Most people around me, including those closest, really have no idea how big of a photography nerd I am. It's not exactly a hot topic around the dinner table, and it's more of an opportunistic hobby more than something I set out to achieve. I don't actually go out of my way to catch a good photo, it's more of a "That's awesome, let me whip out my cell phone and snap a pic" sort of thing. The old ball and chain calls it serendipity with mother nature, I prefer to think of it as being in a good place at the right moment.

Just about like every other person out there that tries to snap a pic at the right moment, there's literally thousands of shots in between a handful of keepers. Then you have to scroll through an endless loop of the same shot just to find that perfect one. It's tedious to say the least, but when you go back in your timeline to see those moments again, it's worth the effort you put into it. After shooting almost two terabytes of photos over the last seven years, it was just a good day to weed through some 1.8 million photos to see how many keeper sunsets I managed to catch.

#5 - For whatever reason, my father was the type of fisherman that would let some line out and drive around the lake until something took the bait. We've probably logged thousands of hours idling around Lake Ponca's 800 or so acres. And while you can land some big fish that way, there's also a lot of boredom going on in that boat. The camera was always a great time waster to take along. Taking macro pics of the random stuff throughout the Tracker, heroic pics of those who came along, and selfies long before they were popular... but once in a while, you'd see an amazing sunset and hope the camera could catch all of the natural beauty therein. More often than not you'd end up with a slightly blurry and bright photo, but once in a while you'd end up with a solid shot.

Lake Ponca 2013

#4 - When I first moved to Lawton to become a part of the Z94 staff in 2006, the first thing I bought was a camera. My trusty Lumix big sensor DSLR. I remember standing in my driveway, using my trucks tailgate as a makeshift tripod, owners manual in one hand, cold beverage in the other just wondering how to get a shot of the jet trails and rolling clouds stretched across the Lawton sky. After messing with exposures, I finally snapped my keeper as the light was fading. Coincidentally, I was also in the process of learning Photoshop, and most definitely skewed the colors for the end result. Still, it turned out as a fantastic sunset, and a lady-digging piece of art for the wall.

Downtown Lawton, Oklahoma 2006

#3 - An old farmer once told me, if you spend enough time in the country, you'll eventually see something majestic in nature. He wasn't kidding. I was driving down County Road 1550 a few miles North of Hollis, Oklahoma a couple of years ago, I'm pretty sure it was the annual Hollis High School Alumni/Memorial Day weekend, and I just happened to look up from the road and saw this. No filters or fancy Photoshopping to it, just another majestic Southwest Oklahoma sunset on a long list full of them. I'm not sure why, but SWOK seems to produce more of these photos than other parts of our state. I've even gone full scientific trying to find out why and how. Hints of a dust storm under a spring thundercloud, clear air above and beyond. Just another reason why this part of the state is the best part of our state. Now, to be fair, it would be a much better shot if not for all those power lines.

Hollis, Oklahoma 2009

#2 - A few years ago, I had the pleasure of joining my best friend in Hawaii for his wedding. We spent most of our time doing island stuff... snorkeling, swimming, shark-diving, ect... You know, primitive manly island stuff. And the one thing we noticed at the end of each day was how the sunsets would last an hour over there. Like the sun just sat on the water, not wanting to dip below the horizon. While we mostly took in the experiences sans technology, we did manage to remember our phones when headed out to dinner one night. On an island made of pure and natural beauty, it was nice to bring this particular piece home.

Waikiki, Hawaii 2011

#1 - While I love spending my weekends in Hollis, Oklahoma... US-62 between here and there is arguably the longest stretch of blacktop in the state. Once you get out West of Cache, there is absolutely nothing until you see the hangars at Altus Air Force Base. I've spent an enormous amount of hours driving that particular road, and believe me, the trip never gets shorter. It's an hour and a half I normally spend at night because I hate driving with the sun in my face, so really, I should have never had an opportunity to even get this shot. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

U.S. Route 62, 2010

As the technology gets better, and more convenient to carry with us, never miss a chance to catch a piece of awesomeness in a photo. Whether it's a sunset or a rusty old bucket, always take the time to catch those good moments so you can share it with those around you.