Tag Archives: luminosity mask

The Pinnacles

28 Apr
The Pinnacles :: NY

The Pinnacles :: NY

In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous. – Aristotle

So often, my first instinct is to reach for the wide angle lens and shoot a traditional landscape view.  But there are times when the details call so strongly to me that I know focusing on the whole scene is a waste of time.  This was one of those moments.

What I like about this view is that is leaves you guessing…there is no sense of scale.  There is just texture, and color and depth.

Those of you who follow my other social media may already know what this is…but for the rest of you…any guesses?  What do you think this is?

(I’ll give you a hint…it’s not Mars!)

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Practice Makes Progress

14 Apr

Vortex (reprocessed) :: CT

Last weekend I spent some time reprocessing some older photos for a write-up on the Outbound.  As I looked through my older shots, I kept asking myself, “What the heck were you thinking??”

The shots themselves were solid compositions (in my opinion) but the edits were….well…not.  They were okay, but they didn’t reflect where I am as an artist today.

Art is funny that way, ya know?  Trends change.  The look that was popular a few years ago is most definitely not what we see now.  A few years ago, many of the landscapes you saw were run through HDR software, so they had very even tones across the board.  The highlights and deep shadows were pulled back, and the lack of dynamic light was over-shadowed by the fantastic colors.

Vortex

The Vortex :: CT

Older version of the same image is significantly different based on both growing my editing skills and current trends.

Now, you’re seeing a trend for extremely dramatic light…lot of deep shadows during the magic hours.  Think Ryan Dyar or Marc Adamus.

Now, these shots are stunning.  But having watched the HDR revolution come and go, I can definitely see it’s a trend.  I have no idea how long it will last, before the next editing style gets its 15 minutes of fame.

Which brings up a good point, I think….  Your edits really can make or break an image.  It’s important to learn to use your camera in the field, but in today’s world, your edits can hold almost as much weight.  If you put together a well composed photo in good light, but the edit doesn’t highlight the strong points of the image, it will get overlooked in favor of an image with the more popular editing trends.

Now, if you make art for you…then you do what looks best to your eye!  But if you make art for a living…then you need to catch the buyers eye or you can’t put food on the table.

For me personally, I strive for a photo with dynamic, molded light.  I don’t often go so far as to create surreal images, but rather, I’ll try to enhance the light as it falls normally. Molded light is…well…my newest trend. 😉

The shot above was taken at Enders Falls in CT.

For more information about the edit and/or classes, contact me at seespotsphoto at yahoo dot com.

Also, if you’re an iPhone/iPad user, check out my newest article on seeing in Black and White in issue 9 of Light and Landscape magazine.

The Mountains Are Calling…

9 Apr
The Mountains Are Calling :: NH

The Mountains Are Calling :: NH

The mountains are calling and I must go.

Warmer weather is coming. Adventures are close on its heels. I can’t wait. 🙂

So many of you have been looking for an update on the soon-to-be book. We have officially started formatting (first 4 chapters are done-done!) so hopefully we will be prepping for a release soon. There will be some fun hoopla surrounding the release, but you need to get our newsletter to be part of it. 🙂 Sign up for that here!

Poetry of the Earth

14 Jan
Poetry of the Earth

Poetry of the Earth

And he showed me things

Many beautiful things,

That I hadn’t thought to explore.

They were off my path,

So I never had dared.

I had been so careful,

I never had cared.

 

This is an image of Crawford Notch, in New Hampshire taken last fall on a scouting trip with my photo partner in crime (partner in photo?) David Pasillas. There is something very powerful and empowering about just exploring, finding beautiful spaces and the capturing memories. As I said in a recent interview with Laura Macky, I wonder how long some of these spaces will be around and I feel so grateful that I am able to see and experience them before they change, for better or (more likely) worse.

 

The sky was full of movement that day, opening and closing windows between the clouds. I took a few versions of this over the course of perhaps 15 minutes, and the highlights of the landscape were significantly different for each.

 

It wasn’t the golden hour, or the deep shadows of blue hour…but watching the light dance across the scene was its own brand of magic.

Hope Rises

28 Oct
Hope Rises

Hope Rises

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” – Marcus Aurelius

 

In the news this past week, I’ve seen powerful images of the people of West Africa who have been devastated by ‘the Ebola’, NYC gripped with fear, polls suggesting we close our borders to countries in need (which is reactionary and virtually impossible to enforce in today’s international society), three separate attacks on the brave people in uniforms that keep the citizens of Canada and the US safe and the pain of another community affected by a school shooting.  CNN is a total bummer.

 

With media being what it is, and the state of our world being what it is….it is so easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless in the face of all of the negativity.  “ISIS!  Ebola!  and YOU! ” It’s easy to fall prey to the fear.  If you let it, fear will drown out the voice of logic that tells you not to worry yet.  You’ll want to close yourself off, wall yourself into a little room and wait until the problems disappear.  And that’s just in the global community.  What about your own personal life?  Your own problems?  Work is tough, or worse yet, work is slow.  Your son needs braces.  Your cat just passed away.  Your debt seems insurmountable….  RUN!  Run away!  If I ignore it long enough, it will go away, right?

 

Wrong.  In my experience, that rarely seems to work.  I’ve never known a problem to solve itself.  At least…not in a way that favors me. haha

 

Every day we wake up is a blessing.  Every morning that we draw breath is an opportunity to improve ourselves and the life around us.  Yes, the world is full of problems.  Yes, our day to day is full of problems.  But if you focus on the problems instead of the solution, you’ll never rise above your current situation.

 

At one point, a few years back, I came to a cross roads in my own life.  My problems and anxiety piled up.  There were moments where facing anything except the inside of my eyelids seemed monumental.  But I had a realization.  In the grand scheme of things, my life wasn’t so bad – I had a job, which some people couldn’t say.  I had a roof over my head, which some people would give anything for.  I was a free female living in a country that recognizes basic human rights.  I told myself, “it could definitely be worse.”  I started to focus on the things I did have and that moment, when I chose to be the master of my own life, changed everything.

 

It didn’t happen all at once, of course.  First it was changing my thoughts.  I focused on the positives and suddenly I didn’t feel like I was drowning.  Before long, I began to feel empowered.  Dreams?  Pffft.  Like problems that don’t solve themselves, dreams don’t come to pass without work.  I didn’t have dreams, I had goals.  Once I began seeing what my hard work could accomplish, it became easier to see that the changes in my own life were affecting the people around me.  It was easy to see that strength and generosity walk side by side.  Every part of my life became better and the people around me benefited because of the power of hope.  Seeing that there was room for positive vibes in my life gave me the strength to shape my life into something special.  I just had to be willing to be the change I wanted to see.

 

Be strong.  Take another step.  Believe in yourself.  Be loud.  Be compassionate.  Let’s shape our future – the world’s future – into something special.

 

Every day that the sun rises, hope rises.  Shine on. ❤

 

This image was taken in Acadia National Park while out exploring with my friends, Mike Mezuel, Mital Patel and David Pasillas.  They are rad dudes, and inspiring photographers.  Please check their work out.  And if you aren’t already doing so, make sure to follow along on my instagram or twitters or the facebooks…a lot of behind the scene shots from these sort of adventures end up there.  Like that time we….oh…nevermind.  *look away* 😉

Hint of Red (October)

16 Oct
Hint of Red (October)

Hint of Red (October)

 

heh heh… See what I did there? 😉

 

This is another image taken in the White Mountains in New Hampshire a few weeks back.  As far as photos go, this is a pretty standard waterfall image, but I did spend a little time in the editing process trying to mold the light….a lesson I learned from David Pasillas.  This image, along with several upcoming shots that you’ll see (once we edit them haha) will be part of our super secret project that hasn’t been announced yet.  But it will be.  (And we really hope you love it!)

 

In the meantime, thanks for your continued support.  If you like the shot, share it.

 

xo

Shannon

The Forest Through the Trees

24 Sep
The Forest Through the Trees

The Forest Through the Trees

“There is always music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it.” -Minnie Aumonier

That is the kind of sky I live for.  A natural symphony.  A masterpiece.  The kind of light that makes anything look beautiful.  Those few precious moments, just before the sun falls below the horizon, lighting up the sky and the forest with the most intense shades of rainbow…

*sigh*

The editing process for the images I took this day was touch and go.  I wasn’t sure if this photo was any good.  I wasn’t sure what I would ever do with it (I have a number of images sitting on hard drives like that) but a few things made me decide to publish this.

First, I was feeling very inspired by some of Lars Van De Goor’s beautiful forest images.  The quality of the light and his edits are gorgeous.

Second, I had some wonderful feedback and encouragement from a loving boyfriend and a good friend.  There is a lesson to be learned there.  Always surround yourself with positive vibes. ……Ain’t nobody got time for haters. haha