The Pillars

25 Mar
The Pillars :: New Hampshire

The Pillars :: New Hampshire

When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence. -Ansel Adams

 

New Hampshire is a such a beautiful state. This fall, we will be taking some students up into the White Mountain area for a one day workshop. If that’s something you’d be interested in, sign up for our newsletter so we can keep you informed. Announcement should be coming in the next month or so. :)

If you think a private lesson is more your speed, contact us and we can put together a lesson plan tailored to your needs.

And finally…for those of you on Instagram, we have a new project we have started meant to help people meet other great pphotographers, chat, and grow a sense of community among our awesome supporters and friends. If you’re on IG, please give @i_took_a_photo a follow. If you want your own images shared, tag them #w_my_camera. :)

See what we did there? @i_took_a_photo #w_my_camera ….. Heh. Heh.

Hilarious.

Xoxo!

Shannon

Free Gift Giveaway!

23 Mar

big-sur-cover

A few months ago, I released a photo guide to Connecticut and got a great response (THANK YOU!). Now, if you follow my Instagram, you saw that my buddy David Pasillas Photography is doing the same! If you have ever been interested in checking out California, you NEED this e-book.

 

David has spent a lot of time in one of the most beautiful sections of coastline that Cali has to offer -Big Sur – and put together a great guide for those of you looking to take some photos there. Maps, lesser known beaches and trails…all in all, a nifty must-read and for a limited time, its FREE! Check out his post about it here. :)

Iconic Places

18 Mar
Iconic

Iconic

I have a love-hate relationship with famous, overly photographed locations.  On the one hand, they look so damn beautiful…obviously I want to visit them.  On the other hand, I want to build a portfolio full of fresh images.

In most cases, the solution is to find a new take on an old place.  The goal for any location is to make an image that reflects my experiences and my interpretation of the icon.  At Bass Harbor Light, however…well…good luck. lol

David and I got to Acadia just in time for sunset so we raced to Bass Harbor, hoping to have a half hour to scout before the real light show began.  What we found was about a 30 foot wide space – the only vantage point from this side of the lighthouse – crammed with approximately 15 photographers.  About 10 of those had tripods.

We took what we could get.  I spent more energy trying not to fall off the cliff into the ocean than I did on my composition.  There was only one composition…the one that fit between the lens of the other photographers.

In fact, after I took the image, I forgot about it.  The world doesn’t need another almost identical shot of Bass Harbor Light, does it?

No, it doesn’t.  But turns out, our upcoming book might…and an edited photo is meant to be shared. lol  Here is a little sneak-peak at something that might make it to the book.  And if it doesn’t?  Well, then at least the internet is one lighthouse photo richer today. :-)

A Quiet Moment

12 Mar
Arco della Pace :: Italy

Arco della Pace :: Italy

Over the Valentines/Presidents Day long weekend, Sean and I decided on a last minute trip to Italy.  Yes….you heard right.  Italy.  Just a short 9-ish hour flight away from New York (plus a two hour drive to the airport).

No big deal. lol

It was a great trip for a lot of reasons.

A) We were in Italy.  We got to see so many awesome things, check out the southern Alps (!!!), get lost in a city where we didn’t speak the language, and ruin any future attempts at eating pizza.  After you’ve had real Italian pizza, nothing compares, ya know??

….annnnnnndddd….. (mush alert)

B) We were together. :-) Awwwww.

So truly, the day we discovered this arch, we had no concrete plans.  We were going to try to go check out Parma (because I love cheese) but missed the train by two minutes (oops!).  So instead, we trekked across Milan in search of a castle and ended up stumbling upon this empty plaza.  Now, as you know, I’m more of a “natural landscape” kind of gal but this scene…with its texture, patterns, symmetry and the soft feel of a freshly-rained-on location…was too damn pretty.  I had to photograph it. :-)

Hope y’all enjoy the image.  For those of you looking for some hands-on help with your own photographs, I do offer on-location classes, editing help and feedback sessions that can be done either online or in person.  Feedback sessions help you break down some of your own work so you can develop a plan to reach your photography goals.  If that sort of thing interests you, feel free to email me at seespotsphoto at yahoo dot com.

xoxo

Shannon

Interview with Edith Levy

9 Mar

manorola-blue-hour_viewable

There are so many talented photographers out there, and I truly love discovering the world through their eyes.  Sometimes, though, I find someone who’s work resonates so strongly with me, I just have to share.  Edith Levy was one such photographer.

When I look at Edith’s images, I am completely drawn into the scene.  Her images have such a strong sense of place and her travel portraits always seem to tell a great story.  I fell in love with her travel work as soon as I discovered it, and I hope it speaks to you as well. :-)

Enjoy!

 

Where are you located?

I’m in Ontario, Canada…Toronto to be exact.

tourists-at-the-louvre

How did you get into photography?

My parents bought me my first SLR, a Yashica FX-2, when I was 15 years old. I had been using a Kodak Instamatic up until then but I was bugging them for a “real” camera for a couple of years. I learned by trial and error, figuring out what settings to use as I went along. The problem was that with the cost of film and developing mistakes were costly for a 15 year old.  While I didn’t major in Photography in University (I was a theatre major) I did take take some classes and learned how to develop film. When I got married and had my boys photography took a bit of a back seat and really with the exception of photographing my kids and our vacations I wasn’t pursuing the artistic side of the craft. I bought a DSLR, the Canon Xti, about 7 years and that put the wheels in motion for me. I rediscovered my love for the art of photography. I now shoot with a Canon 7D and am looking to add the 5D Mark iii later this year.

the-treasury_viewable

Who/What inspires you?

I find inspiration all around me but traveling to new places and meeting new people is a great source of inspiration. Closer to home I’m inspired by other photographers. I love to see how each photographer interprets a scene, how they create and bring their vision to life.
open-for-business_viewable

According to your website, you have your hands in a lot of pots…a brand for travel/street photography, a brand for dog portraits and a DVD company. Can you tell us a little about each?

I suppose I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. The DVD company,  HiTIDE Productions, I started about 8 years ago. I create slideshows, sign-in books and coffee table books for weddings; Bar Mitzvahs, any milestone celebrations.

Edith Levy Photography started life as a blog, a place for me to challenge myself and grow as a photographer. What started as a 52 Week Challenge (posting a picture a week) quickly grew to where I posting almost daily. The reception that I received from visitors who quickly turned into followers of the blog and in turn people that I now call friends just amazed me. Now almost 4 years later while I don;t post as often, Edith Levy Photography is still growing. I have an online gallery and I’ve licensed a number of images. Last year a major US publisher licensed one of my images for a book cover.  That was very exciting for me especially when as advance copy of the book arrived in the mail.

Last year I decided to combine my love for photography with my love for animals and that’s when the idea of a pet photography business started. PhoDOGraphy by Edith is a new venture and I’m still trying to build this new brand. My focus right now is local marketing which is challenging with this type of business. Check back with me in a year and I’ll let you know how its going.

img_0373

What type of photography (travel or portrait) is your favorite and why?

Travel…hands down. I love exploring new places, people and cultures and capturing those with my camera.

img_6860_cigar-rolling_viewable

Having multiple income streams gives you a financial safety net, but it requires more work. Can you talk a little bit about what goes into building, maintaining and marketing three separate business brands?

It’s not easy that’s for sure especially since I actually have a full time job. I work for a Financial Institution here in Toronto and my other business activities are conducted in the evenings and on weekends. It certainly is a juggling act but I love it and I have a very supportive husband. HiTIDE Productions has turned into a word of mouth / referral type business and a lot of return customers so I don’t do a lot of marketing for that. I work hard at promoting my main photography business through social media, local events such as photography exhibitions and connecting with potential buyers.

cuba-bicycle_viewable

I noticed you are also a member of a camera club.  How has that impacted your photo business / photography?

I joined my club, The Toronto Digital Photography Club, about 3 years ago.  It was one of the smartest things I’ve ever done. I’m surrounded by like minded individuals who are all striving to improve their craft and we all learn from each other. The club provides us with a venue to enter competitions, learn from a number of varied speakers and attend workshops throughout the year. If you want to grow as a photographer enter a competition. Trust me when you listen to the judges critiquing your images it can be very disconcerting but its a great learning experience.

img_8784_manhattan-bridge-lights_viewable

Anything else you want people to know about your photography?  Any projects to promote?

No specific projects per se. This year is about growing my pet photography business. Last year I attended a wonderful pet photography workshop and it was the first time I shot in a studio setting. I loved it so this year I’m putting my energy into learning all about studio lighting.

 

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How can people find you/get a hold of you?

You can find me at www.edithlevyphotography.com or www.PhoDOGraphybyEdith.com

I can also be found on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/EdithLevyPhotography
Twitter https://twitter.com/Edithlevy21
Instagram https://instagram.com/edithlevy/
Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/edithlevy/

Light The Sky

3 Mar
Light The Sky :: Maine

Light The Sky :: Maine

“Even
After
All this time
The Sun never says to the Earth,

“You owe me.”

Look
What happens
With a love like that,
It lights the whole sky.”

Hāfez

(Working title: “JJ Acadia”, for those JJ Abrams fans out there! Or Acadia fans, as the case may be.  Both = a double win! lol)

It’s been a busy few weeks…as I mentioned last week, we are working on a book (which will be awesome.  Sign up for the newsletter for updates, discounts, etc when the time comes!), I’ve got a few personal projects going on and I’ve spent the last few weeks working with Edith Levy on an mutual interview project (because her travel images rock and I think you’ll love them.  Her interview will be released next week…stay tuned for that!).

As of yesterday, she was kind enough to put together a little behind the scenes interview about my photography work.  Please, go check it out and show her page some love. :-)

This image will be part of the upcoming ebook that David and I are working on…it is a shot I took in Acadia last fall as an example of sun flare.  The final is actually a blend of three exposures, using luminosity masks and manual tweaking.  When we got to the beach a little before sunrise, I wasn’t sure if we were going to get much color.  It’s always a fine line between heavy clouds adding texture to a sky, and heavy clouds blotting out the sun.  Thankfully we got just enough breaks for the light to pour through and give us a show.

That trip was still one of my top photo trips.  I was there with such good company and the weather was just perfect for dramatic shots…what more can a landscaper ask for? <3

Follow my work on any (all?) of my various social medias…I use each for something a little different. 500px, twitter, FB, G+, IG

Friend, like, circle me (in a non-creepy way), 1+….get to it!

Explore The Scene (Tips and News!)

25 Feb
Infinity :: California

Infinity :: California

When I find a place that intrigues me, I explore the location until I find a composition that really resonates with me.  After that, it’s a matter of waiting for the best possible conditions to get the most out of a scene.

The camera settings, the light, the weather, the sky, the water, small details you may have missed at first that can become an important foreground element…all of these things can change over the course of a day (or night). Those changes can have a drastic effect on your image.  The more time you have to spend creating your photos, the more options you will have to choose from when it comes time to edit.

I may ultimately edit only one or two images from a series, but in my opinion, it is never a bad thing to have similar (previously unpublished) comps in the archives for future use.

Explore the Scene

Explore the Scene

This image was taken in California last summer, while out exploring with David Pasillas. I’ve been holding on to this gem for quite some time and waited until today to publish it for two reasons.

First, I am tired of the deep freeze here on the east coast and wanted a taste of summer.

Second, and more importantly, David and I have been hinting at some big surprises this year and today, I’m spilling the beans!

We just sent our final draft of a full length ebook out to edit!!!! The book is loaded with photography tips like this one where I urge you to fully explore a location, as well as ridiculous adventures and mishaps. If all goes well, we will have a finished product ready for release within a few months.

I can’t even begin to explain how excited I am, and how tough it’s been to keep all of our various projects for this year under wraps. Lol (Yes, that means we have more in the works….these secrets are killing me!)

If you want to keep up to date on the all of the projects, the deals and what we can do for you, it’s so important that you sign up for the newsletter. That’s where the exclusive discounts will show up, when the time comes. :-) If you do it before March 1st, I will include a free copy of “Photography + Connecticut“!

Cheers to a year of big things!

Xoxo

Shann

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