Tag Archives: monochrome

Sands of Time :: CO

27 Jun
Sands of Time :: CO

Sands of Time :: CO

“What makes a desert beautiful,’ said the little prince, ‘is that somewhere it hides a well…” -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

I decided to go a bit dramatic on this one, because I’ve always loved the red filter-Ansel Adams look and it just felt right here. ❤️

This is from the Great Sand Dunes in CO, and spoiler alert…they really were great! 😊

Serenity :: NY

12 Apr
Serenity :: NY

Serenity :: NY

Sometimes you drive two hours for a sunset, and end up wading through spring runoff to photograph a waterfall instead. Life, right?

But there is a lesson there (besides a reminder to buy waterproof boots)… Opportunity is all around us, we just have to be open to it.

This shot is a single exposure, taken after the sun went down in a rapidly darkening forest. ( 14mm, 55 second, f/8, ISO 100 ) It was very blue…because blue hour…and color correcting made it look natural, but not better, so I opted for B&W instead!

Minim :: CT

16 Aug
Minim :: CT

Minim :: CT

This month we are talking about minimalism with our students. I figured I can’t ask them to do something I’m not willing to do myself, right? 🙂

Believe it or not, this was a sunrise but it seemed like it translated better as a monochrome!

We are reaching the 6 month mark for this new teaching program over at L&L and to celebrate, I think I’ll probably give something away.  A print maybe?  Yeah…an 11×16 print!  Want a shot to win?  Sign up for the newsletter and boom!  Your name will be entered in the drawing.

Name will be picked on September 1, so don’t wait.  Maybe I’ll even announce it in the next newsletter. :-p

Radiance Wild

6 Jul
Radiance Wild :: OR

Radiance Wild :: OR

 

This waterfall, known locally as Sawmill Falls, is part of the Opal Creek Wilderness in Oregon.  It started as a “side stop” along the way to the Alvord Desert, but it ended up winning me over within just a few short minutes of stepping foot beneath the trees.  The whole forest was lush, the light was diffuse, and the waterfalls…well…as you can see, they weren’t bad. 😉  This water was actually a spectacular shade of blue-green, but when I started the edit, because of the overcast skies it seemed to work best in black and white.

This shot is actually a composite – one exposure for the trees, and one exposure for the sky and water using a 10 stop ND filter.

Also (earmuffs, Mom!) this particular vantage point involved a narrow crest of rock with a…um….steep decent behind me.  While it wasn’t the most comfortable of seats, you couldn’t beat the view. 🙂

The Plunge

25 Jan
The Plunge :: VT

The Plunge :: VT

“Plunge boldly into the thick of life, and seize it where you will, it is always interesting.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

The settings: 1 sec, f/9, 10 mm, ISO 100

Into the Light

20 Oct
Cavern Cascades :: NY

Cavern Cascades :: NY

Because clearly, I don’t have enough waterfall photos in my portfolio yet….. 😉

This photo was taken almost 2 weeks back on a photo trip with Derek Kind (an awesome guy, who wrote a schnazzy review for our book), Ron Clifford and A.D. Wheeler to Watkins Glen in NY.  I had originally planned to drive up to the finger lakes and stay a night or two, to maximize my time with those guys (all incredible photographers, check ’em out) but two things happened.  First, I picked up an event photography gig the night I intended to leave.  Second, we had a family emergency involving broken bones and surgery (not my bones!) and I had to be home earlier than expected.  All told, I drove the 5 hours to upstate NY, and then 5 hours back on the same day.  Because landscape photographers are crazy.  And apparently, we also hate sleep.

Despite my extreme tiredness, we really had a great time creating together.  It was definitely worth the travel time.  When the idea of the trip first came up, I thought I would find some foliage shots.  Instead, I ended up creating black and white waterfall images. haha  Funny how life works out, sometimes, right?

Just going with the flow, I guess.  (Get it??  Waterfall….?  Flow….? Ha!)

Speaking of fall foliage, leaf season is just about done in northern New England, but we still have some rad colors in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and upper Pennsylvania.  If you’re looking for a private session over the next few weeks, to help you improve your fall foliage (or whatever) photos, contact me and we will set something up!

For those of you interested in such things, the settings for the photo above are: f/9, 2 seconds, iso 100, 22mm, with a circular polarizer

“Ahem. My lens is up here.”

27 Aug
Balanced Flow :: RI

Balanced Flow :: RI

 

You can thank David for that title. haha

This week, I was honored to be included in a pretty comprehensive list of Inspiring Female Landscape Photographers, put together by Sarah Marino.  She did a really nice job expressing how I feel when she says that instead of being a “female landscape photographer”, it would be great to be recognized as a landscape photographer who also happens to be female. Every industry has its challenges though, and hopefully resources like this list will help make the hard-working landscape photo-ladies easier to find when companies are looking for speakers, teachers, etc. 🙂

I feel so very honored to have made the list with so many other talented, inspiring women busting their butts to make it their goals a reality! Check it out, show Sarah some love and hopefully you’ll discover some new, awesome talent out there in the world.

As for the above shot?  I took that in Block Island a few weeks back.  I thought the composition had a nice “yin yang” potential, so I did the smart thing…plopped myself in the way of some incoming waves, and then was shocked when a rogue one snuck up on me and almost drowned my camera. haha  (Don’t worry…the gear is fine!)

Black and White and Grey

22 Apr
Dreamsong

Dreamsong

Well…it’s April 22.  That means four things.

First, it’s Earth Day.  It’s one of those holidays that most people give a nod to in passing.  We humans are creatures of habit, afterall.  While we may remember to appreciate the beauty of nature for the day, making it a daily occurrence takes some dedication.

Just remember though…your life is 100% affected by your perspective.  A positive mindset can go a long way towards building permanent happiness.  One of the things that involves is appreciating what we have.  For me, that includes stopping to notice and experience the beauty of the world around us.

Juxtapose

Juxtapose

Now, as part of Earth Day awareness, we may also recognize we don’t do as much as we should to protect our planet.  But again, change is difficult.  “I want to recycle…but the recycling bin is down by the street.  I’ll just do it…..tomorrow.”
Here’s the thing though….you’re better than that.  Change is difficult.  Bad habits are hard to break.   I’m not saying it will be easy.  I’m saying it will be worth it.

At the moment, this is our only home.  That water? It’s all we have.  That polluted air?  Well, it’s all connected and it’s in your lungs too.  That soil? …well, you get my point.

Make a decision to be good to your world.  Give the gift of a healthy future to your children.

 

The House on Grass Island, one of many images featured in my new ebook. Get it now!

The House on Grass Island, one of many images featured in my new ebook. Get it now!

 

Ok…the first of four things is Earth Day.  The next thing?  A great Black and White Challenge issued by John over at Book of Bokeh.  John’s blog is great, and I enjoy his point of view on things.  Make sure to swing by and give his blog a read.

Now, I’ve actually already been issued several B&W challenges (and participated once a few months back), so I’m going to condense this round into one post.  I know, it’s not the way the rules read….but damnit….rules are meant to be broken.

The Pillars :: New Hampshire

The Pillars :: New Hampshire

In the spirit of breaking rules, and embracing monochrome images, I actually challenge ALL of you to give B&W a try.  It truly is it’s own art.  It is photography that carries it’s own set of guidelines to be effective, and requires a deliberate, thoughtful approach to have long term success in the medium.

(For those of you interested in learning more, I actually have an article about learning to see in Black and White in the newest issue of Light & Landscape Magazine.)

Oh!  That’s the third thing.  It’s April 22nd, and I have my art in that ^^ magazine.

Now….what was the fourth thing??

Enders Falls - Mono and Moody

Mono and Moody :: CT

Was it….eeerrr….ummm….  I am helping to run a new Instagram feature page?  Where we put together lovely images from contributors and share those images with like minded individuals in the hopes of creating a safe community atmosphere where people can discuss their mutual interest of photography??

Nah…that’s not it.  (Although I do help with a new IG account, which you can be a part of.  Just follow @i_took_a_photo and use the hashtag #w_my_camera )…..get it?  I took a photo with my camera!  Now you will always remember it!

But for reals, that wasn’t the fourth thing.  I should really start putting together outlines for my blogs.

out….lines…..reminds me of The Outbound, where I am now doing write ups on some of my trips.  The Outbound is a great website that any traveler, adventure…er?, and explorer should be a part of.  It gives you the background on what it takes to get to crazy awesome locations, like the ones you see in my shots.

It is also not number four on the “April 22 list”.  Maybe I meant to ask you to sign up for my newsletter?  Because you can’t get deals on the upcoming book without the newsletter.

Or maybe I was just going to tell you to stay cool, Daddy-o?  I don’t remember.  I need an assistant to start writing these things down for me.

WAIT!  Eureka!  I do remember!  Happy Administrative Professionals Day!  Buy your secretary a coffee today!

And on that note…You guys rock.  Thank you all for your continued support. 🙂

Bonus image.  Just because.

SSP Endless Summer :: Massachusetts

SSP Endless Summer :: Massachusetts

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 Pillars

25 Mar
The Pillars :: New Hampshire

The Pillars :: New Hampshire

When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence. -Ansel Adams

 

New Hampshire is a such a beautiful state. This fall, we will be taking some students up into the White Mountain area for a one day workshop. If that’s something you’d be interested in, sign up for our newsletter so we can keep you informed. Announcement should be coming in the next month or so. 🙂

If you think a private lesson is more your speed, contact us and we can put together a lesson plan tailored to your needs.

And finally…for those of you on Instagram, we have a new project we have started meant to help people meet other great pphotographers, chat, and grow a sense of community among our awesome supporters and friends. If you’re on IG, please give @i_took_a_photo a follow. If you want your own images shared, tag them #w_my_camera. 🙂

See what we did there? @i_took_a_photo #w_my_camera ….. Heh. Heh.

Hilarious.

Xoxo!

Shannon