Tag Archives: Pennsylvania

Autumn’s First Blush

13 Oct
Autumn's First Blush :: PA

Autumn’s First Blush :: PA

The leaves have been really slow to turn this year.  This was taken in Pennsylvania the last weekend of September, and as you can see, there is barely any color in the trees!  Mama Nature is being quite the trickster this year.

TIP: This shot was taken with a circular polarizer to give the foliage a lush feel and to cut down in the reflections on top of the water.  It also cuts the amount of light hitting the sensor, allowing me to use a longer exposure to capture the movement of the water and leafy vortex. 🙂

The settings, for those of you interested in such things! : iso 100, f/14, 6 sec, 12 mm

Obligatory plug: Interested in getting more tips to improve your photography?  Sign up for the newsletter!  Or pick up a copy of our latest book, “Photography. Duh.” 🙂

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10 Must See Places You Need to Photograph This Summer (New England Area Edition)

10 Jun

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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.

 

Waterfall Photography Classes

5 May
The Rush :: PA

The Rush :: PA

From a quiet tinkling of a stream through the forest, to the roar of a Niagara caliber drop, I just love waterfalls.  Maybe it’s because it is what I grew up with?  Maybe it’s because they’re so damn pretty?  Maybe it’s the challenge?

Probably all three.

Waterfalls are all different, with variable lighting conditions, air saturation, surrounding landscape, water speed and footing.  Really, I’ve found that each one needs to be treated as an individual to produce a photo that will capture the best parts of its personality (so to speak).  I’m grateful to live in an area that affords me so much practice with this type of landscape.  It’s turned into a cornerstone for my portfolio, and this year, I’m happy to announce, I will be offering waterfall photography lessons!  You can contact me at seespotsphoto@yahoo.com for more information, or sign up for our newsletter here.

I offer private lessons for those of you looking for a one-on-one intro to photography, as well as mini-waterfall workshops in the New England area and ….if all goes well with our permit acquisition…a large waterfall workshop this fall (to be announced, co-taught with David Pasillas), when the leaves are turning gold, yellow and red. 🙂

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

Your Best Shot!

29 Dec
The Space Between :: Ricketts Glen, PA

The Space Between :: Ricketts Glen, PA

I’m sorting through this year’s shots, trying to come with a top 5 photos list.  It’s harder than I thought it would be.  I this photo because it reminds me of such and such.  I think this photo is good because the edit was hard and I learned something new.  I like… well, you get the point.

As I was working on this top 5 list, it also occurred to me that I would love to see YOUR favorite photo(s) of 2014!  Are you willing to share? 🙂  If so, post a link in the comments so everyone see them and show them some love.

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

The Space Between

11 Nov
The Space Between :: Ricketts Glen, PA

The Space Between :: Ricketts Glen, PA

The space between your heart and mine is the space we’ll fill with time. – DMB

I’m starting to think I have a love affair with waterfalls.  Each one is so different, has it’s own character, light, mood and challenges.  (And as you have probably come to realize by now, I do love me some challenges. haha)

This particular beauty is called Oneida Falls, one of three or four falls we stopped at that day.  For me, it was one of those moments where I instantly knew what I wanted my frame to be, and immediately loved the shot once I took it.  That doesn’t happen all of the time.  So often finding the shot is work…you try a composition, adjust, adjust again…  But those moments when my inner artist screams, “Yes!  Here!” I’m learning to listen.  Call it intuition, or more likely, the culmination of years of experience, but I firmly believe that if something catches your eye and tugs at your photo-curiosity, you should explore it.  (I mean, nothing illegal…but you know…other than that?  Thumbs up!)

This particular set of falls was a double win for us…first, we took a few moments to photograph the actual falls.  Then we worked on a surreal portrait series which involved me wading into the water up to my waist and ruining a dress.  Did I mention it was late October??  Brrrrr!  But hey, anything for the shot. lol

That surreal portrait series is currently in the lab over at David Pasillas Photography, getting fairy dust sprinkled on it.  When it’s ready, I’m sure you’ll hear more about it. 🙂  One of several top secret projects that we have in the works at the moment! (Life is so good!)
If you like the photo, please share! xo

Shannon