Tag Archives: national park

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.

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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.

One :: ME

16 Oct
One :: ME

One :: ME

“Fate whispers to the warrior, ‘You can not withstand the storm.’
The warrior whispers back, ‘I am the storm.’”

 

Over the last few weeks, there has been so much talk about the Supreme Court nominee, sexual assault, false accusations, the cultural perceptions of these sort of incidents and the political divide in our government (and our citizens). It’s been, for lack of a better phrase, a sh*tshow of epic proportions.

There are so many things that can be said about this, but I’ll try to keep it brief.

First, this is not a comment about political agendas (which are disheartening) or Kavanaugh/Ford. It’s about compassion.

1 in 4 (some stats say 1 in 3) people have been assaulted in their life. That’s your wife/sister/child/mother/grandmother/aunt or neighbor. In some cases, its your brother/husband/son. If the public shock at the #metoo movement is any indication, most victims never talked about it. They didn’t report it and you didn’t know, because of the psychological factors that surround these incidents. Intimidation, fear, control, the stigma attached to the victim, the idea that a victim won’t be believed…. The dissociation/repression/blocking out memories for self preservation that comes with trauma. The social complexities that come with assaults perpetrated against minors, especially if the accused is an adult. The fact that so many people simply do not believe, or say there is a false accusation.  And FINALLY, the way the legal system is set up to flounder in these cases.

1 in 4 people have been assaulted, and far fewer have been prosecuted.  That is indicative of a major problem (both culturally, and with regards to accountability).

The burden of proof lies with the victim. The legal system presumes innocence. But as was just mentioned, there are a mountain of reasons why people don’t report. Furthermore, not all of these crimes result in rape (or rape kits), being battered (no significant physical injuries to document), are not in front of witnesses and due to the trauma of the event, the details become hazy.

On the other side of the spectrum, false accusations are equally problematic and because the system is set up to flounder, so many of these situations turn into he said/she said cases that are damaging to everyone.

There needs to be change – the cultural piece has already begun – in how we handle these cases where physical evidence is generally limited.  Thankfully the conversation has already begun and I’m beginning to hear ideas that attempt to bridge the gap.

So why am I saying all of this? Because of the uninformed nature of the judgements I’ve heard, which are entirely unproductive.  Surrounding yourself with an echo chamber or stirring up people’s emotions doesn’t lead to positive change.  Reasoned, informed discussions do.

It’s easy to give an opinion on social media, or even to someone’s face when you don’t know they have been a victim. But I implore you to remember that statistic. 1 in 4. Someone who is listening has been assaulted, and are remembering/reliving their own trauma.

Elysian :: TN

19 Dec
Elysian :: TN

Elysian :: TN

 

I saw something over the weekend that reminded me that your perception of the world has a lot to do with how happy you are.  The basic idea is that things happen – good, bad, mundane, extraordinary –  but the way you interpret and react to them determines how successful and happy you are.  It goes hand in hand with one of my favorite phrases, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” (Epictetus).

That’s a powerful sentiment, when you think about it.  There will be difficult things in your life.  There will be speed bumps, there will be days where your entire life plan goes off course.  But you have a choice.  Do you choose to rise above, and embrace the positives?  Or do you choose to be defeated by it?

In my own life, I try (and frequently fail, but then try again) to meet challenges, to accept that things are difficult and to either see the positives or to keep my head down and push through until the difficult season has passed.  Hell, this past year alone has challenged me in a lot of ways, with serious family health issues, with heartache, with changes within the circle of people I rely on for support, financial challenges….  But in the end, we have just a finite time on this earth and I try to choose, every day, to work towards my best possible self, to tell myself that this too shall pass, that there is joy around the corner, and in the meantime, to work towards leaving the world a bit better than I found it.

That can mean any number of things.

You can choose to see the best in a bad day – the beauty of a beautiful sky, the opportunity to learn from a mistake (even if you frequently wonder when your “lessons” will start paying off), having a grateful attitude for the blessings you do have…

You can choose to do something kind for another person (or living creature) – a smile or bad joke when needed, verbalizing something you appreciate so they understand their worth to you, all the way up to grander gestures like gifts, or volunteering for a cause, or giving blood, or adopting from a local shelter and advocating for spaying and neutering…

You can choose to use your voice – we are all complicit when we remain silent about things that matter.  The problem, these days, is that we have so many wrongs to right that it can be overwhelming and difficult to know where to start.  Politics is hairy.  Tax laws, health care, the national monument debate…where do you even begin? Global warming is a thing (that recent starving polar bear video from NatGeo just hurts to watch).  There is genocide going on in the world.  Sex trafficking.  Sexual harrassment.  Discrimination.  Religious aggressions.  Civil wars.  It can be overwhelming, but we all have a responsibility to, at the very least, have civil discussions.  We can’t improve any problem by ignoring it.  So find your causes, the ones that are near and dear to your heart, and have a difficult conversation.  Listen to the opposing views.  Find some common ground on which you can begin to build a bridge.

In the end, how you react to the things life throws at you will determine things like how much joy you feel, or how much hope you feel.  Don’t get me wrong.  There are going to be overwhelmingly sad, or angry moments.  But if you keep this idea in mind that you can get through it by being aware of how you perceive a situation, then you will get through the difficult times with grace and find your way back to happiness quickly.

This particular photo was taken at Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in TN.  So much thanks to Ed and Zach Heaton for showing us around to their favorite spots in the area!  They’re talented guys, make sure to check them out!

Also, big shoutout to David Pasillas (as always) for his patient feedback about my image edits.

Sanguine :: ME

2 May


Sanguine :: ME

(Alternate working title: “Dat Light Tho”.) 

For those of you without the Googles handy, Sanguine means “hopeful, upbeat, positive”….and these days, who couldn’t use some hope? Also, it’s a funny looking word and I wanted to use it. 😂
Nerdy Stuff: This is a composite of three different exposures, for focus stacking, foreground and sky.

Are you on the social medias? I’d love to be friends!

Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat ….I also have G+ but I rarely use it.

Oh! And we give away a lot of tips and free stuff via our newsletter, so there’s that. 😊

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

Throwing it Back

15 Oct
The Bubbles :: ME

The Bubbles :: ME

Because…you know…it’s Thursday.  Who invents those hashtags anyway?  They’re kinda like internet holidays.  I mean…hell…National Chocolate Day?  Sure I’ll celebrate it, but how is that a thing?

Hmm…  Okay.  Bad example.  I should never question the celebration of Chocolate.

National…um…Bandaid Day?  Yeah.  We’ll go with that.

ANNNNNNNNNYYYYWAAYYY, this is a shot from Acadia last fall, because the leaves this year are being stubborn.  Taken at Jordan Pond, this is a pretty famous view of the Bubbles.

I have to say, as National Parks go, Acadia is pretty awesome.  It really does have something for everyone.  It’s beaches are beautiful, we saw a lot of surfers when we were there, the hikes range from “holy crap I’m going up a mountain” to “Ahhhhhhh, these woods are relaxing” and most things in the park are very accessible.  These pockets of nature are really the sort of thing we should be celebrating.  National National Park Day.  While eating chocolate.  And wearing bandaids.

#tbt #traveltuesday #hastagsfordays #wanderlustyAF

The shot settings, for those of you who like that sort of thing: iso 100, f/11, 1/4 sec, 11 mm

Lately, I’ve been very good about remembering to post my newest images on Instagram, so if you want to keep up with where I’ve been lately, or chat about how much you also love the NY Giants, follow me there. 🙂 (Go GMEN!)