IMG_8301With apologies to Dusty Springfield (If you don’t know, google her) I think the time has come to start my photographic bucket list for the New Year.  After all, tomorrow is New Year’s Eve… I have only 1 firm plan so everything on this list will be subject to change.  With that in mind, here goes…..

I’m going to start the year by photographing Garden of the Gods at sunrise on New Year’s Day.  I’ve already scouted my location and all that’s left to do is drag out the long underwear and ski pants, find my warmest gloves and hat, and get to the location by 6:30 Tuesday morning.  Last year I photographed New Year’s sunrise at Broken Arch with my friend Bret Edge and this year maybe 1 or 2 of my photog buddies will be joining me at GOG so this may be a new tradition for me.

I’m also pretty sure that I’ll be making a trip to Arizona in March to see some baseball and spent time with the gals.  It’s also in the back of my mind to find some really attractive Saguaro cacti and shoot some night sky images.  This is pretty firm but not etched in stone…another tradition.  From here on out everything is pure speculation and desire.

1.  Valley of Fire State Park north of Las Vegas.  One of my photographic strengths is finding patterns and compositions that can be considered “intimate landscapes” and I’ve seen some amazing shots of the different colored sandstone here.  I’m not crazy about Vegas but VOF is definitely worth consideration.

2.  Bisti Badlands near Farmington, New Mexico.  I made a quick pass through here in September but had no idea where to find the geological features I wanted to photograph.  I need to get back there with more than just a couple of hours to explore.

3.  Colorado, Colorado, Colorado.  I think there were more images in my Best of 2012 collection from Colorado than any year previous.  I start every year by declaring I’m going to spend more time photographing in Colorado but this year I’m more serious about it.  Wildflowers in July, sunflowers in August, aspens and elk in September, and who knows what else.  Time will tell.

4.  Utah….I have dozens of images of Dead Horse Point and the Green River Overlook, both near Moab, but all of my images are with bald blue skies.  I’m not real excited about being in the desert in August  when it’s beastly hot, but that is the best chance for clouds in the skies and rainwater in the potholes.  Might be a grand road trip to combine this with Valley of Fire.

That’s a good start I guess.  Other possibilities include:  Badlands National Park in South Dakota, The Ozarks of Arkansas for fall colors in November, Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona, Arizona for fall colors also in November (might have to make a decision there), and I’m always up for a trip to Seattle or San Francisco if that presents itself.

Pretty ambitious list.  And I didn’t even mention the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado. Like I said, this is just brainstorming…looking at blue sky…whatever you want to call it.  Got some ideas?  Pitch in.