Tag Archives: collaborate

Endless Summer

14 Aug
SSP Endless Summer :: Massachusetts

SSP Endless Summer :: Massachusetts

Gosh, this year is flying by.  Can you believe it’s already August?  I’m smack in the middle of my busiest season, and I feel like there isn’t a single minute I don’t have something to do.  On the one hand, it’s tough to stay on top of everything, organized all of the time, and find a way to get everything done in just a short 24 hr day!  On the other hand, though, I feel blessed to have so much opportunity, to be able to pursue what makes me happy, and to see the places I’ve seen…most of it in the name of photography.

Bixby in the Blue

Bixby in the Blue :: CA

It occurred to me the other day, I have been and done so many things in my life (with many many more to go) with a camera in my hand…and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  With that in mind, David Pasillas and I have started up a blog tour project where my fellow bloggers (that’s you!) can contribute it you want.  All you have to do is be willing to give us your thoughts on what having a creative outlet has meant to your life.

If you’re interested in joining the fun, send me an email at seespotsphoto AT yahoo DOT com and I’ll send you the details. 🙂

Also, speaking of projects, the quote project is just about finished.  I picked a quote, and I’m working on the final piece of art now (with the help of my favorite font experts over at Print Therapy)…as soon as that’s finished, I’ll announce the winner!

I Go On Again, Because You Asked Me To :: NH

I Go On Again, Because You Asked Me To :: NH

Also also, I’m planning a hike up Mt Washington this weekend…trying Tuck’s for the first time…wish Sean and I luck!  We’re overnighting so I’m really hoping for good weather and some sweet sunset on top of a mountain shots. 🙂

AND NOW….another picture of summer in CT, because I can!

Beach House

Beach House


Midas Touch

11 Sep

It’s time to (re)reveal my August collab! (If you didn’t get yours in quite yet, let Nick know at submit@nickexposed.com …it’ll take him a little bit to put the gallery together anyway!)

There are many – often contradictory – versions of the myths surrounding Midas, the historical king of Phyrgia (a region in Asia Minor).  These tales have been told time and again by Ovid and Aristotle, Chaucer and Nathaniel Hawthorne to name a few.  Although there are many different variations of Midas Golden Touch, often involving different details and characters, the base and moral of the story has always remained the same.

According to the tale written by Ovid, Midas showed kindness to the satyr (half man/half goat) Silenus, the foster father of the god Dionysus.  To express his gratitude, the god granted Midas one wish.  He asked for the ability to turn anything he touched into gold.  In several versions of the story, Dionysus questioned the decision, but at the king’s insistence, eventually granted Midas with the Golden Touch.

Midas’ motivation for wanting the Golden Touch varies among authors, but it is usually attributed to greed and vanity.

The Touch

The Touch

In the end, Midas realizes he can’t eat, drink or touch his loved ones without turning them to gold.  He regrets his wish and learns that gold (aka material possessions) only goes so far on the road to happiness.

The Golden Flower

The Golden Flower

As someone who lives on a tight budget, I can easily identify with this story.  I’ve never been a wealthy person, but because of that, I learned the value of hard work.  More importantly, I learned to appreciate the connections and relationships I have with people and to live fully.  My life has been rich in memories and love, despite my tax bracket and for that I am infinitely grateful.

Being your best self isn’t easy – the important things in life rarely are. But respecting yourself…loving yourself…requires dedication to the idea that you deserve a full and happy life. Invest in yourself, learn to appreciate what you have, forgive, cherish the simple joys in life, love without hesitation and recognize your self-worth. Happiness and gratitude are two sides of the same coin – by choosing to be our best self, we are rewarded with both.

To Sparkle, or Not To Sparkle…

7 Sep

That is the question!

Generally, I’m not big on revealing my collab photos until after the deadline, as I don’t want to influence someone else’s creative process…but in this case, I feel like a teaser is in order!

I decided that I wanted a children’s tale that not only meant something to me personally, but also one that had a moral I could identify with.  I chose Midas’ Touch because although I love my camera gear as much s the next person, I’m not a stuff person.  I’m a meaningful relationships kind of person, hence why I love our photo community! 😉

I’ll go into that more when I make the full submission post, but for now…I wanted your opinions.  To sparkle, or not to sparkle?? 🙂

Midas Touch - I Ain't Sayin' She's a Gold Digger

Midas Touch – I Ain’t Sayin’ She’s a Gold Digger


Midas Touch - Oooohh, Shiny!

Midas Touch – Oooohh, Shiny!


Community Collaborative Project :: August

17 Aug

Once upon a time, in a far away land (called the Interwebs), there was a magical camera.  For years, this magical camera brought joy to millions by capturing moments and memories.  The camera thrived, it’s days full of smiles and cheese…or at least, people talking about cheese which subsequently…mysteriously…made them smile!  It was a happy time in the Interwebs…until a shadow fell over the land.

Slowly but surely, the camera began having difficulties.  Basic compositions were hard to think through.  ISO’s and Time values became mind-boggling concepts.  The camera was in a fog.  Everything he tried felt flat and colorless…and the camera checked…he wasn’t set for monochromes!  What the magical picture-maker needed was some inspiration…  a “Creative Challenge”, so to speak.

Just as the camera came to that realization, a knight in shining armor raced up.  “Camera!  Thou art in a creative rut!  But fear not, a solution hath arrived.”  The knight proceeded to tell the camera (and, due to his lack of volume control, most of the Interwebs) about this month’s Collaborative Creative Challenge hosted by Sir Nick Exposed and the fair maiden Seeing Spots Photography.  Talk about impeccable timing!

The camera learned that this month’s challenge was to create a childhood tale pictoral.  The idea was to bring to life an image that represents both details from your favorite childhood tale AND your feeling about that part of the tale.  Participants are encouraged to think about the potential editing styles BEFORE shooting.

For example, if you’re choosing a sad Grimm’s tale, would you choose to underexpose the image when you shoot it?  Or change to a cooler color balance?

Is it a happy moment within the story?  Would you choose to shoot a bright scene with vibrant colors?

The challenge isn’t just to create a storyboard, it is to create an image with emotional impact.  We want more than just Goldilocks’ adventures…we want to know what Goldilocks meant to you!  This is your chance to break out some dusty books, to reminisce, to tell your children why we don’t wear red hoods in the forest and most importantly, to lose yourself in a creative project!

This project will run from tomorrow August 18th to Sunday, September 2nd at midnight.  All submissions should be sent to submit@nickexposed.com before midnight on the 2nd.  We are hoping for one exceptional photo from each of you, though we will happily take more than one if you’re the over-achieving sort.  We also want you to spread the word.  If you are getting something out of these challenges, it makes sense that your other photo friends would also get something out of it too, right?  So reblog, Facebook it, tweet away, phone a friend…or…in the spirit of a fairy tale, try a magical “share the awesomeness” spell.  It’s like…a fairy TELL. 😉

It’s a Gallery Kind of Weekend!

12 Aug
Annisquam Light Monochrome

Annisquam Light Monochrome

Not long ago, I mentioned a mini-challenege I was working on with David Pasillas meant to encourage the skill of self-editing.  In a nut shell, the task was to take 100 photos of any given subject and whittle your submissions down to just 2 images – the ones you felt were the strongest.

This was a pretty intimidating challenge for a lot of people…we know, it’s a busy time of year for most people and 100 seeeeeemmmsss like such a big number. 😉

We actually recieved a lot of positive feedback from people who didn’t find the time to do a 100-series, but nonetheless were inspired to apply the idea of a strong self edit to their own work.  In the end, that’s what these challenges are all about!  Education and inspiration are something the entire community benefits from. 🙂  For those of you who were able to submit images, we appreciate it!!

That being said, here is my second submission to the Self-Edit Challenge…and conveniently, it happens to a B&W of Annisquam Light for all you lighthouse/landscape lovers out there.  The entire gallery can be found here.

Silhouettes Gallery

11 Aug

…is up and running!!  What another AMAZING Collaboration!!

We can’t express enough, how much we love and appreciate all of your participation in these projects month after month!  You guys really rocked this collaboration…so very impressive!  So, click the link, check out all of the awesome photos that YOU…yes, YOU (you sweet photog, you) submitted and then get your mind ready to be blown by the fun and exciting collab we have lined up for you next!

Not gonna lie…it’s going to be rad.

Without further ado…..  THE GALLERY!

And the Beach Theme Continues…

10 Aug

You know what I learned from my friend Will?  That most “No Tresspassing” signs are more of a suggestion than a rule.  Which is good, because I’m not much of a rule breaker….  But suggestions…weeeeeelllll….

Annisquam Light Pano

Annisquam Light Pano

Here is the thing.  Boston ain’t cheap.  Tolls on the Mass Pike ain’t cheap. Gas really ain’t cheap.  Since I had already spent a considerable amount of money over the weekend aaaaaannnnnd woke up on 4 hours of sleep specifically to take photos before I raced home to get on with the rest of my day, I wasn’t leaving without a photo of this lighthouse. =)

My first attempt at finiding the lighthouse did prove to be a bit of a disappointment.  There was definitely no where to park, even if I wanted to. haha  The light is located on a dead-end in a very New England-type-neightborhood.  In other words, the roads were so narrow, you could barely fit a car down them, let alone park!  But, I had seen enough photos of the light that I knew there had to be a way.

I left the neighborhood and traveled up a road that appeared to be running parallel to the beach.  I believe the Photo-Gods were feeling generous, because within minutes I stumbled upon a very public land trust with beach access and parking!

I hiked down to the shore, still feeling a little unsure of which areas were designated “public” vs “private”.  I determined the best way to resolve the issue was to walk through the water….those signs didn’t say anything about “private ocean”!!  I waded along, taking shots from various vantages points, slowly making my way towards the cove I eventually shot this pano from.  The non-ruler breaker part of me was happy, the “I’m not leaving without a shot” side of me was happy…the only part of me that was unhappy were my sunburned legs.  Turns out sunscreen, no matter how generously applied, washes off in the ocean if you wade through it for long enough. Ouch!

This image also happens to be one of my two submitted images for the “Self-Edit Challenge” I co-hosted with friend and fellow photog David Pasillas. The gallery for that will be posted soon!

Sunset Silhouettes

31 Jul

By now, everyone’s images for the July collaborative project are probably, mostly submitted.  Seems like a good time to finally put up a few that I have taken over the last two weeks. =)

The first image is one you may recognize if you follow the blog…and…well, why wouldn’t you be?? 😉  A few days ago, I posted an HDR of one of the lighthouses on Block Island.  Conveniently, the under-exposed bracket also makes a nice silhouette!

Lighthouse Silhouette

Lighthouse Silhouette


My second submission was really an excuse to take pictures of a purty sky. 🙂 I pulled over on the side of a mosquito-y road to take some photos of rows of corn beneath a great sunset.  Turns out, the corn photos were a bust…but the powerline silhouettes were ripe for the taking!  (Heh…that was almost a harvest joke. I’m so punny.)

Powerline Silhouette

Powerline Silhouette

This project was a lot of fun.  There are so many option for silhouette images…it was almost hard to narrow down what I wanted to shoot.

What did you guys think of the project?

The Self Edit Mini-Challenge (Sorta)

27 Jul

One of the hardest things for any photographer to do is be objective about their work.  It’s not surprising – photography is an emotional art.  You aren’t just sharing an image.  You’re sharing your vision of the world, and your feelings about the moment as you press the shutter.  Photographers pour their heart into their work, and sometimes, it’s difficult to separate the emotional attachment you have for an image from the compositional and connective realities of what lies within the frame.

So David Pasillas and I are issuing a two-part mini-challenge.  First, push the limits of your creativity.  Second, embrace your objectivity.

Step 1: Grab your camera, any camera. Creativity isn’t limited by the tool, it lies within the artist.

Step 2: Pick a subject and take 100 different photos of it.

AGGGGHHHHHH!!  100 photos!!!???!!  We know, it’s a very intimidating number, but before you run for the hills, read the rest! 

100 photos isn’t that much, don’t let the number scare you.  For most people, especially those who shoot digital, that’s only about a ½ hour of work.  Consider it a 30-minute challenge rather than a 100 photo challenge.  And we fully encourage you to use those 30 minutes to rock the heck out of the photo world.  Use those 30-ish minutes to explore new angles, try different settings camera settings, manipulate the light subject.  If it’s something you’re interested in shooting – a flower, a tree, grandma, a car, whatever… – you’ll reach 100 images before you can say “Cheese”!

Step 3: BE RUTHLESS!  Choose your best 5-10 images, thinking about things like emotional impact, composition, exposure, artistic effect (etc) and edit them.  Of THOSE images, submit only the 2 strongest images to submit@davidpasillas.com.

This awesome challenge is going to allow for growth as a photographer in a couple of areas. First, it will put you in a position where you’re forced to push your creativity when shooting. Most likely, you’ll run out of ideas and end up crawling around on the ground to get a different perspective. If you don’t get to that point after 100 shots, shoot another 100….seriously. The more you shoot, the more you will get out of this exercise.

Second, you will gain some experience as an editor, because truly, being able to distance yourself emotionally to see an image for what it is…well, it’s an invaluable skill.  Self-editing is part of the foundation upon which your reputation will be built.  Not every photo taken is five-star material, but the strongest photographers know the importance of putting only the best images into a portfolio.  In this case, appearance is everything.  You want your name to be associated with powerful images, and the first step in that process is learning to recognize the weak ones.

Note, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t love your art…just know that your emotional connection to an image doesn’t necessarily equate it to a marketable image.

In this case, imagine that you’re the editor of National Geographic, Life, or Sunset magazine. You get hundreds, nay, thousands of images coming across your desk each month. You have to choose the best of the best for the cover photo. You should have the same approach with your images. Choose the ones that you think should be in a magazine. Learn to pick out your best shots, understand why they work, and understand why the others don’t. Improve your skills as an editor and you’ll see the quality of your photos improve.

Here are a few helpful hints from David:

The first time I did this challenge, I was told to take 500 pictures of a single flower. I got to choose the flower and was free to do whatever I wanted. I feel like 500 might be a little intimidating for most of you at this point, so let’s start with 100.

Some things I tried or was told to try:
I used different lenses
shot both, wide angle and zoomed in
different aperture settings
many different angles and compositions
shot through things
shoot at different times of the day
set to manual focus and take some photos out of focus to achieve a painterly look
spray water on the flower
tear off the petals and make something with them

If you’re using an iPhone, try shooting with different camera apps. Get creative. Get weird.

This challenge will run through two weekends, from July 28 (Saturday) until August 5 (Sunday) at midnight.  So…ready to get your creative on???!!??


19 Jul

I admit, I have a serious love affair with mohawks.  They’re not right for everyone, but I have to respect any person willing to try it.  After all, mohawks are symonymous (in some dictionary somewhere) with self-confidence, which is a good thing.  Right?

This is a silhouette of my friend Rick, bass player for the band Hearts & Thieves. HashtagRockstar.

Mohawk Silhouette

Mohawk Silhouette