The Stars Rain Down :: ME

10 Oct
The Stars Rain Down :: ME

The Stars Rain Down :: ME

The Stars Rain Down :: ME “Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.” -Rumi
My newest article, a basic guide to star trails came out in Light & Landscape Magazine . If you’ve ever thought you wanted to try to capture the movement between the planet and the stars (on purpose 😋), then you need to read this instructional guide! 📸🌠🌌 This photo is several exposures, stacked for the stars. Some friends and I went to Nubble lighthouse in Maine looking for northern lights , but the kp died down before we got there. Ah well…at least the stars were pretty. ❤️ Taken with a Nikon d810.

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Feminine :: TN

26 Sep
Feminine :: TN

Feminine :: TN

(Alternate working title: Taken by a WOMAN with a NIKON)

This past week there has been a huge backlash against Nikon for a promotion-gone-wrong regarding their new d850 release. In short, the Nikon-Asia created a team of 32 professional photographers to be the face of their new camera. All male.

For those of you to whom I’ve casually mentioned the challenges of landscape photography’s boys club to… this is very visible example of what I meant. Time and again, I’ve come across gender bias in the genre of landscape photography, and in the cross-genre work I’ve done. The stats on things like brand ambassadors, speakers at conferences, juries at shows, etc simply aren’t reflective of the actual percentages of women working every day in the industry. I personally have been overlooked or lost opportunities because I was female. Women I am close with have been harassed and belittled, their skills as a photographer dismissed or questioned because they are female. Marketing, book sales and travel all come with an asterisk – a need to proceed cautiously because I’m female. Hopefully, our genre of photography continues to evolve, but the first step is education. One of the best things about our species is our capacity for critical thought, for introspection, and conscious evolution. I know WE CAN DO BETTER.

Nikon has since said they will strive to be better in the future. Hopefully more major brands follow their lead. There is an incredibly talented community of female photographers out there (I have a list of at least 270+ in landscape photography alone) who’s work is diverse, interesting and impactful. Isn’t it time you discovered some new artists? 😊

Big thanks to all of those supportive men already in the photography community. I’m blessed to call a lot of you friends, and you give me hope things will keep moving in the right direction.

In reality, gender bias is not the only issue we flawed humans face and in my mind, denying that these problems exist is illogical, especially when you can see tons of examples around the world of sexism, racism, homophobia, etc.  Much like this particular issue with Nikon, I believe humans as a whole have opportunities every single day to do better, to be better, to grow and have empathy and understanding.  After all, our variety IS our strength.  The human race is a beautiful tapestry made up of vastly different experiences, cultures, sexes, nationalities, religions and ways of expressing love.  To insulate yourself with only a small segment of the population is like reading just the first page of your favorite novel.  You’ll never see the richness and depth around you. Choose love. ❤

Ok, hopping off the soapbox now.  If you read this far, this is a quiet spot in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  A huge thank you to Ed and Zach Heaton for showing us around their stomping grounds while we were visiting.  They’re great guys, and if you are looking for workshops in that area, I urge you to check them out! Here’s a little bonus shot of Zach, who is shooting a year of film, using his large format rig during this stop. 🙂

Crescendo :: NY

19 Sep
Crescendo :: NY

Crescendo :: NY

Between the destruction of Hurricane Harvey and Irma, and the wildfires raging out west, most recently in the Columbia River Gorge, I’ve been doing a little reflecting. Our natural spaces are so important, yet so fragile. One little event, change, or bad decision can upset an ecosystem for decades.

Would Harvey have been quite as damaging if the natural flood planes and wetlands around Houston had remained intact? Would the Gorge be flush with greenery still if one kid decided fireworks in a dry season was a bad idea?

Hindsight is 20/20, and so it’s easy to say what should have been done differently in those cases…. but what about the decisions that are being made now, that will devastate something in our future? Those little moments of putting money, or Instagram fame, or some other selfish priority over the need (yes, *need*) to maintain these green spaces? Every day we have the opportunity to make good, healthy, environmentally sustainable choices and it’s so easy to be selfish, to take the easy path, to say “someone else will do it.” But in the end, it’s not someone else’s responsibility to guarantee you and your children and your grandchildren a safe future. It’s yours. It’s all of ours. If each of us does our part, in the end, we all win.

 

This is a shot from North-South Lake in the Catskills of NY.  Sunset was dang purty!

Solar Eclipse Totality 2017

24 Aug
Crepuscular :: TN

Crepuscular :: TN

How do you describe an indescribable experience? For a few moments yesterday, the mid day sky went dark, the temperature dropped and the people that had piled into Great Smoky National Park with us cheered in awe at the beauty of a rare phenomenon. Anyone who follows me knows the joy I get from these moments in nature, but it wasn’t just the eclipse that made my heart swell. It was made special no just by its rarity & beauty, but also by the fact that for those few hours leading up to the eclipse, everyone forgot their troubles, their politics, their hates and sadnesses, their biases, and we were just a group of friends yet to be made. (Except for that one guy who couldn’t park. Lol) People with cameras asked how to get photos. Neighbors shared their water and chatted. Everyone brought a smile or laugh to their respective conversations. And for those actual few moments of totality, you could feel the exhilaration as hundreds of people whooped and clapped together. To me, people coming together and sharing their excitement….that made this experience unforgettable.

This shot is just after totality, during the diamond ring phase, made with a Nikon d810, Nikon 80-200mm, manfrotto tripod and a solar filter. If you’d like to purchase a print, as always, shoot me a message. 📸

So much thanks to Ed and Zach Heaton for their work scouting and sharing their knowledge of the park with us. They’re great guys and they do workshops in the area (check them out!). Also a great big thanks to Ed, Zach, Jeremy , Emmet and Rob for the spectacular company! 😊

Path of Least Resistance :: CT

4 Aug
Path of Least Resistance :: CT

Path of Least Resistance :: CT

Access to clean water is something most Americans take for granted. However, globally there are approximately 783 million people without clean water and approximately 2.5 billion without adequate sanitation. This results in death and disease, impacts food yield, causes conflicts, reduces available time spent on education, promotes gender inequality and holds impoverished communities back. In other words, clean water is LIFE. What are you doing to protect it? 💦

Stubborn Beauty :: OR

25 Jul
Stubborn Beauty :: OR

Stubborn Beauty :: OR

On my visit to Oregon last year, we (obviously) explored the Columbia River Gorge to see some waterfalls. This intimate scene was tucked away in the rocks at Wahclella falls. I loved the tenacity of this little flower, and the way the light fell (because light is everything!)

I tried, and failed, to figure out what type of flower it is…but ultimately, it doesn’t matter. Like all plants, it serves an important function as a rest stop for native pollinators. ….. If you just asked what the heck that means, the short version is that native pollinators such as bees, moths, ants, beetles, butterflies, birds, bats, etc all help plant species thrive and without their help we would have a food shortage of critical proportions. Over the last 10 years or so, pollinators have faced significant challenges in the form of mites and fungus, habitat loss, pesticides, etc all contributing to a massive population decline. Want to help? Consider keeping a garden with a variety of native plants that bloom for as much of the year as possible.

Also…Yes, I named this photo after a brewery in CT. Lol

Guide Us Home :: RI

18 Jul
Guide Us Home :: RI

Guide Us Home :: RI

In Connecticut, dark sky areas are almost non-existent, due to our dense population and the light pollution that comes with it.  That makes capturing the Milky Way very difficult.  To truly have a sky that is dark enough to see detail in the Milky Way core, I need to either drive to Rhode Island (where the is a tiny oasis of dark sky along our shared border) or north and/or northwest towards Massachusetts, Vermont or upstate New York.

So besides the inconvenience of needing to travel, why is light pollution a problem?  Because it isn’t just light.  It’s light that affects everything.

There is evidence that too much night-light will effect trees’ seasonal clocks.  It’s shown that the bright lights of human cities can disrupt migration patterns of birds, the ability of newly hatched sea turtles to find the safety of the water, the hunting and territory patterns of opportunistic animals…. and researchers are beginning to think that the disruption to our – humans – natural circadian cycles is a risk factor for higher incidences of cancer.

“The health effects of light pollution have not been as well defined for humans as for wildlife, although a compelling amount of epidemiologic evidence points to a consistent association between exposure to indoor artificial nighttime light and health problems such as breast cancer, says George Brainard, a professor of neurology at Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.” (here)

So about those pockets of darkness near Connecticut?  Well, Beavertail Light in Rhode Island is along the edge of one.  When my friend Tony Curado, who is working on a Galactic 50 project (capturing the Milky Way in all 50 states!), suggested he wanted to chase stars in my neighborhood, I knew exactly what location to try.

The night finally arrived, and as I sat there under the stars with Tony and Kyle (another local photographer), I felt grateful. There I was, watching the universe do its thing, the sounds of the waves kissing the land, and good friends to share it with.