Tag Archives: lighthouse

Guide Us Home :: RI

18 Jul
Guide Us Home :: RI

Guide Us Home :: RI

In Connecticut, dark sky areas are almost non-existent, due to our dense population and the light pollution that comes with it.  That makes capturing the Milky Way very difficult.  To truly have a sky that is dark enough to see detail in the Milky Way core, I need to either drive to Rhode Island (where the is a tiny oasis of dark sky along our shared border) or north and/or northwest towards Massachusetts, Vermont or upstate New York.

So besides the inconvenience of needing to travel, why is light pollution a problem?  Because it isn’t just light.  It’s light that affects everything.

There is evidence that too much night-light will effect trees’ seasonal clocks.  It’s shown that the bright lights of human cities can disrupt migration patterns of birds, the ability of newly hatched sea turtles to find the safety of the water, the hunting and territory patterns of opportunistic animals…. and researchers are beginning to think that the disruption to our – humans – natural circadian cycles is a risk factor for higher incidences of cancer.

“The health effects of light pollution have not been as well defined for humans as for wildlife, although a compelling amount of epidemiologic evidence points to a consistent association between exposure to indoor artificial nighttime light and health problems such as breast cancer, says George Brainard, a professor of neurology at Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.” (here)

So about those pockets of darkness near Connecticut?  Well, Beavertail Light in Rhode Island is along the edge of one.  When my friend Tony Curado, who is working on a Galactic 50 project (capturing the Milky Way in all 50 states!), suggested he wanted to chase stars in my neighborhood, I knew exactly what location to try.

The night finally arrived, and as I sat there under the stars with Tony and Kyle (another local photographer), I felt grateful. There I was, watching the universe do its thing, the sounds of the waves kissing the land, and good friends to share it with.

Rush Hour :: ME

22 Jun
Rush Hour :: ME

Rush Hour :: ME

This month, our students over at L&L wanted to learn about HDR.  Now, while some HDR created using algorithms is very good….well….some is not.  It’s very easy to go too far, to create halos, unnatural colors, unnatural light, etc.  Blending by hand tends to give you more control while still extending your dynamic range.

Similar to the last photo (Insomnia), this is a mash up of three different exposures – two for the sky, and one for the long exposure water/foreground rocks/lighthouse.  To create the base composite, I used layers and masked what I wanted from each shot into one final image.  That created a base on which to build, with the standard curves, levels, etc.

The final image is similar to the treat Mother Nature gave me the morning I took this.  This is sunrise at Nubble Light in York, ME from early June.  It was one of four light houses David and I stopped to see on the Great Lighthouse Tour of 2016.  This one, by far, had the best light of the day.

Interested in more in depth help with your own images? For more information about our teaching program over at L&L, go here. 🙂

5 Tips for Capturing the Northern Lights

22 Oct
Nubble Lights :: ME

Nubble Lights :: ME

‘Tis the season for the Aurora!

Looking for tips on photographing the Northern Lights? I did a write up on the subject here for The Outbound Collective! 🙂

Dancing Skies

29 Jun
Nubble Lights :: ME

Nubble Lights :: ME

If you want the shot, you have to show up.

Monday had been a long day, but when I heard there was a strong chance of Aurora sightings, I knew I had two options. I could go back home and spend the night sitting on my couch, editing photos and watching Netflix….or I could seize life and make it happen.  It’s not everyday that you have the opportunity to cross something off of your bucket list. Obviously, I had to go.

I did a quick tally of the places north of me that I suspected would have dark enough skies, and settled on Nubble Lighthouse in York, ME. I couldn’t find anyone willing to drop everything on such short notice, so around 7pm I hopped in the car and took the 2.5 hour drive to Maine alone. (The drive home was not fun. I got home at 2 am and got about 4 hours of sleep that night.)

Although it was a long tiring drive, the experience was 100% worth it. I sat on the rocks in front of the lighthouse, listening to the waves around me, and watched the pillars of light in the sky dance. All around me, I heard other people gasping and laughing at the magic of Mother Nature’s show. It was an experience that I will cherish for years to come.

I hope you enjoy the shot. This was taken at ISO 1600, f/3.5, 10 mm, 20 seconds. 🙂

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

 

Shine On

29 Apr

 

Shine On

Shine On

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.” – Rumi

The above photo is the counterpart to Ebb and Flow.  As I stood in the cold, setting up the camera to capture that pano, the lighthouse stood behind me, shining brilliantly into the coming night.

I’ve been fortunate to have been on a number of photo outings the last few weeks, and always, I fall in love with our world all over again.  We live in such a beautiful place, the trick is to train your eyes to see it.

Many thanks to the people around me who support and share my goal of capturing the beauty of the world. ❤

***

Also…..The 10 minute gallery has been posted, thank you to everyone who participated!

Winter Is Coming

5 Dec

PortlandHeadLightME

 

…(did I just score some points with Game of Thrones fans?? ;-D)

Anyway, this is a photo of the iconic Portland Head Light.  It’s one of those places that has been photographed from every possible angle, with all possible lighting and and weather conditions.  So obviously, I had to have a version of my own. haha

Like most heavily visited areas, the image and the reality of the place are a little different.  What you don’t see is a fence line keeping tourists away from the rocks so they don’t fall into the ocean, a worn dirt and gravel path along the fence line as far as you can see, and at least a handful of other tourists who were braving the cold with me.

What you also don’t see is photogs like me doing yoga with their tripods over the fence trying to get a better angle than what the state determined to be safe.  Or the sagging spot in the fence where it would seem (because obvi, I didn’t do it! *cough cough*) most people hopped over to climb the rocks.

Most of these iconic spots – the places you associate with…well…places – are now a handful of scenic surrounded by regulations.  It is, without a doubt, a beautiful place.  But the images of a rugged coastline are somewhat decieving.

Makes me crave a little bit of the unexplored, of the undiscovered, of the wild.  There are days where I want a secret, beautiful spot that I can call my own, creating unique photos that will wow.

But for now, until I’m independently wealthy and able to finance a trip to where the wild things grow…this little bit of Maine will do. 🙂