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Places That A Camera Can’t Capture… But I Tried Anyway

I’m still learning the whole photography thing. I take a lot of photos, and I scrap a lot of photos. Slowly, the number of photos I end up keeping has increased. I guess that means I’m learning. My guesses are becoming a little more educated. The camera settings are a little less of a mystery.

I definitely still have moments where I get back to my computer, download photos and find out they are ever so slightly out of focus. That’s fun.

Baby steps.

I’m pretty sure it’s the goal of photography to convey a feeling or an experience, or something. I’m sure there are lots of photographers that can do an excellent job of that. But some places… I just don’t think you can really ever put them in a photo as they really are. The realities of some places are too intense. It’s a whole sensory experience. But I guess we can try, right?

Big Views

overlooking bryce canyon national park

I could not get enough of this sunrise in Bryce Canyon

This was sunrise in Bryce Canyon, Utah. It was freezing, but the sun lit up the rocks the way your hand lights up when you press a flashlight into it. Like the red rocks were transparent.

I spent 3 days here with a broken tripod. At one point it actually started snowing.

What the road looks like through most of Iceland

This was during a road trip in Iceland. If you look at a map of Iceland, you can see that that the vast majority of the island is uninhabited, but you don’t really get it until you get a few minutes outside the city and there is. Just. Nothing.

It was also one of the strangers driving experiences I’ve ever had. The roads are so small, even though they’re essentially cross-country highways. And the weather goes from clear to whiteouts in .2 seconds.

black sand beach, cali

Last year I drove to Washington state and back with a friend. This was a random stop on our way back. It was out of the way and over the California hills. Once we got there we found an extremely tiny community, a beach visited only by a few locals, and multiple warnings of death.

Apparently more than one person has died at this beach due to tsunamis and riptides.

yangtze river china

I was up early everyday on the Yangtze because I was afraid I’d miss something. I’d always wanted to see the misty, curved mountains that inspire all those silk paintings. Turns out they basically are the silk paintings.

The Yangtze is lined with “small” villages. Some of which are bigger than cities in the U.S.

Balloon Fiesta NM

Balloon Fiesta NM

I was pretty inept with a camera at this point. I didn’t understand the settings well at all. I didn’t bring a tripod. I was helping out someone with their balloon on the field at the Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico, which meant being there before sunrise.

One of the cool things about being there before sunrise is that you get to see the balloons glow as the riders test out the flames. They start taking off right around sunrise. My ISO was too high, making the photo grainy, but otherwise I could not take a photo without shake since it was still too dark.

This is one of those I’d like to get a redo on now that I know how to control my camera better.

milky way

The one good thing about being stranded in the middle of the desert. At midnight. After driving all day. My brain could not handle the number of stars in the sky. It actually made me dizzy.

If it wasn’t for the fact that we had no idea where we were actually going to be able to sleep that night I would’ve stayed there for hours taking photos.


I had the most expensive Starbucks of my life in Switzerland. Which is saying something for Starbucks.

This was a stop during a train ride that morning. I had a Eurorail pass I’d been using to get around Europe for a while, and decided to use one of the days to travel around Switzerland, returning to Geneva at night.

I am genuinely jealous of everyone that gets to live in Switzerland. It is absolutely beautiful. Even piece of it belongs in a travel magazine. The lake seemed to merge with the sky in some places when it was perfectly still. Then a small ferry boat would come along and send a shallow ripple across the surface.

Italian coast

That island off in the distance is Capri, in Italy. This was taken from the top of a hill in a very small village with my all-time favorite waiter. This was the place where I found out that the famous Italian painters didn’t embellish the sunsets in their paintings. They just copied what they saw.

Sunsets on the coast here just look like that.

The sea is actually that blue and clear. The food is actually that good. The gelato is actually the best thing ever.

Places like this actually exist. It blows my mind every time.

I've had gelato in Italy, pizza in Egypt, crepes in Paris, and gruyere in Gruyere. I've rafted rivers, climbed canyons, been lost in foreign cities - and foreign museums :P - and road trip whenever I get the chance. I bring my camera and dog wherever I can, always looking for the next adventure, then I write about it here. Follow along and say hi!