A Snowy Thanksgiving

“Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.”

-Robert Frost

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Our first big snowstorm in the Northeast ended early Thanksgiving morning, leaving a blanket of pure untouched white snow behind. I’ve never really shot in the snow before because I always thought it wasn’t worth it, or that it was just ugly and boring, and took the landscape for granted. But this morning changed my mind about shooting in the winter entirely. It’s absolutely beautiful and right now I wish that the snow would never melt…until March that is. Β πŸ™‚

New Hampshire was once again my muse and my mother was my transportation and co-shooter/partner in crime. The first farm shot is from my neighborhood just as we were leaving to go shoot Lake Massabesic, in Auburn, NH (which is where most of these shots are from!). One thing I can sayΒ is if your driving ALWAYS pull over and take the shot! It’s always worth it and you have no regrets. πŸ™‚

This shot below was actually from the bottom of our street. We did have to knock a few branches to get out, sorry trees!

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This is from a little inlet of the lake. Massabesic is actually a reservoir, so that rules out swimming in the summer, but in the winter there are a couple of ice fishers that head out as soon as the ice is ready. It’s a pretty peaceful place.

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A bit of woods on the lake…

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Clearing away the clutter in these next two…snowy1-6

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A new thing I tried this morning (above) was making more art in the “fine” spectrum, by simply moving my camera a little bit during a longer exposure. I had seen another Arcanum apprentice use this in her critique for her art and thought it was interesting. What do you think?

Speaking of the Arcanum, I’m preparing for my Level 14 critique in the Arcanum (http://thearcanum.com), which means that after this, I only have one more critique before I hit the end of Sphere 1! From where I’ve started to where I’ve come in such a short period of time amazes me. I look back and no joke, I really sucked! This might be a tad weird, but I can hear Rick Sammon’s voice in my head about the levels of competence in photography (and maybe in a more general sense as well): (1) unconscious incompetence, (2) conscious incompetence, (3) conscious competence, and (4) unconscious competence. I came from the unconscious incompetence to somewhere between conscious incompetence and conscious competence (more so on the side of conscious incompetence!).

Look for more snowy scenes next time! (I also just dropped my camera this morning, well my tripod tipped with it on it (because I’m a clutz), but it looks like I might be out one expensive camera! You may just see film shots from me for the rest of the winter haha gotta laugh, otherwise I will cry over the potential death of my beloved Fuji X-E1. Hopefully it’s fixable!)

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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)