Wasted! I’m totally wasted! It’s Monday! And the weekend totally wasted me! No! I wasn’t drinking and partying all weekend. Because I don’t drink and I’m not a party animal. However, I did do “Star Shots” with Neil Eschenfelder on Saturday night in Monument Valley, Utah as part of Neil’s Great Photography Adventure. Needless to say, it’s one of the reasons I’m totally wasted today! However, it totally filled my creative heart and soul. I’ve been drawing and painting ever since I was five years old and photography since I was 12! I’m a visual and a verbal creative. It’s what I live for, work for and love to share with others. And it’s been a long while since I had a creative experience as powerful as taking “Stars Shots.”

So when I woke up wasted this morning it’s was from an absolutely incredible, magical, spiritual, photography adventure of a lifetime in Monument Valley! Did I say spiritual? That’s right because there I was on Saturday night in the pitch black night looking up at the Milky Way and all the amazing constellations when I asked Tony, “Do you think there is life on other planets? Tony, is 58 years old. A Native American, Navajo who has been guiding in Monument Valley for 39 years. Tony is also a photographer and knows exactly where to stand to take your perfect picture! However, even as amazing as the pictures that I finally got to work are. It’s nothing like being there. It was so dark that I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face! It was so quiet that it felt like I was in church. Like speaking would be disrespectful. It felt like heaven on earth! In that moment and I don’t care what you believe in, I could feel the joy of creation, it was an AWE moment! One that I hadn’t felt for a while. That feeling that there is much more to this life than just this life! So after a pause, Tony broke the silence with a simple word, “Absolutely.”

I had never taken “Star Shots” before. So I didn’t have a clue what to do. And trying to figure out your camera settings in the pitch black darkness? Is not easy. In fact, it’s damn near impossible! So needless to say I was feeling more than a little bit challenged by the experience. At one point I even thought, “ To hell with it!” “I’ve had a great day of shooting, maybe I’ll sit this one out and just wait in the Suburban.” Neil could tell I was frustrated. He came over and shone his flashlight on my camera system and helped me make some adjustments. Then I took my first shot. It worked! However, everything was out of focus. Neil looked at my lens and said, ”It doesn’t have an infinite mark.” “Crap.” It was a $1200.00 wide angle lens that is amazing for shooting video on my Panasonic, GH4. However, since the GH4 is a micro four-thirds camera I needed to get farther away from the Totem Pole, to get the shot in focus. The Totem Pole is another iconic formation made famous in 1975 by Clint Eastwood, in “The Eiger Sanction.” So Tony said I know the perfect spot and off we went to take another shot in the dark. Take a look at the picture I posted with this article and tell me is it a sunrise?

No, it’s a moonrise! Say what? I’ve never seen a moonrise picture like this before let alone taken one. Yes, it’s not quite sharp focused but who cares? I don’t! The whole “Star Shot” experience left me craving more great photography adventures with Neil. If you would like to learn how to take Star Shots. Then you need to come with Neil and me next year for Neil’s Great Photography Adventure to Monument Valley, Utah. It will absolutely leave you wasted! And totally renew your creative heart and soul. Call Neil today at (801) 949-1001, to register for next years Monument Valley Photography Adventure.

Star Shots? No, it’s not a drinking game. But it is something that I’m totally addicted to after just one time. Lessons learned? The GH4 does have an infinite setting. I just need to learn how to use it. Another reason to go with Neil on his great photography adventures. Because they are more than just a photography trip, they are adventures, workshops and creative retreats at the worlds most amazing places. Hope to see you there next year.

It’s 4 p.m. on Monday afternoon and I’m off to have breakfast! That’s right BREAKFAST! And watch, “The Eiger Sanction,” with Clint Eastwood. That’s right I didn’t go to work today and it’s ALL NEIL”S Fault!

George Dansie
Owner of Marketing By Design, Inc., Photographer, and Creative Soul.