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L.H. Ellwein Shooting Journal

Shooting the West and Beyond www.lhellwein.com

A Shoot with Regina Goldy

preview-image Sometimes photography is just work, and sometimes the experience of shooting is filled with the joy of friendship, love, and

Sometimes photography is just work, and sometimes the experience of shooting is filled with the joy of friendship, love, and hope that comes with participating in the dreams of someone you love. This was one such day....

Idaho Mountain Sunset

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Idaho means "Light on the Mountains." This sunset descending on the Lost River Range as we approached my former home

Idaho means "Light on the Mountains." This sunset descending on the Lost River Range as we approached my former home town, was the best homecoming ever. The Lost River Range that towers over the town of Mackay, Idaho is one of the most spectacular places in America - in my opinion. Mount Borah claims the title of Idaho's highest peak. Mackay is a town I spent many years in, and it's now part of who I am. The memories that live within me from this place and its people are embedded into my being. Leaving here a few years ago...

Fungi and Sax. Yes, sax.

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Since moving back east, many forgotten memories are being revived. With a bank full of past imagery triggered everywhere I

Since moving back east, many forgotten memories are being revived. With a bank full of past imagery triggered everywhere I go, seeing things I never noticed growing up is the most surprising. Mushrooms popped out of the ground everywhere I looked the first winter and overwhelmed me with joy. It was easy to imagine how Alice felt in Wonderland. Life in the arid west had erased these wonders of nature from my memory. Growing up in New York City had prevented a meaningful relationship with these magical beings. After Superstorm Sandy, the fungi population came alive in New Jersey, where...

A Boy in a Boat on a Lake

preview-image What is it about water and boys? Each morning men float by our cabin in their fishing boat silently. You

What is it about water and boys? Each morning men float by our cabin in their fishing boat silently. You know it's best not to speak, even if only to say good morning. There's a sanctity in this stillness right after dawn. I imagine what their normal day might be like when they're not lucky enough to be floating by me and Blue on this lake. Blue is the blue heron that sleeps on the tree branch beside us. He grabs the low hanging fruit before the guys show up. These pictures show a rite of passage: First boat ride...

Picnic Buddies

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I'm in a new marriage, which means a new family too. One with two beautiful children who I'm like a

I'm in a new marriage, which means a new family too. One with two beautiful children who I'm like a grandmother to, but I don't think anyone really knows what I am. Because nobody can decide I am or I'm not, and because it's hard to meet expectations in a family not your own, I'm not so sure I'm doing this very well. I guess I'm a little late to the party of showing you pictures of them - mostly because I haven't known quite what the rules are as far as the internet goes. Perhaps I have a lot...

Corrals in Colorado

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Driving along Interstate 70 on the way to a town called....I can't remember. Beautiful sight.

Driving along Interstate 70 on the way to a town called....I can't remember. Beautiful sight....

Rainbows in Dinosaur

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Sometimes life just gives you cherries no matter the weather. Last night was such a night as we drove through

Sometimes life just gives you cherries no matter the weather. Last night was such a night as we drove through Dinosaur, Utah. It was spectacular! This "drive-by shooting" experiment is such fun - and the world is amazing....

Power of Belonging

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I called these Idaho mountains home for over twenty years. They calm me in a way I can't explain. The

I called these Idaho mountains home for over twenty years. They calm me in a way I can't explain. The way they tower above the world make me feel safer, somehow, even though some of my most painful memories live here too. Its rugged and challenging terrain is perfect symbolism for how life in this place asked me to face things that required reaching deep for strength, stamina, and simplicity. This deep reach reminded me who I am. And who I'm not. The people here are powerful and weak, both. Like all of us. They pull no punches, but as...

An Idaho Icon. Here's Johnny.

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I loved him. Not in the husband way, but if he were younger, I couldn't have resisted him. He knew

I loved him. Not in the husband way, but if he were younger, I couldn't have resisted him. He knew it too. I told him one day with tears streaming down my cheeks. He had that effect on me. He touched me in a way few can, and I'm glad he knew I cherished him, even if I slobbered. I wasn't the only one that loved this unique human being who, without knowing it, could change people for the better. Meeting him was the first time I knew I wanted to be there. In Mackay, Idaho that is. He gave...

Wonder Love.

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This is Wally. He's a person who lives what he's expressing in this iPhone shot. Deep gratitude, wonder, and awe

This is Wally. He's a person who lives what he's expressing in this iPhone shot. Deep gratitude, wonder, and awe are qualities I've always hoped to share with my partner over the years, because it's I've always revered the wonder of life. It has stunned me over a lifetime to discover how uncommon it is. Being reunited with him after three decades is something that awes me. Our reunion makes the wonder even more remarkable. A stupid decision in college, to not continue dating him, resulted in a lifelong search for someone to share this love of life with. Wouldn't...

Belonging to Something.

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I arrived back in Idaho two days ago. I called these mountains home for almost twenty years. They calm me

I arrived back in Idaho two days ago. I called these mountains home for almost twenty years. They calm me in a way I can't explain. The way they tower above the world make me feel safer, somehow, even though some of my most painful memories live here too. Its rugged and challenging terrain is perfect symbolism for how life in this place asked me to face things in myself and others that required reaching deep for strength, stamina, and simplicity. And getting clarity about who I am. And who I'm not. The people here are powerful and weak, both....

The Child Within.

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And one fantastic dog!

One the rare occasion that Wally has a day off, we usually have to take care

And one fantastic dog! One the rare occasion that Wally has a day off, we usually have to take care of business or a project. The last two years have been filled with stress, and time constraints. The moment spring begins to hint at making an arrival, Wally says the air smells different. He walks around sniffing whenever he's outdoors. If I didn't know how much he loves spring, I'd worry about it a little. He bought kites for his grandkids and they were still in the car. The wind seemed just right so he took one out of it's...

Happy Trails, Mr. Jimmy Bill Buffett.

preview-image This is Barbara's horse, but the spirit of this picture reminds me of my horse, Mr. Jimmy Bill Buffett. He

This is Barbara's horse, but the spirit of this picture reminds me of my horse, Mr. Jimmy Bill Buffett. He died this winter. I haven't had the courage to tell hardly anyone - simply because it doesn't feel real, or like anyone would really understand in New Jersey. Truth is, though, I knew if I did, I'd just start slobbering and I do enough of that as it is. The day my dad died, nobody knew at work. I was 17 and he was in his early 50's. His heart gave out on a Brooklyn street playing with an orphan...

A Good Horse.

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They say all a man needs is a good horse and a good dog to be happy. I'm not so

They say all a man needs is a good horse and a good dog to be happy. I'm not so sure I disagree - even though I'm certain to have balked the first time those words tumbled out a cowboy's mouth. When I think back to the best horse and the best dog I've had, they do surpass the qualities of any one man I've known. Except the one I'm with now. That's not just kissin' up either. But Lena Horne's words are ringing in my ear right about now. She said, "Don't advertise your man." So, he's just all...

End of the Rainbow.

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Recently I had the privilege of caring for a friend's home and land while they were on vacation out west.

Recently I had the privilege of caring for a friend's home and land while they were on vacation out west. It'd been a long time since I could drink my morning coffee looking out at the sky and wildlife. I'm not sure I believed it possible in New York. It is. After twenty years of seeing wildlife, my dogs, grass or sagebrush, and wide open sky, it's quite an adjustment waking up to dark rooms and traffic. I was in heaven for 10 days- and not only because of the sky. The horses, most wonderful, loving dogs, the flirtatious cat,...

Ghost Ranch

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A highlight of my Santa Fe trip to visit a friend recently was a day spent with Steve and Chris

A highlight of my Santa Fe trip to visit a friend recently was a day spent with Steve and Chris Bundy. They took me down to Ghost Ranch where we shot everything we could. This is one of the ...... and the cross lying down signifies that Lent....

Life Unseen

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There is something so beautiful about berries against a fall landscape. The bright red against a multi-colored landscape speaks loudly

There is something so beautiful about berries against a fall landscape. The bright red against a multi-colored landscape speaks loudly that it has a voice. A voice that begs for attention, celebrates its existence. That's how it should be with us. Standing proudly and visible celebrating the life we live, no matter how long or how short. Covered in webs or empty of such duress, it is our one life. Our one life to live....

Flirting Light

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It's fun finding old SD cards from my camera lying around under the seat in my car. It happens to

It's fun finding old SD cards from my camera lying around under the seat in my car. It happens to me more than I want to admit, but each time it comes with a surprise that makes it worth the wait for the pictures I missed. It's now May, and this card appeared last night. This meadow is in Sussex County, New Jersey. We were so tired one Sunday afternoon but knew we'd better get out before we missed the entire day. The light flirted with us, bouncing from here to there, as if playing hide and seek. It was...

Brooklyn Native

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This is a test for my new code. The post. The picture is a seagull flying over the boats near

This is a test for my new code. The post. The picture is a seagull flying over the boats near Coney Island....in Brooklyn, New York....

A Powerful Guest

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This was an evening like any other. The light was almost horizontal across the landscape as it was every summer

This was an evening like any other. The light was almost horizontal across the landscape as it was every summer night before the sun set. A cloud came out of, what seemed to be, nowhere. It consumed the sky and painted the world, as far as you could see, a strange burnt orange. It passed over the mountains like an intruder staking his claim. Everything looked different. As I looked toward these nine peaks that claim the Top of Idaho, I was no longer in the state whose name means light on the mountains. I was in Africa. As fast...