Our Daily Inspiration is curated by our founder, Nick Wagner Sr. Nick finds inspirational quotes, pictures and videos to share with our community. If you would like to contribute, please click the contribute link above to contact us! 
The setting African sun is an iconic image that I'll always remember. Capturing this herd of elephants in silhouette was something I had been dreaming of getting. I would have been happy with one elephant let alone eleven of them. When you look at your day as the sun sets and it comes to an end. As you take time to reflect upon your accomplishments, were you a leader or a follower? Did you live up to your full potential today?
When photographing the night sky, the goal is to usually find somewhere with skies that are light pollution free and as dark as possible. One of my favorite challenges of night photography is doing something different. Trying something hard. I photographed my first lighthouse and Milky Way combination about 9 months prior to this shot. It was the only location I had tried it. I wanted to try it again, it was a technical challenge of how to balance the light of the lighthouse with the Milky Way. I headed to Cape Cod where there were a few different lighthouses I could try again at. Even though there were quite a few clouds going through the sky, it wasn't enough to keep me from trying to get the shot. I was only there one night and had to work with what I had for weather. I shot through the rolling cloud cover not getting discouraged. Ultimately, I think the clouds accented the beams of light from the lighthouse nicely and made for a great overall feel in the picture. For me astrophotography is about pushing boundaries, trying something new and different, challenging myself to be improve and get better. What in your life drives you to do better?
When was the last time you took a moment to reflect on moments from your childhood? The time you went swimming at the lake, the baseball game that you won in extra innings or the trip to the beach where you bought the biggest ice cream ever Inspiration comes from many places including those wonderful childhood memories Take some time today and think about something that makes you smile from when you were a kid
The beginning and ending of every day brings new opportunities to do great things and reflect
It is important to have focus. When you want something, focus on it and make it happen.
Life is a great balancing act. Remember to make time for the things that matter to you. Picture courtesy of Walter Wick
Protector A mother is a teacher, disciplinarian, chauffer, scheduler, chef among many other things but most importantly a protector for their baby. For a mother elephant like this one, she must make sure that her youngster is protected from lions, leopards, hyenas and any other potential threat. The threat is a bit more obvious and the mother elephant has a herd that will help to protect the youngsters. This weeks photo draws inspiration from the last 10 days. My daughter was home with a fever. I was with her in the morning and she was acting pretty normal. At lunch time my wife and I switched. As the afternoon went on, our daughter slept all afternoon and was very sluggish. My wife had scheduled an appointment to see the doctor earlier but she knew something wasn't right. At the appointment, the doctor agreed she wasn't acting like a normal sick baby and after a few tests that failed to identify the problem, the doctor recommended they go to the ER. That night, our daughter was diagnosed with a life threatening illness. The team at the hospital narrowed it down within a few hours and started treatment that evening for the 2 possibilities of what she might have. The next day they were able to further narrow it down and had her on the right medication. After a couple days, my daughter's condition significantly improved and the doctors all credited my wife with how quickly she recognized an issue and got her the help she needed. If she had gone untreated even over night it could have been a very different outcome. My wife very likely saved our daughter's life by recognizing signs of trouble as she is too small to talk. While the threat wasn't a lion or something as obvious, my wife was our daughter's protector and my hero. We're now home and everyone is doing great thanks to the amazing team at Connecticut Children's Medical Center. Never fail to appreciate what you have in life because you never know when it could be snatched away in a heartbeat.
Cape Cod Sunset - This photo was taken during the summer of 2015 as a mother and her two children watch the Cape Cod sunset. The combination of the tidal swing in Cape Cod Bay and the west facing view provide a great background. There are many aspects of this photo that I'm drawn to and I derive inspiration from, first is the sunset over Cape Code bay. I always make a point to sit and watch sunset set it gives me a chance to reflect on the day and appreciate the wonders of mother nature. The second is the unconditional love between a mother and her children. I'm always amazed between the interactions of children and parent's. The way the child is holding her mother's hand close to her face shows the unwavering love and admiration she shows for her mother.
Where will life take you? Ask yourself that question and remember you have a say in the direction.
Peyto Lake has to be one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. When I was in college looking for posters for my apartment, I picked a picture of Peyto Lake. At the time I didn't know where it was, but it was beautiful. It was on a wall where I lived for almost 10 years during which I figured out where it was. It had inspired me for years and I knew one day I would have to go see it. In 2017, my wife and I were fortunate enough to have a chance to travel to Banff National Park where Peyto Lake is located. No time was wasted getting to Peyto Lake, we drove there the first day we were there. After a 40 minute drive and a steep hike hauling a bunch of camera gear we were finally there. It was stunning, absolutely beautiful. It had exceeded my expectations. On that day there were some low fog like clouds near us, clouds over the mountains out past the lake but the most interesting clouds were high in the air. These clouds were casting shadows over the lake resulting in various shades of vibrant glacial water. It was a sight I would never forget. For me, I had found something that inspired me, something I looked at every day of my life for years and years. I made the decision to see it in person and fulfill my dream and it was absolutely worth it. When you find something that inspires you, make sure you follow that passion and live out your dream. We only have one life, live it to the fullest.
Sunflowers by Eric Wagner Photo
The Lighthouse by Chris Gaidos
Author Unknown
Walnut Beach Sunset Courtesy of Stan Bucasas
The Beach Courtesy of Eric Wagner Photo

Inspiration is all around you, the world is beautiful.

Thank you Eric Wagner Photo for the beautiful timelapse.

What are your 2019 goals?

This year, don't follow the crowd. Stand out and shine

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