Ebb And Flow

22 Apr
Ebb And Flow

Ebb And Flow

 

The sun sets on another day

Our one world

Great big tiny world.

 

It’s Earth Day, where we are reminded to protect our natural resources and to appreciate the beauty of our world.

More than ever, it truly is a connected world.  What happens to one region of the planet affects us all.  It may not be within your resources or abilities to plant trees, or mount large fundraising and awareness ventures…but it is within all of our abilities to be responsible citizens of the planet.

Recycle where you can, be conscious of how your actions affect others, try to use sustainable options, be mindful of our future, of your children’s future, educate yourself, care….  You can’t control the actions of others, but you can be responsible for yourself.

At the moment, this is the only planet we have.  It is up to every one of us to do our part to preserve it.

***
HDR pano taken on March 22 in Rhode Island.  

Edited (and re-edited…and re-edited….) with several techniques: hdr and manual blend, luminosity masks, AND the good ol’ dodge and burn.  

f/22

iso 100

 

 

Dare to Begin

18 Apr
Dare to Begin

Dare to Begin

 

Take pride in how far you have come, and have have faith in how far you will go.

Lately, difficulties have been piling up and I was starting to feel a little down about it.  I have bills to pay, a day job that can be stressful, a stomach bug, car problems…house problems…  Photography goals that have yet to be obtained.  You know.  Life stuff.

But, after a few days of sitting at home sick as a dog, watching inspirational videos on the Facebooks and flipping through my meaningful quotes board on Pinterest, I started to feel better.  More determined.  I don’t want to focus on the negatives, ain’t nobody got time for that.

So, I pulled up my photo editors, and I started working.

I started with the above image – my contribution to this round of our 10 minute fun challenge.  (At my buddy Will’s request, the deadline has been extended for a few more people who want to participate, so if you haven’t sent in your entries, by all means, feel free.  It’s a fun challenge…meant for you to help you…but I’m happy to market the heck out of your personal growth! :-D)

Anyway…yes…the above image.  Taken at a park exactly 7 minutes from my house, 3 minutes into the walking trail through a marsh.  I was actually surprised at where I ended up on the trail…there are two fun bridges, one before and one after this section of walkway…and I assumed I’d end up at one of them.  I had a great plan for either, but as is the point of the exercise, ended up with neither.  Still, I scouted this location a bit, looking for the best angle, the best height, the best camera settings, the best lens and filter to capture both the feel of the day (grey, rainy) and the sense of place I wanted to convey.  The editing took some doing, but in the end, I got this image.

I chose light contrast over deep shadows for a few reasons.  First, the light that day was filtered through thick cloud cover and the trees above.  Second, I wanted the image to be a bit like our path in life.  Sometimes jumbled, sometimes confusing, but never so intimidating that we feel we can’t take the next step.  Each of us has a path to blaze, we just need to be bold enough to create it.

This image has so much texture, a black and white seemed like the obvious choice.  Strangely, it lost a lot without the color.  I think the color variances help the eyes know where they are supposed to be in the image.  That being said, it was very important to me that the image not be over-saturated, as it was a grey day and too much color would both unrealistic and distracting.  I wanted rich but not overwhelming, so I pulled the colors back a bit.

I also warped the light a bit.  It was so overcast, there was nothing interesting going on with the light.  Nada.  I didn’t feel drawn to or invited into the scene.  So…I brought up the light a bit from the right side, about 2/3 up the image where the sunlight would have been falling if it weren’t positioned behind the clouds.  I tried to keep it subtle…just enough change so the image didn’t feel completely flat.  It was a difficult balance to accomplish the first goal (no deep, scary shadows to bring the mood of the shot down) but enough light and dark in the scene to create some…how do they say it in music…?  Dynamic.  Yeah. I wanted that.

In the end, I got two things out of this 10 minute challenge.  I got to practice around with all of my “in the field” skills, but I also took the editing as an opportunity for trial and error.  I played with a few new techniques.  I listened to your…YES YOU!…feedback on my portfolio regarding the importance of interesting light (its such a no-brainer, yet so easy to overlook sometimes.)  I sent versions of the image to my peers and friends and listened to what they had to say.  And most importantly, I enjoyed the process.  It’s supposed to be fun, after all. ;-)

The rest of the 10 Min Gallery will be posted….as soon as I have the entries. haha

In the meantime, as always, thanks for your support!

Love and Hugs,
Shannon

This and That, Hodge and Podge

10 Apr
Vigilance :: Beavertail Lighthouse :: RI

Vigilance :: Beavertail Lighthouse :: RI

 

So I learned a few things this past week….

First, many many thanks to all of the people who were kind enough to give feedback on which images to cull from the Places gallery.  I have taken out several based on your suggestions, though I do have a few more to cut out still.  Let’s call it a work in progress…therefore, your input is still appreciated if you care to give it. haha

Second, thanks to your input, I found out that way more of you like the above photo than I thought. That actually came as a bit of a surprise.  It’s one of my personal favorites (and that isn’t just because I had to brave a raging ocean to my right and the whipping winds of an oncoming storm while I balanced myself and my tripod precariously on slippery rocks…which…by the way, don’t do that.  It was stupid!) but all this time, I never got feedback either way on the image.  Y’all made me smile an awful lot to know it’s an appreciate image!

Thirdly…third-ish? Ummm…next….I wanted to remind everyone that this weekend is the final weekend to take and submit an image for the 10 minute challenge.  Now look…I’m just as much of a slacker as the next person (meaning, I haven’t done mine yet either) but by the time Sunday rolls around, I expect to see my email brimming with your super awesome images, mmmkay?  Brimming!

Brimming…such an odd word, but so satisfying to type.  Brimming, I say!

Ummm…what else?  Oh yes, a little business time. Because I have my business socks on. (FOTC fans out there?  No?) I was super humbled today when I started my day off with 900 followers (more now)…I am grateful that each an every one of you takes time out of your day to take a galnce, every now and then, at some of my photos.  It is so difficult to make it in the world of art, both in the financial sense and in the “hey, the market is overly saturated with a ton of talented people” sense.  So, I am flattered that you all chose to follow my work, my vision and my terrible sense of humor. :-)

Of you 900, if any of you are Facebookers, can you do my a little itsy bitsy favor, and make sure to like my Facebook page as well?  All of that stuff helps to spread the word.  To you it’s just a like and some (extremely awesome, stunningly, achingly beautiful) noise in your feed.  To me, it’s marketing.  Every comment you leave puts the photo you enjoyed into the feed of your friends, who might…just maybe…enjoy the image as well.  Or own a high end gallery in New York and want to hang my work there.  You know…either or. haha  So, if you’re in a generous mood, go here and follow my stuff. :-)

Okay…so in summary… Thanks for being so supportive, thank you for the feedback on The Great Gallery Clean-Up of 2014, and don’t forget to submit your 10 minute challenge photos to seespotsphoto at yahoo dot com!

xo
Shannon

Liberation

8 Apr
Liberation!

Liberation!

In the clutter, the rush, the chatter, the wasted noise of everyday, music and photography are my escapes.  I put in my ear buds, and pull up some photos to edit on the computer, and I find my center.  It’s the harbor in life’s storm, a calm place for me to lose myself completely, to forget the stress of everything else for a little while and just create.

 

This photo was taken at Gunn Brook Falls in Sunderland, MA. :-)

Feedback Needed

2 Apr
Bixby in the Blue

Bixby in the Blue :: CA

So…I don’t know if you know this…but I have a gallery page.  And on that gallery page are pictures…48 pictures, to be exact.  I am looking to pare that number down a bit, as an overhaul to the page.

 

I am looking for you, my reader-friends, to pass along your two cents.  I’m in chop and toss mode, so I’d love to hear what you think I should KEEP.  Think of it as a favor.  You do this for me, and in the future, I will buy you imaginary pizza and beer.  Unless you’re underage.  Then, imaginary juice. ;-)

 

Thanks in advance for your time and efforts.  Only you can prevent forest fires….er….photo deletion!

 

xoxo

Shannon

Photo Fun :: 10 Minute Challenge

1 Apr

10minchallmenu

Alright friends…it’s time for some group participation!  In my experience, working with a group of other artists is a good way to get the creative juices flowing and push you out of your comfort zone.  And that’s where great art lives, right?  Because if it was easy, everyone would do it. :-)

So…how does this 10 minute challenge work?  It’s pretty simple.  If you have a camera of any sort, you can (and should!) do this.

Okay, here is the idea:

Step 1 – Pack up your photo equipment.
Step 2 – Travel.

Bike, train, plane, car, feet.  Skipping, running, walking, shimmying, and cartwheels…  Electric Slide-ing… though if you choose to do the Electric Slide as a means of travel, pleeeeeaaaassseee have someone take video and send it to me.  Because sharing is caring.  And sharing laughter means you care a lot!  Whatever gets you from A to B.

When your clock hits the 10 minute mark, stop.  Take out your photo equipment and sniff out a great image!

Three Sisters

Three Sisters

Now, the plus side to this sort of exercise is that you don’t really know what to expect, so you will need to be prepared to be creative, to try new things, to climb, to crawl on the ground, to bring a tripod and a foot stool, and maybe use neither…basically, any tool or skill at your disposal to get the best possible shot out of the conditions you’ve been handed.  Maybe that means macro.  Maybe that means you fill the frame.  Maybe that means you bump your ISO to create a gritty street image.  Who knows??!!??  The sky is the limit, as long as that sky is 10 minutes from the place you call home.

This truly is a creative exercise, and we want to see what you can come up with!  To see previous 10 minute challenges, you can go here.

If you want to join us, just send me an email at seespotsphoto at yahoo dot com.  We will be accepting submissions up until Sunday, April 13th.  We hope you’ll give it a try! :-)

xoxo

Shannon

 

Dusky Blues

26 Mar
Dusky Blues

Dusky Blues

 

What’s the most important component of a landscape shot?  Location? Composition? Light?  This is the tail end of the sunset from last week’s post, where I spent as much time as I could fully exploring a spot that resonated with me, trying to find the best conditions for the images I wanted to create.  Although it’s the same location and subject matter, to me, the deeper blues of dusk give it a completely different feel.

 

When you shoot, what do you guys look for?  Do you go where the light takes you?  Or do you find a spot you like and wait for the weather to work with your vision?

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