Tag Archives: outdoors

Nature First

30 Apr
Nature First :: WA

Nature First :: WA

 

Last week, Jennifer Renwick and Sarah Marino (both spectacular landscape photographers and humans!) approached me with a new initiative they are working on called “Nature First”.

In some ways, landscape photography is a double edged sword.  I think most of us get into this field because we love nature and want to celebrate and share the beauty of the world with others, in the hopes that we might inspire them to embrace nature as we have.  However, with the evolution of social media, and the affordability of travel, it’s become easier than ever for people to visit locations they’ve seen beautiful photos of…and without proper education and restraint, things can quickly get out of hand.  For example, a few weeks back, California experienced a super bloom of poppies – one of the most prolific years they’ve had in quite some time.  People flocked to see the flowers, to disastrous effect.   Tens of thousands of people descended on Lake Elsinore, and the popular Walker Canyon had to be shut down, as they could not accommodate the volume of visitors.  And the tourists themselves lacked the caution necessary to preserve such fragile locations, often straying from paths, disturbing wildlife (at least one rattlesnake bite was reported) and trampling huge swaths of the very thing they’d come to see.

In a similar example, just this past week, Panther Falls in Oregon closed the route to the lower falls because someone fell trying to see it.  That location was made popular by landscape photographers, and now, access is being restricted.

I cannot say that in my time as a photographer, I have never been careless, thoughtless or broken a rule I didn’t agree with.  But over time, I’ve come to realize that if I am to be a good steward for this planet, then I need to place its needs over the desire for a pretty shot.  I cannot assume that simply because I did the rock walk around fragile alpine that someone else will.  I can’t assume that because I know to keep a massive distance between myself and wildlife, and have access to a large zoom lens that someone else will.  I need to be more thoughtful in what I do, and just as importantly (if not more) in what I share, and how I share it.  Do I use my photos as teachable moments?  Do I use caution when posting fragile locations?  Am I doing my best to protect our green spaces?

To that end, Nature First has come up with a list of guidelines specifically for landscape photographers, in conjunction with the Leave No Trace principles.

 

1. Prioritize the well-being of nature over photography.

2. Educate yourself about the places you photograph.

3. Reflect on the possible impact of your actions.

4. Use discretion if sharing locations.

5. Know and follow rules and regulations.

6. Always follow Leave No Trace principles and strive to leave places better than you found them.

7. Actively promote and educate others about these principles

 

If you’re interested in learning more about the Nature First movement, or better yet, joining, you can read about it over at https://www.naturefirstphotography.org
 
Every single one of us has the ability to make a positive difference and use our voice for change.  What will you do with yours?
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Hypnotic :: ME

11 Apr
Hypnotic :: ME

Hypnotic :: ME

“Listen to the sound of waves within you” -Rumi

Last week I had the pleasure of shooting with James , Tony and finally meeting Brendan , who I’ve followed on Instagram for a while. Yeah, it involved driving 5 hours to Maine and back. Yeah, it meant going to work the next morning with only 20 minutes of sleep. But damn was it worth it.

The sound of the waves at your feet while the stars dance above your head is a precious memory, and I’m glad I got to share it with a great group of guys.

Nerdy stuff: This is 8 (several minute long) shots layered for about 45 minutes total of star trails. We started the night here while we waited for the Milky Way to make an appearance.

Tumble and Drift :: CT

6 Dec
Tumble and Drift :: CT

Tumble and Drift :: CT

“I realized then that even though I was a tiny speck in an infinite cosmos, a blip on the timeline of eternity, I was not without purpose.” -RJ Anderson

One of the most powerful things you can do for yourself is to rule out who you’re not, so that you can focus on who you are meant to be. In doing so, you find a voice you didn’t know you had, the motivation to work towards your goals and the strength of character to weather any storm.

For me, that has often involved saying yes to opportunity, or following a blooming interest. Sometimes you find you’re not all that passionate about xyz afterall, and that’s ok. You haven’t failed, you’ve learned a lesson, and in doing so you’ve taken one step closer to finding your passion and purpose in life.

And once you discover what path you are meant to walk? The possibilities are endless. Cultivate with that purpose a strong sense of morals and ethics and you will be a significant force for positive change in this world.

Clamorous Cascade :: CT

4 Dec
Clamorous Cascade :: CT

Clamorous Cascade :: CT

“Then something Tookish woke up inside of him, and he wished to go see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.” -Tolkien

Stolen Moment :: NH

27 Nov
Stolen Moment :: NH

Stolen Moment :: NH

Lonesome Lake has been on my radar for years, ever since I saw a post about it on The Outbound. I fiiiiinnnnaaallly made it up there this fall, and as we reached the edge of the lake we saw…. nothing. The entire lake was socked in with fog. Lol But, we came to hike, so that’s what we did. We took a trip around the lake, enjoying the way the fog looked through the trees and tall grasses, thinking it was still pretty even if it wasn’t what we anticipated. As we got closer to the hut, this view opened up. It was a short window, maybe 15-25 minutes? But it was spectacular!

Life isn’t always what you expect it to be, but that doesn’t mean that it’s bad. It’s just different, and sometimes, different can be so dang beautiful. ❤

Traverse Through Tranquility :: CT

22 Nov
Traverse Through Tranquility :: CT

Traverse Through Tranquility :: CT

 

Today I’m choosing to focus on what I have in life, as opposed to what I’m striving for.

-I’m grateful for my crazy, fun, loving family (especially the time spent with my 90-something year old Grandfather <3).
-I’m grateful that I have mashed potatoes, which I plan to demolish today.
-I’m grateful for a roof over my head, and my health insurance that allowed me to get my broken finger looked at this week. lol
-I’m grateful for my friends who make me smile even if the world feels a bit heavy some days.
-I’m grateful I have the resources to travel, to take photographs and to pursue my dreams of running a photography business.
-I’m grateful for the support of my photography peers and the people who take the time to spare a kind word or purchase a print (it means so much, y’all!)
-I’m grateful I live in a country where I, as a woman, have the freedoms to do those things.
-I’m grateful for the security we take for granted everyday, and for the freedom to speak my mind.  (Thank you to all of the Vets out there! <3)
-I’m grateful we live in a diverse country where I can meet people who introduce me to new foods, culture, ideas and religions (because seriously…tacos, pho, pączki, aloo gobi, sushi, paella… I can keep going, but you get the delicious delicious picture!).
-I’m grateful that this past week, I was able to help some friends who lost EVERYTHING in the wildfires out in California.  They need so much right now, and my contribution felt like a drop in the bucket, but I recognize it was a blessing for both of us to give and receive nonetheless.
-I’m grateful for my cranky horse, and my difficult dogs. lol  There are lessons to be learned from everyone and every animal you meet, and they remind me of the value of patience, compassion, forgiveness and a loving heart.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Best Mountain in Southern NH

31 May

A few weeks ago I finally got a chance to hike Mt Monadnock, which I’d stumbled across on the internet about a year before. It did not disappoint. Once you get south of the Greens in VT and the Whites in NH, good mountain views (especially day hikes) are tough to come by in New England….with the exception of Monadnock.

You can read more (and see more pictures) of my trip on the Outbound here.

Special thanks to Jorge for the company (and modeling skillz) on the hike. 😊 When he isn’t hiking w me, he is a barber at a great new shop in Meriden, CT called J.Scott&Co. If you need your hair did, give them a try!