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.)
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
Lately, I’ve been struggling with my photography. I’ve felt like I was doing the same thing over and over (creating pretty landscapes,) and not really getting anywhere.
When I moved to this small town in Maine, my girlfriend introduced me to a photographer friend of hers. This woman is relatively new to photography, and mainly is interested in surreal portraiture. That means she is always coming up with concepts and thinking about compositing and textures.
There was a time where I used to do composites and let my creativity run wild. Meeting this woman has helped reignite that part of me that wants to play and experiment with my photography and editing.
I created a couple of pieces yesterday. One, which I don’t love, but my girlfriend does, and this one, which I like more.
This shot is made up of a fall photo from New Hampshire from a few years back, and the bride is from a wedding I shot about 5 years ago. 5 years??? Is that really possible?
This was a simpler edit than you’d think. I made my adjustments in LR and then imported the 2 images into PS. I got the bride where I wanted, did some dodging and burning on her, and created a subtle shadow beneath her. Then, I used Topaz Impression 2 to create the painterly image. I decided I wasn’t completely satisfied with the lighting in the image, so I then used Mextures on my iPhone to totally change the atmosphere and mood. I think it came out pretty good 🙂
My girlfriend and I recently spent several days camping in Acadia. This gave me the opportunity to revisit places I shot a few years ago, including Jordan Pond. I also explored some new areas, but this pond might be my favorite spot out there.
I took photos there one afternoon, and then we returned again the next day with our kayaks, for a fun paddle on the water.
This image spoke to me, so I wrote some more meaningful words to go along with it:
Often, we seek reflections on water. We love to see a reflection because it creates a sense of harmony. We see something we love, and find it even more amazing when there is an exact replica.
Sometimes, the water isn’t reflective at all. Beneath the surface lies a different kind of beauty. This beauty takes effort and awareness to recognize.
[I know its a bit harder to tell in the black and white version, but the majority of these rocks are under water]
Shot with a Nikon D7000. Edited in Lightroom, Photoshop, and Topaz Impression 1.
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.
Today I leave southern Oregon for a new adventure. I’m visiting my family in California for a couple of days before I fly to Maine to start a new chapter. Its pretty exciting, to say the least.
This photo was taken right above Abiqua Falls. I wanted to go shoot Abiqua, but I ended up on a different trail that dropped me just above the falls. Thats where I found this gem. This view is gorgeous, and the view directly opposite was just as awesome, though the light wasn’t great, so I didn’t take any photos in that direction.
When I moved to Oregon I had all these ideas about exploring and finding lesser known waterfalls. I didn’t get to do that very often, but when I did find some rare beauty, it was magical. I’m looking forward to exploring remote areas of Maine, and leading workshops out there. Care to join me???
About a month ago I had a feeling there was going to be a good chance for a great sunset, so I grabbed my camera and decided to go find a good vantage point of lower table rock. There are 2 of these formations in the Rogue Valley that are remnants of a lava flow. When you hike up to the top, it feels like another planet. Its really cool.
As I waited for sunset to materialize, this cloud started to form above the rock formation. Then the light started to reflect nicely. And the cherry on top was the Canadian Geese flying by in perfect formation.
Several minutes after taking this shot, it looked like the light was done, so I packed it in and started to head home. That was one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made. The entire sky turned an amazing shade of pink for a good 15 minutes. I was stuck in my car on the freeway, and didn’t get any photos. It was pretty awesome to witness the valley covered in such a vivid pink, but I was kicking myself for not being able to capture it.
Oh well, I’m still pleased with this photo, and it will remind me of the Rogue Valley for the rest of my life 🙂