COLOURFUL POSTCARDS FROM THE SOUTH OF FRANCE


The south of France is wonderfully colourful in a mellow and well aged way.  Sunny yellows, warm ochres, greyed greens and pale blues all happily mingling side by side.  All tempered with texture to create a comfortable patina, it inspires wandering and delightful discovery.


SERENE WATERSCAPES


Is there anything more refreshing than water? Both physically and mentally it is the most basic of balms for us.  When I head out with my camera in hand I often find myself at the water’s edge.  Subconsciously seeking the serenity that can be found there.  In need of a spot of serenity yourself?  Feel free to linger here and tap into the restorative power of these images. 

I wish you water.
Wallace J. Nichols - author of Blue Mind


LAZY HAZY DAYS


GEORGIAN BAY, ONTARIO, CANADA

The lazy hazy days at the height of summer arrive with a force that belies their calm.  High heat and humidity diminishes all activity as the call of cool water is amplified.  On exceptionally hot summer days seasoned sailors know that an early escape from land is favoured.  The sun quickly rises highlighting a sparkling path to cooler temperatures on the bay.

These images are designed to work together as a set.  For posters, canvas and framed prints head to Crated.com  


NOT JUST A GIRL WITH A CAMERA


SOUTH ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND

For years I have been a girl with a camera.  A little over a year ago an extraordinary adventure changed all that.  I spent 5 nights and 4 days on Trey Ratcliff’s Photo Adventure in New Zealand and it was as if I had finally found my life’s focus ring.  This adventure and its magical mix of people, place and experiences have made it clear - I’m not just a girl with a camera. I am a photographer.

I’VE FOUND MY TRIBE

My discovery of Trey Ratcliff was serendipitous.  I “stumbled upon” his image of the Eiffel Tower one day while using the app of that name. I’d never seen HDR photography before and it stopped me in my tracks.  I had to know who created it and how.  Once I made it to the Stuck In Customs website I devoured everything I found there. 

When Trey announced plans were in the works for a photo adventure in his new homeland New Zealand, I didn’t hesitate to ask for details. I knew on a gut level this was going to be a defining experience and one I needed to be on. 

I have to admit I was nervous about meeting Trey.  He’s an incredibly smart and talented photographer, artist, teacher, visionary and thinker.  Best of all  - he’s all that plus down to earth.  Learning with him was nothing short of inspirational.  Good people like Trey draw a crowd of good folks which is why the rest of our talented coaching team of Karen Hutton, Scott Kublin and Curtis Simmons were the kindest most enthusiastic bunch you could hope for.  They created an environment where it was fun to learn and fostered a strong sense of camaraderie amongst our group of 20 participants.  Being in this group of affable photo-enthusiasts I felt at home.  This community – that feels like a family - not only helped me to hone my skills, they confirmed that I am one of them.

I’M SMITTEN WITH LANDSCAPES

New Zealand’s natural beauty is legendary and I fell in love with it instantly.  As I flew from Auckland to Queenstown, my nose was pressed to the plane window like a kid at a candy shop. The mountains and valleys so high and deep are stacked one upon another in endless compact lines. This backdrop of stunning and diverse landscape provided the absolute perfect learning environment.  Trey aptly labeled it “a target rich environment” so true – many times I found it hard to walk away from the beautiful scene before me and yet when I did it was only to find another right behind me. I’ve only seen a tiny portion of New Zealand but I am smitten.  It’s carved a place in my heart and fired a passion for seeking out and creating beautiful landscape photography.

I CRAVE CREATIVE EXPERIENCES

This was not an adventure for the faint of heart.  The daily schedule was intense. We were on the bus at 6am, sunrise photo shoot till 10am, breakfast, post processing instruction, lunch, more post processing, dinner, and a sunset shoot which often stretched into the night, home by 11pm. Rinse and repeat the next day.  You would think at that pace I would loose steam but the thrill of the next shoot boosted my energy to surplus levels.  Add to that – surprises! Fire dancers, sunrise and sunset shoots at exclusive and beautiful locations and the eclipsing thrill:  a boat cruise on Milford Sound complete with playful dolphins riding our boat’s bow waves.  From our welcome reception to farewell celebration the entire adventure was brilliantly crafted to inspire our creativity and it’s left me with a thirst for more photographic odysseys.

On our first night together Karen Hutton asked me, “What do you hope to get out of this adventure and how will you know if you got it?” 

 At the time I was not sure how to answer, in fact I was painfully honest and said “I’m not sure.”   I wish I had answered that I was on a journey not just to New Zealand but one of greater discovery.  At the time I had no idea that the final destination would be clarity and focus, but my gut feeling was right. Trey’s New Zealand Photo Adventure with it’s extraordinary combination of good people, inspiring places and unique experiences was key to reaching it. 

So Karen, I can answer the question now – I got everything I could hope for and more. I’ve found my tribe, confirmed my passion for beautiful landscapes and discovered my thirst for creative experiences.  All of which have clarified who I am.

I know this because when I filled out the “employment” section on my customs card coming home, without hesitation I printed in all caps

P H O T O G R A P H E R.

This was article written for and was featured in a Bonus Supplement of Extraordinary Vision Magazine - Issue No.4 .  
Extraordinary Vision is a FREE outdoor photography magazine published exclusively for mobile.   

SAY GOODNIGHT SUNSHINE


CAPTIVA, FLORIDA

The island of Captiva is narrow enough that some folks who live there can see both east and west coasts of the tiny island from their house.  Which means there is no excuse for missing a sunrise nor a sunset.  This might explain why saying goodnight to the sun is a tradition observed by many.  At dusk, families, friends and the romantics among the rest gather on the beach to watch the sun take it's final dip into the ocean.  And though it's a routine that repeats itself daily - Mother Nature seems bent on ensuring it is never the same twice. On this occasion wind, waves, clouds and colour combined to create a magical show.


BOATING THE BAY


GEORGIAN BAY, ONTARIO, CANADA

Georgian Bay is a world renown boating destination as demonstrated by inclusion of it's North Channel in the book "Fifty Places to Sail Before You Die." The natural beauty of the bay's crystal blue waters and rugged rock shorelines inspired the members of the famed Canadian Group of Seven artists and continues to inspire those of us lucky enough to navigate it's waters today.


SUNNY SKIES ON SKYE


ISLE OF SKYE, SCOTLAND, UK

There are many magical places in Scotland but none of them can compare to a sunny day on the Isle of Skye.  From fern lined burns to enchanting Fairy Pools the natural beauty of Skye sparkles when the sun is out.


NEW ZEALAND'S MOUNTAINS OF MIST


MILFORD SOUND, SOUTH ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND

There is a reason the native name for this place is 'land of the long white cloud.'  The massive mountains rise so quickly from the earth that they seem to be rushing towards the misty embrace of the sky.