Baker Visuals LLC: Blog en-us Baker Visuals LLC (Baker Visuals LLC) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:37:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:37:00 GMT Baker Visuals LLC: Blog 120 80 Follow Me Keep up with my travels thru out this two months of planned travel.  The below will be the easiest and most reliable means of tracking or getting in touch with me.  Got questions or comments, send them all my way.
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]]> (Baker Visuals LLC) Tue, 01 Apr 2014 00:04:53 GMT
The Sabbatical Path One thing that everyone seems curious about is how I came to the point of taking this sort of trip.  The story is a lengthy one though I'll try to keep the explanation as short and to the point as possible.
The birth of the concept occurred back in February of 2012 when I took a hastily planned short trip to Northern Arizona / Southern Utah.  The trip was thought of and executed in under two weeks which subsequently made it a very expensive ventures.  In that trip I flew from Chicago to  Phoenix and then drove to Page Arizona where I checked out upper Antelope Canyon area and Horseshoe Bend before heading to Monument Valley for a couple nights. The entire trip was four days and probably cost me about four grand.  
As I was wandering around the Page Az area the thought occurred to me that with the right vehicle and time I could see a hell of a lot.  I flew back to Chicago with ideas churning in my mind of all the places to see that could lead to amazing images in my portfolio.  
I immediately set to work figuring out what would be required to make this trip feasible.  I decided to see the most places in the least amount of time would require a strong off road vehicle.  I also knew I would need camping gear as seeing I would never be able to afford hotels for any sort of serious trip.  
In the fall of 2012 I was given a unique opportunity to visit Rocky Mountain National Park.  This trip was only about 7 days but allowed me to see a significant amount of he park.  It was at this point when I had the chance to test out my photography skills and concepts with the help of a great photography tour guide.  I walked away feeling confident that I had enough skill to reasonably pull off the photography side of this trip.
In February of 2013 I purchased a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon.  This vehicle is considered king of stock off road vehicles.  It is this vehicle that will serve as my means of getting into and hopefully out of some very remote areas.  While many people hike to these areas, that requires time and energy that will be in short supply.  For me I'd rather spend the time creating images rather then hauling my arse and gear into the backcountry.
A month to the day after purchasing my vehicle I lost my full time job.  While I can't say that I miss the actual work, the people were some of the best I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.  This also threw a massive wrench into my plan.  You see, after nearly nine years I had accrued some 16 weeks of vacation which I intended to use for my travels.  Uncle Sam however saw better ways to spend a good chunk of my vacation time / pay.  That bastard.
As I went about looking for a new job I was damn sure of one thing.  I wasn't going to delay this trip any more then was absolutely necessary.  Lucky for me I found a career that, like my long term part time job, allows me to build my own schedule each month.  That ruled out any employer conflicts with my travels.
In the fall of 2013 I began picking up my camping gear and building my itinerary.  This was also the point when I cut my planned duration in half from 16 to 8 weeks.  Turns out you just can't be everywhere at once after all. And today I sit here preparing to depart within the next hour or so.  Time sure does fly.
]]> (Baker Visuals LLC) Mon, 31 Mar 2014 23:39:00 GMT
Itinerary Modifications They say no good plan goes unchanged.  Well sure enough a little more due diligence on my part has ushered in some modifications to my trip already.  The reasons behind these changes stem from doing additional research into my accommodations.  It turns out two of my first choices weren't necessarily the greatest.  
The first change will come in at Bryce Canyon where I will now be staying at the Best Western Ruby's Inn.  The second change in plans will be for Capital Reef where I will now be staying at the Broken Spur Inn.  
And because a few good changes deserve another, I have also decided to take a little time from Moab / Page and visit Grand Staircase Escalante.  A million acres of possibilities await this single stop of my travels.  Along those same lines I hope to be making a brief visit to The Maroon Bells between Aspen CO and Badlands National Park.
Now we'll just have to see how many of these places I actually make it to.
]]> (Baker Visuals LLC) Mon, 31 Mar 2014 23:34:01 GMT
Southwest Sabbatical I have been quite surprised as of late by the interest in my spring travel plans. It is because of this interest that I have decided to combine my trip information / itinerary in this one place. Have ideas or comments? Feel free to leave them in the comments below.

My trip will begin on April 1st from the Chicago area. It is my intent to leave early in the day and drive straight thru the 1155 miles to Great Sand Dunes National Park. That night I will likely pay the $20 fee for a campsite in the Piñon Flats campground for a few hours rest.

My goal is to then be up just before dawn where I will attempt to photograph the sand dunes from the road at sunrise. From there I will return to the park and attempt to get a backcountry permit so that I may spend a night or two camping on the Dunes themselves. Eventually I will be making my way to Medano Creek Rd for a couple of nights of primitive camping in between exploration of the non-sand dune area of the park.

During the evening of April 5th I hope to be leaving the Great Sand Dune National Park for the 197 mile trek to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. There I will be more than likely camping for $12 a night in the South Rim Campground.

My time in Black Canyon of the Gunnison will mostly focus around the two rims for sunrise and sunset images. And while it certainly is tempting, I don’t see myself venturing down into the canyon itself. Though on the bright side, I will be spending the night of April 8th in the Super 8 Montrose motel. This will give my first chance in over a week to sleep in a bed, recharge my electronics and update the outside world.

After what I certainly hope is a restful nights sleep I will starting out on my journey into Utah. It appears the ride between Montrose and Moab should be 183 miles and land me in one of the many fine BLM campgrounds in the area. At $10-15 a night, they are the best deal in town.

This is when the west will truly open up in my travels. I will spend the next 18 days covering Arches National Park, Island in The Sky District of Canyonlands National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park and the BLM lands surrounding the Moab area. With sites such as False Kiva, Mesa Arch, Delicate Arch and Double Arch this promises to be my most productive photographic period to date. (All images for illustration use only and are owned by their respective creators.)

During those 18 days I will be camping for all but two of them. For the nights of the 15th and 23rd I will be staying at the Moab Valley Inn for $132 a night. While it’s not cheap it will be nice to periodically visit a bed and do laundry etc. The journey is still out on what all $132 gets on in these parts.

In the evening of April 27th I intend to head down the 273 miles to Page Arizona. There I will be camping in and around the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area for roughly $10 a night with a single evening in the Super 8 Page / Lake Powell on May 1stfor $104 a night. Overall this should be a more relaxed and slower paced section of my journey.

As some of you might recall I was last in Page Arizona back in February of 2012. I hope to be making another attempt at images of Lower Antelope Canyon as well as Horseshoe Bend and various other spots thru out the area. This will also allow me to restock supplies etc.

There is a possibility that I will be leaving early on the morning of May 2nd for an all day adventure to Toroweap Overlook on the north rim of the Grand Canyon. This however is an extremely difficult area to reach and it would take 5.5 hours to make the 162 mile journey. That said, the images from this area can be absolutely stunning. (All images for illustration use only and are owned by their respective creators.)

If I opted for this trip it would involve a one night stay in the free primitive campground. Before and after which I would be along the rim attempting to capture what some might call the north rims best view. That view being the roughly two-thousand foot sheer drop into the canyon and the Colorado River within.

From Toroweap Overlook or Page Az I will be heading to Zion National Park on May 3rd which will either be a 110-115 mile trip lasting between 2-5 hours. And that’s if I manage to drive straight thru without side trips to any of the many stunning sites along the way. Good thing I enjoy my time on the open road.

Upon my arrival at Zion National Park I hope to first check out my reserved site D005 in the Watchmen Campground near the south entrance of the park. From there I will cover as much of the park as possible over the next 5 days. This will include a 10-12 mile hike in the Narrows which I hope will create a dozen or so stunning images.

In the wee early hours of May 8th I plan on making the drive of 84 miles and 1.75 hour to Bryce Canyon National Park which should welcome me with a sunset to remember. Once the sun has fully risen I will make my way to the North Campground where for $15 a night I will enjoy five of my six nights of short-lived rest. The night of May 9th however will be spent in Bryce View Lodge for $80.

From Bryce Canyon National Park I will head toward Capital Reef National Park around midday on May 14th. The 123 mile ride is supposedly quite scenic and should be easy. During my 4 days / nights in the park I will spending three nights in either the Fruita campground or one of the two primitive campgrounds. The night of May 17th will be spent at Howard Johnson Capital Reef for $76. I won’t see another bed or electrical socket for the next 11 days.

Bright and early on the morning of May 18th I will begin the 145 mile and 2.5 hour return trip to Moab. There I will hastily restock supplies and maybe grab a quick bite to eat. This is the day that the true adventure begins.

The White Rim Road is a 100 mile 4×4 road that circles the lower Mesa of Island in the Sky. I will spend the next 5 days following the road in a counter-clockwise manner. Below are the dates and campsites I will be staying at.
May 18th – Taylor
May 19th – Hardscrabble B
May 20th – Candlestick
May 21st – Murphy A
May 22nd – Airport D

The interesting and somewhat concerning issue with the White Rim Rd is its propensity to flood in the spring. The potential exists for me to become stranded by flood waters anywhere along my first 4 days on the trail. Nothing ventured, nothing gained I’m told.

If I don’t get washed away by the Colorado river, I hope to leave the White Rim trail sometime in the mid morning of May 23rd. From there I will restock supplies in Moab before heading south to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park.

The Needles District of Canyonlands is a much more isolated and desolate area of the park. I will be going into the heart of this area via the Elephant Hill trail. This trail is a highly technical 4×4 route that is traversed at an average speed of 1mph. At the end of the first two miles I will likely need to find a Xanax and a clean pair of shorts I’m told. About that adventure I’ve been taking about.

Over the next 6 nights I will be staying at three different campsites along Devils lane or it’s proximity. Below is the list of campsites that I have reserved for this section of my trip.
May 23rd – Devils Kitchen 2
May 24th – Devils Kitchen 2
May 25th – Devils Kitchen 4
May 26th – Devils Kitchen 4
May 27th – Bobby Jo
May 28th – Horsehoof

Sometime around mid morning on May 29th I will make the short but difficult trip back out of the Needles District via Elephant Hill Trail. From there I will restock and grab some food in Moab before heading to Inn at the Canyons in Monticello for the night. At $100 I’m sure this will be the best place I’ve ever slept after 11 days in a tent.

Come the morning of May 30th I will pack my things and begin my trek eastward. I will then either push thru the 1339 mile 19.25 hour drive home or divert North a bit to Badlands National Park which would be a 754 mile and 12.25 hour ride.

If I decided to go to Badlands National Park it would only be for a three night stay. However at that stage another three nights in to tent may not seem to appealing. Regardless, I fully intend to be back in the Chicago area by 7pm on June 2nd.

For more information or to view my collection of images visit Baker Visuals.

]]> (Baker Visuals LLC) Arizona Colorado National Parks Southwest Travel Utah Wed, 05 Mar 2014 01:25:20 GMT
Colorado 2012 Collection Complete! I have finally completed the Colorado 2012 Collection. With over 50 images I would like to invite everyone to have a look and let me know what you think. 

Happy Holidays


]]> (Baker Visuals LLC) Art Colorado fine art photography Wed, 12 Dec 2012 14:46:52 GMT
Success From Risk His Majesty

During my recent travels to Rocky Mountain National Park I was aware that there were some hazards that I should avoid. Things such as being exposed during storms, over exertion on hikes and the wildlife. It was that last part that I should of payed more attention too.

While on my second day of hiking I decided to make a go at Dream Lake which I was scheduled to photograph the very next morning. First things first, the hike to dream lake is anything but a dream.  For us flat landers it is a hell of a climb just to get to Nymph lake.  However a little motivation goes along way and as I was heading up I started hearing from those descending that some Elk were up at Nymph Lake. At that point I stepped it up hoping to get a nice image of the elk grazing etc near the water. 

Upon reaching Nymph Lake I saw others milling about and talking of Elk that were nearby but unseen by myself. I started heading down the trail admiring the lake and scenery when I heard some rustling in the trees and two female Elk (also called cows) ran out of the trees and around myself by mere feet.  I just about crapped my drawers as they both stopped on either side of me apparently wondering what fool was standing on their path.  I then thought to myself, where is the bull Elk since they usually travel together. 

It took a quick glance to my right to see the unamused bull Elk standing over me in the trees staring down with scornful eyes. Now there was only one thought crossing my mind at this point.  This is either gonna make one hell of an image or one hell of a story.  Lucky for me the females got tried and trotted down to the lake.  Unfortunately that left me and the bull some time to bond. Or rather play hide and seek around a boulder. I'd go to one side and he would trot a few feet and peer around the boulder at me so I would go the other way and he would do the same. 

After a couple rounds of this the Elk took notice of something else in the distance and seemed to forget about me for a minute. I then realized that this was the best time as ever to get some images just in case he decided to own me momentarily.  I grabbed my camera and quickly brought it up for a profile shot when I heard a snort and thru the viewfinder I saw the Elk staring me down looking more agitated then ever. I snapped the image and carefully started to back away hoping my new "friend" didn't charge me not oblivion. Just then a noise caught the bulls attention and he turned once more towards the lake and that's when I captured the image you see here. 

Moments later the bull charged head long thru the trees and down to the lake to graze with his harem. I was safe and images I hadn't anticipated capturing were sitting in my camera. However this is also a story of caution for others. This entire situation could of ended with a few lines about my stay in the ICU or my flight out of the park. My lack of situational awareness was nothing to be proud of. And letting yourself get surprised by three Elk won't get you any awards for intelligence. 

However it is moments like this that I believe have created some of the most iconic images of our times.  The lesson for everyone is to keep up your situational awareness whenever you are out of your natural environment.  While those of us creatives must always be prepared to capture the surprises that life throw our way. 

]]> (Baker Visuals LLC) Colorado Elk Josh Baker Visuals Risk Success Wildlife art fine art photography Fri, 07 Dec 2012 16:01:24 GMT
I'm on Tumblr I do believe that I may be the last photographer on earth to have joined tumblr.  However as with most things I feel being late to the party is often better then never making an appearance at all.  You can check out my tumblr account here where I hope to post something a few times a week.  Including sneak peeks at new / upcoming images from my collection and the like. 


]]> (Baker Visuals LLC) Josh Baker Visuals fine art marketing photography social media Wed, 28 Nov 2012 20:15:00 GMT
Morning Glow Featured My image Morning Glow from my Colorado collection has been featured by the Colorado Art group on Fine Art America.  You can see my image along with other featured pieces here. I'd like to take a moment and thank Bob Hislop for taking the opportunity to recognize my work.  You can view some of Bob's work at his site here.


Morning Glow

]]> (Baker Visuals LLC) Art Colorado Fine Art America Josh Baker Visuals fine art marketing photography social media Mon, 26 Nov 2012 16:38:00 GMT
Partnership with FAA In the last week I have decided to begin a partnership with Fine Art America.  This site has both widespread marketing potential along with a quality printing arm that is able to print all of my wide format / panoramic style images.  If you get a chance feel free to stop by and check out my work that is up over at


]]> (Baker Visuals LLC) America Art Colorado Fine Images Marketing Photography Pictues Sales Mon, 26 Nov 2012 02:40:09 GMT
Rocky Mountain National Park images at FAA For anyone who is unable to find the image they would like of Rocky Mountain National Park from my collection, please visit the many other talented artists represented at Fine Art America at the links below.  Your sure to find the view you have in mind of this amazing location. 



rocky mountain national park photos rocky mountain national park canvas prints


<a href="" style="font: 10pt arial; text-decoration: underline;">rocky mountain national park prints</a><a href="" style="font: 10pt arial; text-decoration: underline;">rocky mountain national park prints</a>rocky mountain national park prints


]]> (Baker Visuals LLC) Colorado Josh Baker Visuals Mountain National Park Rocky art photography visual Thu, 22 Nov 2012 16:38:20 GMT
Power of Projection While we as artists these days often look to technology to boost our work. This short proves that sometimes less is really more.
So here is a short, simple and beautiful watch to start your week off right.
Happy Monday.


For more info on the makers behind this check out the official site.

]]> (Baker Visuals LLC) Cinema Davy & Kristin McGuire fine art photography Mon, 14 Feb 2011 12:53:39 GMT
Smokey Mountain Views Collection Cautious Storm Gazer

This is the first image released from our Smokey Mountain Views collection. Over the next few months you can expect to see the remainder of the series roll out. To view this image in all its glory, and the rest that will follow, check out the collection. -Josh

]]> (Baker Visuals LLC) Equine Josh Baker Visusals Nature Smokey Mountain View Smokey Mountains art photography Mon, 24 Jan 2011 13:32:53 GMT
About that Decisive Moment The Falling Man
Raising The Flag at Ground Zero

These images are probably the most famous ones to come out of what has become known as September 11th. Both images were shot by photojournalists that we’re at the scene and both have been used to move people in ways that nothing else can. However there is a marked difference between these images. That difference is in the so called “decisive moment”. The whole reason why professional photographers are regarded as, well, professionals. After all, many people would argue that the average consumer with a point and shoot is a mere technician while a professional is an artist. Consumers judge when to take an image purely based on the visual appeal of the moment while a pro takes numerous matters into account. With all that said, I’m betting that more then a few of you reading this are running to google what exactly “the decisive moment” is.
While “The Falling Man” image that you see here was shot as a burst series, the image isn’t repeatable in any traditional sense. Sure the use of photoshop, an actor, along with a large studio and a green screen could probably produce something similar or maybe even of better quality. But that image with that subject in that location was only available for a few short seconds. There were no retakes, no chance to get a better angle or to refocus. The opportunity was there and then it was gone. And in this case not only was the opportunity gone, but so was the subject, the background and the total context.
Now if you look at the most famous image from this event, “Raising The Flag at Ground Zero“, you’ll notice the vast difference. This image is great in that it immediately brings to mind another image “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima“. However it is an image that could of at the time been recreated if someone had wanted too. Though that fact doesn’t really take anything away from the image. The lighting and the perspective allows this image to stand above the rest that we’re taken that historic day.
My question to you after all this is whether or not the “decisive moment” is really all that important. Is the decisive moment only important to sports photogs and photojournalists? Let me know what ya think by leaving a note below.

]]> (Baker Visuals LLC) Decisive Moment Fallin Man Henri Cartier Bresson Photojournalisim Raising The Flag at Iwo Jima Raising the Flag at Ground Zero September 11th World Trade Center art photography Sun, 23 Jan 2011 14:29:14 GMT
Transform – ZACK ARIAS Every now and again the field of photography has a way of eating at its practitioners.  This is an amazing short film by a world-renowned portrait photographer.  In it he talks far more about the realities of life then photography.  And that’s what makes this one of the best things you may watch in the near future.  Take ten minutes out of your day and check this out.  I don’t think you’ll regret it.

]]> (Baker Visuals LLC) Pop Culture Reality Scott Kelby Zack Arias art photography Fri, 14 Jan 2011 17:40:48 GMT
For the Deviants This is a little post for anyone here that may also be on .  I know that the deviantArt site is extremely popular with the emerging artists and that often times its hard to get your work noticed.  There is this side service sorta speak of the site called GetWatchers .  This allows you to both view and be viewed by those on Deviant Art.  It works by simply linking up to 10 pieces of your artwork to their system.  Then you get credits by viewing the art work of others.  Those credits are then used to show your art work to others that use the system.  Basically the more art work you look at, the more views your art work will receive.   I have been using this system for the better part of a year and have received over 14k views. from it.  Best of all the entire service is free of charge and without any annoying ad’s.

]]> (Baker Visuals LLC) Deviant Art DeviantArt Get Watchers Networking Publicity art photography Wed, 05 Jan 2011 10:51:45 GMT
New Year / Fresh Start Would just like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy and prosperous New Year.  The last year for me has seen my photography regrettably fall by the wayside.  And with this new year my only true resolution is to start building my photography as quickly and effectively as possible.  With all that said, in the coming day, weeks and months I will be refreshing all the online facets of my photography.  You can expect that soon I will be adding a new image or images about every week or so in one form or another.  Along those same lines I hope to be posting here at least once a week or so.   Got suggestions or ideas for posts? Drop me a note.

]]> (Baker Visuals LLC) Josh Baker Visuals New Year Resolution art photography Fri, 31 Dec 2010 18:37:29 GMT
Announcing Tripod Visuals Just a quick note that today I began the first steps in building out my new website.  The site is at its very infancy at this stage however its my goal to have it be my premium sales site down the road.  For those of you photogs out there who follow the more tech side, this site is being built and run through a SmugMug Pro account.

]]> (Baker Visuals LLC) Josh Baker Visuals SmugMug Pro Tripod Tripod Visuals photo hosting photography Fri, 01 Oct 2010 08:49:27 GMT
Afternoon With The Guys These are some new images from my most recent photography job.  I spent a short time with the Groomsmen for a wedding.  Check out the images and let me know what ya think.  Click here for the images.

]]> (Baker Visuals LLC) Groomsmen Josh Baker Visuals Wedding art photography Mon, 20 Sep 2010 07:12:42 GMT
City Methodist  

Thoughts from the 2nd floor

Today I made a trip that I have been putting off for some time now.  My destination is one that is rather common yet unknown to most people.  City Methodist is located in the heart of Gary Indiana.  Its a church that was built in the 1920′s to serve the employees of US Steel.  When the Steel industry collapsed so did the congregation at the church and it was closed in the 1970′s and later burnt.  You can search online for more information on the site and its past if your so inclined.

What I found  interesting was how many amazing subjects are scattered thru out the rather large building.  While the building is all but completed gutted. there are small relics that have stood the test of time and add a human touch to otherwise wasteland of urban decay.  For instance there are various chairs and sofas that are scattered thru out the property.  Though I wouldn’t feel very comfortable sitting on any of them, they make fairly decent photographic subjects.  Even the dirt and debris adds greatly to the scene.

However this is also a challenging place to create images.  The roof is only at most 80% intact and the water issues are immense.  You are constantly left searching for a dry area to setup your tripod for a shot.  And that tripod is all but required for the majority of your shots.  This a large cavernous building that, due to debris and attempts to secure the site, is about 60%+ low light.  Lets not forget that there is no power so battery packs would be required for any large lights to be considered.  Then again, you could be hard pressed finding good spots to setup any lights that you negotiated into the site.

Along with these logistical challenges come the health and safety issues.  This building is completely abandoned and in a continuous state of decay.  The main health issue that I could see would relate to the mold and the possibility of asbestos contamination.  While I wouldn’t avoid the site solely because of these factors, they are certainly worth taking into consideration.  What is even more pressing on ones mind is the safety concerns.  This is a very unstable building with debris collapsing at what seems like a constant pace.  With that debris comes a ton of trip hazards along with the possibility of getting a nail in your foot.  

As you work your way up the 4 levels of the site, you will notice that the building is not structurally sound by any since of the imagination.  At one point today I made it up to the 4th floor and stepped on some rotted wood that could of sent me on a rapid decent to atleast the 3rd if not 2nd floor.  It seems that there is a considerable amount of wood flooring scattered thru out the site.  Most of this floor is rotted thru.  The problem is that with the debris, its almost impossible in some spots to see what your actually standing on.  So I suggest that anyone checking out this site to take it one step at a time and look before you move.

All that aside, this is an amazing site and some where that you could certainly spend a day or  more scouting and another day shooting.  I just suggest that you bring a friend to assist you.  Speaking of friends.  My time on the site today would not of been possible without the help of my brother Zach Baker (scouting) and Krisi Lesmeister (logistics).

-More To Come-

]]> (Baker Visuals LLC) Church City Methodist Gary IN Religion images photography visual work Sun, 24 Jan 2010 21:53:09 GMT