Tag Archives: adventure

Clamorous Cascade :: CT

4 Dec
Clamorous Cascade :: CT

Clamorous Cascade :: CT

“Then something Tookish woke up inside of him, and he wished to go see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.” -Tolkien

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Get Outside! (After You Read This.)

3 Sep
Chasing Waterfalls

Chasing Waterfalls

You know what one of the keys to landscape photography success is?  Going outside.  Because that’s where the landscapes live.

There are so many variables outside though!  (And bugs.  And bears.)

I am 100% an advocate of working smarter, not harder and the Interwebs is a great source of information.  Every outing requires, minimally, some research about the weather, sunrise/set times, possible tide schedules (location dependent…duh) and if it’s a night shoot, the moon phase.  Those things are the easy part though.

For me, the hard part is always figuring out where to go.  Despite my art brain, I try very hard to be organized about my image releases, making sure I mix up subject matter and environmental conditions.  Often, my location decisions are loosely based around 4 factors: how much adventure I am looking for on any particular day, how much time and money it will cost me to explore, what I feel like shooting and what I haven’t shot in a while.  I used to spend hours scouring 500px, Instagram, etc for new locations…then more time on the Googles trying to get good information about the location’s accessibility.

Outbound

Then I discovered The Outbound.  It’s like <insert favorite joyful, gift-opening holiday here>.  It had everything I needed in one spot.  I was so impressed, in fact, that I reached out to them and became an Outbound Explorer myself.  (Which makes this post extremely biased.  Give the site a shot anyway though.  If you like adventure, you’ll like The Outbound.) 🙂

If you’re already an Outbound regular, find me!  If you want to talk about local spots to explore, also find me.  If you want to give me a winning lotto ticket, definitely please find me!

Salvaging Your Blue Skies

1 Sep
Poetry of the Earth

Poetry of the Earth

Another photographer recently talked to me about his silly habit of taking camera gear with him wherever he goes, even if he knows the light is going to be harsh.  I think he expected me to agree with him, and tell him he really *should not* hike with that extra 15lbs of gear up a mountain.  Instead, I reminded him of Murphy’s Law.  If he didn’t hike with his gear, he would get to the top of the mountain, only to find a unicorn standing under a rainbow, in front of a (completely unforecasted) partial solar eclipse.

Now, don’t get me wrong, blue skies at mid-day are not ideal light to shoot in.  I’ll always prefer the diffuse light of sunrise and sunset, or the textured light of cloudy New England days.  But if I find myself somewhere epic, with only a small window to shoot, I’m going to make the best of the conditions I have.

So, how do we do that?  First, I’d invest in filters to help you tame unruly light.  Circular polarizers help to cut down on harsh glare, beef up blue skies and give foliage a lush feel in bad light.  A neutral density filter will help you decrease the amount of light entering the camera.  Graduated neutral density filters are particularly handy for modifying the harsh light of blazing, mid-day skies, while still keeping your foreground well-exposed.  (If you want a bit more information about this, check out our practical tips e-book!  You can get a copy in our store, or on itunes through the Light & Landscapes magazine…found in the Newstand app.)

I’d also be certain that if you have the option to shoot in RAW, you do so.  As long as your highlights aren’t clipped and your shadows aren’t crushed, you may have enough data to work with to recover some of the image’s detail.  Remember to keep an eye on your histogram as you shoot and adjust your camera’s settings to give you the best possible chance at a successful photograph.

Balanced Flow :: RI

Balanced Flow :: RI


If the shadows and highlights are just too severe, you may also consider converting the image to black and white.  Personally, I prefer a well exposed black and white with full tonal range…but if image detail can’t be salvaged, B&W can generally support high contrast images.


Most of the time, your best bet will be to shoot during good light, as it will have fewer tonal extremes and be easier to edit.  Sometimes though, some places just won’t allow you to shoot during the golden hours.  In my opinion, you shouldn’t let that stop you from capturing your “epic place” experience.  Play with your camera and filters.  You may not get any award winning shots that day….but then again…you might!

If you know anyone who might benefit from this article, share it! 🙂

The Edge of Forever

31 Jul
The Edge of Forever

The Edge of Forever

 

“We need, ourselves, to go to those edges, and peer over them, if not to see what lies beyond, then to see what lies within.”

I recently picked up a book called A Beautiful Anarchy by David duChemin…and I’ve been following along on his inspiring blog, same title.  One of his posts was about changing our perceptions, facing our fears and embracing each day with a sense of adventure.

In his words, “What would our art, our businesses, our relationships, look like if we embraced and nurtured a spirit of adventure in our daily lives? If we willingly went to new places, opened new doors, and explored new ideas? What would we discover there, about possibility, about others, and likely most of all about ourselves? How much more interesting would our lives be, free from the need to be surrounded by the familiar, the known, the certain, and the too-comforting illusion of safety? What kind of stories would we find ourselves living and telling? How would our audience for these stories, and for the art that emerges from them, grow, and how would our engagement with them change?”

Those are all very good questions.  Talk about an instant perception shift.

I’ve said for a long time that it’s very easy to get caught up in our own little box.  To get trapped in the day to day, to go to work, to bed, to eat the same foods, to let our souls wither on a bland diet of sameness.  We are biologically engineered to desensitize ourselves…its a survival mechanism that keeps our bodies alive.  But what does it do to our spirit?

The above photo was created as an homage to this idea of embracing the unknown.  Last weekend we took a road trip to Vermont, just to get a way for a day and to see some family.  I got up early on Sunday to catch the sunrise, which turned into an overcast morning and a sky full of texture.  It was nice to spend a little time in the peace and quiet, watching the world wake up.  As I sat on the edge of the dock, enjoying the moment, I started thinking about how important those little road trips and adventures are to my life.  As my cousin said, I’m a traveler.  But truly, what better way to develop an emotional connection with people and places than to experience them?  And how much better would the world be if we could all embrace things that were new and different, rather than demonizing and judging without true knowledge of…whatever it is…to draw on?

So, today, I encourage you to embrace adventure.  Try something new.  Eat something different.  Cook a new recipe.  Learn a new skill.  See the world.  Travel to a place that you’ve never been.  Take a leap of faith into the unknown and revel in the experience.

Life is a beautiful gift and it is meant to be messy, joyful and most importantly, full.  Don’t wait until tomorrow.  Today, you stand at the edge of your forever.  Now is the time to embrace your future. 🙂

A little housekeeping…

This shot is a manual blend, Canon 7D, Induro tripod adventure series

Also, I’m looking for your help on an art project!  Pretty please with a cherry on top.  I’ll be giving out a free print to the person who’s quote gets chosen, and to one of the people who helped spread the word about it in the first place.  So please, check out the post, share it, and tell me what quote the image reminds you of. 🙂