2017: The Year in Re-blue

By Allie Richards

I can’t believe 2017 is already coming to an end. I feel like I only recently wrote the 2016 Year in Review! But as they say, time flies. 2017 was an incredible year for BlueHour – we’ve accomplished so much, and did quite a lot of traveling. Let me recap it for you:

We kicked off 2017 with the idea that we would "embrace the winter" and head to upstate New York to photograph the amazing waterfalls of the Finger Lakes region encased in snow and ice, for a different look from what we're used to. And of course, I became deathly ill on the car ride there. I spent much of the weekend curled up in the passenger seat, but managed to make some shots (and, snowy hikes...) too. And we indeed succeeded in making several images that were unprecedented for us. You can read about this trip on our blog.

Watkins Glen, NY

Taughannock Falls

Paul posing with his tripod on the ice

A month later, we headed to Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA. I had never been before – and I think it was one of my favorite trips of the year. I produced so much great work and there’s nothing like visiting somewhere for the first time. The Spanish moss and the trees of the south were truly awe-inspiring. And, biking around Jekyll Island all day and having our flights home cancelled due to snow is something I won’t forget. There were also a bunch of funny moments caught on video:

South Carolina & Georgia

You can read more about our time in SC and GA here.

April was also a big month, particularly for Paul, who would spend his entire month as the Artist in Residence at Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. I joined him on his cross-country road trip on the way out, which was an experience in and of itself. But April in the deserts of Arizona was an incredible experience and I know Paul would say the residence was a ‘crown jewel’  in his photographic career. He got to live in this great little ‘casita’ within the National Park and got to immerse himself in nature and focus on his work – something few get to do. From this experience, we launched a photo tour for 2018 based on our travels through Petrified Forest, The Grand Canyon, Page & Lake Powell, Sedona and Rt. 66. You can read about our travels together here or Paul's reflection on his time as the Artist in Residence here.

Arizona

As insane as April was, some would say May got even crazier. In early May, when Paul hadn't even fully digested the significance of his residence program yet, we took a couple of photographers with us for a weekend to Delaware and New Jersey to see the horseshoe crab mating event, which occurs every May. This is the best location in the world to see hundreds, if not thousands, of crabs come up on to the shore. Plan your visit around the full or new moon, and visit at high tide, and if the weather is calm, you’ll be treated to quite a sight. Find more details in our blog from Delaware here.

We weren't even home for a week before we were off to re-visit some of BlueHour's favorite spots in Oregon, including the Columbia River Gorge and the coast. We took a small group of photographers with us and hit all the main sites. I’m really glad I was able to see the gorge before all the wildfires that happened this year. I will distinctly remember how freezing cold the water in Oneonta Gorge was for a good while! (This is definitely not something we will ever do during a tour!)
Even without proper audio you can see by my reaction how cold the water had to be:

 
 

Oregon

Read a recap from this trip on our blog here.

Mt. Hood at Sunset, Phelps Creek Vineyard

And shortly thereafter, Paul and I visited the Faroe Islands, a country located between Iceland and Norway. It is very quickly becoming more recognized for its incredible landscapes with the help of Google and photographers like us. This was one of the true highlights of our year, and we hope to launch a tour to this location before the country becomes overridden with tourists! We came upon lots of sheep, sheep dogs, and puffins.

The Faroe Islands

 
 

Check out our awesome Faroe Islands blog post!

We spent the summer working very hard on the business, teaching workshops, appearing at art shows and camera clubs. We began a ‘licensee’ program, where established photographers can teach workshops with us or on their own as part of our workshop schedule. The program is still in development, but we’ve launched quite a few workshops with New England photographers David Long and Erik Gehring!

In September, we took a full group of photographers with us to Iceland! This was a great achievement for us. We toured the entire south coast and got to experience all Iceland has to offer. We even got to see the northern lights – which is the very reason many people come to Iceland at all! We’re looking forward to running a tour here every year. You can read about our successful trip here.

 

Iceland

The Diamond Beach at sunrise, Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon

Jon photographing Vik from above

Our October was also extremely busy, between our fall foliage workshops, tours and other duties. We’re happy that our Acadia National Park tour has become an annual event every Autumn - we’ve ironed out all the kinks. We also held our first Vermont workshop at the peak of foliage season, which was a real treat for those who joined us. I know they made some great images, and got their fill of maple products!

Acadia & Vermont

Beautiful red maple leaves in Vermont

Our annual lobster feast in Acadia, Maine

Our annual lobster feast in Acadia, Maine

Sprinkle in all of our adult education classes that we offer at South Shore Vocational and Assabet Valley Technical Schools, our new sponsorship and tutorial videos with Sun Surveyor (!), scouting and business meetings, and that is a pretty complete picture of our 2017. We can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store (though, we have a pretty good idea).

Interested in joining in on the fun?

Most of our 2018 workshops and a complete listing of photo tours are now live and taking registrations. And in December only, we’re having a sale on 2018 Beginners Bootcamps, so all of you who are getting a new camera for the holidays can learn with us at a discount once the weather turns nice again! We hope to see you in the new year!