Tag Archives: seascape

Nirvana :: RI

15 Oct
Nirvana :: RI

Nirvana :: RI

“Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.” – Sarah Williams, Twilight Hours

The Milky Way season is winding down. 3/4 of a year has flown by. Does anyone else wonder where the time goes? I blinked and it’s officially the first day of fall.

On the plus side, that means apple cider donuts…

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Nirvana :: Ireland

25 Apr
Nirvana :: Ireland

Nirvana :: Ireland

Earth Day. A day when we remind each other to be good stewards, to protect the planet, to take care of our home – our only home. But in reality, those should be our goals for every day.

It’s easy to get discouraged, to think your efforts don’t matter. I’ve heard stories of people being berated: “You think recycling matters with the amount of polluting other people do???”

But change is slow. It’s not just about changing habits, but about changing society, and about placing our value on the longevity of the planet over the easy, cheap, and dangerous practices we have now. So while you may feel like your decision to avoid straws, or plastic bags, or to turn the water off while you brush your teeth, or to eat less meat, or to vote for responsible environmental laws are minuscule efforts in the face of a Herculean problem, remember that it’s just the beginning. Someone is watching, someone is learning from your decisions, and you are part of a domino effect for the better. So you recycle that container (etc) with pride, you trend-setter, you!  And know that you’re contributing to the health and well-being of our planet, and our species.

Reach for the Light :: WA

5 Mar
Reach for the Light :: WA

Reach for the Light :: WA

“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” -Mahatma Gandhi

Months ago, I booked a trip to Olympic National Park. The highlights (I thought) would be the Hoh Rainforest, Hurricane Ridge, Sol Duc falls, and the beaches. Then the shutdown happened.

The day before I left, I scoured the web looking for updates to see what roads and trails were open, and how bad things were. Obviously the government website was no help… it had been shut down since December.

In the end, we flew out with two real plans. First, be prepared to hike pretty far in from the roads, bringing trash bags and gloves. We wouldn’t contribute to the problems facing the National parks, but we sure as hell were gonna help where we could.

The second part of the plan was hope. We rearranged our itinerary based on 5 day old trip reports from strangers on the internet. There was no telling what we would actually find at any given place. But I held out hope that we would still be able to enjoy our time there.

In the end, we did pick up trash, hike pretty far to get to things, missed out on most of the spots I was planning to see, but the peninsula is spectacular. Even with limited access, it was an inspiring trip.

Black Sand :: Iceland

30 Oct
Black Sand :: Iceland

Black Sand :: Iceland

“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.” Vincent Van Gogh

I found out recently that one of my students passed away while out exploring his new home. It came as quite the shock for a lot of us that knew him, both in terms of a lost friend, and as a reminder of our own mortality and the risks associated with our passion – landscape photography.

My heart goes out to his loved ones. I hope you find comfort in the joyful memories you made together. ❤️

This shot is from a notoriously dangerous beach in Iceland, with warning signs that often go ignored or misunderstood by tourists. Reynisfjara beach has particularly dangerous waves due to the location and steepness of the continental shelf.

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.

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.

Guide Us Home :: RI

18 Jul
Guide Us Home :: RI

Guide Us Home :: RI

In Connecticut, dark sky areas are almost non-existent, due to our dense population and the light pollution that comes with it.  That makes capturing the Milky Way very difficult.  To truly have a sky that is dark enough to see detail in the Milky Way core, I need to either drive to Rhode Island (where the is a tiny oasis of dark sky along our shared border) or north and/or northwest towards Massachusetts, Vermont or upstate New York.

So besides the inconvenience of needing to travel, why is light pollution a problem?  Because it isn’t just light.  It’s light that affects everything.

There is evidence that too much night-light will effect trees’ seasonal clocks.  It’s shown that the bright lights of human cities can disrupt migration patterns of birds, the ability of newly hatched sea turtles to find the safety of the water, the hunting and territory patterns of opportunistic animals…. and researchers are beginning to think that the disruption to our – humans – natural circadian cycles is a risk factor for higher incidences of cancer.

“The health effects of light pollution have not been as well defined for humans as for wildlife, although a compelling amount of epidemiologic evidence points to a consistent association between exposure to indoor artificial nighttime light and health problems such as breast cancer, says George Brainard, a professor of neurology at Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.” (here)

So about those pockets of darkness near Connecticut?  Well, Beavertail Light in Rhode Island is along the edge of one.  When my friend Tony Curado, who is working on a Galactic 50 project (capturing the Milky Way in all 50 states!), suggested he wanted to chase stars in my neighborhood, I knew exactly what location to try.

The night finally arrived, and as I sat there under the stars with Tony and Kyle (another local photographer), I felt grateful. There I was, watching the universe do its thing, the sounds of the waves kissing the land, and good friends to share it with.