Tag Archives: photo

Exciting news!

12 Jun

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Eye spy, with my little eye, my photo on the cover of the newest Light and Landscape magazine! 😊

If you have an iOS (iPhone or iPad) you can download the app for free through the App Store. Make sure to check out the newest article about the benefits and pitfalls of tourism and landscape photography!

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The Walk to Eternity :: CT

6 Jun

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In most areas of the East Coast of the US, light pollution is so prevalent that many people have gone their entire lives without every having seen the Milky Way. They don’t realize what they’re missing because to them, that’s just normal. Because it’s normal, they also don’t realize all of the problems that come along with light pollution- disrupted circadian rhythms and the health problems associated with that, disruption in migration patterns and growth cycles for flora and fauna, behavioral changes in animals, etc.

In a discussion I had with another photographer recently, another tragic consequence of light pollution is that people don’t get to experience the feeling of connection and perspective that comes from looking up at the night sky and realizing we are just a small part of a massive universe. We are beautiful specks of Star dust who have been given a precious gift – the opportunity to live our life on a rare habitable planet – and we shouldn’t take that for granted. Rather, through the stars, we should be reminded to live our lives as fully and beautifully as we are able.

This particular shot was taken last week in a little swath of dark-ish sky in CT. I had the joy of teaching night sky photography, and watching my student’s love for photographing the night sky grow in front of my eyes. It was a lovely experience. ❤️

12 Tips for Productivity

29 Apr
Wild Beauty :: CO

Wild Beauty :: CO

 

So much of running your own business is about staying motivated and focused on your goals, and about time management.  It’s pretty common for the people around me to express surprise or admiration about how much I manage to accomplish in any given week.  It’s come up enough that I thought I’d share a few tips I’ve picked up along the way.

  • Self Care: Your body is the vehicle that you use to accomplish tasks, and treating it right will go a long way towards maintaining your energy level and focus.  Eat right.  Sleep well. Work out. Drink a lot of water.
  • Peak Performance Times: Everyone has their own time of day when they work best.  Some people jump out of bed ready to tackle the day.  Others (me) are sloths who don’t feel awake until about 10 AM.  Once you start to realize your brain functions best at certain times of day, it’s an easy leap to realize that you will benefit from scheduling the more complicated, deep thoughts or creative tasks during that time frame.  For me, after a long day, my creative juices just stop flowing so I try to get the difficult stuff done either in the morning, or after my afternoon break when I feel refreshed.
  • Know How Much Your Time Is Worth: Narrow your to-do list down to things that really matter.
  • Have a System: Everyone has a process that works best for them.  Find yours and use it.  If you go into each day organized, with attainable goals and a system that works for you, you’ll see productivity soar.
  • Set Deadlines: It’s so easy to fall into the trap of procrastination.  If you set yourself deadlines to accomplish tasks, you have a clear way to stay motivated and hold yourself accountable.
  • Is There a Better Way?: If you approach the world with the attitude that there is always something you can learn, then you’re bound to find ways to be more efficient at your job.  Continue to educate and improve yourself.
  • Why Is This Important or Necessary?: If you can’t answer that question, there is a good chance you aren’t spending your time wisely.
  • Stay Positive: Negativity can kill motivation quickly.  Yes, there will always be people better than you at XYZ.  But what other people do doesn’t define your journey.  Know that your efforts are enriching your life, and surround yourself with people who value what you are contributing to the world.
  • Take Breaks, but Make Them Reasonable: We only can stay focused on something for so long.  It is completely reasonable to get up from your desk, stretch your legs, clear your mind and come back re-focused.  The trick is to keep the breaks manageable, so that they don’t become a distraction.
  • Evaluate What’s Necessary and What’s Distracting:  One of the biggest secrets to my productivity is that I rarely watch TV.  I’m not opposed to it, per se, I just see it as a waste of time when I could be working on something else…like a productivity blog. 😉  Once you’ve identified whatever your distractions are – TV, social media, etc – limit them when possible.
  • Get Involved in The Community: We are stronger as a group, and networking can have a huge impact on how effective and efficient you can be.  I’ve frequently met people who had a skill I didn’t know I needed until I needed help with it.  Getting involved in your community is a great way to make connections, and build a client base at the same time.
  • Stay Up-To-Date on Changes in Your Town/City/Community/News: Staying in the know can prevent you from having to do double work when you belatedly find out something impacting your project has changed.  Always stay informed, especially about laws or regulations that may impact your work.

 

  • Bonus Tip: Create a lifestyle of learning and productivity outside of the work environment.  Beyond just running a photography business, I’m also dedicating time these days to salsa dancing lessons, horseback riding, travel (aka experiencing new things) and writing classes.  I’ve learned to play instruments and sing (poorly), I’ve taken kickboxing classes, and I’ve tried learning to cook and attempted to learn new languages (also poorly).  None of those things are necessarily related to photography, but all of the them strengthen the brain or encourage creativity.

Firestarter :: Iceland

12 Apr
Firestarter :: Iceland

Firestarter :: Iceland

 

Pure Serenity :: Iceland

5 Apr
Pure Serenity :: Iceland

Pure Serenity :: Iceland

The Land of Fire and Ice

8 Mar
Fire and Ice :: Iceland

Fire and Ice :: Iceland

On this most recent trip to Iceland, I learned that Icelanders have a phrase that roughly translates to “It’ll all work out” because the weather is so unpredictable and makes keeping plans difficult. That flexible, positive attitude is one of the many things I’ve come to appreciate during my visits there. It’s also pretty spot on for how Landscape photography goes. Haha

While trying to take this series of shots, I got soaked by a big wave because passing tourists asked me to take a photo of them which distracted me, I got crowded by 103733672829 other tripods when they saw what I was on to, I was distracted again by some photographer forcibly moving a boulder sized chunk of glacier to a spot more to his liking which was at the edge of my original composition (ummmm? thanks dude?) and my battery died. But in the end, it all worked out. 😊

Big thanks to David Pasillas for his input on this edit!  This shot is three blended exposures, some luck and a little bit of magic pixie dust.

A Sliver of Hope :: Iceland

27 Feb
A Sliver of Hope :: Iceland

A Sliver of Hope :: Iceland

 

When we start out as landscape photographers, most of us probably don’t go into it realizing the weight of the responsibilities that come with it. You see, these days, every like, and double tap and +1 you get represents a responsibility to be a leader.

Part of that means being a good steward and protecting our collective “office”, the planet. There is a lot of debate about what exactly that means, but it benefits all of us -photographers and non- to embrace things like Leave No Trace, and to actively work to conserve our wild spaces.

The second part of this is to be a role model. Whether you like it or not, what you do and say makes an impact, and by choosing to break rules or ignore courtesy, you’re green-lighting that behavior for others. This shot is a particularly memorable example of how one person’s sense of entitlement/elitism, can ruin an experience. Last October Melissa and I decided to detour to see this beautiful canyon despite the rain. It involved a moderate, if somewhat slippery hike up to the first lookout. I had just set my tripod up and begun focusing my camera when a…let’s call him “gentleman”…. walked up and demanded I move so he could take a cell phone snap. I explained I had just set up my composition, and would be just a moment. Rather than wait politely, he put his arm directly into my frame, then crowded me on a slippery cliff-edge, to intimidate me into moving. If you know my friend Melissa, you know she doesn’t put up with rudeness and used it as a teachable moment to remind the gentleman of his manners. Lol

The outdoors are for everyone to enjoy and simple consideration and courtesy can go a long way towards helping everyone fall in love with (and subsequently see the value in protecting) nature.