Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Want Your Opinion


Seeking your opinion on this image. The original image was taken in Alaska on a small rocky island filled with breeding puffins. The image originally had a green grassy background. But I wanted to create a more artistic representation of these two puffins, who were positioned perfectly.

So I used Photoshop to drop out the background and replaced it with an off-white tone.

So the question for you to answer is this:
Does this image look interesting and artsy, or does it look odd because it is clearly not a realistic representation of nature?

It is important to note that this type of image should NEVER be submitted in a nature or wildlife photo competition, and should NEVER be used in a textbook on birds or nature. It is only intended as an art piece, an interpretation of nature, not a realistic representation of nature.

So what do you think? I want to hear from you so please be honest and direct.

TECH SPECS
1/2500 sec., f/13, ISO 1600. Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens with 1.4x extender set at 560mm on Canon 7D Mark II body. Handheld.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."  --Scott Adams

Saturday, January 13, 2018

LAST CALL - You Could Be Here!


Last chance to grab your spot on this year's 

Denali National Park In Autumn photo tour! 


THIS TRIP HAS IT ALL:

 

--  Stay in relative luxury in one of the world's last wilderness areas. 

 

--  Photograph moose, caribou, grizzly bear and more. 

 

--  Photograph one of the world's most beautiful snow-capped mountain ranges.

 

--  Your own window seat in a large private vehicle; we go wherever the action is.

 

--  See miles of tundra in full fall splendor. 


--  Plus get personal photographic training, critiques, great food, and fun!

 

Go to www.awakethelight.com for details.


Don't miss this opportunity. 

This unique trip is limited to only 10 photographers, 

so reserve your space now. 


Email me at awakethelight@charter.net 

with questions or to register.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Time For Some Sun


With so much of the country under a blanket of white. it is time for a little sunshine. This perfect daisy seemed like the right mix of white to represent snow, and yellow to represent the sun.

Normally I prefer to photograph flowers in open shade because of its soft, even lighting. But this perfect bloom just popped beautifully in the strong sunlight. Taken last summer in Alaska right before a whale-watching trip, this little beauty made me smile.

One of the many rewards of photography is the simple pleasure it can provide. A single flower, a lovely scene, a soaring bird, or a grazing moose can each bring a smile to our lips and a sense of joy to our hearts.

Because this was taken with a zoom lens set at 200mm, the shadowed background went beautifully soft and did not create any distractions. While I often use a 100mm macro lens for flower shots, using a moderate telephoto lens, or even a super telephoto, can add a new dimension to your images.

TECH SPECS
1/640 sec at f/4.5, ISO 400.  Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS lens set at 200mm on Canon 7D Mark II body.  Handheld.

TODAY'S QUOTE: Always have something beautiful in sight, even if it's just a daisy in a jelly glass."  -- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
 


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year!


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!


Wishing you a very happy, joyous, healthy, and exciting New Year. 

May it dawn bright with promise.


I hope to see you on a photo trip or workshop in 2018!


Mollie

TODAY'S QUOTE: "Write it on your heart that each day is the best day in the year."  --Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Time To Get Exactly What You Wished For



Just one more person to shop for – YOU! You’ve taken care of everyone on your list. Now it’s your turn. Treat yourself to a very special trip in 2018. Come with me to Denali National Park in the autumn, the best time to be there.

The trip runs from August 25 – 31, 2018 when the tundra spreads for miles before us in brilliant shades of red, gold, and orange. And after a summer of feasting, the animals are in prime condition with beautiful thick coats and full-grown antlers. We generally see moose, caribou, brown bear, ptarmigan, and more. We stay very close to THE Mountain, Denali, The Great One. In the autumn the mountain allows us to see it nearly every day with its mantle of snow, flanked by the vast Alaska Range.

It is hard to put this trip into words. It is the best of so many worlds. The best scenery, the best wildlife, the best fall color, and the best food and lodging. Having all these things all in one place is rare and special. And we will be fully immersed in our country’s last frontier.

Our well-appointed lodge is deep inside the park where very few others ever get the opportunity to go. We stay at the end of the only road in Denali National Park in double-occupancy comfortable rooms with all the amenities and chef-prepared meals.

We have our own vehicle with a naturalist driver and are free to go wherever the animals and the scenery are best each day.

A lot of education and personal attention is always part of an Awake The Light tour or workshop. You will get creative and technical training on photographing wildlife and landscapes, plus some of my favorite tips on easy and foolproof ways to work with Lightroom. You will learn a lot, see unique and beautiful things, and have a ball.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so don’t let it slip away. The trip is limited to only 10 photographers, and there are only 4 spaces left. I’m happy to provide more details and answer any questions you might have. So don’t hesitate to contact me.

Phone – 757-773-0194

TECH SPECS
1/1000 sec., f/8, ISO 800. Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS lens on Canon 7D Mark II body. Handheld.

TODAY’S QUOTES:
“ Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful….”  --Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.”  --H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

A Happy Holiday Season To All


Regardless of how you celebrate at this time of year, 

I wish each and every one of you a joyous and 

peaceful holiday season.


Now is good time to pause and take stock of all our blessings. 

Take time to enjoy the company of family and friends, 

and share in the spirit of the season.


I wish you a very happy holiday season 

filled with peace, love, warmth, and a touch of fun. 

May the future bring us closer to a saner world with 

more understanding and tolerance.


HAPPY HANUKKAH

MERRY CHRISTMAS

HAPPY KWANZA

AND HAPPY MERRY JOYOUS EVERYTHING ELSE!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Change Of Pace


Since we are at the beginning of the holiday season, and there has already been snow in many parts of the country, I thought a touch of Spring might be a welcome sight.

This iris was shot in Alaska last June. It was in a large garden surrounding a very unassuming house in Petersburg, Alaska, a tiny town that is not easy to get to. The light was beautiful, spotlighting the flower while the background was in shade and was rendered quite dark.

In this type of lighting situation, pay close attention to the histogram to make sure that both the highlights and the shadows have enough detail to provide a good exposure. This image was optimized in Lightroom to deepen the purple tone a bit, and to bring out the brightness of the main flower
even more.

Even though I was on a whale-watching trip, and flowers were certainly not on the expected "menu" of subjects, this was a serendipitous find. So the lesson is to always be open to whatever subjects present themselves, regardless of where you are or what you expect to see.

TECH SPECS
1/400 sec., f/4, ISO 800. Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS lens on Canon 7D Mark II body. Handheld.

 TODAY'S QUOTE: "Life is full of surprises and serendipity. Being open to unexpected turns in the road is an important part of success. Just find your next adventure, do it well, enjoy it."  --Condoleezza Rice

Sunday, December 17, 2017

GIFT CERTIFICATES - Get 'em while you can!


If you have not dropped hints yet to friends and family for a GIFT CERTIFICATE good for any Awake The Light Photo Workshop or Tour, now's the time!

It's a dream gift, and you get to use it as you wish. Use it toward any Awake The Light photo workshop or tour (that has space available of course). Your Gift Certificate will never expire, so no pressure to use it before you are ready.

It is available in $100.00 increments, in any amount up to $5000.00. 

Just have the gift-giver contact us (by phone or email) so we can personalize your Gift Certificate and email it to the giver, or to you directly if you / they prefer.

It's quick and easy. So drop some serious hints, and maybe your wish will come true!

TODAY'S QUOTE: "For it is in giving that we receive."  -- Francis of Assisi

Thursday, December 14, 2017

'Tis The Season - For GIFT CERTIFICATES!



The holidays are upon us, and many of us are in the same boat - family and friends asking for hints on gifts you would enjoy. For photographers it's easy - just ask for a Gift Certificate to an Awake The Light Photo Workshop or Tour! Perhaps for the Denali National Park trip showcased above, August 25 - 31, 2018. On this year's recently completed trip we saw the Northern Lights, many moose (both male and female), and beautiful caribou. And every day we saw The Mountain, the elusive huge massif of Denali, towering at over 20,000 feet!

An Awake The Light Gift Certificate makes their shopping so easy, and it helps you get what you REALLY want. We will email the gift-giver a beautiful personalized Gift Certificate that they can print and wrap, and give you on the day of their choice.

So drop some hints, pass this blog along to those who need help with their gift-giving decisions, and with any luck you will receive the perfect gift!!

There is no deadline by which you have to use your your Gift Certificate, and it will never expire. We hope you will use it for a trip or workshop  coming up in 2018 (subject to space availability). But it is your choice as to when to use it.

Gift Certificates are available in $100.00 increments (in any amount from $100.00 to $5000.00). So drop some strong hints to those you love, and maybe a special gift will be coming your way!

TODAY'S QUOTE: "When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed."  --Maya Angelou

Friday, December 8, 2017

Wanna Be Here?


Wanna be here? I sure do. It is a close-up view of the mountain named Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley). In the 7 years I have been taking groups to Denali National Park, we have been lucky enough to see "The Mountain" every trip. And what a treat it is, since so many visitors never get to see it.

Why is our luck so good? In large part because I always go in the autumn when the weather conditions are generally better for viewing. Plus, at that time of year the wildlife has coats in beautiful condition after a summer of great feeding and bulking up.

In addition to spectacular mountain views, we usually see brown bear, moose, caribou, and occasionally wolf. We are out exploring every day in our own large vehicle, driven by an expert naturalist. We can stop for as long as we please when the shooting is good, and can move on whenever we choose to.

We stay deep inside the park, where few others can go. We are one of only two photo tour companies worldwide allowed to do this sort of trip. 

At the end of each day we return to our lodge for a wonderful chef-prepared dinner, an image critique, and conversations with new friends. We then retire to our double-occupancy, well-appointed rooms for the night.

Limited to 10 photographers, there are only 4 spaces left. For more information or to register, email me at awakethelight@charter.net  or call me at 757-773-0194.

Click on this link for details    

TECH SPECS
1/800 sec. at f/10, ISO 1600. Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens set at 140mm. Handheld.

TODAY'S QUOTES:
"Seeing Denali with Mollie was an experience beyond comparison. Mollie provided expert guidance without being obtrusive."  -- J. P., participant Denali 2017

"Wonderful instruction. Unbelievable photo ops."  -- B. L., participant Denali 2017