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.
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…
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.)
Bridal Veil Falls is a relatively short and easy hike in the Columbia River Gorge. I ended up going there twice in the span of a week. It’s quite pretty in person, but very difficult to do justice in photos. That may be why there aren’t any iconic shots that come to mind when you hear the name.
I was struggling to do a straightforward edit, so I decided to try Topaz Impressions for the painterly look. I like to reduce the opacity of the effect, so the details still come through.
Yesterday, Matt Newman (@matthewnewmanphotography) mentioned wanting to go spin some steel wool at night. I haven’t seen this in person before, and decided I wanted to go check it out.
Normally, when we shoot together, its to shoot the milky way, or stars, but they were mostly covered by the storm clouds. This time we were forced to experiment and put our creative minds together to come up with cool shots. We had a good time, until the wind chill coming off of the lake became too much for us to bear anymore.
I understand this photo may be concerning, but I promise everything was damp after days of rain.
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?
Last weekend, I went to Prospect, Oregon with a friend that grew up there. She had to do makeup for a wedding, and I tagged along to go shoot pearsony falls, which was just a few minutes down the road from the wedding.
I kind of lucked out with lighting, while I was there. I easily spent an hour getting familiar with this spot, which is something Shannon and I talk about in our next book. I know an hour sounds like a long time to take photos at one spot, but I could have spent even more time there, if I didn’t have to go crash a wedding.
The conditions for shooting falls look pretty great the next few days, so I think I’ll make my way out to Prospect again to try my luck with Pearsony, and a few other nearby waterfalls. If you didn’t already know, flat, even lighting is the best for waterfall photography. That means cloudy, overcast, or foggy days will give you the best conditions. Rainy conditions aren’t the best, in my experience, but there are fewer people out in the rain.
This photo was shot with SlowShutter, and edited with Snapseed and Mextures. Yes, you can create silky water with your iPhone. I steadied my iPhone on my manfrotto tripod, to keep it steady during the long exposure.