Photographers from Different Mothers

Waves Against the Shore

I eagerly gathered all my gear and headed up into the Colorado mountains very early on a fall morning. We were meeting in at the home of a couple in Silverthorn. Another person was driving in from Aspen. I’d never met any of them before, except during online chats.

John greeted me at the door of the natural wood sided home that perfectly meshed with the beauty of the mountains. His wife, Linda, was in the kitchen making coffee. I sat down in a comfortable chair and enjoyed the incredible views filling every window.  A short time later, the doorbell rang and Kelly joined us.

It only took a few minutes before we were laughing and comparing notes. While we’d never met in person before, we all shared a common interest…photography. It’s like we’d known each other forever. John and Linda gave us a brief tour of the home, walls filled with shots of incredible wildlife and landscapes. And then we were off.

They had some favorite places in the area so we all piled into one car. We ended up at a beautiful lake surrounded by trails…a photographer’s dream. It was quiet, except for the clicking of the cameras. I’d stop as I walked, trying to capture each shot quickly, so I wouldn’t hold up the group.

Then I realized that no one was rushing me along. As a matter of fact, they were all on different sections of the trail, within viewing distance, but focused on what they were seeing. It was the very first time I was surrounded by fellow photographers. Joy and freedom…that’s the only way I can describe the feeling. There was no need to hurry and words weren’t required. I’d walk ahead and slow down to photograph a section of shoreline and another person would pass me focused on a leaf, tree or reflection on the water. It was like a choreographed dance, weaving in and out. I loved every minute.

Photographers share a common bond and speak a language all their own, not in words, but in moments that visually record their journeys. That day, we were focused on nature. It was a wonderful experience I’ll never forget.

In less than a week, I’ll be meeting up with another group of photographers who share my joy. We encourage and push each other to levels we’d never reach on our own. They feed that creative part of me that sometimes gets lost in the daily demands of life. Each one of them is unique and inspiring.

I can’t wait to spend time with my photography family. They get me. Don’t you just love kindred spirits?

Supermoon Lunatic

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I clearly remember the night last year, turning into my neighborhood to see  the biggest harvest moon ever coming over the horizon. It looked so close, it was as if I could walk up the hill and touch it. It took my breathe away.  Of course, I didn’t have a camera and my iPhone didn’t do it justice.

A super moon is defined as a new or full moon which occurs when the moon is at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit. Last year’s biggest “super moon” was the one I saw in June when I parked my car and stood in awe.

I’m hoping to be better prepared to capture a photo of a super moon this year. We had one on January 1st and another will be coming on January 30th. There are a total of five this year. The biggest super moon for 2014 will be on August 14th. So, I’m marking my calendar and will be searching for just the right location with a wonderful foreground that will show the incredible size as it begins its ascent into the sky.

If you are a supermoon lunatic too, check out these articles with great information on our upcoming moon viewing year.

Earthsky
Epoch Times

 

Revisiting the Magic

Things are as they should be. The ice on Hudson Bay has frozen and the polar bears have migrated onto the ice. 

I will never forget my incredible trip to Canada, from the start in Winnipeg and rising to the crescendo of seeing polar bears and other wildlife in the remote and harsh tundra. It is a magical experience and I was lucky enough to share it with my good friend, Delia, and some wonderful new friends who joined me.

While I can’t recreate the experience, I can revisit my memories through the photos I took and the journal entries I’ve made.

Enjoy!

Another Piece of the Puzzle

Have you experienced a time in your life when things started happening, leading you in a new direction? I’m in that place and not quite sure how it all fits.

Here are a few of the pieces:

  • I traveled to Churchill to see the polar bears. This is one of several trips I’ve taken related to similar things: wildlife, nature and diverse environments. I have loved every minute.
  • Annie, our guide, helped me focus beauty of the tundra by suggesting I listen, see, hear and feel the moment and to document those things. It was a profound experience for me that I don’t ever want to forget.
  • I took hundreds of photos on my trip and as I process them, my heart is telling me they have a purpose. (What? I’m not quite sure. How? No idea.) I know that sounds strange, but these photos shouldn’t just sit on my hard drive, be uploaded as stock photography to be used to sell products or just hang on my wall.
  • When I returned from Churchill, I attended a James Balog presentation on the Extreme Ice Survey. Annie had inspired me to learn more about global warming and this was my first opportunity. James Balog started with an idea based on the change he was seeing as he traveled. Today, because of his idea, there are cameras in many parts of the world attached to solar panels that take a picture every hour, documenting changing glaciers and ice.
  • After seeing some of my polar bear pictures on Facebook, one of my friends, Kerry Koepping, suggested we get together to share our experiences in the arctic. Kerry was inspired and recently traveled to Iceland to document change, not necessarily the same kind of change that James Balog is focused on, but change in general. You can see his work on the Arctic Arts Project website. We met for lunch yesterday and his passion and excitement were contagious.

inspired-arctic-arts.MOV from Arctic Arts Project on Vimeo.

Both of these men are working on amazing BIG PROJECTS. They are photographers. The photos they take are incredibly beautiful and tell a story about what is happening in the world around us.

In contrast, I’m a tourist. I travel on group trips hosted by travel companies. My travel leads me to tourist places: a tundra lodge where 29 tourists stay; a ship that has 50+ tourists traveling to Antarctica; camps in the Okavango Delta that have 8-10 permanent tent-like accommodations so tourists can stay in the bush. It’s different. I’m also in a different place in my life, working full time and with a limited budget.

So how do I take the BIG PROJECTS that inspire me and break them down into something that realistically contributes to my area of the world? How can I use my art to communicate and what is my story?

I have some of the pieces to the puzzle. I have no idea how they will come together. When and how things are meant to happen will become clear at some point. When it does, I’ll be ready…

Polar Bear Porn

Keep editing…keep editing…keep editing

It’s been almost four weeks since I returned from Churchill. I can’t believe time has flown so quickly. I’m still in polar bear mode and enjoying almost every minute. I check in to the polar bear cam a couple times a week to see what’s going on. I’m following Natural Habitat on Facebook to catch the latests posts. And, of course, I’m working on editing my photos.

In previous posts, I talked about a polar bear we called Flash. Would you like to know why?

Blogweb9

Blogweb10

Hmmm…first exposing himself to the tourists and then taking a sexy pose. Looks like polar bear porn to me. 🙂

Where in the World

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Self portrait looking up at the mirrored ceiling at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

One of the reasons I’m a photographer is that I like being behind the camera, instead of in front. I didn’t mind being in photos when I was younger and much thinner than I am today. The truth is, this is what I look like and people see me look like this every day. Who am I fooling?

Here’s one of my favorite pictures from Antarctica. It was taken by my good friend and travel buddy, Delia. I’m still overweight and…my expression is a little goofy, but what is so great about the photo is the story it tells.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

I’m working to get out from behind the camera more so that I can be part of my travel story. My friends and family like seeing me in these incredible places and surprisingly, I’m finding that I do too. There is a limit, however. I won’t be showing you the photos of the polar plunge. I do have a signed document certifying that I took part in the Antarctica Polar Plunge, but those photos are in my private collection.

Are you part of the story, or hiding behind the camera?

 

Up for the Challenge?

I really took some time to go through my Google Reader tonight and review some of my favorite blogs. It has been quite awhile since I did more than glance at the ever growing list.

What did I find? I found a stock photographer blogger that has posted a photo a day for the last year. His photos were amazing. I have friends that have worked on a 365 day challenge to do the same thing. Some of them have done really well with few interruptions. With life as crazy as it is, I’m not sure I can keep up with 365 days straight, but I can do better than I have in the past.

So, here it is. The first of what I hope will be 300+ days of pictures from now until December 2, 2012. I won’t promise the most beautiful of photos, but I will promise to keep it interesting.

Anyone else up for the challenge?