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  • Writer's pictureAlyce Bender

Monthly Review: May 2019

abstract impressionistic wildflowers, Joshua Tree National Park

May, like so many other months was filled with activities. However, there were only a handful of photography adventures that netted images to share.

The first major event was the Palm Springs Photo Festival in the oh-so-SoCal town of Palm Springs. I volunteered to work the festival which was a great way to cut cost and see what it was all about as I had not been to this festival before.

As a week-long event, it was packed full of interesting lectures, panel discussions, and presentations all based around photography. The predominant themes were commercial and fine art portrait photography, however there was still quiet a bit of event, architectural, and photojournalism represented. The least represented topic was nature photography though.

abstract impressionistic bushes, California

Even as such, there was so much for me to learn as many of the discussion topics were on the business of the industry. Plus it was an awesome networking platform as I prepare to move to California this month (June).

All this was well and great for me from a learning and business aspect, but it did not leave much time for me to actually shoot. The only time I really got my camera out was on the way home, I stopped at Joshua Tree National Park for a few hours.

Here I worked a bit more with some new techniques to create various abstract impressionistic images. The opening image is one of them as I managed to visit the park just as the wildflower bloom was tapering away.

abstract impressionistic wildflowers, Joshua Tree National Park

Upon arriving home, I was immediately inundated with homework and studying as it was finals week. This was my second to last class before graduating (FINALLY!) with a bachelors in Professional Aeronautics with minors in Airport Management and Aviation Safety. Yes, its a mouthful. No, I don't really see myself using it in the future now that photography has become my life. I'm simply finishing it to finish it.

Now the really great part of the month! Several months back I had been in contact with Karen Schuenemann of Wilderness at Heart Photography. She invited me to be her guest photographer and workshop assistant for her annual Spring Tetons Photo Safari!

We left out of Salt Lake City with a wonderful group of photographers to spend five days exploring Grand Tetons National Park, taking in all the wildlife and scenery it had to offer. The weather played with us a bit by dropping snow on us each night and randomly throughout the week, but it created great atmosphere.

Grand Teton Peak in the morning

During the workshop we saw all the major mammals the park had to offer from elk and moose, to bears and pronghorn antelope.

Grand Teton Wildlife Array (moose, bear, gosling, pronghorn)

We also had a day in Yellowstone National Park with Jackson Hole Ecotour Adventures and a private education session with the Teton Raptor Center.

Bison, Yellowstone

Red Tailed Hawk, Teton Raptor Center

I could go on and on about it, but would rather just have you see it for yourself and join Karen and I on her Fall Tetons Photo Safari this September! If you are interested you can visit her website for more details or email her here to sign up. Won't you come with us?

Grizzly cub, Grand Teton

Taking advantage of the workshop ending in Salt Lake City, I decided to visit Antelope Island State Park for a day before heading home. Here I encountered beautiful reflections, tons of birds, and the occasional four legged creature. But the shorebirds in the morning light were by far my favorite subject.

Willet Reflection, Antelope Island State Park

Long-billed curlew, Antelope Island State Park

Overall, the month was another successful chapter in this nature photographer's story!

Until next time, cheers!

Yellow warbler in conifer tree, Grand Teton

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