PREFACE


    

     Starting with a vacation to the Grand Canyon and southern Utah in the fall of 2011 I began assembling a collection of photographs that I hoped to be published in a hardcover coffee table book in time for the Park Service Centennial.  The title was to be The Opportunity Cost of Light.  Although I was able during the following years to visit and take photos in well over a hundred national park units, and after spending some time writing about my journeys, I failed to find a publisher for my proposed book.  I decided not to allow my efforts, which I am proud of, to go to waste and so I started this website.

     Most of my photography was done during a handful of lengthy road trips that I took in between a work schedule as (essentially) a subcontractor working under my father installing office furniture for a rapidly growing internet university.  I consider this free time that I was able to enjoy to be the luckiest break of my life.  The cost of traveling to National Parks camping in a vehicle is not necessarily high but still took a toll on my savings, especially with my final trip to Alaska.

     I used a Nikon D5100, a consumer-grade digital camera, for all but one of my one national park photographs.  The exception was the underwater shot I took in the Dry Tortugas with a SeaLife camera I briefly owned and then traded away for a bicycle trailer.    

     I have had a complicated relationship with my camera.  It’s been the primary motivator for my travels, while at the same time I feel that often I put an unhealthy and stressful focus on getting a great photo, rather than enjoying the here and now.  Only over time did I feel that I attained a good balance between picture taking and the enjoyment of my natural surrounding.  I do not think outdoor photography is a good hobby for most people; only those with the particular psychological bent of a loner will ever get their money’s worth out of their equipment doing it.

     Some vital help with my writings came from my old friend Justin Mcallister, my new friend Peggy Costion, and my Aunt Kim.  The great inspiration for my trips came from my father and my Uncle Scott and I thank my entire family for being supportive of my efforts.

      A special thanks to Lilliona Caldwell, who let me into Wind Cave after hours and operated the flash for me.

     The only regret I have for taking these trips is time it took away from my most loyal walking companion.  I missed you Gus. 

 


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