Tag Archives: sunset

Best Of 2016

28 Dec

 

2016 was a year of photographic growth for me.  I set several technical goals for myself as a way of pushing myself to be consistently better at my craft, and I’m proud of the progress I’ve made.  I’ll admit, it was often a mix of trial and error (a lot of error), persistence, and supportive people around me but I feel like I made a noticeable difference in the quality of my images.

This year, I made a consistent effort to focus stack where appropriate, to really keep an eye on my histogram so that I wasn’t shooting 12 frames when I really needed 1 or 2, and I tried improving both my night sky/milky way techniques and lightning images.  Those in-the-field efforts are represented in this “Best of…” gallery.

 

I’ve also grown in the editing arena, an area we can always work on, no matter how accomplished we are.  I feel like my ability to *see* the weak areas of a raw image, and my ability to enhance the light in a positive way with my edits has grown immeasurably.  Again, this was a matter of practice, feedback and support from my peers.  I’m particularly proud of my Opal Creek wilderness forest shot, as it involved some creative shaping of the light.

 

The winter image in the gallery was a conscious attempt to force myself out of hibernation.  Apparently, I need to do that more often – turns out winter light is lovely! Lol

And finally, the biggest reason I chose all of these images was the LIFE they represent.

I suspect it’s human nature to take things for granted – we developed our ability to tune things out as part of our survival mechanisms (because how could our ancestors focus on important things like hunting and gathering if they were constantly distracted by…oh, the wind!  Oh, shiny rock! Oh, noise!  Oh, a bird!  What was I doing again??).  Therefore, it takes a conscious effort to remember to appreciate the blessings in our life.

 

Write that life lesson down, folks.  It’s particularly important in the relationships you hold dear.

So where am I going with this?  Well, I’m an American woman.  Currently, that means the law considers me to be a person with inherent rights, one of which is the ability to obtain resources and pursue my life aspirations.  On the whims of fate, I was born here.  I am not viewed as property, or less than human.  I have the stability provided by a nation dedicated to protecting our freedoms.  I am educated.  Compared to so many places in the world, I grew up like a queen – I had food, clean water, health care, and never had the threat of war, unrest and violence looming on my doorstep every day.  Although America isn’t perfect, I am GRATEFUL every day for the progressive ideas that surrounds me.  As a country we can always improve.  We are but a nation of flawed humans afterall, and will always have room to be better versions of ourselves…. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t already holding the human rights bar pretty high and I desperately hope we continue to do so abundantly, and equally across the country.

Because I was blessed be born in a place that respects my rights and raised to believe in pursuing my dream (so much thanks to my family for always inspiring and encouraging me), I have seen and experienced SO MUCH JOY all in pursuit of a photograph.  I have traveled to places that have stolen my breath.  I have met some incredibly interesting, funny and supportive people who are a constant source of light in my life.  I have taken chances that have fed my soul.

 

In 2016, I was able to see the forest and seascapes (and….uh…wildlife) of Oregon and Northern California, the towering waterfalls of the Columbia River Gorge, try out the delightful food trucks in Portland and have my heart swell at the beauty of the Steens Mountains and the Alvord desert.  I soaked in a hot spring, while smiling with strangers.  I sat under the stars with friends, and pretended to play a violin under the Milky Way.  I explored NY and much of New England.  I was assaulted by a frog near the Adirondacks, got to see bald eagles in Acadia, the wild ponies on Assateague and black bears in Shenandoah.

I have taught photography students and built friendships around the world through Light & Landscape (thanks for that opportunity Matt!), I wrote another photography book with my business-partner-in-not-crime David, I was blessed to photograph weddings for some amazing couples with my other business-partner-in-not-crime Melissa, worked with one of this year’s 40 under 40 winners (you rock, Fitz!), refined my inner photo-journalist with freelance assignments through the newspaper (shout out to Jared and the staff at the paper for the feedback and encouragement), and saw AMAZING shows / met some wonderful musicians during my nights as a concert photographer (so much thanks to the venue, Kathy, Pat and Angelo).

 

In short, I have the freedom to LIVE THE LIFE I WANT and these photos represent the landscape side of that.  They are a reminder to be THANKFUL EVERY DAY.

Remember to count your blessings often, and appreciate the people and things that enrich your lives.  Dwell on the positive, and embrace GRATITUDE instead of criticism. Open your heart to the people that care and the endless possibilities in front of you.  Take chances, even knowing you may fail….failure can generally be overcome, but you’ll never get back the time you waste on “What ifs”.  Travel as often as you are able to responsibly do so, so that you can learn about the magical places in the world….how else will you learn to cherish and protect them?  As you travel near or far, make sure to appreciate that you have the ability to do so.

Wishing you all a wonderful 2017!

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Ships Passing :: CT

20 Sep
Ships Passing :: CT

Ships Passing :: CT

Sometimes, to make a photo outing work with the conditions you’re given, you have to think outside of the box a bit.  I hit the road thinking I’d create a wide-angle landscape shot and ended up striking gold with this intimate landscape instead.

Last month our students focused on minimalism, so the idea of simplifying has been on my mind. This particular sunset, the sky was sort’ve “blah” but the reflecting color was so damn purty. ❤

Settings: 75 mm, f/8, 30 sec, ISO 100

Bask in the Glow :: OR

2 Aug
Bask in the Glow :: OR

Bask in the Glow :: OR

There is something pretty special about a field full of wildflowers at sunset. 🙂  This was taken at the Tom McCall Preserve in the Columbia River Gorge last April.  I have to say, Oregon really lives up to the hype.  It’s a lovely state!

Salt and Light

24 Feb
Salt and Light :: CA

Salt and Light :: CA

Not snow.  Salt!  (But honestly, our New England brains had a hard time with the concept.  We kept expecting to fall through a frozen lake the whole time….except it wasn’t water beneath our feet.)

This image was taken at Badwater Basin in Death Valley last December.  There had been some flooding in October, which affected the traditional salt patterns.  We did end up finding some famous hexagons, but not in time to catch this awesome sunset. (booooo!) Guess it’s a reason to go back someday. 🙂

For those of you who like the camera settings: f/9 0.8 sec, 10 mm, ISO 100

Also, as a reminder, there is a crazy awesome deal going on for those of you looking to improve your photography experience with lessons at your own pace, feedback to help you improve your images, and a supportive community environment.  The 40% deal that the Light and Landscape Magazine is offering ends tomorrow though, so seriously, don’t wait! You can see more about it here: http://www.lightandlandscape.co/learn-with-light-and-landscape

Mirage

29 Jul
Mirage :: Peru

Mirage :: Peru

I’m not a slave of darkness, I am the slave of light. – Rumi

When I went to Peru in 2013, I had Machu Picchu on my mind.  It would be hard not to. MP is one of the most historically impressive, well-marketed sites in the world.

The Sacred Valley is so much more than just MP though. This area of Peru is steeped in history, culture, beautiful Incan sites all nestled among gorgeous mountains, valleys and rivers. It is almost impossible not to fall in love with the place.

This image of sunset at Chinchero, one of many beautiful sites in the Sacred Valley of Peru, will be part of an upcoming article in Light & Landscape Magazine.  The magazine will be available through iTunes, so all you iUsers out there, watch for it!

Surrender

20 Jul
Surrender :: RI

Surrender :: RI

With all of the work that has been going into the promoting the new book, workshops, another upcoming magazine article (etc, etc…), I haven’t had much time to actually shoot some images for me.  So, after a full day of work last week, I decided I needed some camera time.  I hopped in the car and took off for Rhode Island, where they have some fabulous rocky coastline that just begs for attention. 🙂

Hope you enjoy!  Feel free to share!

xoxo

Shannon

Tips to Improve Your Sunrise & Sunset Photos!

8 Jun

SunriseSunsetTipsCover

We asked what you wanted to learn, and iso100vignette answered!

We all struggle with new photography techniques and concepts – it’s part of what makes our art fun, and occasionally frustrating!  To help you out, we have begun putting together some PDF guides to help you elevate your images.

All that we ask in return is that you sign-up for our newsletter (we hate spam too, so we won’t share your email address) and that you help spread the word about us.

Sign up for your newsletter here, and after you confirm your email address, a welcome note will appear in your inbox with the password to our FREE TIPS PAGE.  Once you make your way there, you will find our free PDF sunset tips that will make your sunset photos shine!  (See what I did there?  Shine…sunlight…ha!)

HAVE SOMETHING YOU WANT HELP WITH?  Let us know!

 Also, as a reminder, our painting with light challenge ends this week. If you want to be part of the final gallery, email David your submission by June 10!