Archive for the ‘reflection’ Tag

Sunset over Somes Sound, Mt Desert Island, Maine   8 comments


Sunset over Somes Sound, Mt Desert Island, Maine

~

Just another sunset from our campsite in Maine, autumn of 2012.

I understand that we should ‘shoot where we live’ – and there are plenty of opportunities to do so – but the Great State of Maine, with its natural beauty, presents a target-rich environment for beautiful shots. Sometimes, you don’t even have to wander out of your campsite, as was the case here. We were just sittin’ around chilling as the sun went down, and the sky lit up as you see here. While snapping the shutter furiously, I had to remind myself to soak it in.

500px | Google+ | Twitter | Purchase a Print

Merged in Photomatix Pro to 32-bit TIFF, pre-processed without tonemapping in ACR, finished in Photoshop CS6 with Nik Color Efex Pro filters.

Moonrise Over Flagstaff Lake, Maine   3 comments


Moonrise Over Flagstaff Lake, Maine

~

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” ― Anton Chekhov

This particular location just keeps cranking out the beauty. Taken from our campsite late on a September evening, 2012.

~

500px | Google+ | Follow on Twitter | Galleries & Prints

Toad’s Penultimate Shot   6 comments


~

The brightest mirror is the one that reflects our own worthiness.  Who among us could keep from looking?

Without question, Scott Johnson (Toad Hollow Photography) is that mirror for many of us in the photo community. Or, rather, he was. As most of you reading this will know, Scott was presented with an opportunity too good to pass up, and he’s putting his photography aspirations on hold so that he can concentrate on his new endeavors. The outpouring of sentiment and affection for Scott after his announcement was both incredible and expected, and while we all understand and will support him in his new venture, we’ll miss him terribly.

Why?

No one seems to doubt that Scotty was the most energetic supporter of photographers on the social media sites today. His enthusiasm and energy were the likes of which we might not see again until his return. He collected the best of the web each week for Light Stalking, viewed and commented on countless photos each day, and served as a friend to everyone he met online. As if he had any time left after that, he still managed to put out a daily blog of photos and text highlighting his gorgeous corner of the world.

All that is incredible in its own right, of course, but I think the thing that set Scotty apart from the rest is that he was brilliant in affirming our own efforts in photography.

Face it: Often when we go to publish an image, we’ve been looking at it so long that we don’t know if it’s any good. After posting, sometimes all you hear is crickets. (At least that’s been the case for me.) Without fail, Scott would come along and write – in his unique and enthusiastic way – about the positive aspects of the image. He would then go on to re-Tweet, re-share, and otherwise promote the virtues of whatever you had done.

This is affirmation. It’s validation. It’s an acknowledgement that we’ve been seen. It’s a reflection of our own efforts as seen through the eyes of another. In that, ‘Toad’ provided what we all sometimes need – confirmation that we’re doing the right thing, and that our hard efforts have not been wasted. And nobody did it better than Scotty.  (To see more about why I feel this reflection is important in social media venues, later you could read my older post “Reflections: Narcissus.”)

So, needless to say, we’ll all not only miss Scott’s images and stories, but we’ll miss his very presence. There’s likely not one among us who doesn’t look forward to his return, someday, but in the meantime, we wish him nothing but success and happiness in his adventure.

******

In recent weeks, Scotty and I had been bandying about the idea of doing a ‘mini-HDR collaboration’ using one of his bracket sets (where one person provides brackets and multiple people process them according to their tastes.) My initial plan was to use Scott’s images for a new video tutorial I’m working on. I had begun to wonder why it took a while for him to get the brackets to me. Now I know… he was busy setting up his new venture.

While I’m still working on the video, I probably won’t be using Scott’s image for two reasons: First, as it turns out, there wasn’t really anything to improve upon in his version! Second, I think I’d prefer to simply post his image here alongside my own version, letting this stand as Toad’s Penultimate Shot, the last before his return to the photo community where he is so beloved. (Okay, so I stretched the meaning of ‘penultimate’ just a bit 🙂 )

If you feel so inclined, please join me in wishing Toad and Mrs. Toad all the success in the world! Feel free to comment below… I’m sure Scott will both read and appreciate it. It’s a great time to reflect back a little of what Toad Hollow Photography has so graciously given us.

Godspeed, Scott. You’re one of a kind.

 

Scott’s image and processing:

Image by Scott Johnson - Processing by Scott Johnson

 

And my version:

Image by Scott Johnson - Processing by Rob Hanson

 

PS: Now that I’ve seen our ‘mini-HDR collaboration’ shots side-by-side in the preview of this post… I like his version much better. It’s more ‘natural.’  Well done, Scotty!

You… Will… Give… Me… Carrot…   4 comments


An extreme closeup of a wild pony at Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland

You... Will... Give... Me... Carrot...

~
A bonus image for today…

I pulled this image from the 2010 archives for a photography challenge from my friend, Anthony Woodhouse. In his new Flickr group Weekly Photo Challenge (Photo Pioneer), this week’s challenge theme is “Eyes.”

So be it.

While driving into the Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland (U.S.), one can usually see wild ponies grazing along the side of the road. The herd in Assateague is derived from the famous herd at Chincoteague, just to the south, and while the ponies appear to be tame and docile, like any wildlife they are to be respected and given a wide berth… for everyone’s sake.

Sadly, despite the obvious warning signs posted every few feet directing people not to feed the animals, some people can’t seem to resist, and the animals have come to know humans and their autos as a source of easy food. Given those signs, it’s unsettling to see people hopping out of their cars, approaching the animals, feeding them, holding babies up to the horses to get a good picture (yes, really.) It’s both scary and comical at the same time.

We would never, ever feed a wild animal, and always give them a respectful distance. In this case, though, Sir Pony came sauntering right up to the car window, obviously acclimated to human presence. Since I had my telephoto lens on at the time, he rather filled the frame, but it seemed to work out.

If you look into the eyeball, you’ll see the road and our pickup truck reflected. Stare deeply… keep looking… give… carrot…

We drove off right after the shot, not wanting to interfere with their lives any further than we already had by simply idling there. The throng behind us quickly filled our space.

Single exposure, Nikon D90 with Nikkor 70-300mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, ISO 200, f/4.5, 1/60, 92mm

Follow on Twitter | Galleries | Friend on Facebook | 500px

Reflections: No Ordinary Moments   24 comments


A serene view of Moosehead Lake, Maine, with mountains in background.

No Ordinary Moments

~

In the midst of all that is going on in the world, I zigzag a path between wanting to stay fully informed and yet wanting to step back to a more peaceful time and place. It’s as though the news of the day — whatever it is today — overwhelms the senses. People are unemployed, the economy is tanking, China might acquire the U.S., we’re living in a climate of fear, Trump’s hair moved, governments are falling, Obama greases Osama, Peak Oil has come and gone although we have no shortage if we just scrape it off our shores… The list is endless.

I think it’s a natural, human inclination to retreat from this type of onslaught. The problem is that although we would seek a serene center in our lives, we have a strong desire to know what will happen in the future and yet we pattern our time based on premises from the past. There’s a tendency to either gather information so that we (think we) know what will happen, or to run back to what is known and comfortable, even if it wasn’t perfect.

Sometimes when I feel overwhelmed by ‘current events’, I like to go back through my library of images to find something more calm and serene. (See image above.) One can feel righteous about it when seeking a balance in life. In doing so today, though, it struck me: Even that retreat is an avoidance of what is happening right now.

“There is never nothing going on. There are no ordinary moments.” — Dan Millman

Every moment of experience is all that we really are. Sometimes the experience is placid, at other times chaotic. Either way, it’s our experience, and surely that should not be avoided. While we might cringe at the thought of some possible future event, or reminisce fondly about the perfect campsite on a remote lake, doing so pulls us away from whatever is happening now, and it is only our resistance to what is happening that causes discomfort.

Millman also said, “The world’s a puzzle; no need to make sense of it.”

The key is to stay awake to what is happening, to watch, and to experience it fully. Any resistance to that awareness — any drifting to the future or to the past — creates suffering.

Today, I needed a reminder of that, so I wrote this.  Thank you for reading it.

Twitter | Website

%d bloggers like this: