that make all the difference.
The stronger a man is, the more gentle he can afford to be.
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.
the storm.A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease.
One of my favorite things about summer is the storms that roll through late in the day.
The sun slips towards the horizon amidst the backdrop of a fast flowing river and I think to myself…the calm before the storm.
The perfect time for long exposure tripod shots.
The heady scent of rain mixes with cloud to cloud lightning and the trees dance.
I shoot until the rain begins to soak through my clothes and only then do I seek shelter.
I dry off and think about the storms that the upcoming week will bring…
photograph every day.
One can’t predict the weather more than a few days in advance.
It certainly hasn’t been boring and the saying of if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute has never been more true.
We have been pummeled with snow, not measured in inches, but in feet. Then, just for a little variety, with the temperature measuring 26 degrees it’s raining! How does that happen?
I’ve been one busy photographer lately; shifting gears constantly and balancing all of my favorite subject matter.
I’ve been volunteering at our local shelter catching wonderful moments with the dogs there. It has been fun and gratifying at the same time.
The skies have been at their best and after spotting and photographing a multiple halo event, renowned physicist Les Cowley of atoptics expressed his interest in writing about my images. I don’t think that I’ve ever had such an honor and I am thrilled that my images will be part of his extraordinary site.
Switch gears from plowing snow to freezing rain, beautiful and treacherous.
I’ve said this before but it bears repeating.
Photograph every day, get familiar with each function available in your camera.
Then when these moments present themselves you will know how to shoot them.
Open yourself up to opportunities and I promise they will come.
Creativity takes courage.
The words of one of my mentors often creeps into my mind.
“Sheryl, first learn the rules then break them!” She’s a painter but much of it still applies as we look at composition and style.
For example…the nose and the eyes must be in focus. When photographing in snow make sure that your highlight blinkies aren’t flashing indicating that you’ve lost detail in the brightest parts of the image.
I’m always more inspired when I take a painterly approach to my dog photography. I’m all about the moments and the emotion expressed in those moments.
I love lost and found lines and not having every detail tack sharp; a sentiment that not everyone shares.
In this image the “snow P” is taking every ounce of enjoyment that he can in his dash through the deep, freshly fallen snow.
Blinkies on? Flashing like mad!
Eyes in focus? Not a chance with all that flying snow!
Today’s thought is take every opportunity to be creative. Try things. Shoot one way then do the opposite. Don’t let the rules and your head get in the way.
Show me what you’ve got!
and finding real dog moments.
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
Back in December I made reference to something new that I was embarking on for 2017. It’s been a few years now since I have volunteered in a committed fashion not since my days of Search and Rescue with my bloodhound, Isabella.
Before that my beloved mastiff Brig and I would visit weekly at the nursing home to spread some joy and laughter to the residents there.
This year I decided that it was time to combine two of my passions, dogs and photography so I ventured into our local shelter to see if they could use my services.
Throughout my love affair with dogs I have always been afraid to spend time at a shelter, my excuse being that I thought it would be heartbreaking but like most preconceived ideas, that has been far from the reality.
I have found wonderful moments there and met a whole lot of people who spend their day dispensing kindness. I find myself looking forward to dropping in and spending time with the dogs, the shelter staff, and the many volunteers.
Sometimes you just have to get out of your own way and trust that good things will happen and if I can play even the smallest role in connecting these dogs with a forever home that would so satisfying.
Note: At the time of posting this wonderful dog, Luna, remains available for adoption at the Panhandle Animal Shelter in Ponderay, ID.
I couldn’t love you more!
It’s an illusion that photos are made with the camera….they are made with the eye, heart and head.
Henri Cartier Bresson
Some week-ends are perfect.
Single digit temperatures, sunshine, glittering snow.
A great friend, a great meal, a great evening with Viggo Mortensen.
Perfect light for perfect photoshoots.
Nature at her absolute best and painting exquisite intimate landscapes upon the canvas’ that I presented to her.
Winter…the most beautiful of seasons.
and I’m feeling good.
Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius.
I am rendered speechless by those who say that they hate winter and can’t wait for spring.
Every single day is different in the winter landscape. The angle of light is low and the reflection off of snow if you’re lucky to get some, turns the outdoors into a studio!
Pinks, blues, and purples abound in the most harmonious blends and the intimate landscapes are filled with snowflakes, ice, and frost.
On this morning fog lifting off of the lake lent atmosphere and added a hazy beauty to the bridge that our town is well known for, all bathed in a wash of pinks and blues.
There are moments within every day if you keep your eyes and mind open and aren’t afraid to bundle up!
It’s also a new year…where will that take you?
For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.
Thanks to all of you who follow my blog, it is most certainly a highlight of my week.
I hope that 2017 brings you everything that you hope for and some unexpected joys as well.
Stay safe, be well, and keep capturing the moments of your life.
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.
A lot can be learned from watching our canine friends and seeing how they live in the moment.
I recall the crazy antics of my bloodhound when she was presented with the “heel” from a loaf of French bread. Her joy knew no end as she pranced, danced, flung it around, rolled all over it, and then at last would eat it.
Another Stafford of ours would do “the green bone dance” when he was given a Greenie to chew on. Designed for dental health we had no idea why they inspired such antics but they always did.
My dogs are some of the lucky ones. They are cherished from the first day that they come to us until the last day of their lives. It isn’t so for many other dogs though and we, the P and I, have a plan to do our part towards making that happen for more animals in the coming year.
We’ll be sharing more about this as it unfolds in the upcoming weeks…
Stay healthy and happy during this holiday season and find joy in the little things.
of weekly blogging.
Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.’
Alfred Lord Tennyson
A beautiful day with frigid temperatures and a fine way to end my second year of blogging.
I set a goal for myself two years ago to write a weekly blog post on photography. I wanted it to focus mainly on creativity and inspiration and highlight an image preferably from that week.
It’s now two years later and this year was for me filled with ups and downs and I know that I’m not alone in that.
Highlights and lowlights…rather ironic considering that they’re two of my favorite things.
Some of the best highlights?
Photographing a proton arc during a night of northern lights, in one word…unforgettable.
Photographing rare halos and having the most incredible e-mail conversation with a renowned physicist.
Numerous publications and an Image of the Day by Earthsky.org.
An abundance of canine photo shoots, so dear to my heart.
The lowlights? Frankly I’m just going to visualize whirled peas and leave it at that.
I’ve got a new project starting and can’t wait to immerse myself in it.
Don’t forget to take some moments for yourself during this busy time of year and find something positive to focus on…