Tag Archives: Maine

Free Photo Walk!

15 Sep
New Beginnings :: ME

New Beginnings :: ME

 

The weekend of Oct 1 & 2, David Pasillas and I are going to be taking a photo walk around Acadia.  If you’re interested in joining us to explore this wonderful national park, contact me so we can shoot you the details! seespotsphoto at yahoo dot com

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. 🙂

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.

 

Iconic Places

18 Mar
Iconic

Iconic

I have a love-hate relationship with famous, overly photographed locations.  On the one hand, they look so damn beautiful…obviously I want to visit them.  On the other hand, I want to build a portfolio full of fresh images.

In most cases, the solution is to find a new take on an old place.  The goal for any location is to make an image that reflects my experiences and my interpretation of the icon.  At Bass Harbor Light, however…well…good luck. lol

David and I got to Acadia just in time for sunset so we raced to Bass Harbor, hoping to have a half hour to scout before the real light show began.  What we found was about a 30 foot wide space – the only vantage point from this side of the lighthouse – crammed with approximately 15 photographers.  About 10 of those had tripods.

We took what we could get.  I spent more energy trying not to fall off the cliff into the ocean than I did on my composition.  There was only one composition…the one that fit between the lens of the other photographers.

In fact, after I took the image, I forgot about it.  The world doesn’t need another almost identical shot of Bass Harbor Light, does it?

No, it doesn’t.  But turns out, our upcoming book might…and an edited photo is meant to be shared. lol  Here is a little sneak-peak at something that might make it to the book.  And if it doesn’t?  Well, then at least the internet is one lighthouse photo richer today. 🙂

Light The Sky

3 Mar
Light The Sky :: Maine

Light The Sky :: Maine

“Even
After
All this time
The Sun never says to the Earth,

“You owe me.”

Look
What happens
With a love like that,
It lights the whole sky.”

Hāfez

(Working title: “JJ Acadia”, for those JJ Abrams fans out there! Or Acadia fans, as the case may be.  Both = a double win! lol)

It’s been a busy few weeks…as I mentioned last week, we are working on a book (which will be awesome.  Sign up for the newsletter for updates, discounts, etc when the time comes!), I’ve got a few personal projects going on and I’ve spent the last few weeks working with Edith Levy on an mutual interview project (because her travel images rock and I think you’ll love them.  Her interview will be released next week…stay tuned for that!).

As of yesterday, she was kind enough to put together a little behind the scenes interview about my photography work.  Please, go check it out and show her page some love. 🙂

This image will be part of the upcoming ebook that David and I are working on…it is a shot I took in Acadia last fall as an example of sun flare.  The final is actually a blend of three exposures, using luminosity masks and manual tweaking.  When we got to the beach a little before sunrise, I wasn’t sure if we were going to get much color.  It’s always a fine line between heavy clouds adding texture to a sky, and heavy clouds blotting out the sun.  Thankfully we got just enough breaks for the light to pour through and give us a show.

That trip was still one of my top photo trips.  I was there with such good company and the weather was just perfect for dramatic shots…what more can a landscaper ask for? ❤

Follow my work on any (all?) of my various social medias…I use each for something a little different. 500px, twitter, FB, G+, IG

Friend, like, circle me (in a non-creepy way), 1+….get to it!

Juxtapose

19 Feb
Juxtapose

Juxtapose

Different can be beautiful.  Variety can make life so very interesting. ❤

This photo was taken in Acadia National Park last fall in the Sieur de Monts section of the park.  It’s a great little area within the park, with gardens, hiking trails and interesting scenes like this one. 🙂

Top 5 of 2014

30 Dec
Bones in the Sand

Bones in the Sand :: Maine

Tis the season for end of the year recaps and “best of” lists (and presents and family and joy), so I challenged myself to narrow my list down to just 5 images that I personally love the best.  It’s been a year of major photography and artistic growth for me, so each of these images represents, in part, one of my milestones.

The top image, “Bones in the Sand” is memorable for me because it was a trip that required some will power to make – a 1:30 am wake up call, and a 4 hour drive to get there – for a sunrise that never really manifested.  But it has always been a struggle for me to get up early, and it felt like a bit of a turning point for me.

Also, it was one of the first images I really remember laboring over the edit for.  Not as in…I don’t know what I’m doing, how do I make XYZ happen….but more of a drive to make sure that my art was worth the effort I had put in to capture the edit.  I remember worrying down to the littlest detail, wanting everything – even the title of the image to be perfect.  In retrospect, I think that is one of the characteristics needed to put out good, consistent work and I’ve finally reached that milestone.

 

Our Rain Song

Our Rain Song :: Vermont

Our Rain Song continues to be a bit of a personal favorite, even though it never seems to catch fire with the rest of the world.  This image came with a lesson on life – remember to enjoy the journey.  You can read the full story here, but the short version was a 2+ mile hike up to see this lake and the sky opened up.  I got very frustrated I was unable to put together a good shot.  When I let those negative emotions go and just appreciated the good things that day had to offer, I had a “creative ah ha!” moment and the image just came together.

 

In Wildness

In Wildness

In Wildness came together based on some of the most important characteristics a landscaper can have – it was the result of patience, perseverance and the willingness to put ourselves out into the world to find the beautiful spaces left to us. This lake was also about 2 miles in (about halfway to the summit of a 4m hike), and the weather was a bit dreary.  In typical New England fashion, it couldn’t decide if it wanted to be overcast, windy, cold, sunny, sleeting or mild.  I believe Mama Nature settled on a mix of them all. haha

When we arrived at the lake, I marveled at the view.  I took my camera out trying to find the right composition and everything I did kept falling a bit flat.  The lighting just wasn’t very dynamic, but I knew we couldn’t linger all day…we still had half a mountain to conquer.  ‘Just a few more minutes,’ I kept thinking.  I knew there was something in the spot that could be magical, I just had to find it.  As I settled into search mode, the clouds started to shift and some sunlight hit the ravine.  It was thhheeeee moment I had been waiting for.

The weekend was physically exhausting, but ultimately, I was able to overcome the difficulties and uncomfortable (aka kinda dangerous…don’t read this, Mom!) conditions, I was able to focus and be patient and walk (limp) away with a few beautiful images. 🙂

 

Dreamsong

Dreamsong

Dreamsong was based around one major principle…find a new shot.  This image was taken in Acadia National Park  – a beautiful, very popular (highly photographed) place.  I had already seen a million gorgeous shots of Otter Cliffs, Bass Harbor Light and Cadillac Mountain…the world didn’t need one more. haha  I mean, don’t get me wrong…I took photos of the light house, but I have yet to edit it.  I wanted to do something different though.  I wanted to make an image of Acadia that was a representation of my vision, not a rehash of someone else’s composition.  Thankfully, this beach/tree allowed me to do just that. 🙂  At the time, I didn’t know it would end up being one of my favorites, but everything came together perfectly.

 

Silk Ribbons :: Ricketts Glen, PA

Silk Ribbons :: Ricketts Glen, PA

Last, but certainly not least, Silk Ribbons is in my tops because it was a reminder that the details are just as important as a grand, sweeping scene. 🙂

 

Happy end to a 2014, and hope that you all have a lovely 2015!!

 

Xoxo

Shannon

Give Thanks

25 Nov
Silk Ribbons :: Ricketts Glen, PA

Silk Ribbons :: Ricketts Glen, PA

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. -JFK

There is so much in our lives, both good and bad, that fill up our days that it can seem overwhelming.  I’ve found though, that a moment of gratitude can do wonders to give you perspective about what is important versus what is just “noise”.  It can drastically improve your mood and remind us to have some humility.

 

That being said, I want to take a moment to recognize the sources of joy in my life, and then encourage you to do the same. 🙂

 

Today, and every day, I am grateful for all of the blessings in my life.  I have my health, security, stability and opportunities to improve my life if I’m brave enough to reach for them.  I live in a place that recognizes my basic human rights.

The Hearts Overflows

The Hearts Overflows

I am surrounded by people who love and support me.  I was lucky enough to be born into a family that values things like compassion, kindness, and laughter.  I get to share my life with an incredible man who supports my dreams and enjoys making memories with me.  I literally have the best friends a girl could ask for.

Dreamsong

Dreamsong

I’ve seen enough beauty in this world to make anyone’s heart overflow with joy.  The power of nature, the rain, the wind, the lightning, the cold, the feel of the setting sun on my skin on a summer day, the colors of a dramatic sky, the smell of new grass and lilies, the sound of the ocean, watching children play and people love…

In Wildness

In Wildness

Adventure fills my soul, leads me to exciting places, introduces me to new people and enriches my life in a way that words can only barely describe.  I’m grateful to have wanderlust in my blood, to have had a family that nurtured it, and to now have the resources to follow its call.

Hope Rises

Hope Rises

The world is such a wonderful, frightening, beautiful place filled with an exquisite tapestry of human existence.  Every day I draw breath I am grateful that I get to be a part of it, grateful for the experiences that shaped me and the memories that sustain me.

We Are One

We Are One :: California

Thank you to each and every one of you for being part of my life.  Your support, your kindness, your smiles (or emoticons as the case may be), your love fills my life with so much joy.  You’ve all had a hand in shaping my life and I’m grateful for your influence.  It’s always appreciated when you take a moment to send me a note or comments.  I love the discussions and friendships that can be built from a photo.  And most importantly, you are a huge source inspiration.  Your perception and appreciation of my work is a humbling thing.  It’s incredible to think that my images can brighten someone’s day and my experiences (mistakes) help teach someone on the other side of the world.

 

Now, I challenge all of you to think about the blessings in your own life.  We all have our struggles, but perhaps focusing on the positives will help the negatives seem that much more bearable. 🙂

 

For those of you in the USA, Happy Thanksgiving week!  For my international friends, happy regular week! haha  Hope it’s a good one!

 

xoxo

Shannon