Tag Archives: snow

Wonderland :: CT

20 Feb
Wonderland :: CT

Wonderland :: CT

“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” -Albert Camus

Winter Solstice

22 Dec
Solstice

Solstice

This past weekend was the solstice for 2014, and we finally got a taste of winter.  Ice, snow and brrrrrrrrrrrr (cold)!  Sure did make for a nice hike and some pretty pictures though. 🙂

Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season so far!

xo

Shannon

Winter Wonderland

18 Dec
Diana's Pool :: CT

Diana’s Pool :: CT

This time of year, photography time is at a premium.  The sun isn’t up for very long before I leave for the day job, and it’s down before I’m done with work.  Furthermore, winter hasn’t quite arrived yet….but I’m pining for some snow photos.

 

Today, I’m pulling one from the archives to share with you.  Hopefully that will tide me over until the snow arrives here in CT.  Hope you enjoy! 🙂

 

xo

Shannon

 

(Wintery) Mixed Feelings

5 Mar
The Road Home

The Road Home

See what I did there??  Wintery mix? Get it??

Well, we’ve made it to March.  Spring is just around the corner.  I mean, it’s still 5 degrees out, but officially we have less than 20 days left of winter and I honestly can not wait for warmer weather.  I mean…Northern lights, Iceland, dog sledding…they’re all on the to-do list.  But with none of those being in my immediate future, the next best thing would be a few 60 degree days.  Please and thank you.

So…where do the mixed feelings come in?  New England can be so dang quaint in the winter.

Wrapped in Soft Silence

Wrapped in Soft Silence

The first photo is a pretty typical scene around these parts.  Old tobacco sheds are found all over the top half of the state, and when I stumbled (aka, took an adventure-drive) on the scene, it immediately felt like home.

The second photo is from what I like to remember as Narnia-Day.  It was our first snow fall of the year, and it was one of those soft, gentle falls that feels like you’re walking through a Walt Whitman poem.  Or the Wardrobe.  If I were in a movie (other than a CS Lewis flick), I would look up at the falling snow, with my hands in the air while the camera spun around me, focusing on the snowflakes landing in my eyelashes.  Yeah, it was that kind of day.

So, until we start to see a few warmer days, which…did I mention…I’m looking forward to?…then I will try to remember to appreciate the beauty (and the hot cocoa) of the hardest season of the year.  Now, move over Starks!  Spring is coming.

The Cabin in the Woods

20 Feb
The Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin in the Woods

Looks like a nice little place to go warm your toes, huh? 🙂  These last few weeks have been snow, snow and more snow.  I still can’t say I love the cold, but it sure does make for some nice photos!

This was taken in upper CT, along a quiet cross-country ski trail by a frozen lake in the winter woods.  It is just one of the many hidden gems to be found out on the east coast.  What we Nutmeggers (yeah…that’s what they call people from Connecticut…I know, I know…) lack in broad sweeping vistas and notable landmarks, we often make up for in scenes like this.  Living here really encourages us to explore…because you never know what you’ll find if you’re willing to go just a little further off the beaten path.  Or in this case, down the ski-path!

A few years back I found a necklace in a small shop on the Cape. It’s a charm with a picture of a compass, and inscribed on it are the words, “Explore. Create. Believe.”  The words stuck with me as both a motto for what I want my life to be, and encouragement to push my photo work just a little further and have faith in the results.  The necklace is a daily reminder that you never know what incredible things are waiting for you up around the bend…you just have to get there.

Thanks for the continued support!! You are all a source of inspiration to me. 🙂

Shannon

Pennies Add Up

6 Feb
Winter Sunrise

Winter Sunrise

Winter is fully upon us, and life has been 100% getting in the way of shooting.  I am actually planning, weather permitting, to finally get out and shoot today.  Forecast?…more snow photos are in your future. haha

Care

In the meantime, I’ve spent my time editing my photos from Peru, trying to finish up that folder so I can make some use of the images I shot.  At the moment, my plan is to submit them for publication….so you can’t see most of them yet. haha  But trust me, they are awesome.

I’ve also spent some time “house keeping”, so to speak.  I’ve had a lot of little things to do, and no time to do them.  One of those many things was making a donation to CARE.org….YOUR donation, in fact.  For those of you who spent a little time shopping in my store…well, clap yourselves on the back.  You did a great thing.  Not only did you get something purty to hang on your wall (or an awesome mug to drink out of, or a card for your friends…etc) but you made a difference in someone’s life.

Karma points, in da bank!

So, many thanks to all of you for helping me make the goal of a donation to the Philippines a reality.  I could not possibly have done so without your support.  You Rock!

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, you can read up on the project here.  Also, if you haven’t already done so, please follow me on my FB page, where you can timely updates on the things happening with SSP….the movin’ and the shakin’.

xoxo

Shannon

Still Reflections, Winter’s Breath

22 Jan
Reflection

Reflection

It’s 6 degrees out, this morning.  We had some snow fall last night.  The roads are slippery and a bit dangerous…but the woods?  They’re perfect.

New England’s snowy skies rarely have much in the way of interest or detail, despite this being taken close to the end of the day.  There was no color, only leaden gray mixed with spots of white.  There were a few hints of yellow-brown on the trees, and some red silt at the edges of the water near the shallows…but rather than act as an accent, it seemed distracting.  I decided to black and white it.

The view, overall, is pretty standard for winter around here but the thing that attracted me to this particular scene is the solid reflection and the natural leading line it created from the corner of the frame.  Since I tend to be a symmetry person, I really wanted to wade into the center of the slow-moving winter stream and re-compose, but I didn’t have waterproof boots or waders.  Also, just outside of the frame where I would have stood, was a dangerous slippery spot that would have tumbled me down a little set of cascades.  haha  Hypothermia is a maybe, but ruining my camera is a definite no.

Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland

26 Dec
Snowy Path - CT

Snowy Path – CT

This image always reminds me of my favorite holiday carol (I’m so politically correct, dang!), though I seriously doubt there were sleigh bells ringing and children rarely listen to anything I have to say. 😉

This photo was taken on a snowy day here in CT, on a lunch break from work. It was just one of those days where the snow looked so darn purty I needed to go explore for a bit. This happens to be a historic trail one town over from the town I work in, so I had enough time to stretch my legs and take a few shots before heading back to the ol’ cubicle.

Hope you are all enjoying the holiday season, friends! Stay safe, give your loved ones a squeeze, eat too many cookies, and surround yourself with peace and joy…tis’ the season, after all!

Best Wishes,
XOXO
Shannon

We Never Stop Learning

12 Sep
Snow Clouds in the Desert

Snow Clouds in the Desert

I challenge you to make your life a masterpiece. I challenge you to join the ranks of those people who live what they teach, who walk their talk. – Tony Robbins

Technology evolves, and to survive as artists, so must we.

One of the things I’ve struggled with for a long time – something I suspect most photographers struggle with – is coming up with a well-defined plan for success in the photo industry.  In my case, specifically, the landscape/nature photography genre.  There are so many angles that need to be considered…  How does one define success?  Is it simply being able to do what one loves?  To some degree, I think the answer is yes.

 

Love of what we do doesn’t pay the bills though, so monetary compensation needs to be considered as well.  How does one make a living as a landscape photographer?  Generally speaking, it seems you can pursue a living as a teacher/guide (running workshops, writing tips books, running blogs and G+ hangouts, or in the world of publications – magazines, travel guides, etc.  Or both. Haha

 

So, how do we break into either world?  First, you absolutely need quality images.  You need to educate yourself, practice your photo skills and be an editing champ.

 

But that’s not enough, is it?  The world is filled with many many many amazing photographers, and chances are, you’ve only heard of a fraction of them.  Just like any other company or business, you need to market yourself.

 

But then…is that enough?  From my perspective…that of a female…seems like it might be.  But then again, it might not be.  Fstoppers put out a little editorial a few years back that broke down the disparity between salaries (men vs women), the numbers based on what type of photography your pursue, and the overall numbers of photographers by gender.  According to FStoppers, as of the date of publication, yes…photography is still a man’s world (though the numbers of female photogs is growing).  For the whole article and its references, go here.

 

So, while I’ve always felt that landscapes tend to be a bit of a boys club, and sometimes struggle with how difficult it is to find a toe hold in the genre, the MOST interesting part of the whole read was the commentary at the end.  One of the readers mentioned that men are more gadget and math brained, therefore more interested in the technicalities of photography versus “making pretty pictures”.  This, as you can imagine, offended some of the ladies out there.  Personally though, I took it as a challenge.

 

Truly, we can never stop learning….there is always something to improve upon.  So rather than be offended at the potentially offensive view points expressed at the end of the article, I used it to fuel my educational fire.  These last few weeks I’ve been practicing my edits, trying to find new ways to attack problem photos that I had been putting off editing.  (At least one of those will be coming up in a future post, in which we are doing a group edit challenge between myself, David Pasillas Photography, WhereToWillie and Will’s photographer-in-training, Britta.)

 

Comparison

Comparison

 The finished edit (left) versus the RAW (right).

This particular image was one of those that required a little more work than just your standard curves and levels.  I took this bad-boy in Joshua Tree Nat’l Park in March, just as it was about to snow.  YES!  I said SNOW!  The sky was flat, so I took this image intending to change it to a black and white and rely on the texture of the rock and the interesting trees as points of interest.  The problem I was running into was that I wanted to adjust just a particular tonal range to make the trees pop without laying on heavy contrast throughout the whole image.  Now, there are a lot of time consuming, inaccurate ways to go about this that require a lot of work.

 

Or, there are luminosity masks, a super genius invention.  While I have used them before, I was not proficient in them.  I took my FStopper’s go-get-em attitude and applied it to practicing and playing with this image.  In the end, while I still don’t love the flat sky, I’m much happier with the tonal adjustments throughout the image and feel much more confident using luminosity masks.

 

So where am I going with this?  Don’t be afraid to try things that are intimidating, or outside of your comfort level.  The more tools we have in photo-tool-bag, the higher our chances of success become, by whatever definition you use.  🙂

It’s Not You, It’s Me Blog-land!

8 Dec

I know I’ve been a bit of a slacker, lately!  I’m in the middle of portrait and wedding busy season, so on my end its edits, edits and more edits…none of which I can share. haha

Also on the calendar…today is New Haven, CT’s Help-Portrait event (I’m literally packing my camera and my typing at the same time…impressed?).  I’m super excited to get my good karma on today and help build some self-esteem and good memories in my community.  But…can’t share those photos either!

After this weekend, I’m scheduled to have a minor hand surgery (wish me luck, mmmkay?  I’m gonna need my fingers later to press the shutter button. haha)  I’m hoping that, while recovering, I will be able to (slowly, with one hand) post our street gallery from my co-hosted challenge with Will from WhereToWillie.  Look for that on Tuesday!

So, although I’ve been itching to get out and shoot somewhere, as you can see, it hasn’t happened in a little bit.  As soon as I do that, I will gladly share.  In the meantime, I’ll leave you with an oldie but goodie from last winter. 🙂

Dianas Pool CT

Happy weekend, friends!! XOXO