incredible locations

(A ficlet inspired my trip to Seattle to meet furysbadeye.)

Dean had never been to Seattle. To be honest, he’d never been one for flying, and since Kansas was a pretty damn good distance from Seattle, he just never made it up there. But his best friend wanted to go and Dean would be damned if he could say no to Cas, because try as he might to fight it, he had recently come to the conclusion that he was head over heels in love with him.

The two had been best friends since elementary school, and Dean wasn’t sure if it had morphed into love over time, or if he had loved Castiel from the moment he offered him a cookie in the third grade. All he knew was that when Cas was around, life was good, and he wasn’t going to mess that up by telling him anything dangerous. Especially a word like love, which floated off his tongue with ease when he talked about food or movies, but remained rooted firmly when he wanted to talk to Cas.

And there had been plenty of chances to confess. Sometimes he caught Cas watching him at just the right time, when the light was perfect or the air felt charged. Then he’d feel it bubble up to the tip of his tongue, desperate to tell him, and he’s swallow it down. Because as bad as it felt to love Cas unbeknownst to him, Dean didn’t think he could stand it to love him openly and be rejected.

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Setting that intimate night in Karachi aside, and leaving any sentiment unaddressed, Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler (as they were formerly known) began their collaboration during The Fall.

Their encounter with the first strand of Moriarty’s network, however, did not go quite as smoothly as planned. Shortly after they arrived in Montenegro as Mr and Mrs Wolfe, a gunfire-loaded incident had them both injured.

It also cost the late consulting detective his memory – he awoke in confusion, without the faintest knowledge of who he was.

Fortunately for him, his location was incredibly easy to deduce, as was his relationship with the only other occupant of the house.

No need to inform her of the slightly inconvenient detail just yet. He was confident everything could continue on as usual, without his wife suspecting a thing about his (hopefully temporary) condition. It was their honeymoon after all.


One of the first things he learnt about himself was that he hated being bored, hated being immobilised in bed by a leg wound.

He almost wished it was more of a challenge, who this woman was to him. But no, it was so painfully obvious even without their shiny wedding rings (only 3-4 weeks old, he estimated) immediately giving everything away, further corroborated by the state of this place (clearly not in their home country; they moved into the house a mere couple of weeks ago and were not planning to stay for much longer) indicating that they were on a holiday trip abroad.

He could’ve arrived at the same conclusion with significantly less information. From how she’d looked at him the moment he opened his eyes, for example. (It was as if he were the first rays of sunshine, heralding arrival of the precious British summer, after 11 long months of grey skies and rain.) She had since withdrawn any initial concern from her expression, maintaining a cool and collected demeanour instead. A smirk or witty remark here and there, not a single word of caring, though what was unspoken in the way she tended to his wounds was more unequivocal than any words would’ve had power to convey.

It was just as well that they weren’t a very outwardly affectionate couple. Eased his reacclimatisation to the relationship. He didn’t particularly feel an affinity for the saccharine, and if he was honest, he was even rather surprised that they were apparently the marrying type.

Whomever it was that he used to be, however, he did approve of this man’s choice of spouse. He..liked her, from what little he observed about her since he’d regained awareness of his surroundings (approx. an hour ago). The nature of their relationship might have been the simplest of deductions, but the woman herself was most decidedly not. She was highly complex and incredibly fascinating. Intelligent, competent, self-assured, gorgeous.. (Wait, where did that last one come from? That wasn’t a deduction! Beauty was just a social construct.) Although he was certain that the intense (and very distracting) attraction he was experiencing had a more profound basis.

He couldn’t pinpoint what exactly it was about her that conferred this singular sense of connection, familiarity layered with mystery. Merely that it was there as a result of something, something he frustratingly had no tangible recollection of – his current data was far from sufficient in providing him with any glimpse into their history.

She was standing to leave his bedside, and he instinctively reached out and caught her wrist. To gesture to her that she, too, needed to rest – it was likely already late in the evening when he awoke. He had to have been unconscious for days, judging from her lack of sleep (obvious, despite her efforts to conceal her mental and physical exhaustion).

Her reaction was one he hadn’t expected. Her eyes widened, and her breath hitched, as he was pulling her onto the bed. Shocked? But they were husband and wife, presumably sharing the same bed, it was only logical that she–

Oh. Oh. It hadn’t occurred to him that the specific physical contact he initiated could be interpreted as prelude to intimacy and..intercourse. A sudden adrenaline spike sent his own heart pounding frantically as he felt the mattress dip beside him when she did begin to lie down, her proximity increasingly alarming, and he turned on his side to face away from her, to escape her deep blue gaze (it wasn’t to hide his blush, and it wasn’t panic, he shouldn’t panic, that would be absurd).

“Sherlock, what–” And he stumbled over his interrupting response, “Not that. Not today. I don’t think I’m feeling up to it.”

The silence that stretched between them, taut as a violin string, told him that she was studying his demeanour, undoubtedly finding it unusual (right, so sex wasn’t something he’d normally deny her of; still, he was in recovery from what must’ve been a traumatic event, a reasonable excuse). Whatever comment she was most likely biting back (he couldn’t risk turning around to confirm this hypothesis), she didn’t say it.

Instead, he sensed her movement as she finally reached for the light switch after a long moment, and within an instant darkness was upon them. For which he was extremely thankful, because he then felt soft lips pressed to his cheek, immediately causing it to heat up.

“Good night, Mr Holmes.” Her warm body was inches away, her breathing a pleasant sound in the quiet of the night.

He tried to ignore the involuntary neuronal activity protesting for a change of mind regarding his earlier decision, his statement to her that he wasn’t keen to perform (you liarrrr), and forced his thoughts to focus on the newly acquired knowledge of his full name.

Sherlock Holmes awoke in the late-morning light, with an arm comfortably wrapped around his wife. Time to piece together the remainder of this puzzle that was his life. He hoped it wasn’t a dull one.

A natural wonderland created by stone and erosion, Arches National Park offers unforgettable experiences. When visiting the park this summer, photographer Derek Cronk looked up and saw a shimmering rainbow framed in the massive window of Delicate Arch. “I felt lucky to be in such an incredible location as it was, but it took my breath away to be presented with such an amazing opportunity.” Lucky and good is a great combination. Photo courtesy of Derek Cronk.

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Top 5: Carrie Walasavage

  1. Second Beach Sunset: This photo was from an amazing trip to Olympic National Park in Washington. After a long day of hiking, we camped out on the beach and were able to watch the most amazing sunset as the sky lit in up in vibrant shades of pink and purple.
  2. The Wave: On a road trip through the American Southwest a few years ago, my friends and I were incredibly lucky to win one of the coveted 20 daily permits to The Wave in Arizona. There are no marked trails to get here, only a series of photos and descriptions. When you arrive at The Wave, there are no crowds or lines, just the peaceful and lonesome beauty of the desert.
  3. Golden Hour at Moraine Lake: I have been to some incredible locations, but in my opinion no place has been more beautiful than the Canadian Rockies. Moraine Lake, with its brilliant turquoise water and majestic mountains, is a photographer’s dreams.
  4. Fog Lifting Over Bondhusvatnet: My husband and I trudged through pouring rain and whipping wind to get to this lake. We almost didn’t go, but I am glad we did because when we reached the lake the sun came out and greeted us with one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever witnessed.
  5. Norway Honeymoon: Rather than spend our honeymoon on a tropical island or at a resort, my husband and I chose to spend three weeks camping, hiking, and adventuring through Norway. We both have a passion for adventure and photographing beautiful nature, so this was a perfect place to begin our life as a married couple.

Follow Carrie Walasavage on Instagram, here.

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BK: The crown jewel atop the Little Ba Sing Se Fashion Mall is a miniature version of the Earth Kingdom’s Royal Palace. It looks pretty nice from the outside but houses a tacky family buffet restaurant on the inside. William was a great artist from day one on Korra, but by the time we got to Book Four he was on fire! His designs of this oddly shaped, incredibly complex location are clear as a bell and easy on the eye.

MD: Sometimes the ideas that seem ridiculous at first end up being just the things you need for the story. The little Ba Sing Se Fashion Mall was one of those ideas. At first I thought it was too over the top, but when combined with Prince Wu’s desire for importance and relevance, this microcosm of his kingdom perfectly supported his character arc. The Republic City Four Elements is the city’s poshest hotel and the first choice for discerning travelers and world leaders who appreciate the finest in luxury and service. Prince Wu loves it so much, he’s taken up permanent residence. Designs by William Nanqing Niu, Christine Bian, and Angela Sung. Paintings by Lauren Zurcher, Lane Garrison, and Emily Tetri. [x]

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It was a huge honor to photograph Foster Huntington & his Cinder Cone Home for this weekends Sunday New York Times (Story Here). Foster left the hustle of NYC to live in my own home of the Pacific Northwest. His treehouse was an incredible location and I only wish I could have spent even more time there just hanging out, skating, or enjoying the wood fired hot tubs. Super huge thanks to Eve Lyons for the dream assignment and to Lauren Colton for assisting.

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Tomorrow, celebrated ballet dancer and choreographer Justin Peck will stage the world premiere of an original piece he choreographed, In the Countenance of Kings, at the San Francisco Ballet featuring music by Sufjan Stevens. To mark the moment, he asked Ezra Hurwitz, a former classmate at The School of American Ballet and a filmmaker, to create a cinematic trailer for the performance.

Shot over one day in an abandoned Oakland, California train station, Ezra was able to effortlessly capture the youthful and powerful spirit of Justin’s work, and used the logistics of the location for inspiration. The original marble floor meant the dancers had to wear sneakers, instead of the pointe shoes they’ll don in the actual performance, in order to prevent injury and protect their valuable soles. The lack of electricity in the building meant everyone had to hustle in order to capture the natural light. “We were chasing the sun,” Ezra tells Teen Vogue. Still, he calls the location, “incredible” and adds that finding it on Google was a “happy accident.”

The company performers also learned the 40-minute piece last summer, and the video was shot in January, so it was “ready, set, go,” explains Ezra, for the busy dancers who had to balance their regular training schedules with filming. And while the trailer has a clear narrative with a bookend, he says this was purely due to his imagination — “Justin really let me interpret the work in my own way.”

Ezra’s past life as a dancer also allowed him to capture the minute details of ballet that laymen might miss, and create something “that appeals to people who aren’t necessarily familiar with the art form,” he says. The video, Ezra says, is an example of how ballet is responding to the digital age and hoping to attract more fans through different mediums.

The result is a reverberating performance by the lead, Dores André, and the accompanying cast, which is sure to leave many lining up for this production and whatever Justin has in store next. — words by Sade Strehlke.

To learn more about the show, click here.

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One thing that doesn’t seem fair or exciting for you is, there’s a lot of incredible locations for the show: Croatia, Spain this year. Your part isn’t in the nice places. You’ve spent a lot of time in Belfast?
     - A lot of time in Belfast.
And what would you say to the traveler going to Belfast?
     - It’s wonderful for two or three days.
And you’ve been there for years?
     - Five years. (x)

Trying to describe Maggie Stiefvater's writing style is so difficult.

I’ve attempted it multiple times over the years, and the most adequate adjective I can find is “sensory.”

But I really want to get it out, I need people to understand what I feel, so I’m going to really dig deep here, and see what happens. Because straight up, it’s just some of the best writing in recent memory.

She transcends description; instead, she speaks in moments, fleeting sensations and flashing images. It reads like poetry, but it’s organic. It’s cryptic and at times, baffling, but never too much.

She makes the setting a main character, gives it this underlying role in that it’s developed so entirely. She’s written these rustic, utterly authentic settings—Mercy Falls, Minnesota, somewhere in Scottish isles (MAYBE BUT WHO KNOWS DONT ASK), Henrietta, Virginia—incredibly real, albeit fictional, locations, that live and breath the language and culture of a corresponding region before the characters ever do.

You have figures like Gansey, who are, per the YA norm, downright superhumanly charming and attractive, whilst still being utterly frayed at center. He—along with the other Raven Boys— is unique in that his existence is a shared one, in friendship and in an unrelinquishing quest; he’s entirely his own person, but always part of a unit. You have characters that are irrevocably human—even when they can do/are surrounded by stuff that isn’t. You are made to notice these minute quirks in their personas and appearances, mannerisms, dialects, things that are so visual and tangible in your head.

Also, she can write scary. There’s a humor she’s capable of, an irony, which is quite dark a lot of the time, but written with grace. Like it is a unique, spiritual note of horror, which is still written in such a way that “horror” seems like a vulgar term. It’s not simply “horror;” it’s so complex and foreboding and psychological—look, as I established in the beginning, it is bloODY IMPOSSIBLE TO VERBALIZE.

It’s not that other authors don’t exercise these sort of things. It’s just that I, in my admittedly limited bibliography, which is admittedly limited to many young adult books and required adult reading at school, have yet to find any modern author who can really come close to her voice.

I think what it comes down to for myself is this: When you can read a story and feel as if you have become a member of a circle of friends, as if you’re in on the inside jokes and dark secrets, as if you’re quite literally peering into a reality lived by others—that’s fantastic. But with maggie-stiefvater, it’s a considerably scaled down version, like Gansey’s model town. You are looking at this world where everything is so well-developed, where life is paced so brilliantly, that it’s practically beneath a magnifying class (and still perfect, even then).

Earlier I said “sensory.” I could also use “palpable,” since you feel the story quite physically. She gives you the means to do that on a level that is so mystical and unique that it’s difficult to leave it.

I’ve never read anything like her writing. It’s strange, I rarely acknowledge how long I’ve read her work—I realize now about 5 years, when I read Wolves of Mercy Falls. Mind you, I hadn’t read a book that was quite that dark and mature yet, but I recall being transported to that setting, being engulfed by it. Then came The Scorpio Races, few years later; I’d hadn’t intended to read a stand alone novel and be so in love with it. The writing captured me all over again, and now with TRC… It’s beyond words. It’s impossible to express how much I feel from all of it.

But I needed to let it out, in a semi-stream of consciousness. And I know I likely wouldn’t stop and read a novella like this post, but hey—if you do, I hope you’ve either found similarities in your experience, or are saying “who in the heck is this lady” and will promptly Google her and devour aLL tHe bOoKs.

So yeah. Procrastination at its finest. Headache at its worst.

Maggie, if you see this, you’re an inspirational bean and I adore you. Thanks for your Stief-writings; they’re pretty rad.

Yours,

Liz.x

Disclaimer : this photo belongs to Lucy ranch also known as blogger lulutrixable. We are mutual friends of some sort due to living in the same town or something like that. I do not take any credit for this photo. Please visit her blog or Instagram to see more !

- so Sunday before last, me and my boyfriend took a trip to this lovely brunch bar in Farringdon, London. The decor is incredible and also the location. The food was insanely good and now I’m planning to book out this little strip for my 21 St birthday celebration with friends. I’m so incredibly excited for this summer, my first trip abroad, my first weekend festival, not to mention it being bestival and it being so insanely amazing. But also a second summer with my lovely friends and boyfriend.

I’ve had such a shit, shit beginning to the year. But I’m beginning to feel positive again. I hope keeping positive thoughts and people in my life will begin to push the negative away and so far so good.

Here’s to the year ahead.

Happy new year from the second of June. I’m starting again ok? Ok.

Recently I’ve been thinking more and more about my work and the legacy it will have for couples. The longer I’m a photographer, the more I realize that the moments I’m able to photograph will be so much more important than even the most beautiful of large scale portraits that I can give a client of themselves in the midst of an amazing landscape.

I was inspired by an Instagram account I found awhile back called @momentsovermountains that celebrates the rad stuff wedding photographers get to photograph that isn’t always in an insane location.

In almost response, I created @momentsonmountains to celebrate the best of both. Rad locations and incredible moments. I still don’t know for sure who runs @momentsovermountains, but I’m on board.
moments > mountains
moments > cities
moments > lighting
moments > everything else in photography.

So if you’ve made it this far, give both accounts a follow and submit some photos to each if you have good fits. Let’s see more emotion, more life, more moments.
#momentsonmountains #momentsovermountains
Also, thanks as always to @lauralawsonvisconti & @nickvisconti for being inspirations. Your relationship and elopement is still teaching me things years later. https://www.instagram.com/p/BAshpuSKW0U/ Photo by Benj Haisch