Caring for your Photographs and Sharing the Love!

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Here we are at the end of another Year- where did it go? Like many of you I have been out collecting photos and images… going here and there and wow now I am at the end of the year and I have so many photos stuck on hard drives, up on a cloud and still on a memory card or stick somewhere… not to mention all of the old photos ….

It is time to give these images some LOVE and it is time to Care for your Photos if you have not already.

As technology continues to change at lightning speed- looking at these gems- family photos-travels photos and other images we have collected will quickly become a challenge as well- if you forget you have stored images to a cloud site, no one else probably knows they are there either.
Printing and creating physical items with your images is the best way to Care for your photographs and “share the love”. What better time to do this than now-at the holidays!

Caring for your photographs:
1. Make a photo book – a souvenir of your travels or a book of the family from the past year or a book of photos from a milestone event such as a wedding, graduation or new baby!

2. Make prints- yes this old school BUT without photos printed, years from now no one may be able to read them off your hard drive, get them off a cloud or have a device to look at them from a cd or memory card.

3. A large image for your home or office- enlarge one of your favorite images to hang in your home or office and enjoy it everyday!

Right now is a wonderful time to check the many offers and deals

Canvas On Demand
Frames- check Aaron Brothers or Michaels often run a Buy one get One
even places like Walgreens
and Groupon lists many of these special offers everyday!

Share the love- share your history and share your current images!
Happy Holidays!

My name is April and I enjoy sharing the beauty of the world around me- right here in my backyard or a bit further- join me on my next Phototrip! For local events check out one of my Meetup groups

Tours4Women or Los Angeles NomadChicks

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New England Fall Foliage Photo tours 2015


Wow what an incredible two weeks in New England chasing Fall Colors and if I could I would still be there… as I hear the leaves are still hanging on in a few places!

This year the higher temperatures did keep the colors from progressing as quickly as in years past but we also weren’t shivering at sunrise as we tried to capture the light painting the brilliant colors of the trees. In fact I think we only saw a slight frost around Bennington one morning, though in some tall grass out at Jenne Farm I did manage to get my feet pretty wet!

We did not have much rain which did allow us to maximize as many hours as we could photographing, finding new places, and tasting maple syrup and a few cider donuts!

But with the warmer temps almost 75 along the New Hampshire coast I found I had packed things I didn’t even need- hats= gloves and extra layering pieces.

Each year even though I may return to some favorite photography locations in Vermont and New Hampshire I also find new places or see things in a different light!
Speaking of light- when you stay in bed/breakfasts and historic inns you may want to throw in a small travel power strip for all of your electronics and invest in a flashlight. Many of the camera bags are lined in black- that against a black battery or other item just disappears… I am considering lining all of my camera bags with a florescent fabric!

So I am already counting the days for my next Fall Photography trip to New England in 2016 and would love to have you join me!
If you enjoy more than just skimming the surface of a place… join me- we will stop and sample cider donuts, local cuisine, find a broken down barn or pull over for that zebra … yes I did see a zebra in Vermont… maybe Michael Jackson is still with us but living in Vermont with a zebra….hmmm..
We meet the locals, eat organic local foods and sleep in historic places… that date back to our forefathers.. full of character and history! Join me for an experience you won’t forget..

My name is April and I love photography, travel and the joy of discovery- join me and see what’s right here in these United States!

Thank you again to all of you who joined me this year it was a pleasure!

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What are we Waiting For…Photography…color..what are we doing?


What are we waiting for? What are we doing? It’s dark it’s cold… and we are out on the road. I often get asked by those who don’t know why we are getting out of a warm cozy bed to go out in the dark and cold… what are we doing?? Sometimes I get someone “new” to join us curious as to what might be out there… I don’t know if it makes sense to them …

We walk across wet grass and find a spot to stand… we wait and watch.. sometimes depending on the place… there are others quietly shuffling around.. jockeying for a spot.. watching for where they step and their breath sending a trail into the early light.
A lot of photography is waiting.. whether it is for Northern Lights or sunrise to paint the trees or birds to lift… a lot of landscape photography involves patience and waiting.

Photography by definition and origin means “drawing with light”- a photographer creates with light- composing and working with light. Waiting and anticipating where the light will break on a subject often produces images filled with drama, emotion and intrigue. I find setting up in the dark or just as the light is appearing gives you an opportunity to compose the elements you have in front of you- a barn a tree… and think thru where you want to place yourself. Will you be low.. will it be a close up image, are you trying to include the sky or not. It is also helpful to visually think thru the image prior- what you are looking for? Sunrise or sunset can happen quickly.

To a non-photographer though it may seem like we spend a lot of time just waiting.. and sometimes we do!
Each day is new and sometimes even a bit of rain will clear and the sky will break with a brief but brilliant burst of color!

So for those who wonder … get out there and wait.. wait for the light of day… embrace the morning.. if nothing else breathe in deeply, thankful for yet another day and continue to seek what moves you..
We wait for the magic.. we wait for the LIGHT and we wait for something incredible that we can witness and capture with our camera! As a creative anticipation is part of the driving force-

HELPFUL tips: dress for the weather, have batteries charged, a split filter can help even very contrasty situations that can occur with early light, and a flashlight can be helpful to find your way!

Be part of the üs”and join us on our next Photography Trip or Tour. Bring yourself, bring your creative spirit, bring your curiosity, and bring your tools.. your camera, your eyes, a pencil, a cell phone or just yourself. Embrace the beauty around you!

My name is April and I seek to see all that makes up this beautiful country we call the United States of America. I chase the light, I chase the seasons and I hope you will join me on my next Photo trip or tour!

April Bielefeldt

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Celebrate the Change of Season- the Fall Equinox… the gathering begins!

The autumnal equinox arrives precisely at 4:21 a.m. (EDT) on Wednesday, September 23 and with it … Autumn begins- the daylight starts to dwindle as we settle in for winter in the Northern hemisphere.

Time to Gather- time to collect what will see us thru the long dark days of WINTER…

My creative spirit seeks the colors of fall, the crisp air and the crunch of leaves, my gathering is more of a spiritual nature… taking only photos, leaving only footprints. Strengthen yourself to sustain your spirit and creative mind thru the dark days… find what will carry you..
In days long ago or rural areas collecting the basics firewood, food and extra protection against Winters chill and separation from cities or groceries is important. For those of us not needing maybe to do such physical gathering I believe we need to really consider other ways we gather- shed the unneeded and surround ourselves with what will sustain us. For each of us this may mean a different approach… for myself it is collecting images, filling my camera, my eyes and mind with beauty, good foods, and time to reflect before the dark days settle in. I gather my supplies, papers, photos, words, images, pencils, paints … bright warm threads, cozy materials and foods like pumpkin, squash, soups, spices and warmth!

If you seek a true return to your roots- now is the time to go… maybe it is your childhood hometown, maybe your old school… for some reason I return to Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.. maybe returning to where my ancestors long ago first set foot on a new land… Being close to the earth feels vital to me… touching the ground -breathing the air and as I go collecting a souvenir… my photos!

Fall is a wonderful time to journey- for yourself- follow where your spirit and soul lead you. Don’t let anyone deter you.

Fall happens all around but for a dramatic change of season you may want to venture to New England, The midwest, the mountains, or even somewhere like Germany which has Oktoberfest…

Fall weekends can be full of events- celebrations, harvests and homecomings… so a little planning might be necessary. Call ahead and secure a place to rest your head.. whether that is a camping space or motel. Join friends/family or take yourself.

Don’t overlook caring for yourself and your creative spirit- protect it against the winter- feed it with images-colors and quiet time to reflect.

Travel sites I find helpful are Kayak for airfares, AAA for maps and guides and tripadvisor for reviews suggestions and input from other travelers.
And if you seek a unique Fall Foliage New England Trip/tour… contact me or check out my offerings to Vermont-New Hampshire and other locations in the United States.
I plan them for creatives of all types- whether you use a camera, a pencil or just your cell phone.. consider getting away and feeding your soul!

My name is April Bielefeldt and I design and lead unique Trips to locations that are Photographically Pleasing!
Hope you will join me on my next journey, day trip or weekend away!

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Finding QUIET… Happiness in a QUIET Place….


We live in a world filled with NOISE- SOUND- and Movement. Ever notice that sometimes there is always something ON… the TV, a radio, a cell phone making noise, people chatting, cars, it is ongoing…

I look forward to -finding QUIET- seeking a place where I can really just listen to nothing… except the wind or the sound of the natural world around me.

A few years ago I probably did not even realize that I needed QUIET- and could not wait to seek a quiet place to just watch, look and listen. Landscapes are my escape- a view with trees and sky and place to just quietly sit..

Recharge your soul and seek some QUIET- allow yourself to be separated from your cell phone, email and instant contact. QUIET time does not mean you have to be ALONE. In fact I always recommend finding a small group or at least another individual if you venture off the beaten path. But even when you are with someone does not mean you have to fill the space with empty chatter. Sit and observe… breathe deep and watch a morning or night sky unfold before you.

Pictured are some images from a recent trip to recharge– a trip to ALASKA- a small boat trip- everyone had a spot they could just watch the coast go by, watch for eagles or scan the waters for a whale. The AURORA is another opportunity that even though I was with others I could just a grab a chair and watch captivated by the nights performance.

As the season begins its move into Autumn- take a moment and find a QUIET place in NATURE to breathe in, watch the sky or feel the crunch of the leaves underfoot. Refresh your inner soul- see what is around with new eyes- be good to your spirit- take care of it just as you eat vegetables for their health properties- drink in some of natures fresh views!

Thank you for reading my blog-
My name is April and I lead Quiet Small group tours to Scenic locations in North America!
Join me

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Why Join A Photo trip?


Why Join a PHOTO Trip vs a Workshop? To me a Photo trip means time in the field taken to some great scenics by someone who has been there before and knows where to go.
Maybe get some pointers and be with others who enjoy photography and won’t rush me along while I take time to pull out another lens or a filter or just sit and stare for a few minutes!

There are bus trips true that give good value but look at the itinerary and consult a map- a lot of ground is covered… which means watching a cool old barn or beautiful tree whizz by the window and no one stops. With a small group photo trip you can probably bet if you see something you have a chance to yell stop and get out and photograph it. A workshop will teach photography and probably do a good morning and late afternoon field stop but what about inbetween? I can’t stand to be inside with so much to discover outside down another bend- cloudy misty days are wonderful for getting into woods and getting soft light to photograph waterfalls and leaves up close!

You could do it yourself but… will you find rooms when and where you need them… how much time do you have or want to spend researching.. who will go with you or would you go completely alone and not have anyone to yell wow look at the tree–wow what a great barn or wait we must stop for a hot cider donut or a cheese tasting….hmmm..things to consider.

So if you enjoy photography but are just getting starting or don’t want to be stuck on the bus… or listen to your spouse complain about how long are you going to stare at that red tree…. well a Photo trip might be for YOU! I still have some spots available… contact me!


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Planning Fall Foliage Travels-Where to Stay-When to go-Too Much Information!



AUGUST- School is back in session or will be soon and the days are just starting to feel like SUMMER is winding down a tad… my excitement starts to build for FALL TRAVEL!

Fall-Autumn-is one of my favorite times of the year to be Traveling, camera in hand, map in the car and a cup of coffee in the cup holder!

Where to go can be a bit overwhelming …
For many people- Budget and Time are 2 big factors- if you are working how many days can or do you want to take OFF-
Money-how much money.
Most of my travels are focused on the United States but there are many many places to enjoy in the fall internationally as well.

For me there are Many Glorious places to experience FALL in the United States- many places will experience the changing of the leaves but to me Autumn is not Autumn without a trip to New England- Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts to be specific! Maybe I have seen too many images of covered bridges, white steeples and red barns but you get all of these in New England! That said… PLAN EARLY !

IF you want to have a place to sleep that is within your budget.. or you have a budget.. PLAN LODgiNG EARLY !

Weekends in the best small towns in Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts can be packed. Many small towns also have small colleges with homecoming events, parents weekends, football games,, etc etc.. so PLAN EARLY.

Yes there are many chains- Holiday Inn, Best Western and some of those but do you really want the same room, same sterile experience whether you are in Vermont, Texas or California? If you want something more local you probably want to find lodgings in a Bed and Breakfast, historic inn or locally owned motel/hotel.

Prices/Budget: IF Vermont-New Hampshire-Massachusetts is your chosen destination or many other desirable Fall States please look at the pricing- many lodging choices increase the price significantly thru the Fall Foliage Season, some of the Bed and Breakfasts have minimum stay requirements and also cancellation terms. So check this information carefully or make a phone call.
Even a Motel 6 which maybe $50-65 a night will double or even triple during the magic season of FALL FOLIAGE so think about that…

The internet has become a wonderful place to find information, locate lodging and find interesting places to see but it has also become to some OVeRWHELMING… too much information- too many sites-

Choose a site you are comfortable with- say or something that lists all choices such as -make some phone calls-
Many of the owners at the local establishments are very helpful in giving tips for their area and if they don’t have a room possibly suggesting someone who might.

New England is compact- so if you are like me, (living in California) there is so much to see in a small area- pick an area to stay in and I promise you will feel see and experience fall if not outside your front door then just down the road!

Traveling to a desired location during FALL FOLIAGE-
1.Plan ahead
2.know your budget.
3.To improve your experience and possibly your pocket-CALL the business-Talk to a real person!

Today my photos come from 2 locations in very different places-
Pow Wow Lodges- near Wolfeboro, NH
603.515.7011 and mention you saw it from April at FallPhototrips
Prices are reasonable even into October
a little gem- cabins that have been refurbished and sit on the edge of a quiet lake but just a few miles from Wolfeboro NH where there great restaurants and plenty to see!

Sundown Inn in Morro Bay, California (on the coast)
very reasonable prices
Simple rooms-very clean- a tad small but park outside your door.
And Morro Bay is a great California beach town north of Santa Barbara and south of Hearst Castle.

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Photographing Spring in July -Colorado Mountain Springtime!


Spring in JULY? Visit the High Country- Rocky Mountains of Colorado- the slopes explode with brilliant displays of wild columbine, lupine, indian paintbrush and bright bluebells… so many flowers,, some very tiny but when they cover a whole hillside the colors are so brilliant!

If you are looking for somewhere new-pull out your state map- Colorado has a wealth of canyons, state parks and streams. The Poudre is a Nationally designated ‘Scenic”river and following it makes for a dramatic drive thru rock formations, canyons and pull-outs for fishing or just watching the clouds!

Other places to go on a overcast day or dash to after the rain stops are local gardens- Colorado State University has a trial garden in Fort Collins planted with rows of different colors of dahlias, marigolds, pansies, and other colorful garden ready flowers. Bring a prime lens- get in close- capture the raindrops or water from the sprinklers and carefully look for petals without holes, or foliage with patterns. Knee pads that velcro on are another way to get low on the group and close to tiny flowers.

Weather in places like Colorado can change quickly- check the forecast before heading out- take plenty of water and have FUN !!

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Celebrate Mothers Day Any Day with More than Flowers!


Mothers Day 2015 has quickly come and go but it is never too late to plan a day trip or something longer with your MOM !
Time spent together is remembered much more than a pretty necklace or basket of flowers!
If your Mother likes flowers why not take her to a local garden, or a greenhouse in your area.

In the Los Angeles area we have many beautiful gardens perfect for a morning or afternoon walk!
Descanso Gardens: Admission is $9.00 and from time to time they have special events-music, art and more!

The Japanese Garden-
Admission is $5.00 and it is best to call ahead to be sure they are open on the day you plan to go 818.756.8166

The Huntington Library and Gardens- plenty of walking, extensive garden collections- lots of walking!
Admission $23 weekdays and $25 on weekends.

Or if a mix of Art and Gardens is something she would enjoy in the Los Angeles area I would go to the Getty
The Getty has 2 very different locations-
The dramatic location off Sepulveda or the more ancient Europe inspired Pacific Palisades location. Both offer FREE admission but parking is $15 on site.

Treat your Mother to a day trip! Explore your local area and grow some memories!
For suggestions in your area -check with your local Visitors Center or State Visitors center or ask around for suggestions.
Happy Mothers Day Everyday!
Take some photos to remember your journeys- time passes much too fast!
Thanks again for visiting my blog!

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Traveling on a Budget!


I recently attended the LA Times Book Festival and found some real gems among the many booths of books, people and more BOOKS!

Author Julie L. Kessler and her book Fifty-Fifty-The Clarity of Hindsight caught my eye pretty quick- the friendly smile and the banner with an airplane, the Eiffel Tower and a coffee cup…looks like ALL things I find of INTEREST !
I am a terrible reader, meaning I rarely complete a whole book or read a book from start to finish. I often pick up a book and open it and that’s where I begin.
So you ask how does Julie’s book relate to “Traveling on A Budget”?

Chapter 21 titled Ýour Childhood Experiences will likely determine the way you earn, save and spend money. Embrace your inner employee, banker and accountant”
The picture I posted is not my childhood car but a photo I found of my grandmother’s a hard working gal who embraced living frugally and enjoying every opportunity to head out every Sunday or any day she could and explore. I follow in her footsteps, I may not have visited 50 Countries yet but I am quickly checking off 50 States and there are many ways you can create your own travel goal while staying on a budget.

Traveling on a Budget often gets confused with the idea that you can’t enjoy your travels. I believe if you make Travel a priority then you will find a way to do it. There are Volunteer vacations, there are language schools in Germany where you can converse in English in exchange for free room and board and many other opportunities to realize your goal of TRAVeL!

Resources for Travel on A Budget A magazine filled with ideas for travel on a budget offers many destinations, lodging and other travels for the budget minded – offers way to maximize points you earn by using various credit cards and the perks-hotels-flights etc Blog with Budget tips from Travelers

And the book that inspired me for today’s blog post

Julie L. Kessler- Fifty-Fifty

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