Tag Archives: landscape

Heartwood :: WA

7 May
Heartwood :: WA

Heartwood :: WA

Three years ago I made my first trip to Oregon where I hiked through Opal Creek Wilderness.  The trail there is incredibly lush, with mossy halls and nurse logs for days.  In fact, that is where I learned what nurse logs were – a fallen tree that, as it decays, provides shelter and nutrients to seedlings.  That struck a cord for me.  Ever since then, nurse logs have made me smile when I stumbled upon them.  We all need help and protection somewhere along the way to help us thrive, and there is something heartwarming about the idea of the younger generations building upon the foundations of the generation before them in the hopes of growing to greater heights.  It’s a great metaphor for our own lives, and reminds me to appreciate all of the help I’ve had along the way in my own journey.

I have so much gratitude for all of the support that every one of you have given to me.  I’ve been fortunate enough to have some incredible mentors and photography friends who encourage me to be my best, and I feel motivated to work harder by all of your kind words, referrals for work, print purchases, etc.  You guys keep me reaching for new heights and I cannot thank you enough for your support over the years!

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Nature First

30 Apr
Nature First :: WA

Nature First :: WA

 

Last week, Jennifer Renwick and Sarah Marino (both spectacular landscape photographers and humans!) approached me with a new initiative they are working on called “Nature First”.

In some ways, landscape photography is a double edged sword.  I think most of us get into this field because we love nature and want to celebrate and share the beauty of the world with others, in the hopes that we might inspire them to embrace nature as we have.  However, with the evolution of social media, and the affordability of travel, it’s become easier than ever for people to visit locations they’ve seen beautiful photos of…and without proper education and restraint, things can quickly get out of hand.  For example, a few weeks back, California experienced a super bloom of poppies – one of the most prolific years they’ve had in quite some time.  People flocked to see the flowers, to disastrous effect.   Tens of thousands of people descended on Lake Elsinore, and the popular Walker Canyon had to be shut down, as they could not accommodate the volume of visitors.  And the tourists themselves lacked the caution necessary to preserve such fragile locations, often straying from paths, disturbing wildlife (at least one rattlesnake bite was reported) and trampling huge swaths of the very thing they’d come to see.

In a similar example, just this past week, Panther Falls in Oregon closed the route to the lower falls because someone fell trying to see it.  That location was made popular by landscape photographers, and now, access is being restricted.

I cannot say that in my time as a photographer, I have never been careless, thoughtless or broken a rule I didn’t agree with.  But over time, I’ve come to realize that if I am to be a good steward for this planet, then I need to place its needs over the desire for a pretty shot.  I cannot assume that simply because I did the rock walk around fragile alpine that someone else will.  I can’t assume that because I know to keep a massive distance between myself and wildlife, and have access to a large zoom lens that someone else will.  I need to be more thoughtful in what I do, and just as importantly (if not more) in what I share, and how I share it.  Do I use my photos as teachable moments?  Do I use caution when posting fragile locations?  Am I doing my best to protect our green spaces?

To that end, Nature First has come up with a list of guidelines specifically for landscape photographers, in conjunction with the Leave No Trace principles.

 

1. Prioritize the well-being of nature over photography.

2. Educate yourself about the places you photograph.

3. Reflect on the possible impact of your actions.

4. Use discretion if sharing locations.

5. Know and follow rules and regulations.

6. Always follow Leave No Trace principles and strive to leave places better than you found them.

7. Actively promote and educate others about these principles

 

If you’re interested in learning more about the Nature First movement, or better yet, joining, you can read about it over at https://www.naturefirstphotography.org
 
Every single one of us has the ability to make a positive difference and use our voice for change.  What will you do with yours?

Balance :: ME

6 Nov

 

Balance :: ME

Balance :: ME

I recently put together something about Acadia Natl Park for a magazine, which means new (old) edits! (Hence the last post. And this one!)

Don’t worry, the fall foliage shots are coming…. But today you get a moody black and white.

Black Sand :: Iceland

30 Oct
Black Sand :: Iceland

Black Sand :: Iceland

“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.” Vincent Van Gogh

I found out recently that one of my students passed away while out exploring his new home. It came as quite the shock for a lot of us that knew him, both in terms of a lost friend, and as a reminder of our own mortality and the risks associated with our passion – landscape photography.

My heart goes out to his loved ones. I hope you find comfort in the joyful memories you made together. ❤️

This shot is from a notoriously dangerous beach in Iceland, with warning signs that often go ignored or misunderstood by tourists. Reynisfjara beach has particularly dangerous waves due to the location and steepness of the continental shelf.

Centennial Autumn :: NH

25 Oct
Centennial Autumn :: NH

Centennial Autumn :: NH

 

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” -Albert Camus

Tremors :: CA

23 Oct
Tremors :: CA

Tremors :: CA

“I believe the world is incomprehensibly beautiful – an endless prospect of magic and wonder.” -Ansel Adams

I recently went digging through the archives looking for a particular photo…. but the archives are kind of like the Internet. You go into it with a single goal, and pretty soon you’re lost, following this and investigating that. The bad news: I never found that file I was looking for. The good news: I found this instead!

From Death Valley, a month after historic floods rocked the desert a few years back.

Andante :: CT

18 Sep
Andante :: CT

Andante :: CT

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

A few weeks back, I checked out a waterfall @pmacmiller posted about (he’s a great guy, check out his page!) and the hike was lovely. A lot of it meanders along the shore of a lake, which in the summer can be a bit noisy (motorized boats allowed) but it didn’t stop me from finding little moments of joy in the woods. For example, at the end of a curve in the trail, I stumbled upon this scene. It’s a fallen log, and some trees, but in the right light at the right moment it was magical. In fact, so much of photography is just that: recognizing beautiful moments. As Emerson said, it’s a study in patience. But when the trees take on the soft glow of diffuse light, while the birds chirp and chipmunks rustle the undergrowth, it becomes clear that patience pays off. Talk about a life lesson, eh??