Tag Archives: shore

The Guardians

25 May
The Guardians :: OR

The Guardians :: OR

“We men and women are all in the same boat, upon a stormy sea. We owe to each other a terrible and tragic loyalty.” – G. K. Chesterton

These sea stacks were found along the Oregon coast on an overcast, not so sunset-y sunset.  But then, I’m a landscape photographer, and I enjoy the weather that no one else likes because it’s so darn photogenic! lol

I’m working on a new tutorial project to help supplement my teaching materials for the Members Area over at Light & Landscape.  You know….a few free videos to help you learn, my gift to you!  Can’t beat the price, right? 😉

If you want to keep informed about the upcoming tutorials as they are released, make sure to sign up for my newsletter.

 

Advertisements

Defiance

21 Mar
Defiance :: CT

Defiance :: CT

“An island of calm in a sea of uncertainty…”

 

I spent a little time last week down at the shore, putting together example images for next month’s Light and Landscape Member’s Area lesson plan.  This photo was a happy little by-product of the trip.  And by happy, of course, I mean angry skies. haha  We’ve been having some strange weather lately.  This morning, the second day of spring, we woke up to 4+ inches of snow in the back yard…but that’s New England for ya!

If you’re interested in getting any info about our teaching program and photography community, you can contact us at support@availablelightmedia.com .  We’d be happy to give you the overview and answer your questions!  You can also check out a small sampling of some of our student’s work in the next issue of Light and Landscape Magazine, the number one landscape photography magazine on iTunes. 🙂  You can find it in the newsstand app!

The settings, for those interested: 10 mm, 4 seconds, ISO 100, f/11, grad ND

Gear Review :: Induro Adventure ABK Tripod

2 Jul

 

A Shore to Call Home

A Shore to Call Home

I’m of the opinion that with most things in life…relationships, work, etc…there is almost never a perfect situation.  You have to look at the all of the pluses and minuses, run a little cost benefit analysis and decide what compromises you can live with.  Gear is no different.

Now, just a few short weeks ago, I found myself traveling across the country to Cali for some photo exploration and education.  Last time I made that trip, I flew Southwest, where bags travel free and I put my very large, very solid Manfrotto in the luggage.  This time, I flew a different airline and tried like hell to avoid bringing anything more than a carry-on with me.  That meant I needed a much smaller tripod, as the average height of a carry-on bag is between 20-22 inches.

I found myself with a bit of a dilemma.  You see, to me, having a rock solid base is important.  Furthermore, I’m 5’ 10” with a bum knee, so crouching down is difficult over long periods of time.  Having a tall tripod is a major plus, in my book.  Also, I’m not a big fan of twist lock legs…just a preference, I guess.  I find it unnecessarily time consuming, and generally speaking, not as solid as tab locks.  At some point, every kind of twist lock I’ve used eventually slips because I didn’t tighten it enough.  No thanks.  I’d rather just flip a quick lever and set up is done.

My Manfrotto fills all of those requirements, and I love it.  I just don’t love it for traveling!

In the time I’ve had the Manfrotto, I have more than once wished it were a bit lighter.  It’s a beast to carry up a mountain.  Also, because it is a tall tripod (with center column extended, it can reach above my head) with only three leg sections, it is bulky.  When it hangs off of the back of my bag, I feel like I spend a lot of time apologizing for hitting it on people and things. Haha

So, the trip to California (and my upcoming hike in August for a Mt. Washington sunrise) were exactly the impetus I needed to do some tripod research and spend a few bucks. Now, price is a big factor for me.  My life goals involve spending most of my excess money making memories, not collecting things.  However my photography goals involve making the best quality images I can, to the best of my ability at any given point in my life.  This means I wanted to find a durable, lightweight, 4 section tripod that opened up to be tall enough for a giant like me, with enough weight to it that it wouldn’t fold in a breeze, but not as heavy as my current tripod.  Oh, and for a reasonable price.

I spent a bit of time on Google looking up the best tripods out there, specifically brands that wouldn’t require international shipping (because that costs extra, duh!), that fit the description I was looking for.  My search led me to Induro, where I read enough reviews about their adventure series (versus their more expensive carbon fiber options) to make anyone’s eyeballs cross.  For approximately $150, I felt that the ABK (sometimes labeled as ABK0, depending on the store) was worth taking a chance on.

Slacker Hill Sunset, Courtesy of David Pasillas Photography

Slacker Hill Sunset, Courtesy of David Pasillas Photography

So, the pro’s… this tripod is extremely light weight (I had more than one panic attack wondering if it had fallen off my bag), folds down to about 20 inches (fit in my carry-on), has lever lock legs, and provides a sturdy base for the camera.  Like most tripods, it becomes less sturdy with the center column extended, but I tend to use a shutter remote or a timer, so it helps combat some sources of potential vibrations down the tripod.

Now for the con’s…this tripod is not really tall enough for me.  Even adding several inches for the camera, with the center column fully extended, I still need to bend down a bit.  For situations where I want the sharpest image possible (and therefore didn’t extended the center column), I tended to set up the composition using live view which required less bending.  I tried using the center column hook to add some weight to the tripod in the wind, but if the center column was up, the weight of the bag below it slowly dragged it down.  I didn’t even bother using the bag hook feature a second time.  In high wind situations, I just put my hand on the top of the tripod, where the legs come together, and leaned some of my weight onto it.  That did the trick and was an easy compromise, given how much I enjoy this tripod’s other features.

Some of the reviews I read spoke harshly of the ball head that came with the tripod, but I had no problems with it.  (Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, you don’t have to buy that separately…for $150 you get the whole kit! Plus a carry bag, which I didn’t use, because it has the name on the side and I don’t like to advertise how expensive my gear is to potential muggers. Haha)  The plate is smaller than I’m used to, but the plate lock is solid and keeps my camera safely attached, so as far as I’m concerned it does its job.  I used the ball head/plate combo with a Canon 7d and a variety of lens sizes…no slippage!

Overall, at this point, I would recommend this tripod.  It appears to be solidly built and any of the features that don’t quite meet my requirements are easy to work around.  And hey, for less than $200 you get a great piece of equipment with a strong company name on it. For me, it was a good investment.  I’m glad I took a chance on Induro. Read more about their products at http://www.indurogear.com

The photo at the top of the page is of a dark and cloudy sunrise on the shore line in Santa Cruz, California…and also the first series of shots taken with the new tripod. 🙂

The Art of Blur

8 May
Maine, Abstracted

Maine, Abstracted

Long exposure is another way of saying “keeping the shutter open for a long time”. This can be done for a few reasons – to compensate for low available light, as one of a many exposures for bracketing, or to capture the idea of motion on film…errr….sensor.

(Click on any of the links above to see examples of the types of shots that you can create with long exposures.  Or just to see purty stuff.)

The photo above, however, is a twist on the idea of long exposure motion captures.  Generally, I would slap my camera on a tripod, use my timer or remote to reduce camera vibration, and I would open the shutter while the subject moves in front of the lens.  Light trails, star trails, soft water, people watching…that sort of thing.  For “Maine, Abstracted” I set a long exposure, then panned left (handheld was easier since I didn’t need a precise, level horizon).  The end result is what you see above.

You know…just a girl and her Canon having some fun. 😉

Winter Is Coming

5 Dec

PortlandHeadLightME

 

…(did I just score some points with Game of Thrones fans?? ;-D)

Anyway, this is a photo of the iconic Portland Head Light.  It’s one of those places that has been photographed from every possible angle, with all possible lighting and and weather conditions.  So obviously, I had to have a version of my own. haha

Like most heavily visited areas, the image and the reality of the place are a little different.  What you don’t see is a fence line keeping tourists away from the rocks so they don’t fall into the ocean, a worn dirt and gravel path along the fence line as far as you can see, and at least a handful of other tourists who were braving the cold with me.

What you also don’t see is photogs like me doing yoga with their tripods over the fence trying to get a better angle than what the state determined to be safe.  Or the sagging spot in the fence where it would seem (because obvi, I didn’t do it! *cough cough*) most people hopped over to climb the rocks.

Most of these iconic spots – the places you associate with…well…places – are now a handful of scenic surrounded by regulations.  It is, without a doubt, a beautiful place.  But the images of a rugged coastline are somewhat decieving.

Makes me crave a little bit of the unexplored, of the undiscovered, of the wild.  There are days where I want a secret, beautiful spot that I can call my own, creating unique photos that will wow.

But for now, until I’m independently wealthy and able to finance a trip to where the wild things grow…this little bit of Maine will do. 🙂

Free Photo Giveaway!!

25 Nov

Contest

Do you like free stuff? Of course you do!

Do you like pretty stuff?? Check!!

So do yourself a favor and head on over to the Facebooks where you will:

– Like our photography page
– Comment on the contest photo (same one you see above, but it will be on Facebook), telling us which 8×10 print you want to win

So easy, even a caveman can do it! (Assuming cavemen had electricity.)

For a bonus entry…that’s right, TWO chances to win a free print…share the contest with your friends!

(Sharing is caring, afterall.)

So…what are we gonna do!!??
Like, comment and share.

When are we gonna do it??
Now! (Or sometime before Friday, November 29, because that’s when the winner will be announced!)

Go team!

XOXO
Thank you all for your continued support.  Happy Holidays, Friends!
Shannon

Finding Peace

21 May
Blue Serenity

Blue Serenity

“Complete peace equally reigns between two mental waves.” –Swami Sivananda

This photo was taken in La Jolla, California a few months back during blue hour.  I believe this was taken right after I narrowly missed being swept out to sea by a gigantic wave. haha  Since the moment I decided on this composition, before I even snapped the shot, I loved this scene.  It gives me a sense of calm.

Call me a peace-loving hippie (because I am), but I spend a fair amount of my time on introspection.  What is worth dumping my energy into, what will yield results that will increase the quality of my life, are my actions ones I can live with long term, etc….  My goal for every day is to resist the negativity around me.  Aggravations and annoyances happen, and there isn’t much I can do to control that.  I can only control how I react.

Often, during trying moments, I will remind myself of the logic of the situation.  I tell myself, “It can always be worse.”  During my saddest and angriest moments, I remind myself to be grateful for the good things in my life.  I have food, shelter, and family that loves me, friends that support me, and a great set of basic rights protected by my government.  I’m not desperate, I’m not property, and for the most part, I’m safe.  In the grand scheme of things, whatever is bothering me is probably relatively insignificant.

I suspect at this point, if you read the blog, you know music and musicians are a big part of my life.  This month, one of the musicians in our circle passed away.  He was a young guy, always happy and full of positive energy.  He made a huge impact on the people in his life, both through his music and his attitude.  The tragedy shocked our community.  It is never easy to lose someone who had so much life to live still, but in particular, it was hard to lose a shining light in the sea of humanity.

Events like this are a huge reminder to appreciate the things we have and to live our lives to the fullest every day.  We are but a sum of our experiences, and every day we face choices that will lead us down the path of anger, or the path of quiet peace.  I can’t say that every time I take the high road, but I’m trying. haha  At the end of my days, I don’t want to carry the weight of regret.

We only get one shot at life.  It’s a wild, unpredictable journey and it’s up to every one of us to seize opportunity, to feed our passions, to encourage happiness and to find love.  I’m rooting for all of us. 😉

XO
Shann