Tag Archives: northern lights

Best of 2017

27 Dec

 

This year, I chose my “best of” based on the memories I was lucky enough to have made.  It was a year of great trips (courtesy of some flight credits I had to use up before they expired) and I am beyond thankful I was able to see England, Northern Ireland and Ireland, Chincoteague ponies, Great Sand Dunes in Colorado, the many nights I spent under the stars with friends, the eclipse, the Adirondacks and Iceland (northern light, heeellllooo). I am grateful for these opportunities and for having good friends to make these memories with. ❤

2017 had its difficult parts, and I am definitely hoping 2018 shows improvement in some areas…but I am thankful.  Cheers to a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year!

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Invasion :: Iceland

12 Dec
Invasion :: Iceland

Invasion :: Iceland

You know what’s incredible about Iceland?

Almost everything. Except the abundance of tourists. Particularly those who don’t respect the culture and beautiful spaces there.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved Iceland and would go back in a heartbeat. But I saw so many dangerous, rude and disrespectful things, even among my fellow photographers, which made me quite embarrassed for the lot of us. As a landscape photographer, I take protecting our collective “office” (aka nature, and access to spaces) pretty seriously. I love the fact that we are lucky enough to see, capture and share the beauty in this world and a few bad tourists have the ability to ruin it for the rest of us.

Do I love that the world is more connected and more people have access to see these wild, gorgeous spaces? Absolutely. But I hope more people will take care to respect those spaces. For example, maybe don’t cross the ropes to hang off of the edge of an eroding cliff or canyon overhang. Or, say, get too close to a beach known for rogue waves that drags people out to sea. Or…well…any of the bad behaviors you read about. Do your research, respect the culture and spaces, and we all win.

Wildfire :: Iceland

28 Nov
Wildfire :: Iceland

Wildfire :: Iceland

I know what you’re wondering.  You’re asking yourself, “Is that a Game of Thrones reference??”

Yes.  Yes it is.

This was taken from the Dyrhólaey Peninsula overlooking the black sand beaches near Vik, Iceland.  We had flown overnight from Boston to Iceland, landing about 6:30am and spent the day exploring.  We eventually got to Vik, checked into our guest house, got some…well…slightly questionable dinner…and by the time we finished we were spent.  We wanted showers and sleep.

I’ll give you one guess as to what Mother Nature thought of our plans. lol

Melissa was wrapping up her shower, and I thought, “I should at least check the skies.  It’s clear, and there is no guarantees with weather here.”  I dragged myself out of my (very comfortable, warm) bed and grabbed my camera.  I went around to the slightly darker backyard, and took just one test shot.

“Damn.”  There were a clear, very blurry due to it being handheld band of green across the bottom of the frame. My “damn” turned into a much more enthusiastic “daaaaaaaammmmmnnnnn!!!”.

Sleep is for chumps anyway.

I went back inside and demanded Mel, who had just put on her PJs, get into real-people clothes because this was one adventure I wasn’t going to let her miss.  Our first stop was the famous white church in Vik, but turns out that’s a beast to shoot.  The lights on the church blew out the frame, even with selective dodging, if we exposed for the sky.  If we exposed for the church, the green of the aurora was barely visible.

Little did we know this was just the weak start to what would turn out to be an incredible light show. 

So did I get my church shot?  No.  But I’m not a quitter.  We had explored the Dyrhólaey peninsula earlier in the day and so we knew it was at least darker than in town.  Was it going to be an epic Vestrahorn/Northern Lights shot?  No.  But I’d figure it out, right?  I’m a professional (who occasionally gets lucky), dangit. So we hopped in the car (because at that point, we had completely given up on the idea of sleeping) and headed back to the peninsula.

This is the point in the story where the night became a magical symphony of dancing lights, and a lot of me sighing happily.  Or pointing excitedly.  Or yelling for Melissa to look in whatever direction I was looking in, so she could also sigh happily. lol

This particular shot was taken towards the end of the light show, at one of our last stops before headed back to Vik.  It was cold, and windy up there and we were tired….but dang it was beautiful.

So what’s the moral of this story?  Gosh, there are so many to choose from.

Never put on PJs before it’s time?  Caffeine is photography fuel?  Iceland is purty?

How about, if you don’t show up, you’ll never get the shotYeah, let’s go with that one. 😉

Revelator :: Iceland

8 Nov
Revelator :: Iceland

Revelator :: Iceland

 

It’s moments like these that remind you how incredibly beautiful our world can be, and to appreciate the important things in life. ❤️ .

On that note, I’m having a print sale to raise money for a 4 yr old just diagnosed with stage IV cancer. If you’ve ever thought you might want some of my art on your walls, now would be a great time to do it.  🙂

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. 🙂