Tag Archives: acadia

Best Of 2016

28 Dec

 

2016 was a year of photographic growth for me.  I set several technical goals for myself as a way of pushing myself to be consistently better at my craft, and I’m proud of the progress I’ve made.  I’ll admit, it was often a mix of trial and error (a lot of error), persistence, and supportive people around me but I feel like I made a noticeable difference in the quality of my images.

This year, I made a consistent effort to focus stack where appropriate, to really keep an eye on my histogram so that I wasn’t shooting 12 frames when I really needed 1 or 2, and I tried improving both my night sky/milky way techniques and lightning images.  Those in-the-field efforts are represented in this “Best of…” gallery.

 

I’ve also grown in the editing arena, an area we can always work on, no matter how accomplished we are.  I feel like my ability to *see* the weak areas of a raw image, and my ability to enhance the light in a positive way with my edits has grown immeasurably.  Again, this was a matter of practice, feedback and support from my peers.  I’m particularly proud of my Opal Creek wilderness forest shot, as it involved some creative shaping of the light.

 

The winter image in the gallery was a conscious attempt to force myself out of hibernation.  Apparently, I need to do that more often – turns out winter light is lovely! Lol

And finally, the biggest reason I chose all of these images was the LIFE they represent.

I suspect it’s human nature to take things for granted – we developed our ability to tune things out as part of our survival mechanisms (because how could our ancestors focus on important things like hunting and gathering if they were constantly distracted by…oh, the wind!  Oh, shiny rock! Oh, noise!  Oh, a bird!  What was I doing again??).  Therefore, it takes a conscious effort to remember to appreciate the blessings in our life.

 

Write that life lesson down, folks.  It’s particularly important in the relationships you hold dear.

So where am I going with this?  Well, I’m an American woman.  Currently, that means the law considers me to be a person with inherent rights, one of which is the ability to obtain resources and pursue my life aspirations.  On the whims of fate, I was born here.  I am not viewed as property, or less than human.  I have the stability provided by a nation dedicated to protecting our freedoms.  I am educated.  Compared to so many places in the world, I grew up like a queen – I had food, clean water, health care, and never had the threat of war, unrest and violence looming on my doorstep every day.  Although America isn’t perfect, I am GRATEFUL every day for the progressive ideas that surrounds me.  As a country we can always improve.  We are but a nation of flawed humans afterall, and will always have room to be better versions of ourselves…. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t already holding the human rights bar pretty high and I desperately hope we continue to do so abundantly, and equally across the country.

Because I was blessed be born in a place that respects my rights and raised to believe in pursuing my dream (so much thanks to my family for always inspiring and encouraging me), I have seen and experienced SO MUCH JOY all in pursuit of a photograph.  I have traveled to places that have stolen my breath.  I have met some incredibly interesting, funny and supportive people who are a constant source of light in my life.  I have taken chances that have fed my soul.

 

In 2016, I was able to see the forest and seascapes (and….uh…wildlife) of Oregon and Northern California, the towering waterfalls of the Columbia River Gorge, try out the delightful food trucks in Portland and have my heart swell at the beauty of the Steens Mountains and the Alvord desert.  I soaked in a hot spring, while smiling with strangers.  I sat under the stars with friends, and pretended to play a violin under the Milky Way.  I explored NY and much of New England.  I was assaulted by a frog near the Adirondacks, got to see bald eagles in Acadia, the wild ponies on Assateague and black bears in Shenandoah.

I have taught photography students and built friendships around the world through Light & Landscape (thanks for that opportunity Matt!), I wrote another photography book with my business-partner-in-not-crime David, I was blessed to photograph weddings for some amazing couples with my other business-partner-in-not-crime Melissa, worked with one of this year’s 40 under 40 winners (you rock, Fitz!), refined my inner photo-journalist with freelance assignments through the newspaper (shout out to Jared and the staff at the paper for the feedback and encouragement), and saw AMAZING shows / met some wonderful musicians during my nights as a concert photographer (so much thanks to the venue, Kathy, Pat and Angelo).

 

In short, I have the freedom to LIVE THE LIFE I WANT and these photos represent the landscape side of that.  They are a reminder to be THANKFUL EVERY DAY.

Remember to count your blessings often, and appreciate the people and things that enrich your lives.  Dwell on the positive, and embrace GRATITUDE instead of criticism. Open your heart to the people that care and the endless possibilities in front of you.  Take chances, even knowing you may fail….failure can generally be overcome, but you’ll never get back the time you waste on “What ifs”.  Travel as often as you are able to responsibly do so, so that you can learn about the magical places in the world….how else will you learn to cherish and protect them?  As you travel near or far, make sure to appreciate that you have the ability to do so.

Wishing you all a wonderful 2017!

Obligatory Small Business Saturday Post!

26 Nov
The Kingdom :: ME

The Kingdom :: ME

I have so many entrepreneurial friends, as well as running my own photography business (our prints and books make great holiday gifts, guys!) so obviously I urge you to spend some time supporting local businesses this holiday season. #shopsmall #smallbusinesssaturday

If you run a small business – photography, musician, candles, bags, stationary, crocheting, whatever – leave your link below so people can find you.  Let’s do our part to support each other’s dreams this year. 🙂

 

For those of you who made it this far down the post, the photo above was taken in the Schoodic Peninsula portion of Acadia National Park.  It’s a simple focus stack, converted to black & white, edited with Lightroom, Photoshop and Nik Colorefex.

Tumultuous :: ME

2 Nov
Tumultuous :: ME

Tumultuous :: ME

Exactly one month ago, I drove up to Maine to find some fall colors. This scene, along the Jessup trail in Acadia, really spoke to me. There was so much chaos and transition and texture…it felt like it was telling a story of the passing of the seasons….all I had to do was capture it. 🙂

Free Photo Walk!

15 Sep
New Beginnings :: ME

New Beginnings :: ME

 

The weekend of Oct 1 & 2, David Pasillas and I are going to be taking a photo walk around Acadia.  If you’re interested in joining us to explore this wonderful national park, contact me so we can shoot you the details! seespotsphoto at yahoo dot com

Throwing it Back

15 Oct
The Bubbles :: ME

The Bubbles :: ME

Because…you know…it’s Thursday.  Who invents those hashtags anyway?  They’re kinda like internet holidays.  I mean…hell…National Chocolate Day?  Sure I’ll celebrate it, but how is that a thing?

Hmm…  Okay.  Bad example.  I should never question the celebration of Chocolate.

National…um…Bandaid Day?  Yeah.  We’ll go with that.

ANNNNNNNNNYYYYWAAYYY, this is a shot from Acadia last fall, because the leaves this year are being stubborn.  Taken at Jordan Pond, this is a pretty famous view of the Bubbles.

I have to say, as National Parks go, Acadia is pretty awesome.  It really does have something for everyone.  It’s beaches are beautiful, we saw a lot of surfers when we were there, the hikes range from “holy crap I’m going up a mountain” to “Ahhhhhhh, these woods are relaxing” and most things in the park are very accessible.  These pockets of nature are really the sort of thing we should be celebrating.  National National Park Day.  While eating chocolate.  And wearing bandaids.

#tbt #traveltuesday #hastagsfordays #wanderlustyAF

The shot settings, for those of you who like that sort of thing: iso 100, f/11, 1/4 sec, 11 mm

Lately, I’ve been very good about remembering to post my newest images on Instagram, so if you want to keep up with where I’ve been lately, or chat about how much you also love the NY Giants, follow me there. 🙂 (Go GMEN!)

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. 🙂

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? ❤

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