Day three of radiation therapy. Can’t see any improvement yet, but she needed less pain medication yesterday so that is a good sign. Three down and seven to go. The beauty of autumn is quickly passing as the wind and the hail are taking their toll on the brittle golden leaves. The mountains will be barren until they take on a fresh mantle of white that comes with the cold of winter. Meanwhile I am given some time in the waiting room to reflect and look ahead.
In the ebb and flow of the photography business I’ve had to change focus many times and these times are no different. Many years ago wedding and portrait photography were abandoned for stock photography which more suited my desire for the peace and solitude of the wilderness. Stock photography has had it’s ups and downs as well and adjustments have been made there too. In the early days of digital stock, such simple subjects as solitary trees and isolated fruit sold like hotcakes and life was easy. However it wasn’t long before word got out and cameras got better. The picture world has become flooded with imagery and it has become more and more difficult to stand out and make consistent sales. Agencies have experimented and made improvements and mistakes. By the end of the Y2K decade I was finding nature photography and the Royalty Free model to be on the wane so in 2008 I concentrated almost exclusively on sports photography and the Rights Managed license model, giving up my exclusive crown at iStock and having my most prolific year ever at the Alamy Agency.
Then came the Getty acquisition of iStockPhoto and with it some great benefits for exclusive photographers. Such cool opportunities that I had to backtrack and get the crown back. It has been a great ride since then but I sense the tide beginning to change again. Upload limits at iStock have been removed and the ensuing massive influx of imagery has once again cut deeply into contributor profit.
So in late 2014 I am considering another major change in focus. For me the pendulum has swung back to producing more exclusive editorial imagery and reportage. So to begin my move forward I will be looking back to the beginning of the year at the Pikes Peak Road Runners Winter Series. The rest of my time in the Radiotherapy waiting room will be spent scouring the year’s events for suitable editorial images for my Rights Managed portfolio on the Alamy agency. However I will never tire of the solitude of the woods and the communion with wildlife and nature high in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
A beautiful morning this Friday, and a perfect day for Jill Howard to head to Utah for her valiant attempt at a Boston Marathon qualifying time in the Top of Utah Marathon. As I had mentioned in an earlier blog I was going to step out of my comfort zone in my Examiner reporting role by reaching out and doing a story on someone instead of just places and events. My first interview report was published this week and is now available on the Examiner online. Jill has been on a two and a half year journey through a life threatening illness and back again. Her recovery has been fast and remarkable and tomorrow she will show the world that she is back.
It was ironic though that I finished up the story on Jill’s recovery from brain surgery in the waiting room of the hospital while my friend of 25 years and life partner was on the MRI table getting a spine and brain scan to look for cancer. Today as Jill heads for Utah I will head for Colorado Springs to get the results of the MRI and wait while my friend gets mapped for radiation therapy. It will be a long day for us and there are a lot of long days ahead of us with ten straight days of radiation treatment to endure.
God is good and God is merciful, so I hope that in a few months I will be writing another Examiner success story about a miraculous recovery. In the meantime I am learning to take the days one at a time, living by Jesus’ advice that “Today’s worries are sufficient for the day.”.
It looks to be a glorious weekend in the mountains and I am looking forward to the big Oktoberfest celebration in Woodland Park. I have missed it every year that I have been here for one reason or another, but this year I am determined to attend. Be sure to subscribe to my Examiner column so you won’t miss my report on the festivities! It’s free and you will receive an email each time I publish a new article!
Wow… hard to believe, it seems like summer was just getting started and I was looking forward to reporting on the summer running activities. The better part of summer is now behind us and I am looking forward to autumn events.
There is that moment every summer when there is a sudden twinge of cool in the air and you know that summer is starting to lose it’s grip. We had a cool spell this week and I felt that twinge. However I think it was just a cool spell and the blast of cool air was just a coincidence. I think there is plenty of hot summer fun yet to enjoy before we start to feel the crisp cool air of autumn in the mountains.
That moment is coming though, and the way time is flying this summer the moment is probably coming quicker than I would like. The Pikes Peak Road Runners have their fall running schedule posted and it is chock full of events for everyone. Autumn is still a few weeks away but it isn’t too soon to start looking ahead.
Watch for my full report on the fall schedule on my Examiner Outdoor Recreation news column! It’s going to be a good one! Click the subscribe button beside my profile picture in any of my articles for a free subscription to the Examiner and to my articles and updates!
Here high in the Colorado Rockies summer has entered the hot dry midsummer stretch where the outdoor activities can progress unimpeded. Two of the three Triple Crown of Running events have already been run with only the Pikes Peak Ascent remaining.
With all the trips I have had to accompany to hospital and doctor appointments, I regret to say that I have missed all of the summer races. However I decided not to let that stop me from writing a report for the Examiner on the progress of summer races with the fervent hope of being able to attend the last leg on the rugged Barr Trail leading to the summit of Pikes Peak.
Watching the sunrise bathing the peak in golden light from the seventh floor of the hospital makes me nostalgic for the times in the past when I would be making the early morning climb myself.
Summer is rolling along and the longest day of the year is already behind us. I don’t know why, but both the summer and winter solstice dates have a profound effect on me. Just knowing that the days are getting shorter, however imperceptible, adds a bit of melancholy to my spirit.
But there is still plenty of summer ahead to celebrate. Here in the Pikes Peak region we have plenty of outdoor activities to look forward to, including the annual Pikes Peak Hill Climb car race usually run on the Fourth of July. Woodland Park has the summer vintage car show and the Farmers Markets ahead and a special treat coming this August. The USA Pro Cycling Challenge is returning to the town this year for the start of Stage 5 of the tour.
The Stage 5 article is the next in my series of articles on the Examiner reporting on the summer’s schedule of activities, including bike races, trail runs, marathons and ultra marathons.
Now I hope to turn my attention to photographing and reporting on the events I have highlighted. I have been mountain biking up and down the pass in hopes of maintaining enough leg strength to get up the trails, highways and byways to get the best shots. Time will tell if I am successful.