Just…

be.

DSC_1848Dream, struggle, create, prevail. Be daring. Be brave. Be loving. Be compassionate. Be strong. Be brilliant. Be beautiful.

Caterina Fake

It’s been a long time since I sat at this desk and it feels really good.

I’m taking time to be.

To enjoy the colors of fall. To inhale the scent of leaves as they change from green to bright red, yellow, and orange.To gaze upon the sunlit waters where the salmon spawn.

But most of all. I’m taking time to just breathe.

 

Resilience…

in the aftermath.

DSC_0011-2In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.

Aristotle

We were in Waterton National Park last fall and left the day before the park was closed due to a rapidly approaching forest fire that ultimately burned over 47,500 acres.

This summer upon my return I was pleased to see the resilience of nature. Bright bits of green and wildflowers brightened the scarred landscape and all around you could see signs of recovery.

Life is about challenge and waiting for a completely clear path is immobilizing. For every obstacle that is removed another will inevitably take its place.

For me this image is a visual reminder that not everything is permanent and that the quality we need to strive for is resilience.

Adaptation in the face of adversity.

 

 

 

Hand eye…

co-ordination.

DSC_5451-Edit-EditPhotography is like a moment, an instant. You need a half second to get the photo. So it’s good to capture people when they are themselves.

Patrick Demarchelier

I’ve had some interesting thoughts on photography lately and not just about subject matter but how everything pulls together to capture that image.

I’ve had some opportunities lately to photograph some more environmentally themed portraits. People photography is not something that I usually gravitate towards but capturing people engaged in something that brings the light from with-in outwards has been extremely satisfying for me.

I find myself enjoying crafting how I want that image to come out and at the same time getting some exposure to new things like the speed bag.

I don’t want to be one of those photographers who can’t carry their own gear and can only shoot from a standing position because my body can’t move, so for me that means continuing to incorporate more, and more varied, physical training into my life.

I have never tried punching a speed bag before and wasn’t sure that I would even be able to do it having been told by my eye doctor that I don’t track objects coming towards me with any degree of accuracy.

What I found though was somewhere along the way, all this daily shooting has bridged that gap and my focus and timing has improved. It only took one session to realize that this is perfect conditioning for a photographer. Not only does it build and tone muscle in your arms but it greatly improves the hand/eye co-ordination so valuable to the photographer. You’ll also see improvements in cardio by doing timed sets of 3-5 minutes followed by a minute break.

If that’s not enough there’s the rhythmic sound of the bag striking the platform…almost as seductive as the click of a shutter.

Sometimes it’s the little things…

that make all the difference.

DSC_5017The stronger a man is, the more gentle he can afford to be.

Elbert Hubbard

We look at images for many different reasons but what compels you to go back to a single image over and over again?

On this day with temperatures in the single digits, I wasn’t outside alone photographing my tiny, intimate landscapes. A first for me, I had a willing participant and the captured image that I loved the most from that morning wasn’t one of the tiny frost covered bubbles, a single snowflake, or an elegant forest of hoar-frost.

I keep going back to this one because it speaks to me of quiet strength and confidence. This is a man who is far more comfortable dead-lifting in a gym, teaching self-defense moves, or performing choreographed fight movements; a kung fu style of moving meditation.

Yet he was a willing participant in my morning single digit temperature photo shoot. That willingness showed me a strength that I had to turn my camera towards. It was one of those moments in photography where you think you’ll be shooting one thing but something else happens.

I think photographers tend to be solitary by nature but having someone to share the beauty of the frozen landscape with, in the moment and not just by a later shared image, was a new experience for me.

First tip of the new year…stay fluid and look for moments. Your image of the day isn’t always going to be the one that you planned!

I have a feeling that this year is going to be very interesting.

Christmas morning…

in my place of magic.

20171225_090052-Edit-4When a moment in front of me appears to be particularly special, whether it be by beauty or experience, I capture it. I usually find a reason to justify taking that photo – symmetry, or color, or contrast – and it’s my hope that my photography sheds light onto what I see and do on a daily basis.

Connor Franta

This is a first for me I think.

As the chairlift neared the summit of Schweitzer Mountain I kept turning to look back with that feeling of anticipation that something was about to happen but this being my first time out for the season and there being only single digit temperatures, I left my Nikon at the lodge and only had my LG K10 smartphone with me.

And sure enough, for the second time on a Christmas morning, an incredibly bright and beautiful sun pillar appeared with diamond dust swirling in its bright light.

It’s easy for people to believe that their photography would improve if only they had the next best latest and greatest equipment. Fortunately that’s not the case and if you have a true passion for photography, you can capture moments with whatever device you have available to you in that moment.

I loved how the lens flare added to this image and worked with it to create this image.

Do I wish I had my Nikon with a wide angle attached? Sure, but on this day I was grateful to see this crystal phenomena and have the challenge of capturing it by cell phone.

I’m so sorry…

is the first thing that someone says when they hear that I’m getting divorced.

DSC_6609-2When two people decide to get a divorce, it isn’t a sign that they ‘don’t understand’ one another, but a sign that they have, at last, begun to.

Helen Rowland

I used to think that divorce was the easy way out. That it was something that you did when you no longer felt like “working” on your relationship. That it was a self-indulgent cop-out.

I’ve always been that girl who takes commitments seriously and thought that when I was 17 years old I knew what was right for me.

I thought that the issues that have always been there in that relationship would miraculously change for the better.

Year after year I lost a little bit more of who I was and found ways to cope and convince myself that staying was the right thing to do.

There were many times during that 37 year relationship that I tried to leave but always got pulled back in. I knew deep down how difficult it would be to break free so it just became easier to stay in a dysfunctional marriage.

Last December I took the first step towards righting this wrong and today, almost a year to the date, my divorce is final.

So when you see me next…don’t say “I’m so sorry” but say “congratulations, I’m so happy for you”.

This coming year will be a very special one for me. I hope to complete my book “A Legacy of Lies” and have the time to focus fully on my passion for all things photographic.

There have been many people who have made my transition possible and I am incredibly grateful to each and every one of you.

Collectively you have offered me places to stay, shoulders to lean on, and been patient when I haven’t been able to fulfill every commitment. You’ve watched over my health and reached out when the stress became almost overwhelming. You’ve shown me how to protect myself and you’ve given me my confidence back. And always through each step along the way, you’ve given me love and shown me that it’s okay to be the girl that I am.

This year has been full of unexpected twists and turns which only serve to reinforce the concept that we are never completely in control of our destiny and often the better choice is to stay fluid and roll with what comes your way.

Thank you…

As the year winds down…

I’m taking time to play.

DSC_4261-2If you’re not trying to be real, you don’t have to get it right. That’s art.

Andy Warhol

I couldn’t have planned this year if I tried and looking back on it, I think that may be what got me through it.

Sometimes it’s just better to let things unfold and make choices on the opportunities that present themselves.

Life and art are a lot alike that way.

Sometimes it’s worthwhile to listen to your gut and just go for it. The path that you should be on is often the easier one to navigate.