Tag Archives: connecticut

Snowstar

12 Feb
Snowstar :: CT

Snowstar :: CT

Singles Awareness Day is coming up soon. For those of you with good fortune in the love department, you know this day as Valentine’s Day. We think everyone deserves to feel appreciated on the 14th, so help us spread the love.
If you use Instagram, and want a chance to win a free copy of our book, you have TWO tasks. First, follow @dpasillas, and @seeingspotsphoto. Second,  comment on the contest post. Boom. Done. Just like that, you’ve put your name in the running to win a free copy of our book, “Photography. Duh!”
Already a follower? Great! You sound smart and attractive! Just leave a comment to enter the drawing. 
The winner will be announced Monday the 15th.

Days Gone By

25 Aug
Days Gone By :: CT

Days Gone By :: CT

If you follow my IG account, you saw last Friday’s epic rainbow situation.  The sky just blew up, like, Whoa.

After the colors died down a bit, I began my walk to the park entrance, and came across this composition.  It’s just so *New England*.  It is also a perfect example of how beauty really is hiding around every corner here in Connecticut. 🙂

10 Must See Places You Need to Photograph This Summer (New England Area Edition)

10 Jun

IMG_8789_final_SM_HEADER

***

Exploration and landscape photography go hand-in-hand, but finding time to research potential locations can be challenging.  If your time is at a premium, but you want to see some of the beauty of the Northeastern region of the US (and beyond) has to offer…this list is for you.

Light The Sky :: Maine

Light The Sky :: Maine

1)   Acadia:  This is a no-brainer.  Acadia is a gorgeous national park that highlights the natural, rugged beauty of northern New England.  Furthermore, there is something for everyone and every fitness level in Acadia, from relaxed strolls to involved hikes.  Several of the beautiful, varied landscapes are easily accessible, with convenient parking and short walks to the site.  Personal favorites are Sieur de Monts and Little Hunter Beach.

 

Vigilance :: RI

Vigilance :: RI

2)      Rhode Island lighthouses: For the purposes of landscape photography, Rhode Island has some great shore line.  Although not as rugged as Maine’s coastline, there is still a great variety of rocky foreground shoreline and sandy beaches along the ocean sides of the state.   Because there is so much rocky shoreline, there are also several beautiful, accessible lighthouses in the state.  Personal favorites are Beavertail in Jamestown, RI and the lighthouses on Block Island.

 

Shades of Gray :: MA

Shades of Gray :: MA

3)      Cape Cod, MA: The small towns and beaches that make up “The Cape” are a perfect representation of what makes the shore of New England so irresistible.  There are picturesque sandy beaches, salt marshes and lighthouses mixed in with iconic New England villages.  As a bonus (depending on you how you feel about the booming population), you can likely try your hand at Grey Seal photography. Personal favorites are Grey’s Beach boardwalk and the hike out to the Provincetown lighthouses.

 

In Wildness

In Wildness :: NH

4)      White Mountains National Forest area:  If you are looking for rugged wilderness, hiking, camping, waterfalls, ponds and birch trees then the White Mountains are for you.  The National Forest is well maintained, but retains a strong sense of nature throughout the entire area, including the land surrounding the green space.  Personal favorite hikes are Mount Washington (mountain and waterfalls), and Pondicherry (site of our forest and ponds workshop).

 

Currents :: Vermont

Currents :: Vermont

5)      Vermont Green Mountains area: The Green Mountain area of Vermont is interesting in that it is interspersed with pockets of civilization throughout, but never loses the magical feel of an untouched wild space.  There are plenty of mountains views, forest hikes, waterfalls and wildlife (moose!) to be had in upper Vermont.  As a bonus, it’s not far from Lake Champlain.  Personal favorite hikes are Camel’s Hump and Sterling Pond.  Personal favorite, easily accessible waterfall is Moss Glen in the Green Mountain Forest

 

Winds of Winter :: Massachusetts

Winds of Winter :: Massachusetts

6)   Quabbin Reservoir, MA:  Massachusetts gets two listings because the Quabbin is that nice.  This reservoir used to be four towns that were removed and the valley was flooded to provide drinking water for Boston.  If the creepy abandoned relics factor isn’t enough for you, then the generally flat hikes, biking and abundant wildlife are sure to win you over. Personal favorite is Hanks Meadow on the lower Quabbin shore.

 

Round and Round She Goes :: Canada

Round and Round She Goes :: Canada

7)      Niagara Falls, NY / Canada: For those of you who have a passport, Niagara is a MUST SEE.  The falls themselves are the kind of powerful that leaves your jaw on the floor and your knees a little shaky.  There are locations and activities along both sides of the border, but in my opinion, the Canadian side does it best.  It can be a bit “touristy” in town, including a giant ferris wheel to get the best view of the falls light show up at night, but there is a wider variety of things to participate in.  Personal favorites are Cave of the Winds (American side) and the butterfly sanctuary (Canadian side).

 

The Space Between :: Ricketts Glen, PA

The Space Between :: Ricketts Glen, PA

8)   Ricketts Glen in PA: What if I told you there was a park with 21 beautiful waterfalls in Pennsylvania?  Now, what if I told you that 18 of those waterfalls were easily accessible along a 3 mile hike?   Ricketts Glen is a photographer’s day hiking paradise giving you a lot of bang for your buck.  (Or time, as the case may be!)  Personal favorite is Oneida Falls.

 

Breathing Dreams

Breathing Dreams :: NY

9)   Upstate NY gorges: There is a reason that Ithaca, NY’s slogan is “Ithaca is Gorges.”  The area surrounding Ithaca is loaded with rock walls and stunning waterfalls.  The waterfalls vary from “eh” to “dang!”, the sheer volume of photographic opportunities makes this area worth a mention.  Personal favorites are Watkins Glen (if you’re looking for a good return on your time investment, and extremely well-manicured paths) or Taughannock Falls if you’re looking for drama.

 

Sounds of Silence :: Connecticut

Sounds of Silence :: Connecticut

10)   Connecticut’s Quaint Pockets of Nature:  Connecticut is interesting in that the entire state is the attraction.  It is loaded with small working farms, fishing villages, so much forest.  In fact, we’re kinda famous for our foliage in the Fall.  Personal favorites are Enders State Forest for waterfalls and foliage, and either Lighthouse Park or Walnut Beach/Silver Sands Beach for fun shoreline photos.

 

Now get out there and take some pictures!

Seeing Spots Photo offers day lessons, including guided site visits to some of our favorites locations.  For more information about that, check out our private sessions page.

 

Our Little Secret…

19 May
Our Little Secret :: Connecticut

Our Little Secret :: Connecticut

A lot of us have them….a place we love to just *be*.  A place we can explore, and play, and experience nature. A place that we love, and that we don’t really share because…well…that’s how you preserve the magic.

It’s interesting to me how wildly different, but equally lovely different parts of the world can be. Connecticut may not have the tallest mountains, deepest canyons, colorful rocks or most dramatic open spaces… but there is still so much beauty to be found in our own backyards. Saturday was overcast, so I spent some time exploring my corner of the state, chasing waterfalls.

Chasing Waterfalls

Chasing Waterfalls

This particular set of falls is not a “secret”, per se. It’s just not talked about much and as far as I’m concerned, that’s okay!  It’s one of the places I sneak away to when I need a little fresh air and call me selfish, but I enjoy it just the way it is…quiet. 😉

Can Someone Please Explain…

12 Feb
The House on Grass Island, one of many images featured in my new ebook.  Get it now!

The House on Grass Island, one of many images featured in my new ebook. Get it now!

…what is up with all of the negative attacks on photographers/photography lately?

(Spoiler alert…Devil’s advocate time!)

Right around the time Peter Lik is reported to have sold that expensive slot canyon shot, I also saw at least two articles about how photography isn’t art, and another purporting the term artist isn’t applicable now. We are all “creative entrepreneurs”.

Now, within the last few weeks, I see a rash of photographers attacking the work of their peers.

I guess my question is, “To what end?”

Really, please, explain it to me.

My perspective on photography as a whole is this: it is a medium to express yourself, therefore it is art. The articles I read specifically compared it to painting, suggesting the camera does the work, therefore it is not art.

By that logic, doesn’t the paintbrush do the work?

The tool is just that. A tool to be used in bringing your vision to life. Photo shoots usually require planning, scouting if ‘on location’ and vision. It may not always go to plan, but vision is part of the process.

Most prints require some work – the amount to be determined by the artist. If you stop at simple dodge and burn in a dark room, so be it. If you create a surreal landscape in Photoshop, good for you. Photography is an opportunity to express yourself, your feelings and your perspective. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as you don’t lie to people about your process (such as claiming its straight out of camera). You shouldn’t have to defend your choices.

No matter what level of manipulation or editing or non editing you chose, without a human involved in the process, there is no photo. In my mind, that human element makes it art.

So why are we belittling the medium and the photographers involved in it?

I’m going to lump my thoughts on attacking our peers and label together.

First, the title of “creative entrepreneur” vs artist. The argument made is that the term artist implies struggle and experience with no regard for money.

In response, I’d like to mention The Last Supper, commissioned by Davinci’s patron, Sforza.

The statue of David was a commissioned piece, purchased by the Opera del Duomo from Michelangelo, one of the best paid artists at the time.

Ansel Adam’s history included a private gallery, commercial work, books, etc…all of which he made money on.

Three masters of their respective fields, all making money off their art?? Obviously, there are infinite examples of artists getting paid for their work. They should. They have dedicated their time to learning and/or practicing something, and are able to fill a demand for that thing…so why the recent trend to try shaming photographers for making a living with their art?

From a personal standpoint, I don’t care if you label me artist or entrepreneur. Labels and attacks on another’s work only serve to reflect poorly on the people doing the shaming. If its not constructive or thoughtful feedback, it won’t affect my choices with my art.

Now, let’s touch on a recent trend of bashing current photo trends, specifically in landscape photography. Their complaints seem to be that conformity is bad for photography as a whole. Specifically, I’ve seen people up in arms about the uniform look of the front page of 500px (who, by the way, is probably loving all the press on these recent debates) and the superficial nature of social media interactions.

My thoughts on this are sprawling…bear with me here.

In regards to conformity, why are we critical of an artist looking to cater to public response. Be it for personal accolades or for business marketing, the person behind the camera is recognizing the current trends in photography and creating marketable images for the moods of the public. Now, I can only speak for my own work, but I can tell you that while I make my art for me within the limits of editing that I am comfortable with, I also like being able to pay my bills with income from my art.

Trends come and go (HDR, anyone?) and people’s styles will always evolve to match them or they risk being irrelevant. Only a few hold outs to a particular style ever end up thriving long term. I don’t blame people for wanting to continue to be able to put food on their tables.

Besides…the idea of trends isn’t unique to ‘now’ or to photography. The era of Impressionism? Surrealism?  Shall I go on?

In regards to the superficial nature of social media interactions…duh. We have had a huge cultural shift over the last few years. The newer generations are being raised in sensory overloaded, short attention span inducing, technology laden environments. We are also living in an era where any perceived slight could result in a lawsuit. Between those two things (among other factors), it seems obvious that social media is a platform for superficial interaction.

That being said, I do think you get out of it as much as you’re willing to put in. You can get meaningful feedback, but you need to embrace a personal online culture of such. Start feedback swaps. Ask for tips. Etc.  For better or worse, social media is now “part of the job” and viewing it as such does help to keep it in perspective and keep your emotional investment at a reasonable level.

I can absolutely empathize with how frustrating it can be to work a competitive environment, or to see a photo you poured your heart into go unnoticed. It happens to all of us. Self doubt definitely comes into play when you rely on the fickle hearts and minds of the public to make a living. In my opinion, the way to combat this isn’t by attacking others, but rather, by embracing the joy you get from making art in the first place. Don’t do things you feel compromise your integrity.  If you’re unhappy with the current trends, don’t participate in them. If social media is dull, find meaningful interaction elsewhere. Respect other’s opinions and more importantly, recognize that while their art doesn’t speak to you, it is still something they labored over. If you want to work to change the current trends, do it…by creating something the people didn’t know they needed until you provided it.

I’m going to leave you with some perspective about playing nice….

“Don’t hate the player, hate the game.”

You can’t control most things in life, but you can control how you react. Choose wisely.

So…….that’s what I think.  I normally don’t put up things like this knowing they may get people fired up, but I felt it needed to be said.  Negativity begets more negativity, and I’d rather have an environment of understanding, tolerance and mutual goals to improve our craft to reach our personal goals.

 Feel free to put your opinion in the comments.

Free Gift! Limited Time Offer!

29 Jan
New "PHOTOGRAPHY + CONNECTICUT" e-book!

New “PHOTOGRAPHY + CONNECTICUT” e-book!

I am so excited to finally announce the release of my first e-book!  Surprise!

This year has been a busy one so far, with so many exciting changes and plans in the works.  The time is not yet right to announce all of them…and believe me, David and I have some really awesome things coming up for 2015…but it is the right time to talk about my newest venture!  An e-book mini guide to some of the hot spots for landscape and nature photography in Connecticut!

I know, I know…Connecticut??!!??  Yes!  Connecticut.  It may be a small state, but it has so much to offer photographers, and it (unfortunately) often gets overlooked in favor of other New England heavy hitters like Acadia or Boston.  Now, don’t get me wrong…those places are great!  But Connecticut?  If you’re looking for variety, charm and history then CT is the cat’s pajamas.

“Photography + Connecticut; The Nature and Landscape Mini Guide” is a casual, conversational e-book indexing some of my favorite places to shoot in the state.  It’s meant to highlight the reasons that YOU…yes, YOU…should come visit…with a camera in hand.

So, how do you get your hands on a copy??

Simple!  For a limited time only, all you have to do is sign up for the newsletter here….you’ll get a confirmation email and once you’re signed up….boom!  Magic!  The link to the PDF will appear in your inbox as part of our welcome email, ready to be…er…read. 🙂

This offer expires March 1. After that, the guide will be for sale here.

I hope you enjoy the pretty pictures, I hope you come visit….and while you’re here, I hope you look me up!  Bring cookies.  I like cookies.

 

This book offer is only for a limited time, until the end of February.  Don’t wait!

 

Thanks so much for all your support.  Please, spread the word. 🙂

xoxo

Shannon

 

Sounds of Silence

20 Jan
Sounds of Silence :: Connecticut

Sounds of Silence :: Connecticut

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day, a day to reflect on the impact of this revolutionary man and the powerful changes that he now represents. His conviction that people should embrace love, treat each other as brothers and weigh the content of someone’s character over other factors (skin color, gender, religion, sexual preference, etc) are powerful sentiments that we can all benefit from in both on the large and small scale.

On the small scale, little acts of compassion, kindness, tolerance and an attempt at understanding would bring less friction, less selfishness, more smiles and more joy into both your life and the lives you touch.

On the large scale, how much unrest, injustice and tragedy could be avoided if the world embraced love and understanding first? We humans are selfish by nature, innately interested in self-preservation. But I challenge you to think beyond your body and family. I challenge you to bring something to the table that helps your fellow man and enriches the rich, beautiful, eclectic, intense variety of the tapestry of humankind.

Collect some good karma points, smile at your neighbor, sprinkle some kindness wherever you go and leave the world a more beautiful place. ❤

 

This image is part of an ongoing personal project to showcase the beauty of Connecticut, a state often overlooked by my landscape photography peers. 🙂 You’re missing out, guys! And ladies, of course. Lol

I took this sunrise photo in Milford, CT over the long weekend. It was incredible to see the world and the water so quiet, despite the frigid temperatures. Sunrises are always a time of peace and reflection for me, and this one will be one that I remember for a long time.

For more info about my images, private lessons or upcoming workshops on the East coast, shoot me an email or sign up for my new newsletter! 

Winter Solstice

22 Dec
Solstice

Solstice

This past weekend was the solstice for 2014, and we finally got a taste of winter.  Ice, snow and brrrrrrrrrrrr (cold)!  Sure did make for a nice hike and some pretty pictures though. 🙂

Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season so far!

xo

Shannon

Winter Wonderland

18 Dec
Diana's Pool :: CT

Diana’s Pool :: CT

This time of year, photography time is at a premium.  The sun isn’t up for very long before I leave for the day job, and it’s down before I’m done with work.  Furthermore, winter hasn’t quite arrived yet….but I’m pining for some snow photos.

 

Today, I’m pulling one from the archives to share with you.  Hopefully that will tide me over until the snow arrives here in CT.  Hope you enjoy! 🙂

 

xo

Shannon

 

Latest Project Unveiled!

4 Dec
The Change

The Change

Excited to finally share the link to my latest project, an article and images published in the latest issue of Tell New England. I had so much fun working on the piece…the ladies over at t.e.l.l. magazine were great and the project involved taking a few trips to my absolute favorite spot in Connecticut, Enders State Forest.

Nature's Gift

Nature’s Gift

You can see/read things here: http://tellnewengland.com/enders…. I’d love to hear what you think! 🙂

As always, if you like it, please share it.

xoxo

Shannon