Ice Castles: Exclusive Access!

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Imagine how cool it would be if you got to spend over two hours in a winter wonderland ice palace with practically nobody there. Imagine giant colorful ice walls and doorways with secret tunnels running through them. Imagine being able to wonder and marvel at the man-made ice caves, sculptures, rooms, passageways for as long as you could stand being there. Imagine that, and I need say no more… πŸ™‚

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icecastlesjpeg-3 icecastlesjpeg-5 icecastlesjpeg-10 icecastlesjpeg-11 icecastlesjpeg-9 icecastlesjpeg-2 icecastlesjpegOk, I’ll say a little more anyways…haha An awesome and terrifying weekend I spent in New Hampshire that turned out to be hard to beat this winter. Between the exclusive access to the ice castles in Lincoln, and making fresh snow tracks on I-93 mid-winter storm, it was one to remember….and share!

The Ice Castles, a rather new attraction in the Northeast has taken ski vacationers by storm! This place is so packed normally, I hardly see the draw for normal admission. There are fire dancers, a BBQ food truck (that doesn’t actually serve BBQ), Disney music (mostly from the movie Frozen), and sooooo many people! I know this because I checked in early during the normal operating hours and the place was swarmed! So travelers, beware, its awesome, but don’t be shocked by the number of people who also thought it would be awesome πŸ™‚

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Dear Film: Its been real, Its been fun…

So, after shooting film for about a month or so, I’m SO happy to say that my camera has been fixed by Fuji and will be returned to me in the next week or two! Not that I don’t love film, because I do :), but when I shoot six rolls that costs $100 to get developed and scanned and there are only about 9 shots that I happy with, I say thank goodness for my digital camera! (don’t forget the $50 or so for the rolls in the first place)

Ektar 100: its been fun, but quite honestly, I’m okay if you sit on the shelf for a little while, no hard feelings, you understand, you’re just too expensive! πŸ˜‰

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These are all using Ektar 100. The challenge with this was the 100 ISO because I was used to shooting only 400 ISO film. It meant slower shutter speeds in not so bright areas and for someone with not so steady hands, this was tough. I underexposed a lot. This guitar series is of my brother who is an excellent guitar player and not a bad singer either πŸ™‚

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Yes, It’s really grainy. I wanted to showcase how the film came directly out of the camera/lab/scanner so I barely processed these at all in Lightroom.

Also using the Ektar 100, I shot Moss Glen Falls on the scenic route 100 in Vermont. What an incredible drive! Through the mountains, winding roads that went on and on and on. It had a very calming effect. The Falls is right off the road and there is a small parking lot. It’s super convenient to get to! There’s even a nice little boardwalk that leads you right to it, easy peasy πŸ™‚ Since the pool in front of the falls was a little frozen over, I was able to get a little closer to the falls, following the snowy indents made by (most likely) photographers before me.

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Back in Boston I tried the Ektar 100 out on a cityscape sunset from East Boston after my BEC CPA exam. Nothing like taking pictures to relax after an incredibly stressful and long test. This was near Piers Park, but not exactly in it. It’s another abandoned decaying dock right next door. And I had it all to myself! Who else would stand there for 45 minutes in the freezing cold? πŸ™‚

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Each type of film is a little different and it takes some time to figure out how to use it to its highest potential with your camera and what you like to shoot. But that’s only half the battle! If you have access to a darkroom and a great scanner, then you’ve won, but if you don’t, you are at the mercy of photo labs and their scanners. πŸ™‚ Β 


Fearsome Flow

Β Best Waterfalls of New Hampshire

Waterfall #1: Location: Top Secret πŸ˜‰


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Ha! Just kidding, what kind of travel blogographer won’t tell people where she goes? Anyways – It’s Garwin Falls, in Wilton, NH!!

In one weekend, I visited two amazing waterfalls in New Hampshire. To me, waterfalls are calming, peaceful, and often strike a sense of wonder in me. Water is the source of life and I think about how much we depend on it to survive. Heck our body is mostly water! When I was a kid, I used to think those drawings of how much water we were made of were actually real. The ones where they draw the water coming up to your chest….yeah…It’s weird to think as a kid we believe certain things until we are told what we are supposed to believe/what is real…

Anyways, its hard to think that something we depend on so much to survive is also polluted so much by us. And we don’t give a second thought to it most of the time. We live on water, yet we are slowly dirtying our life source with our garbage, fuel, chemicals, and many other things. I’m certainly guilty of that! BUT I try to be better and if everyone would just TRY, think where we would be…

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This is another really cool spot on this same location. As you walk down the path before you get to the falls, you will see a dam-cement structure. It has been visited by colorful graffiti artists many many times by the looks of it. My mother almost left me here because I took so long shooting it πŸ™‚ Hmm, thinking how nice it would be to Jedi-mind trick someone into being less bored while waiting for me to take photos πŸ˜‰

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Waterfall #2: Gleason Falls

This lovely old bridge and falls were so amazing because of the spots of sunlight coming through the thick tree cover. It’s more dramatic in person, as everything always is! These falls are also SO forceful. Its amazing how much water comes under this bridge per second. It looks tame now because I used a long exposure technique to get this shot below, but in person, its a sight to behold! The power of these things are so hard to capture!


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This shot above is such a dear little bridge, I couldn’t help myself. AND its right down the road from Gleason Falls! talk about two birds and one stone πŸ˜‰ I jumped out of the car and had about three minutes to shoot this location. Being pressed for time sure does make you think, do I have everything right?, before you press that shutter button for the long exposure and hear from behind you, “Hey, come-on we gotta go!”

That’s all for now, folks! Look for my next awesome NH location story coming next week!

 

 

 

 


The Arcanum: A Game Changer

Have you heard of the Arcanum yet?!

If you haven’t and you love photography and want to learn in an awesome new way – please visit here http://www.thearcanum.com (I HIGHLY recommend it) πŸ™‚

I’ve been in the Arcanum for about a few months now and here’s my take on it all:

So I was thinking of something to equate the Arcanum to, you know, make an analogy for better understanding of what it is and such…

I can’t.

There is nothing quite like the Arcanum.

It’s unlike anything I’ve done or experienced. It’s like falling in love I guess you could say (I know I know, not very original). At first, your all excited, almost borderline jittery, and everything is new and wonderful. It’s a whole new world because you begin to see the world and everything in it a little differently. You’ve got a new pep in your step πŸ™‚ You look more, you see more, colors seem more vibrant, your carrying your camera around with you literally everywhere, you feel happy and alive! The passion that you had for photography is basically smothered in lighter fluid and then ignited or re-ignited.

Then as you dive into it a bit more, its more challenging, but you find that it’s so worth it. You are learning some pretty awesome things, you take more time to get it right. You slow down and take a second look at what you’ve got right in front of you. You realize the value of what you have and are a part of is possibly the greatest thing ever. You can’t get enough of it. It keeps you going through rough work days, hard times, and those moments you just need a little boost. Because you know it’s there for you and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon πŸ™‚ (I am applying this to photography in general as well)

You begin to realize that you fit here. It’s where your supposed to be. It’s where you belong. You are free to be yourself, because the other people, your cohort, are all just as crazy as you are about it too and that’s one of the best feelings in the world. (ok this is getting way too mushy now, I’ve debated whether or not I should actually post this haha) πŸ˜‰ I guess if your reading this, it means that I decided, the heck with it, I’ll just post the damn thing!

Maybe its just because I’ve never had a photography learning experience that is similar, I’ve never been to a workshop, never taken online classes, I’ve only taken one darkroom class in college – but that was a little impersonal. Doesn’t count haha πŸ™‚ Maybe it’s because it has just been me on my own trying to learn and I’ve never connected with another person who loved photography before. I’ve always been a bit shy…

I’ve only begun to put the hammer and nail in place to crack the surface. I’m learning new thingsΒ every day and that’s what matters. Because as my very humble master extraordinaire (A.D. Wheeler) in the Arcanum says in his intro video – if (You) (I) ever stop learning, (You)(I) would die or might as well be dead (or something like that) (that’s not a direct quote!!) (its the concept) haha (you get it) (please don’t quote me on quoting him)… πŸ™‚

Check him out at (http://adwheelerphotography.com)! You’ll be glad you did!

JUST to show you the difference – This beach shot below was a shot of mine I took before the Arcanum….. _DSC3173And this panning shot is one I just recently took after joining the Arcanum…. panning

There is so much depth to the Arcanum. It’s a lot more than leveling up. The creators have really developed something that feels honest, real, organic and complex (in the best sense of the word!) It’s also something that takes on a life of its own when you put it into the hands of amazing, awe-inspiring people (The Masters), some legends in their own ways.

It has allowed for an experience that would otherwise be unavailable to people who work full time. It’s an apprenticeship. If I wanted to be someone’s apprentice (assistant), I would not be able to do that working full-time. You move at the pace you are comfortable with. Your community is there to help you and want you to move forward, but you still go at the speed that feels right to you. That eliminates the stress of deadlines and due-dates, which is extremely freeing. I get enough of that at work!

Now, I’m not going to go into the specifics of leveling up and cohort basics and whatnot because I know a few others have already done that way better than I could. This is just my personal schpeal. πŸ™‚ I just want to say thanks to everyone who had/has a hand in the creation and operation of The Arcanum. And to my community, as we have been saying now, my new photo family, for being open, genuine and very friendly folks! All of you are awesome! πŸ™‚

It’s been a blast to say the least!

Here it is again – (http://thearcanum.com)

Cabin Fever

It’s March…winter has been here in Boston for a while now…and I’m starting to get the feeling of the walls moving closer, the air inside seems more and more stale, and everything has been mostly white and grey for the past few months. Cabin fever, seasonal depression, winter blues, call it what you want…it blows. (It could also be because I live and work in the city and miss the scenery of rural-ish New Hampshire)

So, to get out a bit, maybe see some green, I thought some winter hiking would be a good idea, maybe some picture taking (always cheers me up πŸ™‚ )…but ending up getting lost…alone…I know, not very smart….it was only supposed to be a small “hill”, but it was too steep for my fitness level (aka no level post-holiday/new years/superbowl/etc…). Well here’s a little bit of what my day looked like….(Blue Hills Reservation: Buck Hill: Skyline Trail)

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Of course, I was trying to get away from the concrete jungle (boston)…but from the summit of the “hill”, you can’t get away from it, its still there!
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Well, that’s pretty much it! Until next post…Happy Wednesday!