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Not All Those Who Wonder are Lost From the beaches of Hawaii to the mountains of upstate New York, this journal holds the memories and stories of some of my travels. You will find different patterns, textures and feelings with each photograph.

Beauty, Charity, Clarity: Art and Stories fron Hawaii to New Orleans and Beyond

USA | Thursday, 15 November 2012 | Views [273]

Photography in paradise and beyond! I have been to many places throughout the United States, including Alaska, Hawaii, the Rocky Mountains, New Orleans and the Grand Canyon but most of my photographs which I have chosen for my scholorship entry were taken in Hawaii, Vermont and in the Kaatskill Mountains of New York. The following are my own personal stories about each location, enjoy!

For the past four years, from 2006-2010 I have gone down to New Orleans in response to the devistation caused by Hurricane Katrina to aid in the recovery efforts. Through this experiance I have fallen in love with the people, the place, the culture, the food, and the stories of this iconic city. With the help of other volenteers and residence themselves, we have started taking steps to a brighter and more diveristy friendly New Orleans. Each time I go down there I bring my camera and each time, so much more than what is infront of the lens is revealed to me. The struggles, the love, the hopes, the dreams of the people that were harmed and are still feeling the effects of the storm. Reverand Josephine, a woman who stayed out the storm in order to make a safe spot for families and children in her community. A woman trying to preserve the Vodoo culture of New Orleans by turning her home into a museum. An elderly man in a wheel chair who was trapped in his home with rising water and managed to pull himself on top of a book case and recited the psalms of the Bble. Photographs that I have taken here have been particularly touching, showing people and places that have been hurt by the storm as well as by politics and descrimination. The face of a ruined house, the spray paint that has the number one, signifying the numver of bodies found within. The stone steps that now lead to nothing. I am determined to go back to New Orleans in the future to work on projects that will open the eyes of America and the world to this city that is still suffereing.

Traveling to Hawaii was such an eye opening experiance for me, and yes it is just as beautiful as it is made out to be! The island that I spent most of my time on was Kawai'i one of the smaller and more remote Islands that is less popular. It's nicknamed, The Garden Island for its beautiful horticultural diversity. I was able to take lots of photographs of the different flowers and plants throughout the island. In addition to surfing, hiking and swimming I was able to sample local sea food and attend a wonderful local farmers market. This was extremely rewarding because I had the chance to actually talk to and support the local farmers! Since my first time to the island I have returned three more times and each time I have had a different adventure. From kyaking along the famous Napal'i coast to hiking through the jungle to bathing in tide pools and jumping into waterfalls, Hawaii is an amazing place for anyone, photographer or not to visit. I can't think of any other place that is more colorful!

After Hawaii it was time to head off and enter the world of college in the setting of your typical New England country side in the small town of Poultney, VT. Although not as exotic as Hawaii its beauty is equal in a different sort of way. From our dining hall you can see the sunset over the green mountains. Fall leaves provide one of the most colorful canvases I have ever seen. Beautiful farms and cows are dwarfed by rolling mountains against the blue skies. Vermont is well named as being the Green Mountain State, there are so many places to explore and see! I have been taking classes for a majority of my time here but I have been able to capture some delightful photographs that show the beauty of classic New England and each season brings a new landscape to admire! I will continue taking photos here and I look foward to spending another three years showing people the beauty that can sometimes be over-looked in such a classical place.

During my vacation time over the summer, I leave Vermont and go just west to the Caatskill Mountains of upstate New York from where you can see the entire Hudson Valley. The Caatskills, (also spelled Kaatskills) are a place unlike any other, filled with a rich history. Small creeks run down forest covered mountains, caves, waterfalls and small towns are scattered about all around in an otherwise rural area. One could spend hours roaming throughout the wilderness of these mountains, getting lost in the stories that the trees seem to tell you as you walk. As a child I would wonder for hours, making up stories and climbing every rock that I could, taking pictures and telling stories to myself. The Kaatskill Mountains are unique in the fact that they are older mountains than the Rockies and so those who are less experianced hikers can still appreciate their beauty by walking and biking. I have taken many photographs around the area of the mountains, exploring and letting the landscape take me where it will. The result of my wonderings has led me to take some astonishing photographs and I hope that my viewers enjoy pondering their own stories, inspired by my photos.

Tags: hawaii, hiking, new england, snorkling, surfing, vermont

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