Canon 5D Mark II, Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5 L II, 1/320 sec at f/11, ISO 100

Yesterday I decided to take most of the day off and spent the afternoon driving around. I soaked in the beautiful Utah scenery and I even took a short hike up to a waterfall, all with a camera (or two) in tow, of course. It was great, and something I really, desperately need to do more often. I was still able to get some work done (all that I really needed to for the day) but instead of lurking in my office “finding” things to do online, I left. It was a gorgeous day, perfect weather … plus I won’t be in Utah much longer so I really need to take advantage of my time while I’m here. (The photo above is a tilt-shift image of aspen trees off the road on the Nebo Loop scenic byway. I also photographed some other images on my drive which served as the texture you can see in the sky.)

You see, I’ve been pretty stressed out lately. Not all bad stress, most of it was of the “good” variety, in fact. I spent the last five months working on a new book that will be released in August, squeezed an eBook in there as well, and also did a bit of traveling and photography to mix things up. I’ve been extremely busy, which is great, but stress is still stress. My stress is the reason I’m (unfortunately) not going to be going on a road trip to my home state that I blogged about earlier in the year. Work piled up, I needed to plan and shop for the trip and it just couldn’t happen without causing me more stress. It would have been fun, but what I needed was a few solid weeks of no planning, no goals, and no expectations or deadlines. This summer is going to be hectic enough with packing to move to Seattle, along with another big project I might be working on, I didn’t want to add anything else into the mix.

So, instead I’ll just take things day by day, something I never used to do. My life used to be all about “plans” … and I’m definitely not that person anymore. The only thing I can count on is that in just over three months I’ll be living in Seattle. After that I have no clue where life will take me, and I love it! And, as a photographer/writer/creative it also seems to be almost necessary. I can remember wanting a family, kids, and a perfect house that I would live in forever, and there was a time in my life that I thought it would happen. I might still have that one day, but right now it seems so far away and I enjoy being spontaneous, mobile and ungrounded.

I think it’s important that we are constantly challenging ourselves. I try to create and find experiences that are new and unique, and even the little things can make a big impact. Sitting and staring at a computer screen probably isn’t inspiring enough to really grow as an artist. Getting out in the world and meeting new people, eating new foods, traveling (or moving) to new places or just going on a walk in a different neighborhood might be all it takes to ignite that one spark that will take you down a path you didn’t even know existed.