture and depth of a landscape. So this next photo is probably my favorite from the weekend. It’s basically the same view as the one above, but with a slightly different angle, plenty of depth, and a focus on the details.

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I love being in nature and enjoying the natural beauty of the earth, but carrying around a camera and looking for specific things– lighting, texture, contrast, etc.– made me experience it and appreciate it in a whole new way. It also really made me appreciate good nature photography– it’s hard to capture nature through a camera lens and still preserve all the beauty that your eyes can see.

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William snuck himself into some of the shots too.

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In looking for color contrast, I started noticing all these little white flowers with purple and green leaves. I’d never seen them before, but I think they’re absolutely beautiful! But again, I’m not sure my photo really does them justice. Something to work on, for sure.

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Obviously, I couldn’t go camping with the fam and NOT take pictures of people, so to prove that we were actually all there together, here are some pictures of the crew.

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It’s been so hot in the Salt Lake Valley recently, which made the cool mountain air and the even cooler nights around the campfire that much more enjoyable.

Oh, and our dog, Remy, came along too.

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The kids have always loved camping with their Grandpa and Grandma. My in-laws have a giant RV with all the amenities and they always bring tons of food, so obviously that’s a plus. But last fall Garrett and I bought an old pop-up trailer. It’s really only one step above an actual tent since the gas line doesn’t work so there’s no heat or refrigerator or anything, but we love it anyways. This was our first camping trip parking our little pop-up next to my in-laws’ giant 5th wheel. They brought the UTV, too, so we went on plenty of trail rides. (The kids, of course, only went on the gentler roads, and reeeeaaally slowly. Safety first.)

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Hopefully we’ll be able to get a couple more camping trips in before the end of the summer. The kids honestly sleep better in their beds at home, so if we can just get them a little more accustomed to sleeping in the pop-up, it would pretty much be the perfect way to spend a relaxing weekend!

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If you’re just joining in on my Real Life Photography series, be sure to check out Week 1 and Week 2 to catch up. And then subscribe by email or follow me on Bloglovin’ to be notified of new posts!

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Easter

Okay I know, Easter was nearly two weeks ago. But after working out some stuff on the back end of my blog, which took me longer than expected, I am finally ready to post these pictures!

A couple thoughts on Easter:

First of all, you should know that Easter is my favorite holiday. It’s just so inherently joyful! And I also love it because it isn’t so hyped up as, say, Christmas. But also because of the relative lack of hype, I sometimes feel a little disappointed if it doesn’t turn out just so. Like for example, last year we only sang one Easter hymn during the whole Easter Sunday church service. And it wasn’t even my favorite one. Granted,  Mormons don’t usually celebrate Easter too much differently than an average Sunday, but c’mon! What’s Easter without rockin’ out some Easter hymns. This year, we sang a whole bunch of Easter songs, and I was seated right next to the organ, too, so I got to belt ’em out as loud as I wanted because that organ was way louder.

Second, the weather was perfect. I mean gorgeous. Sunny and a little warm with blooming flowers everywhere, just like it should be.

And finally, we all looked great in our Easter Sunday outfits. Pretty sure I took way too many pictures of Winter because she looked so adorable in her dress!

First Corn Maze

Today Garrett and I took the kids to Cross E Ranch’s Fall Festival. Apparently Utah has a thing for corn mazes because they’re pretty much everywhere. This particular one was less than 10 minutes from our house, and we’re planning to take the kids to another one by Garrett’s parents’ house next weekend. But today marked William’s and Winter’s and my first corn maze ever!

Cross E Ranch is really an amazing place. It’s an actual working farm where the owners farm for a living and have no other side jobs. They have worked a spring and fall festival into their business plan, and this year was their first time doing the Fall Festival and Corn Maze. I was so impressed! Not like I have anything to compare it to, but they seemed to really have a great system, and the activities and atmosphere were great. On the hayride, we got to go out into the cow pasture where we weaved through a heard of purebred Angus cows who had been bread by the current owner’s late father for their good looks. They really were beautiful cows! And the owner told us all about the farm’s story, including some of the joys of farming and some of the struggles of doing it in a city. Such an amazing day. Plus there were baby pigs, so there’s that too.