i couldnt feel my fingers

How I got here

A few days ago I was working on this image from Canada Cliffs in Acadia National Park, and caught myself wondering if it was really that good.  I was questioning if it was worth sharing.  I did post it, and realized after the fact that my past self, the version of me from 2013 who was standing in a field in the dark, attempting to photograph the big dipper, and wondering if i was doing anything right, would be excitedly asking how i did that.  It changed my perspective in a way i definitley needed.  

Could I do it better?  I hope so, and I will probably go back and shoot from this location again.   I already have ideas for different techniques to try here.

Has someone else already done it better?  Maybe, but it doesnt mean i cant do it too.

Would Kyle from 2013 look at it and get excited and be inspired to learn how to do it?  Hell yeah he would, because I think its comparable to photographers I admired and learned from, and am still impressed by.

So lets go on a little adventure through time, starting in December 2013 on a frozen pond in Colchester, Vermont.   I couldnt feel my feet or fingers, but holy crap those specks on the back screen are stars! So it was fine.  Toes aren’t that important.

March 2014, and I got an intervalometer and and learned how to stack images to make startrails.   It was also super cold this night at the edge of Lake Champlain in Milton, Vermont.

May 2014, and its milky way season in the northern hemisphere again, if you go out at 3am.   If i remember correctly, I slept about 3 hours before going out and shooting through sunrise, and then went straight to work (and transformed into a zombie). My co-workers were not impressed.  I thought this image was super amazing.

October 2014, and lightpainting and combining images with different exposure times come into play.  AM Foster covered Bridge in Cabot, Vermont. Yes, the same Cabot as the cheese.

March 2015, and Ive entered the realm of composites, and learn about the joys of photoshop layer masking.

June 2015, and ive upgraded my equipment from a Nikon d70s to a d7000 (which is till my primary camera) and my maximum ISO has tripled, allowing me to capture more detail in the night sky.  I had essentially reached a point in my skill level that my old equipment was starting to hold me back.

Jan 2016.  Startrails, multiple exposures, masking, blending, essentially refining my process and practing.  (and learning from the past and dressing properly for winter at night in the northeast.  I could feel all my fingers and toes that night.  Height of land in Rangely, Maine.

June 2016.  I’ve made it to Acadia!  OMG Im actually shooting from Sand Beach!  First full arch milky way panorama!  just trust me that this is HARD and took a really long time to shoot and merge because there are over 30 images there.

October 2016  Maybe one of my best pieces so far?  Again, multiple exposures, lots of images, lots of masking and blending. Almost giving up several times, starting over at least 3 times. 10 hours of work is probably a low estimate on this one.  I explained my process here, which is essentially the same work flow as how I do the majority of my images now, and a workflow that took years to practice and develop.

And finaly, 2 weeks ago, July 2017  From the southern coast of Mount Desert Island in Down East Maine

Art is hard. It takes a lot of practice and repetition, and most importantly, time and patience.  It’s not going to happen overnight, but the image you manage to create will gradually get closer to the image you’re imagining, as the the best you can do gets better. Sometimes you just have to compare yourself to your previous best to see any change.

Looking at your art and seeing flaws isnt always a negative thing, but a way to find things to practice more, so your next personal best will hopefully be better.

Never stop learning.

anonymous asked:

im so sorry i couldnt help but notice yuuri had 6 fingers

My hands feel like lead as I sat on the rough concrete ground outside Manila Airport. One hand clutching a fork with a celestial substance known as spaghetti, the other hand held my phone as the gentle, generous Philippine sun offered its rays to my dry skin. For a moment, my mind goes blank and created an unintelligible thought; 

“God, I just…love the sun’s rays on me.” 

My thoughts skipped mindlessly as I recall the chaotic events of the last few hours. I had boarded a plane, with or without a glass of champagne in my underaged hands is irrelevant. The mild chill to the air had bit my skin as I strolled through the airport gates, whisked away to the world of overly friendly flight attendants and mediocre but rather nice airplane meals. It was a whirlwind of chaos; at some point I had sat on the wrong assigned seat and chatted away a good eight minutes to travelling Italian dude with lovely mid-length hair whose name I did not catch but is destined to be somewhere along the lines of Carlos, no racism intended. He had told me within the matter of only a few minutes that I was like a niece to him, which somewhat touched my cold-stoned heart. It was hardened again as I realised that I was, in fact, on the wrong seat. I tell our Carlos goodbye and pray he finds a babe in London where he is travelling to and we one day meet again for me to be a bridesmaid in his wedding. I steadily moved to my assigned seat and cry about Carlos for the next three hours as I listen to sad anime soundtracks. 

My eyes suddenly avert themselves finally to the phone screen and as I chewed away the celestial substance, my heart sank as lowly as Jack Dawson as I read the word: “im so sorry i couldnt help but notice yuuri had 6 fingers”.

I take a sharp breath, re-reading the words over and over, re-reading the words in Morgan Freeman’s voice and then to Adam Sandler and at some point, Lance McClain. I shut my eyes closed and my heart began to race faster than a Hennessey Venom GT (270 mph). I gulped, whispering to myself in a ritualistic manner that it was okay, that I was at least spared from an ‘lol’.

I couldn’t  quite breath properly, it was only then that I was subjected to staggering flashbacks of the night before; with only four hours sleep in a mediocre holiday inn conveniently next to Melbourne Airport, I had bloodshot eyes as I stared at the computer screen with two infamous gays, my hands yet again quivering as my mind slowly engulfs to the dark void of ‘I don’t have a girlfriend fuck this shit’. I had ignored organising my baggage in favour of the activity and had Usan Bolted my way to the hotel lounge where ‘Jerry’ had given the complimentary one hour wifi for me to upload the piece. 

I sat in the lounge, unashamedly wearing shorts with unshaved legs and wearing my mother’s shoes because I had to restrain myself from a pained Simba cry in the disappearance of my flip-flops. An aged duo of a white man and a black man discuss the future of the Apple company and eventually the economy to my left as I upload the piece, I don’t take any true interest but it’s hard to miss “Fuck off, Henry. I bet two meat pies you’re wrong.”. 

“Ice, let’s go.” my brother nearly exclaims and I’m whipped back into reality. 

I wonder if through it all, I can just say I’m sorry to the anon. But sometimes, we stumble into holes in life’s deepest journeys. Someday I will be a Sokka and someday I will be a Zuko, all in all as I stay in the height of Toph. It’s fascinating to say that I’m so shook by one message that could mean all kinds of things. Possibilities, really. If Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson could be with me in this moment, he would tell me that everything happens for a reason, be it in art or in life. He would tell me to life my dreams just as I live in the belief that he is, in fact, the Tooth Fairy. He would tell me Carlos, in all 15 minutes he was in my life, was a blessing and that two aged men debating whether Apple is going downhill or not is also blessing and that we should appreciate flight attendants who have to force their smiles in a day-to-day basis. And that maybe Yuuri accidentally having six fingers in my drawing was also a sort of fate, a Jerry, a Henry and a Carlos. A kind of destiny that we all face in our lives and hope we know what to do it when it plunges us to the ground. 

So I gently placed my fork down the ground, eyes watering ever so slightly, deep breaths completed,  my thoughts clear and my path in life ahead of me as I slowly began to type my reply to my anon;

‘lol more for victor then uwu’

4

welcome to the new age