A cold wind blows, bringing a chill to the morning air.
Summer’s warmth becomes a pleasant memory as green becomes red and gold.
The days are crisp, the air is clear, the hillsides dressed in brilliant Autumn Hues.
* * *
The question posed on the Daily Post,
“Changing colors, dropping temperatures, pumpkin spice lattes: do these mainstays of Fall fill your heart with warmth — or with dread?”
Warmth, anticipation, excitement, and joy.
Autumn is the most beautiful season. The awakenings of Spring and the comforting warmth and long days of Summer pale in comparison to Fall as the land adorns itself in its colorful best one last time before Winter’s sleep falls across the landscape.
Falling Back-Asswards Into A Passion.
It Began In The Stars.
Some of you know how I came to find a camera in my hands, many do not.
Here’s my story.
Unlike a lot of photographers, photography was never my “Thing.” I hadn’t been shooting for decades, born with a camera in my hands, lamenting the loss of film. To me film was pretty much a dinosaur from the past. Sure I’ve heard about it, even seen it before, but as far as I was concerned it belonged right next to the dinosaurs in a museum.
Digital was well established by the time I started looking for my first camera, so that’s the way I wanted to go. I was on a budget, and not having to pay for film processing was a huge draw.
Back in ’07-’08, I had a brief, expensive but brief, interest in astronomy. I had my own big(read lots of $$) telescope, and all the fancy gear that went with it. Looking through all the astronomy magazines I started thinking, “I could get some of those awesome photos through my telescope too.” So off in search of a camera I went. I figured I should at least get a camera that I could use to take snap-shots too, as opposed to a dedicated astro-imaging camera, a little box with a sensor in it that needed to be hooked up to a computer while taking photos. Something a little more practical.
I didn’t want a point and shoot though, had to be a DSLR. And since two friends were Canon shooters, I became one too.
Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun.
Coincidentally, I was an avid hunter at this time as well. The passion I have for capturing images of the great outdoors now, I put into my pursuit of all things feathered back then. Ducks, geese, pheasant and grouse were my quarry of choice. And along with my dog Bailey, pursue them I did.
My dear sweet Bailey was the sweetest dog I’ve ever known, gentle beyond measure, my first daddy’s little girl.
Put her in the woods however, and she changed. Miraculously that sweet, cuddle on the couch, member of the family, was replaced by an all business, pure bird hunting machine. It was pure joy to watch at work. Those of you with any experience seeing a good bird dog work the woods know exactly what I mean, she was canine poetry in motion.
Sadly, around the same time I was in search of my first camera, Bailey was becoming too old to hunt. The desire was there, I could see it in her eyes, but what her mind wanted, her body could no longer deliver. While I continued to hunt, without her with me, my joy of time spent in the woods lessened considerably. Without my girl it just wasn’t the same. I started looking for reasons to stay home.
Yet a spark in the back of my mind had begun to glow.
All those mornings spent standing in a beaver pond, or laying in a corn field, waiting for the first mallards or geese to come in, also held something else.
They held magic.
Surprisingly up to this point in my hunting life, as many times as I had thought, “this would make an amazing picture,” as I witnessed the world waking up, seeing nature come alive in ways most will never see or experience, it never clicked that maybe I should get a camera.
What can I say, I’m a slow learner.
Passion Is Born In 2008.
Once I started taking my camera with me on my hunting trips, it really didn’t take long to convert my love of all things hunting into a love of hunting a different, and often more elusive prey, with a much different “weapon” of choice.
All the time spent in the woods, I was never blind to what was around me, but I didn’t really see it either. I had always felt deep in the forest was one of the most beautiful places I could be, but it took leaving my gun at home, entering the forest armed only with my camera, to really begin to see and appreciate my surroundings. It was then that perfect light became my quarry, and I was relentless in my desire to capture it.
So, I gave up hunting, sold all of my firearms, and I’ve been focused, pun completely intended, on capturing and sharing the beauty of the natural world ever since.
Beauty most people will never see first hand.
On the plus side of giving up hunting with a gun, I don’t need to pluck a photograph. The downside though, they don’t taste very good either.
That was back in the spring of 2008.
I hadn’t set out to become a “photographer” back then, that was purely by accident. I never thought photography would become anything more than another in a long list of expensive hobbies.
I’ve never been so wrong about anything in my life.
So, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
And for those of you wondering, I fell so deeply in love with capturing the landscape here on Earth, I ended up selling my telescope without ever having so much as mounted my camera on it.
What brought you to photography, I’d love to hear your story.
To all of my fans and subscribers, I’d like to wish you and your families a happy and healthy holiday season.
This past year has been very good to me as a photographer. Many of my images have found their way into people’s private collections. I’ve licensed the use of more photos than ever before, as well as having sold my first magazine cover.
I have all of you to thank for it.
My never ending goal of creating better, more compelling photographs, ones that keep you all coming back, has made me the photographer I am today.
I’m climbing again.
On July 19th I’ll be participating in the 14th Annual Seek The Peak , the premier hiking event in the country. Seek the Peak is a hike-a-thon fundraiser to benefit the nonprofit Mount Washington Observatory (MWOBS).
Now in its fourteenth year, Seek the Peak is one of MWOBS’ largest fundraising events, and a great way to get out and experience the White Mountains while helping a great cause.
Like last year, I also plan to be on the trail no later than 2:30 a.m. to be somewhere above tree line for sunrise. There’s something special about knowing that I’m likely one of, if not the only person on the mountain at such an early hour.
On behalf of MWOBS, I’m seeking your help.
Seek The Peak is one of the major fundraisers the nonprofit Observatory holds every year, and in a effort to solicit your donations I’m again raffling off 2 prints. This year I’m doing it a little differently. For last years hike, I chose the image to raffle off. This year, since your tastes very likely differ from mine, the lucky winner, selected at random from among all the generous people who make a donation through my fundraising page, will get to choose their own winning image.
This way, not only do you get the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping one of the worlds premier weather research facilities, you get to choose the image YOU want.
How it works.
When you visit my Seek The Peak fundraising page and make your tax-deductible pledge, each $10 (US) is good for one entry into the drawing. ($20 = 2 entries, $50 = 5), you get the idea. After the event in July, I will then randomly select one winner from all who’ve offered their generous support. That person* then gets to choose a signed, 16″ x 24″ print, from among any of the images on www.jeffsinon.com, or from any of the images shared here on my blog, or on my Fan Page.
(Images are regularly shared on my blog and fan page before they are uploaded to my website. All the more reason to subscribe, or become a Fan if you’d like to be among the first to see my latest photographs).
Didn’t he say he was giving away 2 prints?
Right you are! If you’re not one to take your chances, you REALLY want your own image from Jeff Sinon Photography, then this is for you!
The person* making the largest pledge in support of my hike, automatically wins a signed, 20″ x 30″ canvas gallery wrap of the image of their choice.
Last year, Stephanie from Love in the Spaces received a beautiful canvas of this photo of Mt. Washington. Her generous pledge of $40 earned her the top spot, so she automatically won the 20″ x 30″ canvas, valued at $200.
Cindy over at photos from the looney bin was the lucky winner of the 16″ x 24″ print of the same image.
Thank you all for your support!
Below is a slide show of the images I captured on last years hike..
* The Fine Print.
– The winner of the print will be chosen at random at some time during the week following the event, but no later than July 26, 2014.
– The winners name will then be announced here on my blog, on my Fan Page, and via the email they provide when making their pledge.
– To be eligible to win the 16″ x 24″ print, you must live somewhere on this planet. Sadly, eligibility for the highest donor prize, the 20″ x 30″ canvas is limited to those living in the continental US and Canada.
– Other than your pledge, their is no cost to you. In fact, the cost of the print, the canvas, and the shipping, is coming out of my pocket, not any of the funds raised.
Since picking up a camera seriously for the first time about 5 1/2 years ago, a lot has happened that has been completely unexpected.
There have been unexpected encounters with wildlife, one so close I could have reached out and touched him as he passed. One such encounter was unexpected, exhilarating, and terrifying, all at the same time, though not close enough to touch, more than close enough!
I never expected winter to be my favorite time of the year to photograph, nor did I expect to become hopelessly addicted to winter hiking. Scenes like the one below are even more breathtaking when blanketed in snow.
The most unexpected of all? Never in my wildest dreams did I think photography would be anything other than a fleeting hobby, like so many that have come before it. And yet, here I am, writing this blog ( the most unexpected of the unexpected?). I’ve even written an article for the WordPress Photography 101 series.
I have my own website, (didn’t see this one coming either), where you can purchase high quality prints of my best images.
I also have close to 100 prints, mostly large and/or on canvas, in the hands of private collectors. The fact that someone would actually pay for one of my photographs still surprises and excites me, a feeling that hasn’t lessened with time.
I have licensed images for use on websites, of course I have a Facebook fan page, (where I invite you all to be among the first to see my newest work by clicking “Like” and becoming a fan). And possibly the most unexpected, and exciting occurrence to date, this crimson plumed gentleman will be staring back at you from the back cover of the February, 2014 issue of Ranger Rick Jr Magazine, a monthly magazine for kids put out by the National Wildlife Federation. The success of my attempt at becoming more than just “another guy with a camera,” has been quite unexpected.
Last, but far from least, there’s you, my fans, followers, and subscribers. The 1,800+ subscribers to my blog may be small peanuts to many in the online community, but to me it’s huge. Every one of you motivates me to become better at my craft, and keep creating content to earn your continued loyalty.