On the Layup Road to Mt. Cook

I learned a new term on my trip to New Zealand. A “layup”. Trey Ratcliff taught it to me. In the photography context, it means “an easy shot”. One where you don’t have to work really hard to make an amazing photograph.


It seemed to me that all of New Zealand is one big layup! Everything you lay your eyes upon is blessed with beauty, both primal and ethereal. The colors, the textures, the shapes and the combinations of elements are so incredibly breathtaking at every turn. Like this moment on a fabulous road trip to Mt. Cook I took with Trey, Curtis Simmons and Scott Kublin after our big workshop was over. Total layup! Trey pulled over so we could get a good look at this sight and I literally gasped.
I grabbed my gear and ran out to take a photo – feeling like I wanting to wrap my arms around the entire world and hug it forever. There were times during my visit to New Zealand that I felt like I could drop to my knees, weeping for the beauty all around me. I’m like that sometimes. Layups can seem simple enough… but don’t let them fool you. They are simple on the surface, but profound in the complexity of the deep and primal feelings that stir within us when we take them in. They are full of the mind-boggling detail contained within every brushstroke of their creation – so adept in way they handily convey the idea that Something Greater lives here. Experiencing a simple layup moment can be absolutely life-expanding.

A layup is a gift from the Creator. A reminder that life is meant to be simple, not hard and complicated. It is heart-soaringly beautiful beyond measure and meant to be treasured. Our incredible planet is a layup. Our lives are too.

This is what my Mt. Cook layup said to me. And that is the intention that I place within this image as I turn it loose into the digitalsspere. Treasure life… breathe it in… take care of it, this beautiful Layup Life you’ve been given.