Tag Archives: landscape

Steadfast :: Iceland

14 Nov
Steadfast :: Iceland

Steadfast :: Iceland

“Some days I look down
Afraid I will fall
And though the sun shines
I see nothing at all
Then I hear your sweet voice, oh
Oh, come and then go, come and then go
Telling me softly
You love me so” -Patty Griffin/Up to the Mountain (based on an MLK speech)

 

This incredible peak had an equally incredible glacier field attached to it, and I felt blessed to see it. A photo-friend, Dani, talked about a project she is doing where she goes back yearly to a glacier field and it has noticeably receded in just the short time she’s been capturing it. It makes me wonder how long we have before these beautiful spaces are gone completely. And more importantly, I wonder what can WE HUMANS (the biggest contributors to the problem according to the newest climate report released in the US) can do to combat the problems we face?

If there are any stragglers for the print sale to benefit little Liam, let me know!  I’m ordering from the print house tomorrow!  And for all of you that have reached out already, thank you!  You’re amazing!

Shannon

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Revelator :: Iceland

8 Nov
Revelator :: Iceland

Revelator :: Iceland

 

It’s moments like these that remind you how incredibly beautiful our world can be, and to appreciate the important things in life. ❤️ .

On that note, I’m having a print sale to raise money for a 4 yr old just diagnosed with stage IV cancer. If you’ve ever thought you might want some of my art on your walls, now would be a great time to do it.  🙂

Daydreaming, and Cancer (It Sucks)

18 Oct

Cancer sucks.  No, seriously, it’s the pits.  I lost a few grandparents to it.  One of my parents just fought a battle (and won!!).  I’ve got friends who have already had to face the life changing reality of it.

It.  Just.  Sucks.

But when it happens to a young child, your heart literally breaks.  When that child happens to be the son of a woman you have always loved like a sister, when that child thinks of you as Aunt Shannon….it’s absolutely devastating.

A few weeks ago, my “nephew” had complaints of a stomach ache and began peeing blood.  He was rushed to the emergency room, and after an ultrasound, the doctors expressed that they suspected he had a Wilms tumor on his kidney.  Wilms is one of the more common types of childhood cancer, and you can read a bit more about that here.  He was moved via ambulance to a local children’s hospital, and further tests confirmed that he had stage 4 cancer.

Stage 4.  There was a tumor on his left kidney, and spots on his liver, lungs and in the blood vessels leading to the right kidney.

At this point, my sister-friend and her husband had already been pulling alternating shifts at the hospital, one parent with my nephew and one parent at home with the other kids.  Both my sister-friend and her husband are the exact type of people you would hold up as an example of what parents should be.  They have hearts of gold and chose professions where they get to help people.  They’re honest, kind, funny, stable, intelligent, loving people who have always wanted to be parents.  But cancer doesn’t care about things like that.  It’s doesn’t discriminate.  And now these wonderful people, whom I’ve always called family, are stretched thin.

Grandparents have been enlisted to help.  Siblings are stopping by to support them, and friends have become taxis.  Heck, I went grocery shopping for them because how else would they find the time for basic supplies?

You see, that’s the reality of cancer.  It doesn’t just affect the person who is diagnosed.  It consumes everyone around the person fighting to beat it.  The patient needs extra time, support and care so you give it, because you love them.  The patient’s needs change and you accommodate them, because you want them to thrive.  The patient’s immune system becomes depressed because of treatment, their moods and energy levels fluctuate, their emotional health takes a beating and you do what you can to support them, because you want them to win.  A child still needs to be encouraged to be a child, so you put them on their balance bike and you hope like hell nothing goes wrong, because you know you can’t put them in a bubble…even on days you want to.

But who supports the parents of a child with Wilms?  Parents who can’t work because they need to support their son?  Parents who are struggling to keep their heads on straight for their children?

Well, their family and friends, for one.  A lot of us have tried stepping up, coming up with strategies to help with meal trains so they don’t have to worry about cooking after yet another trip to the hospital, or private fundraisers to help with the long term bills that are sure to pile up.  But it takes a village to raise a child, and now, I’m asking my village for help.

There are so many pressing concerns in the world right now – the hurricane damage in Puerto Rico, the wildfires out west, the…well, in essence the ethnic cleansing going on in Myanmar, the escalating tensions with North Korea….  There are a lot of causes out there, and for those of you without the resources to give, I fully understand.  I hope that in lieu of money, you might be able to keep both my nephew and all of those afflicted by cancer in your thoughts.  (My nephew is actually one of two children whose families I am close with that are undergoing treatment for Wilms.)

For those of you with the means though, my second biggest worry after my nephew’s immediate recovery, is the bills.  Insurance helps moderate some of the costs, but not all.  And of course, not working means that given enough time, the rest of the family’s bills – mortgage, utilities, food shopping, etc – will begin piling up.  I would like for them not to have to worry about finances when they should be focusing on their son’s recovery.  So, for those of you who might have a few dollars to spare, you can donate here.

Also, as an aside, I chose to make this post on my photography page – just like a choose to bring up other important topics ranging from environmental concerns to humanitarian crises – because I feel that ART IS POWERFUL.  Because through my photography, I have a voice, and it is everyone’s responsibility to use their voice to make the world a better place.  So for those of you who come by just to say Hi and look at some pretty pictures, I appreciate you!  But for those of you who read all of the way to the end of my longer posts, I am extra grateful.  Any support means the world to me, but if I can inspire someone in a positive way, then I feel as though I’ve truly made a difference. We have, together. ❤

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.

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! 😊