Tag Archives: photo

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.

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Andante :: CT

18 Sep
Andante :: CT

Andante :: CT

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

A few weeks back, I checked out a waterfall @pmacmiller posted about (he’s a great guy, check out his page!) and the hike was lovely. A lot of it meanders along the shore of a lake, which in the summer can be a bit noisy (motorized boats allowed) but it didn’t stop me from finding little moments of joy in the woods. For example, at the end of a curve in the trail, I stumbled upon this scene. It’s a fallen log, and some trees, but in the right light at the right moment it was magical. In fact, so much of photography is just that: recognizing beautiful moments. As Emerson said, it’s a study in patience. But when the trees take on the soft glow of diffuse light, while the birds chirp and chipmunks rustle the undergrowth, it becomes clear that patience pays off. Talk about a life lesson, eh??

Starlight Sonata :: CO

11 Sep
Starlight Sonata :: CO

Starlight Sonata :: CO

I frequently wonder if I’m doing enough to make this world better. Am I recycling and conserving water? Am I speaking up about serious topics like conservation and equality? Am I leading by example?

The answers to those questions are both yes and no. I am doing those things, but I feel like I can do more.

The world is a spectacular place and for some people, a photograph is the closest they will get to seeing some of the beauty our world has to offer. There is something gratifying about knowing I’m able to give that gift to people through my images.

That being said, I think there is opportunity for photos to be more than just a passing like or comment or wallpaper. Sometimes I see shots that make my heart flutter (currently obsessed with @nlwirth ‘s tree work for example). I think that connection is the start of something magical. If you can make people love something, then they’ll work to protect it. Yeah, yeah, logically we KNOW we are harming our planet (our ONLY place to live, I might add) but it’s easy to shrug it off as our children’s problem. Or to rationalize current wants despite the consequences. But when you LOVE something you’ll be driven to protect it.

That is what I think a landscape photographer can be. They can be part of something bigger than a “pretty” or “gramable” shot. Photography can be a vehicle for change. So when I ask myself if I’m doing enough, I need to also think about the current political climate and policies, the attitudes towards keeping our planet healthy enough to sustain life, the voiceless who need help to retain their basic human rights and dignities…

Without question, I can do more. We all can do more.

This is Independence Pass in CO. And that is what night skies without much light pollution look like.😍

Wantaqo’ti (Peace) :: Canada

7 Sep
Wantaqo'ti (Peace) :: Canada

Wantaqo’ti (Peace) :: Canada

The title refers to an article I read talking about a family of Syrian refugees who lived in a refugee camp for three years before being accepted into Canada. They started a chocolate company and reached out to the local Mi’kmaq leaders for guidance. The owner said it was his company’s mission to translate the family’s concept of peace to all languages for all people, starting with the native tribes in his new home. In his own words, “Peace is beautiful in every language.” ❤️

One of the biggest reasons I travel so much is to experience and build an emotional connection with new people and cultures. In doing so, you gain a whole new perspective on the things that exist outside of your own little world. There is so much beauty to be found in what is different, and so much you can learn from people who have lived in a way you never imagined.

Divergent :: CT

30 Aug
Divergent :: CT

Divergent :: CT

Don’t get me wrong, I love to travel.  But sometimes you find the most beautiful things in your backyard. 🙂

Rejuvenate :: CT

21 Aug
Rejuvenate :: CT

Rejuvenate :: CT

“The question is not what you look at, but what you see.” -Henry David Thoreau

At times, it’s hard to determine what is a cause and what is an effect when it comes to my photography. Do I explore the corners of the earth looking for beauty because I want to create an image? Has photography helped me hone my ability to find joy in nature? Or have I always loved nature, and photography is just a vehicle to share that experience with others? To inspire others to appreciate the world around them?

Perhaps both truths are valid.

There is so much beauty and joy to be found in this world, the trick is to be open to it. Often that means some discomfort and growth, but the rewards are well worth the effort.

As an aside, here in CT we have had muggy, hot, rainy weather which is miserable when the humidity is so high, but it does produce some lovely waterfalls. That being said, you won’t hear me complain about the heat when California is experiencing the biggest fire in its history.  Apparently, the direct cause of the fire is unknown, though generally speaking there seems to be some acknowledgment that climate change(a complicated issue) has been playing a role in the severity and frequency of extreme weather events.  There has also been some criticism of the US forest service’s policy to suppress fires rather than letting some burn for the health of the forests.  The news outlets covering the fires do say with certainty that multiple days of three digit temperatures have exacerbated the problem.  Many have been evacuated, lost homes, and some have been injured/lost their lives. Yosemite is closed indefinitely while they try to control the fire.

Thoughts and prayers to everyone on the west coast living with those conditions. Many thanks to all of the firefighters, fire personnel, etc working to contain things.

Using Your Art for Positive Change

13 Aug

Pretty excited to announce my article about using art to make positive changes in the world is now published in this month’s copy of @landscapephotomag ! If you have a subscription, be sure to check it out. 😊

Also feeling pretty dang grateful to share the pages with so many other talented photographers! And that cover photo by @j_r_moran_photography , amiright??!

Big thanks to @barber_gains and David Lovelace (the creative mind behind Cat Lazers) for their help while I was writing the piece, your insights were invaluable! 🎉🎉🎉 .
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https://landscapephotographymagazine.com/magazine/issue-90/