Promoting Passion 2018 Conference

Sunrise in Joshua Tree, CAI'm Back in the ATL!

I went to Brooke Shaden's Promoting Passion 2018 Conference last week. What a blast! 

Have you ever met someone you really admire?

I've heard people say that you shouldn't. Too often it's a disappointment. I'm here to tell you that meeting Brooke Shaden was anything but disappointing! She's exactly the person I thought she'd be. She's personable, kind, generous, and genuinely fun to be around. 

The conference started on Thursday night, and we didn't stop moving until we left on Monday morning. 

I'm in the Right Place!

I was a little apprehensive about attending.

I knew there'd be a ton of amazing photographers and artists there. It's easy to feel Imposter Syndrome when you're in a group like that. The weekend helped me get over those feelings. I knew a lot of folks would be there with friends, but I went by myself. And I was staying in one room with one bathroom and three strangers! 

My fears were put to rest before I even got there.

I met a lovely woman from Copenhagen when I arrived at the airport to catch the bus out to Joshua Tree.

We sat next to each other for the entire 4-hour ride. Joshua Tree is only about 2-1/2 hours from LAX. But, we left at 2:30 and had major traffic for over half the ride. Louise and I got to know each other pretty well before we arrived. 

Some of the scenery from the bus window was interesting.

I've never seen a wind farm before, and we passed a huge one. It was like something out of a science fiction movie. The windmills stretched as far as the eye could see. It was tough getting a photo out the bus window while it was moving, but I managed to get a few.

Upon arrival at the conference, Brooke herself hopped on the bus to welcome us.

Louise and I got checked in and found our rooms. The conference was at The Joshua Tree Retreat Center and Institute of Mentalphysics.

It's a beautiful setting. The rooms were spread out with lecture halls/gathering spaces sprinkled in between. That meant lots of walking. I liked that.

I'm glad I brought my hiking boots too - lots of dirt and cactus. There were stone labyrinths and meditation gardens. I love the look of the desert. The Joshua Trees were everywhere. 

After getting out stuff to our rooms, we headed back for dinner followed by an icebreaker session.

I could tell I'd be getting outside my comfort zone over the next three days, but I was all-in. I was determined to participate as much as possible. 

A wind farm in Yucca Valley, ,CA

Morning Has Broken

Friday morning dawned cool and crisp.

I stole out of the room, trying not to wake my three roommates. I didn't have to walk far to catch a beautiful sunrise (the big photo above). Being on Eastern time was helpful. I got up early every morning and was showered and out the door before my roommates were up. Friday morning, I didn't even grab my tripod. 

I handheld for the sunrise photo. I shot at ISO 125, 1/60, f/5.0 about 26mm. I definitely had to bring up the shadows a little in Lightroom. But I didn't want to bring the shadows up too much since I was going for a silhouette look. I was pleased with the outcome. 

I passed a statue of Mary on my trek to and from the main lecture hall every day. One of the days, I ran over and grabbed this picture. It was nearing sunset, and the colors in the sky were amazing. 

 A statue of Mary at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center and Institute of Mentalphysics

We talked about so many things over the weekend. My brain is on overload. But, it was all good. 

Next week, I'll tell you a little more about the weekend!

Until then, see you between the raindrops!