From above on the slopes of Cadillac Mountain, sunrise over Frenchman’s Bay and the Porcupine Islands. Acadia National Park, Maine.
(Click on the photo to see the full image)
From above on a 50 – 60 ft (15 – 18m) ledge, looking down on Bridal Veil Falls. Castle In The Clouds, Moultonborough, New Hampshire.
From above on the Mount Washington Auto Road, the headlights of a lone vehicle pierce the pre-dawn darkness. Mount Washington, New Hampshire.
Not for the faint of heart. Looking down from above over the lip of Falls Of Song at Castle In The Clouds. It’s a long way down, 49 ft (15m), from the top!
This weeks weekly photo challenge theme is “My 2012 In Pictures.”
Well as luck would have it I had already done a post of my favorites from the past year HERE. Let me tell you, it wasn’t an easy task narrowing it down to 20 for that post!
Never one to pass up a challenge, here are another dozen, give or take, images from the past year that I’m rather pleased with.
Don’t forget, there’s still time to vote for your favorite image that I’ve shared this year!
Details and rules (Please read them carefully) are HERE.
Here’s wishing you all Happy Holidays.
This weeks “Hidden Treasure” wasn’t really hidden, or forgotten.
But being of a very seasonal nature it hasn’t been looked at since I shared a very similar image this time last year.
Market Square in Portsmouth, NH
Canon EOS 40D
Tamron 17-50 f2.8
ISO 100, 17mm, 15 sec. @ f16
What a year!
2012 has been an unbelievable year. I’ve created more commissioned work for others, and more of my work is finding its way onto people’s walls. I also feel I’m continuing to learn and grow as a photographer. I’d like to share with you my favorite 12 images from the past year.
(For this weeks Weekly Photo Challenge theme: Surprise. The “surprise?” I can’t count, my favorite 12 of 2012 is actually 20! Enjoy!)
Didn’t see your favorite Jeff Sinon Photography image? Well then click HERE and cast your vote and you could you see it in the upcoming “Fan Favorites Of 2012,” AND you’re vote automatically enters you in a chance to win an 8″ x 12″ copy for your very own. Contest details and rules here
New England at its finest!
There are four reasons I love being a photographer in New Hampshire.
As is typical of New England weather, the stream-side rocks and surrounding forest was covered in 6 inches of late April snow the day before I made this photo. The remnants of which can be seen is the forest beyond the stream.
In the summer, sunrise comes too early, and sunset too late, but there are flowers, oh yes, plenty of flowers. Whether in my yard, deep in the woods, or waist deep in a pond, flowers of all kinds are one of my top choices for photographic subjects.
The colors of Autumn, there is no single better reason than Autumn’s glorious color to live and photograph in New England!
My second favorite season, after Autumn, Winter provides some of the best photographic opportunities. As long as you’re willing to brave the cold.
Renewal = Spring .
Though it’s hard to imagine, with winters icy grip, and its cold white coating of snow, just around the corner, for me when I think of renewal, I think of Spring. Spring is the time of renewal. Soon after the snow melts the wildflowers will begin to emerge and the young animals and birds will soon begin to be born. A new generation is about to commence.
…to the Spring-time forest near you.
Pink Lady among the birches.
Pink Lady’s Slipper orchid.
The Next Generation.
And soon there will be four.
Canada goose eggs sitting safely in their down lined nest.
A pair of black bear cubs and their sleeping mother.
My latest blog post for the New England Photography Guild – Check it out! Phone It In.
Dedicated to Valentina. She asked to see more abstract images, and I’m happy to oblige. Enjoy!
Grand mountain vistas, spectacular Autumn color, and a beautiful mountain top sunset,
are what I wanted for my trip to the White Mountains to capture fall foliage images this past Sunday, but what I got was rain. Not a heavy rain, but on and off, mostly on, showers all day long. And when it wasn’t raining, there was always a steady drizzle. Not that I minded much, the color in norther New Hampshire was spectacular! And the overcast conditions really made the colors all the more vibrant and saturated. The colors were popping in the Whites, that’s for sure!
Silver Cascade, Crawford Notch, NH.
(Arguably the most spectacular falls in the White Mountains that you can see from your car).
Stay home where it’s dry?
Not likely. With a tight schedule, and a short window of opportunity for the best fall color in White Mountains, I wasn’t about to let a little rain put a damper on my plans. I packed a few towels, several plastic bags of various sizes, and I headed north.
As soon as it became clear that the weather wasn’t going to cooperate, one word popped into my head, “Waterfalls!” New Hampshire’s White Mountains are loaded with waterfalls of all shapes and sizes. I haven’t photographed many of them, and none of them in Autumn, so if I couldn’t capture the mountain top sunset I had hoped for, then a few nice waterfalls surrounded by some spectacular Autumn color would have to do.
Lower Falls on the Swift River, Albany, NH.
(Not quite peak color yet. In the summer, Lower Falls is a very popular swimming hole, and the rocks and water would be covered in people)
Ripley Falls, Hart’s Location, NH.
(This was my first visit to Ripley Falls, but unfortunately it was a short one. Since the rain was getting a little heavier, I took off my sweatshirt and grabbed my rain jacket. All day long I was constantly using a micro-fiber cloth to wipe rain drops off the front of my lens. I kept the cloth in the front pocket on my sweatshirt, guess where it stayed after the wardrobe change. I was only able to make three exposures before I lost the battle with rain drops on my lens. This was the only “keeper.” In an effort to keep the rain at bay, I held my hat over the lens, so of the three exposures I made, one had my fingers in it, and another had the bill of my hat, both deleted)
“No Swimming.” Rocky Gorge, Swift River, Albany, NH.
(My favorite image from a wet day in the mountains, and my favorite so far of Rocky Gorge).
Tips for shooting in the rain.
Keep it dry, as much as possible anyway. Unless you have a weather sealed camera body and lenses, try to keep as much moisture from them as possible. While there are many commercially available rain covers on the market, I went the DIY route with large clear plastic bags to help keep the elements at bay. Though if it was only a light drizzle, I just kept a had towel with me to periodically wipe the camera down. I also took the camera out of whatever bag or “rain cover” it had been in and set it on a towel on the car seat while driving between locations, giving the camera a chance to dry out a bit.
Keep a micro-fiber cloth handy, and use it. Constantly check the front element of your lens for water droplets. There isn’t much worse than having to delete that “winner” shot because you didn’t notice the water drop on the lens.
Use a circular polarizer when shooting on rainy, foggy days. It will help remove the glare from wet foliage, and really make the colors pop.
Finally, if it isn’t already, get your gear insured. Adding it to your homeowners or renters insurance is pretty cheap, and takes some of the stress out of shooting in potentially camera killing conditions, knowing that should anything go wrong your gear is covered.
Focus on the intimate.
With even the lowest peaks in the White Mountains with their heads in the clouds, grand scenic images were all but impossible. A good idea is to focus on small portraits of the beautiful color before your eyes.
Be careful, use your head, but most of all, don’t let a little rain keep you from that fall color. It’s only here for a very short time, enjoy it while you can.
This is also part of Ailsa’s Weekly Travel Challenge, the theme is Foliage. You can see more entries here.
My Every Day Life.
Part of my every day life, the most important part, my daughter Nicole.
I’ve made several photographs of the Cape Neddick (Nubble) Lighthouse in York, Maine.( Along with every other person who has ever set foot in the state of Maine ). I’ll never make a better one than this. Nicole and her iPhone, shooting the waves. She is my every day life.
Each month at the New England Photography Guild we randomly select one lucky person to receive a free matted 5″ x 7″ print, donated by the artist of the month. For the month of August, that artist was yours truly
And the lucky winner is:
Elaine Somers of Rockport Massachusetts.
Here is the image Elaine chose as her prize,
A New Twist on The Photo Challenge.
I love a challenge, and the chance to win free stuff!
The folks over at TravelSupermarket.com have come up with a Capture The Colour photo challenge. The object is to post five travel photos showing the colors blue, green, yellow, white, and red. Well I don’t travel much outside the New England area, and even that is pretty much restricted to New Hampshire and Maine. I was given the heads-up about this challenge by The Retiring Sort, and figured “what have I got to lose?” The prizes are pretty good too, and if all I have to do to enter is share a few photos, I’m in.
If you’re planning a visit to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and a drive up Mt. Washington is on your itinerary, why not make it a sunrise drive. The auto road to the summit is opened several times over the summer for people to be able to witness sunrise from the summit of the “Home of the worlds worst weather.”
The White Mountains of New Hampshire are full of waterfalls in all shapes and sizes. The one above, Silver Cascades, is located just off Rt. 302 in Crawford Notch State Park. The mist that hung in the air the morning I made this photo added a dream-like quality to the image.
For the motor sports fans, here in New Hampshire we have New England Dragway, where “Hell Camino” was photographed. Personally, I enjoy the pit area, over the actual racing, for all the rolling works of art on display. We also have Lee USA Speedway, Star Speedway, and for the NASCAR fans there’s New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Whether it’s a quarter-mile at a time, or lap after lap, there’s plenty of go-fast fun for the whole family.
One of my favorite destinations in the White Mountain National Forest, Pondicherry National Wildlife Refuge offers spectacular views of the Presidential Range. An easy 2+ mile hike along an old railroad bed brings you to this wonderful area.
Nothing can compare to the vibrant reds, along with the yellows and oranges, of Autumn in New Hampshire. People come from the world over the see the explosion of color blanketing the mountains during the peak of the Fall foliage season.
Here are the 5 people I’m inviting to give it a shot.
As Urban As I Get.
This weeks WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme is “Urban.” Since I had already made plans to head into Portsmouth, NH today (Saturday) anyway, I was in luck. Also, since I would rather have a root canal than step foot into a “real” city, Portsmouth would have to do.
The weather wasn’t completely cooperative this morning, and fog prevented me from getting several of the photos I was hoping for. All in all, still worth the effort.
Portsmouth is an “artsy” town, even the graffiti is top-notch.
Okay, maybe not ALL the graffiti is top-notch.
Nothing says New England…
…like a towering white steeple above downtown. Unfortunately the fog made for less than inspiring skies as a backdrop.
Not a bad way to get around town.
I hope these images were “Urban” enough for you.
All Three Of Them.
- At night, even if I wasn’t trying to capture the movement of the water fountain, I’d need a long exposure for this scene due to the low light. That means tripod -
If you want consistently sharp, well composed photos, buy a tripod. I don’t care how advanced the image stabilization is in your camera or lens, nothing will aid you more in making sharper photographs than having your camera mounted securely on a good sturdy tripod.
As for how a tripod can aid in composition, for me it’s simple, it slows me down. Setting up the tripod gives me time to think about the composition possibilities before me, and not just stumbling upon a scene and then, “Ooh pretty, click, click, click.” off to the next spot. The slower I work, the more thought I put into the image, the better the results. Every time!
Not Just Another Accessory.
- I don’t care who you are, a 61 second exposure, like the one above taken in Acadia National Park, is pretty darn tough to do hand-held. The water and the clouds wouldn’t be the only thing soft silky if I attempted to hand hold this shot.-
Most people new to photography are giddy with excitement when they get their new camera. But the lowly tripod barely gets a second thought, if it gets any thought at all. They can’t wait to get out there and start taking pictures, but when their first sunset doesn’t come out nearly as sharp as it should, they wonder why.
As far as I’m concerned, a tripod is not an optional “accessory,” something to maybe buy later on, but an essential piece of gear for anyone interested in nature and landscape photography. For me a tripod is a must, not a maybe.
- Soft flowing water and sharp stream side forest, all because I used a tripod.-
I make a lot of photographs in situations where it would be impossible to get the shot I want without a tripod mounted camera. Think low light, and long exposures. If I’m trying to photograph a stream for instance, I want the silky look to the moving water that only a long exposure can give. But the boulders in the stream, and the trees along the stream bank need to be tack sharp, not just as blurry as the water.
A tripod allows the long, 2 to 30 second (often longer) exposures that I need to blur the moving water, while holding the camera perfectly still to capture the other elements of the scene in sharp detail.
Three Legs For Three Shots.
- The above image is a three shot HDR image processed in Nik’s HDR Efex Pro 2 -
Another good reason to use a tripod is HDR photography. Basically, for those who have been living in a cave for the last few years, HDR or High Dynamic Range, is the blending of usually three, sometimes more, photographs, each exposed to capture detail in a different part of the scene, from shadows to highlights, to create one final image. In every instance I can think of, you want all the images to be perfectly aligned to get the best final image.
You Have Got To Be Joking, Right?
Now comes the painful part.
When it comes to purchasing a tripod you have three choices, cheap, light, and strong, you can have any two. I thought I was going to have a stroke when I started looking into purchasing my first “real” tripod. So, as many before me have done, I went cheap.
The aluminum tripod I first bought was dirt cheap, and light weight. The problem was that it was about as sturdy as a wet noodle with my Canon 40D and even a modestly sized lens mounted on it. My next tripod was, I thought, reasonably priced, and very sturdy, even with my largest lens, Canon’s 100-400L. But heavy, oh man was it heavy! Taking it on a long hike was no fun at all. After a few hikes, I knew this tripods days were numbered.
It was time break the bank and get a good tripod. After a LOT of research I decided on the Gitzo GT2541 Mountaineer. It’s light, sturdy, and strong, and it cost more than my first car, yikes!
At less than three pounds once I removed the center column, it was a joy to carry. An added bonus, since I do a lot of shooting in very cold weather, unlike aluminum, the carbon fiber legs didn’t suck the heat right out of my hands on even the coldest days. In fact, I can actually feel the tripod getting warmer in my hand, and not my hand getting colder. With my aluminum tripod, after a short time I could barely feel my fingers.
Things To Look For.
- Overcast day + flowing water = tripod is going to come in handy for the exposure time required for this shot -
There are several factors in deciding what tripod is right for you. First is load carrying capacity. The tripod needs to securely support your camera and the largest lens you plan to mount on it.
Second is weight. If you are only going to walk a few yards from your car, you may not need the lightest tripod you can get. This can also save you money, because a quality aluminum tripod is much less expensive than a carbon fiber one from the same manufacture. If you plan to do a lot of back country exploring, your back and shoulders will thank you for buying the lightest, and strongest, tripod you can afford.
Overall height and number of leg sections are also things to think about. It is recommended that the tripod holds the camera at eye level with the legs fully extended and center column down so you don’t have to hunch over to look through the viewfinder. Also, three leg sections are almost always more sturdy than four in a given support class of tripod.
Very good advice, that I chose to ignore. I never shoot at eye level, how boring is that, everyone shoots at eye level. I’m more likely to need knee pads than a taller tripod, so I chose four leg sections over three, for its shorter, more packable, collapsed length. Plus, since I’m usually shooting from less than conventional positions I almost never extend the fourth, and least stable leg sections anyway. My tripod fits my style of shooting perfectly.
Which brings me to price. There is no way to sugar coat it, buying a quality tripod from one of the major manufactures, like Gitzo, or Really Right Stuff, to name two, especially carbon fiber, is going to hurt, a lot! But when you factor the cost of all the cheap tripods you buy, before you get the one you should have bought in the first place, you will probably have spent almost half the price of a good one. Ask me, I’ll tell you all about it.
Three Legs, Three Final Answers.
Yes, a good tripod is a worthwhile investment. Yes, I never leave mine at home. And yes, I think it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to have captured the photographs in this post without a tripod.
My latest article for the New England Photography Guild (NEPG), and a reminder on how you can win a free print from one of the very talented photographers of the NEPG.
Click for article > Plan Your Shot With These iPhone Apps.
And now for the good stuff!
Free print of a beautiful New England scene? Who wouldn’t like that?
How would you like a matted, 5″ x 7″ print of a beautiful New England scene, for free? Just a few clicks of your mouse is all it takes to be entered in our monthly drawing. Each month, one lucky winner, drawn at random, will receive a matted 5″ x 7″* print from that months featured photographer. This months featured photographer is Jane Ogilvie, and as luck would have it, September’s featured photographer is ME!
All you need to do to get your name in the drawing is subscribe to the NEPG blog.
No purchase necessary, contest rules can be found here.
* Restrictions apply, see rules for details.
The First National Park East Of The Mississippi River.
Over the July 4th holiday my family and I finally made it to Acadia National Park. It’s a place I’ve wanted to visit for a long time. A quick drive through the park on our first day however, told me the four days we were going to be there would not be nearly enough time to uncover all Acadia has to offer.
It’s going to take many visits throughout the seasons to fully enjoy, and photograph, this wonderful National Park.
Here are a few of the scenes I was able to capture on my much too brief visit.
Seen here from just past Monument Cove on the Park Loop Road, Otter Cliffs is one of the first places in the U.S. to receive the suns rays in the morning. Often photographed, Otter Cliffs and this section of shore line, along with its amazing natural stone-work, yields composition possibilities too many to fathom. While the subject may be the same, with so many possibilities for composing an image, making this place your own should require little effort.
The Cadillac Mountain Sunrise Club.
No trip to Acadia would be complete without a trip to the summit of the tallest peak on the eastern seaboard. For almost half the year, from early October to early March, Cadillac Mountain is the first place in the United States to see the rising sun.
Here, a family sits looking out over the Porcupine Islands in Frenchman’s Bay, patiently awaiting the rising sun.
And The Crowd Sang Out.
Membership in the Cadillac Mountain Sunrise Club has but one requirement: experience sunrise from the top of the mountain. Not too tough, as long as you’re willing to get up early enough, and in the summer that means around 3:30 a.m., and be at the summit in time to greet the sun.
As the sun crested the horizon, the members of the Cadillac Mountain Sunrise Club, their numbers many and who had sat there peacefully, surprised me with a loud cheer! Hearing it brought a smile to my face and made me want to shout out as well. An outstanding start to the new day.
The club was much less exclusive than I had thought. Normally when I’m out shooting a sunrise I have the place all to myself. Or at least the only other people there are a few other dedicated photographers willing to forego sleep in pursuit of the perfect sunrise. On Cadillac there were dozens of people, many dozens. While I was the first one there that morning, I’m sure if I had gone back to the parking lot I would have found it full to over-flowing. Only on Mount Washington in New Hampshire have I seen a larger crowd up this early eagerly awaiting the sun.
The sun just crests the horizon with Frenchman’s Bay and the Porcupine Islands in the foreground.
And Then I Was Alone.
Or so it seemed. The sun was fully above the horizon, and the light going fast, by 5:30 a.m. Too early to head back to my campsite and wake my wife and daughter, so I lay back on the pink granite slope to relax and enjoyed the morning. By 6 a.m. I had the summit of the mountain all to myself, there wasn’t another human being around. But I soon found I was not alone. As I began my descent, this lovely whitetail doe was kind enough to pose for me.
Whitetail doe on the slopes of Cadillac Mountain.
Bridges Of Stone.
In the park there are 45 miles of gravel carriage roads, built between 1913 and 1940, and financed by John D. Rockefeller Jr. as a gift to the park. The roads are only open to foot, bicycle, and horse traffic. These carriage roads often travel over one of the 17 stone faced bridges, 16 of which were also financed by Mr. Rockefeller, found throughout the park. This one below, on Stanley Brook Drive, with its three arches and amazing detail, is my favorite of the ones I’ve seen so far.
One of the 17 stone face bridges in Acadia National Park.
Not Just For Photographers.
Acadia National Park offers opportunities not just for photographers but for outdoor enthusiasts of all types, from hiking, cycling, horse-back riding, swimming (if you dare brave the frigid Atlantic), and rock climbing. Otter Cliffs is a popular destination for the latter. Myself, I’ll photograph it safely from a distance, thank you very much.
Rock climbers on Otter Cliffs.
I have only had the chance to process a few of my Acadia images. As I work my way through the rest I’m sure I’ll be sharing a few more. In the mean time, if you find yourself in New England, Acadia National Park is well worth the visit.
Defined as passing swiftly. That often describes the scene before me captured in many of my photographs. Be it the fleeting instance of the perfect light, or the interaction of wildlife, there but gone in an instant.
a mother wakes her young with a kiss
breakfast with daddy
in a moment the light would be gone
In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
NOTE. I’m off to Acadia National Park until mid week. Any and all comments will be replied to when I return.
Third times a charm.
June 24th, 2012 was going to be the day I photographed sunrise from the summit of Mt. Washington, NH. The mountain on the other hand was not informed of this plan and did its best to thwart the effort.
The tallest peak in the Northeastern U.S., Mt. Washington’s claim to fame is being “Home to the worlds worst weather,” where on April 12, 1934 a wind gust of 231 mph was recorded, a record for the highest wind speed measured on the earth’s surface that stood for 76 years, until 1996 when Cyclone Olivia snatched the record away. The summit is also shrouded in fog an excess of 300 days a year.
Somewhere in that cloud is the summit.
Not far after we passed the 5 mile mark on the auto road, we were directed to a pull-out, the summit was completely fogged in and it was suggested we go no further. From past experience, I wasn’t going to argue. The first time fellow photographer Denise Ryan and I tried for a summit sunrise, we waited hopefully as the fog teased us with the possibility of clearing. It didn’t. As I recall, neither one of us pressed the shutter button that day. Lesson learned, if the summit is in the clouds, head down.
A tough act to follow.
On this years adventure I was accompanied by John Vose of Jericho Hills Photography. John’s wildlife photography is outstanding, take a look when you get a chance.
Anyway, this year I was going to better last years photographs, plain and simple. Easy right? The first two images in last weeks Weekly Challenge post are from last years attempt at sunrise on the “Rock pile,” as Mt Washington is affectionately known. Shouldn’t be too hard to top those, just be on the mountain for sunrise, piece of cake.
Not so much as it turns out. Remember those 300+ days I mentioned, this was one of them. The clouds obscuring the sun to the east weren’t any help either.
To say I was disappointed would be an understatement, at least initially. The sunrise was a non event, with clouds off to the east all but blocking out the sun, add to that not being able to get as high on the mountain as I would have liked, and almost all my enthusiasm was gone. My unrealistic expectations for coming away with photographs topping last years was in hindsight, foolish. I shouldn’t have even been trying to “top” last years photos, I should have concentrated on making this years. Looking at the images from this year, on their own, I’ve become pleased with the results. The sky may not be as dramatic as last year, but overall I think the the images are basically good.
In a first for me, I’ve actually included a person in one of my photographs.
“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”
- Ansel Adams
All the photos below were made, “created” if you will, not simply taken.
To me, taken implies I just showed up and happened to be pointing my camera in the right direction at the right time. Made however, conveys the effort that went into the creation of the photograph. From choosing the subject and composition, to the willingness to be on location at 3 in the morning or kneel in an icy mountain stream, all to capture the image you have envisioned.
Moments before sunrise from just below the summit of Mt. Washington, NH
As the sun peaks above the horizon, it sets the sky on fire. Mt Washington, NH
A foggy sunrise over New Hampshire’s granite coast. Rye, NH.
Early light over the salt marsh at Odiorne Point, Rye, NH (9 image pano)
My suggestion to you is to get out there and create!
From a photo project springs a thought about not giving up.
I’ve been so busy lately I didn’t have time to go out and make an image for this weeks theme of “Blue,” for the 52 Week Photo Project, sponsored by LensProToGo, that I’m participating in. I’ve tried to create images each week that fit the weekly themes, but as mentioned in my last post, I’ve been a little busy with another project, so it was off to the archives.
After searching through my Lightroom catalog I came up with this one, an image I titled
While deciding to use this image, it occurred to me just how close I came to not being around to make it.
Is moonrise without the moon really moonrise at all?
I had planned the shoot down to the last detail. I knew what time moonrise was supposed to be, most importantly, using The Photographer’s Ephemeris, I knew where it was going to rise and where I needed to be to get the shot I was after.
I headed to the coast in hopes of capturing the May 5th “Super Moon” rising behind the Isles Of Shoals, a small group of islands off the coast of New Hampshire. But the moon seemed to have other plans.
Unfortunately, there was a large bank of clouds out on the horizon as I arrived at the coast. That was not going to be good for the photo I wanted to make. But I didn’t have a plan B.
Patiently I waited. Moonrise came and went, no moon. Five minutes, ten, fifteen minutes passed, still no moon. My wife texted me to see how it was going, and I told her I might pack it in and head home. I was going to give it a few more minutes, but since the shot I wanted wasn’t going to happen I didn’t see the point in sticking around.
With one last look before I started packing up, I thought I saw a glimmer of light in the clouds. So I waited. Sure enough, the moon overcame its stage fright and gave me a little peek.
Then a little more…
This was starting to get interesting.
Almost all there…
Unable to distinguish the clouds from the sky due to the light, the moon seemed to appear out of nowhere. If I hadn’t seen the clouds on the far horizon when first arriving, I would not have even known they were there.
The “Super Moon” finally comes completely out of hiding behind the curtain of clouds. After all the waiting, I didn’t get the shot I came for, but I left with something totally unexpected, completely different, and I think better, than the shot I had originally planned for. I had absolutely no idea that ship would be in the area, that was a bonus I hadn’t even considered.
That few extra minutes, that’s all it took to make what I thought was going to be a wasted trip and turn it into a very successful one.
This weekend in the U.S. we celebrate Memorial Day. For many this means cook-outs and a long weekend on the lake. But I’d like to remind people of the true reason Memorial Day came to be.
Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, was a day of remembrance for Union soldiers that died in the Civil War. It has since become a day to honor all service men and women who have bravely, and often willingly, given their lives in service to this wonderful country. As a proud veteran of the United States Air Force, I salute all of those who have paid the ultimate price defending our freedoms.
To those who gave all, Thank You.
Summer for me is:
Water Snakes, yes, water snakes,
And I couldn’t possibly forget:
Lady’s Slippers, with a few bunchberry,
Have a GREAT summer, I know I plan to!
Me as photography instructor? Surely you jest.
The thought of me teaching photography is something I never imagined I would ever do. The idea that my images and photographic knowledge would ever be at a level where someone would actually request my instruction seemed ludicrous. Hell would likely freeze over first. Or so I thought…
Well, it looks like the Stanley Cup is in Hades this year.
Several months ago blogger Nate Bush contacted me to ask if I would be willing to teach him how I made my waterfall images. We had been following each others blogs for a while, I enjoy his my.travel.map blog because it allows me to vicariously visit places I will probably never see in person. I wish I was as adventurous when I was his age.
Nate wanted to know if I would be willing to show him the ins and outs of my waterfall images. Tips, tricks, camera, lenses, settings, the works. To say I had serious reservations about my abilities as an instructor would be an understatement!
Yes, I know my way around my camera, and I’m proud of the images I create with it, but could I teach someone else how to do it? Sure I’ve given friends help with learning how to use their new dslr, but all that proves is that I can read a manual and use a mechanical device, not that I can teach. Could I teach both the technical aspects of photography, along with the artistic side, in a meaningful way? Would I be able I offer a learning experience that would be worth Nate’s, or any other potential student’s, time and effort?
I had a lot of thinking to do before saying yes.
During the time leading up to my final decision to give it a try, there was one nagging thought in the back of my mind. Was I really that good? Good enough to even consider offering instruction? I still look in awe at so many other “established” photographers and can’t help but think I’ll never be in their league. But what the heck, Nate has hiked all over the world, if he is brave enough to be my first student, how could I say no?
You talk too fast.
I’m not going to go into details about what I taught, I’ll save that for another time, but based on the images Nate made, I have to say I was at least partly successful in passing on some of the knowledge I have. Suffice it to say, after a few tips on composition, shutter speed, and aperture, Nate was off and running. A few of the images Nate made last Saturday can be seen, here and here. You can also see more of Nate’s other work on his photography blog, NBush Photography. Based on the images I’ve seen, I think young Mr. Bush was sand-bagging, and didn’t really need that much help. I still like to think I did help a little though.
I have no idea if teaching workshops is something I plan to pursue in the future, but one thing I learned from Nate as I asked him if the experience was worth his time, “You talk too fast.” was the one thing that stuck in my mind. Thanks for that Nate, I knew I talked too much, but not that I talked too fast. Good to know