You and I are on a special journey together, uncontrollably spinning our way through the universe.
We have no idea where we’re going, when we’ll get there, or why we’re going at all.
At least, we have each other on this journey, if nothing else.
When I forget that, I can feel alone and overwhelmed.
Untethered, I drift between stability and chaos.
Bouncing aimlessly between the two.
Then, you grab me and hold tight.
Until I return to solid ground.
(This is my first, half-assed attempt at star trails with my Nikon. It was the end of a long day, plus it was chilly out. The next one will be better.)
I’ve been to Quabbin Reservoir one time in the fall, a few years ago. We thought it would be fun to go scout/shoot it with some ice. Unfortunately, it’s warming up around New England, and most of the ice was gone, but there were lots of interesting formations on the shore.
Being a Cali boy, I’d never seen anything like it before. I could have stayed out there shooting abstracts for another hour, but we had limited time and had more stuff to scout. So much to see and so little time!
When I get back to Maine, in a couple days, I’ll go through all my Nikon shots of the ice, so for now you get to enjoy this iPhone version. Shot with the default camera app and edited with Snapseed.
This past weekend, I kind of surprised Shannon on her birthday, when a friend of hers suggested I come down for a few days. We’ve had too much fun and it’s almost time for me to go back to work in Maine. I couldn’t come all the way down here without us going on a photo adventure or two, though!
Be sure to go show her blog some love (Shannon’s blog) and remind her that she has one still 😛. I think we both got some awesome shots of this spot, so keep an eye out for those. This iPhone shot is more of a behind the scenes type of deal. I’ll post some cool iPhone abstracts of some ice soon.
Photography has given me a lot over the years. One of the biggest gifts has been the ability to see beauty. It really is everywhere, if you choose to see it.
It’s been a trying month for me, which makes it easy to view the world through a negative lens. Recognizing that that’s what I’ve been doing made it possible for me to choose to change my lens and see the beauty again.
While visiting my cousin, across the water from Boston, I went for a walk on the beach. It’s not your typical beach. Think rocky, muddy, bits of trash laying around, and plenty of glass (most of it was smooth from the waves.) What im saying is it would be easy to focus on the negative qualities of this beach. Instead, I paid attention to the light.
I thought I would shoot the skyline at sunset, but the light lit up some trees that line the beach, in an amazing way, and they demanded to be photographed. The color was so intense on the trees that I decided black and white was the way to go for an Ansel Adams type edit.
Shot with the default camera app and edited with Snapseed and Mextures.
I went for a walk around the farm, while it was snowing, the other day. I thought I was going to shoot the fresh snow on the trees, but some areas were too icy to risk walking through. Instead, my girlfriend and I took photos of some of the 40 horses on the farm. This was one of my favorite outfits.
Shot with ProShot using an Iphone 7. Edited with Snapseed, Mextures, and VSCO.
Somehow life got in the way of this blog, and creativity in general.
Work. Relationship. Exploring. Work. And did I mention work?
My life has been much busier in Maine than it ever was on the west coast. Thats probably a good thing, but its gotten in the way of my creative time. I have quite the backlog of Nikon images, which made me want to stop shooting for a while. I even stopped doing much with my iPhone 5s. Honestly, cutting back on the iPhone was more about it being on its last legs. The battery was barely hanging on by a thread. The colder weather here was draining it within minutes 😦
Luckily, there was a great deal that popped up at the right time, and I got myself the iPhone 7, which I never intended to get. What a huge jump in technology it is from the 5s to the 7. I’m loving the camera and the video, along with the processing speed. I feel a renewed sense of wonder with my phone and I can’t wait to see what creative things I do with it 🙂
Here are a couple of images from my first time taking it out to play.
The light was pretty cool. I only wish you could also see the snow falling in the light as the wind knocked it down from the trees.
This is what passes for a trail in Maine…
Shannon and I stopped at this lighthouse on our lighthouse adventure day. This seems like the obvious composition to me, but it works so well. I tried other angles, but it just doesn’t have the same visual impact as this one.
After we took our shots, we decided to film a segment on focus stacking for our photography students. We explained how to approach a scene like this, and how to get everything in focus from front to back.
If you think you want to learn about advanced techniques such as focus stacking, you may want to join us over at the Light & Landscape members area, where we are teaching photography to over 20 students right now. I don’t even want to announce the price here because its ridiculously low at half off for the first month with a money back satisfaction guarantee. If you want more details, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Shannon at email@example.com
There is a 2nd house down the road that looks vacant. When I opened the screen door to look inside, there was a sign with some peeling wallpaper covering part of it. I wanted to see what it said, so I lifted the wallpaper up.
“Come on in, everything else has gone wrong”
And that summed up the vibe of this place. I walked right back out. What I did see in that room was chaos. There were old car batteries strewn about, and piles of garbage. I’d love to explore this place some more, but the musty smell and the unwelcoming vibe make me hesitant.
I find these abandoned properties in Maine to be super interesting. They’re like museums for the people that used to live there. You can try to piece together a picture of who they were, or are, by finding interesting things in each room.
If I find enough of these properties to shoot, I can definitely see myself putting together a story for Stellar. Btw, are any of you using Stellar? I haven’t really been on there since they featured a few of my stories around the new year.
Shot this with my iPhone. Edited in Snapseed, Mextures, and Stackables.
Apparently, this is a famous building that everyone shoots, or paints, out in Rockport, MA. I shot this a couple of years ago, and never quite knew what to do with the edit. I’m not a huge fan of photos taken during the middle of the day, but this one worked for me because of the clouds.
It is a replica of a former fishing shack well known to students of art and art history as “the most often-painted building in America.”The original structure was built in 1840 and destroyed in the Blizzard of 1978, but an exact replica was constructed that same year.
I’d never sen it before, which is a good thing, because I wouldn’t want to be influenced by anything I might have seen. Honestly, there weren’t too many unique compositions for this scene, so I tried a long exposure with my 10 stop ND and then went with a painterly edit in the end.
Now that I live within driving distance of her, Shannon and I can have more photo adventures, which is what we’re doing right now. It’s been just over a month since we shot in Oregon, and here we find ourselves on the coast of Maine.
We tried to go shoot a shipwreck at this beach, but the sand had buried most of it. There really wasn’t any point in shooting it this time. At least the sand patterns were really cool.
Now we’re on our way to more lighthouses and a state park.
Last night, around sunset, we had stormy skies that had a few breaks in it. I was feeling optimistic, so I went for a walk down between the ponds. For a moment, it looked like the sky was opening up right where I needed it to. Unfortunately, it closed back up after 5 minutes, and about 15 before sunset.
Instead of walking back with nothing to share, I stopped at the house on the corner to take my first shot at it. It’s abandoned and falling apart, obviously. There is so much cool detail and texture on the outside. I plan on exploring it more thoroughly one day. For this shot I just wanted a wide shot of the property. Next time I’ll be up close with my super wide angle iPro lens. I may even see if I can have a look around the inside.
Shot with ProHDRX. Edited with Snapseed, Mextures, and iColorama.
My experience with waterfalls in Maine has been pretty underwhelming so far. I saw one of those onlyinyourstate articles on the best waterfalls in Maine, or something like that. Btw, I’m not a fan of their articles. They use sensational headlines to get you to click and share. Usually, the articles are just a collection of stuff for whatever list they’ve compiled, with no real order or justification for the list. I swear whoever wrote the ones for Oregon waterfalls or trips had never been to Oregon before.
But I digress lol.
What I was getting at was, the list of “best waterfalls” was pretty sad. None of them compared to stuff I’ve shot in the PNW. Luckily, my girlfriend is very outdoorsy and knows of falls that weren’t on the list. Guess what, this waterfall was better than any on that list.
This is just an iphone shot because I forgot to bring my tripod along. I had my hands full of stuff that I had to carry to the car, since we had to go to a family birthday party before our adventure. It’s alright though, because I wouldn’t have been satisfied with my photos in these conditions.
At any rate, this particular waterfall was pretty cool. The one challenge that I’ll have when shooting is the amount of visitors that sunbathe or swim out there. I got lucky that a large group had just left, and I got some shots off before a large group came in.
We saw one other good sized waterfall that was also pretty photogenic. I mean, it wasn’t Oregon, but I found compositions that I know the locals will love. It was also a beautiful walk through a green forest that was filled with bugs. Btw, I’ve never had so many bug bites in my life since moving here. I literally wake myself up at night scratching at my bug bites.
And on that note, I’m going to go apply some hydrocortisone cream and go buy some strong bug spray for today’s adventure.
(shot with the default camera app. Edited with Snapseed, Mextures, and TouchRetouch for one bit of flare.)
I’ve been in a Maine for a week now. I have to say that this place is the opposite of where I grew up in Silicon Valley. I was pretty worried the first couple of days, because of culture shock. I knew this town of 4000 people was going to be small, but it felt even smaller once I actually saw it. It’s definitely going to take some time to slow down and adjust.
I feel like I’m going to be forced to disconnect from the 21st century and get back to nature. Thats not necessarily a bad thing. The few times that I’ve been able to get out, I’ve found Maine to be incredibly peaceful. There are so few people that its very easy to find yourself in a remote area surrounded by nature.
My biggest challenges are not having a car, cell phone service is spotty, and wifi signal is awful in this house. If I go anywhere outside of civilization, my cell phone is useless, so I need to get a physical map and a compass, since I don’t know my way around. And a new challenge that just popped up is my iMac suddenly lost power while typing this up. Yay for old farmhouses.
Thats enough complaining. Trust me, I could go on about several other things, but I’m just going to have to accept that my old way of life isn’t possible here right now.
On the bright side, I already made a new photographer friend here. She is still learning, but is already creating cool surreal composites. She was nice enough to show me around the other day while she searched for the perfect pond with lily pads. There doesn’t seem to be too much talent out here outside of the two of us, and maybe one or two other people. I suppose thats a good thing for me. She already wants to open up an artist space together to display our work and run workshops. I’m still feeling the market out before I commit to that though.
(This was shot with the default camera app on the iPhone and edited with Snapseed.)
I found this shot from Boston in my archives yesterday. I thought it was the perfect time to share it.
Fall is my favorite time of year. There are so many photo opportunities, which is great for people like us who love to experience the world through photos.
The previous two falls, I was able to travel around New England. Not this year though. I don’t think my health is good enough to do some hardcore exploring.
This year, I plan to take it easy and enjoy the views from Oregon. Once the color around here starts to pop some more, I plan on being outside as much as possible. And, I plan to live vicariously through your fall photos.
Do any of you have plans to go leaf peeping anywhere?
I did my taxes yesterday…and shortly thereafter, I got a scowl on my face because I owe a bunch of money. I immediately wanted to run off to a wide open landscape to relax, or to sell everything and go to Alaska, but neither one happened. Instead, I sat around working on my landscapes, and coming up with more ideas to make money with my photography. One of which is going to be selling sets of photos for use as wallpaper on your mobile devices.
This morning, I’m going to head out to some waterfalls to relax for a while. There was a chance of snow out there last night, so I could be making my way out to a magical scene very shortly. I hope you all enjoy your day.