Northern Lights // March 2015

So I tried my hand at photographing northern lights for the first time in March. We had a couple of days when they were quite bright. Of course, I missed the first night when they were the brightest so my pictures were taken on the second night when they weren’t quite as vibrant. I think my technique needs some work but for my first time they turned out not bad!


My Mexico Obsession: Splash Pictures

While I was in Mexico for a week I became slightly obsessed with standing out on a rock wall that jutted out into the ocean near our resort’s beach and taking pictures of the splashes created when the waves hit the rocks. This obsession resulted in me coming home with over 500 “splash pictures.” These ones are some of my favorites. It was really hard to pick favorites.

Photos After Dark in Mexico

At the end of my last post about my trip to Mexico I promised to post some of my photography from the trip. Well I finally finished sorting through the hundreds of pictures I took and am ready to post some!

I learned a couple of neat techniques from Greg Johnson, the Tornado Hunter, who taught the photography workshops during the trip. During the sunset shoots I learned how to give the waves and water a soft, fuzzy effect which looks super pretty. I also learned how to shoot pictures of the stars which I absolutely loved!

All my photos were shot on my Nikon D5300 with the standard 16-35mm lens that came with it.

This was the first time that I played with these techniques and settings on my camera so I obviously have room for improvement but I’m so glad that I got to try these out for the first time by the ocean in Mexico!

If you want to check out Greg Johnson you can find him here

Hospital Stays, Photography, and the Ocean Breeze

I can now say I’ve been to Mexico!

In December I booked a spot on the Tornado Hunter Mexico photo tour and I was so excited! Greg Johnson, the Tornado Hunter, is well known for taking tornado and storm pictures but he also teaches photography workshops and has done several photo tours or retreats. The trip included a stay at an all-inclusive resort at Akumal in Quintana Roo, Mexico. During the trip Greg would be teaching photography workshops and would be available to help everyone improve their photography skills. There were also a couple of days set aside to take the group on excursions off the resort to photograph some of the cool places Mexico has to offer.

In January, my friend Adrienne who had just started her own film company with the intent of telling peoples’ stories asked if she could join me on the trip and follow me around with a camera documentary-style to capture my journey as her first big project for her new company. I, of course, was all for it! We have only been friends since the summer but we instantly connected (even though she is about ten years older than me) over our similar tastes in film and photography and our fiery passions for the things we love.

The two weeks leading up to the trip now make up one of the most stressful and frustrating periods of my life. About two weeks before we were supposed to leave on our adventure I was hospitalized with a lung infection and a very low blood oxygen saturation level. I immediately reverted to the old blind determination I had used every time I was admitted to the pediatric ward when I was growing up. But in the back of my mind I was extremely worried that that would not be enough to pull me through this in time for the trip. I had been feeling pretty down for about a month beforehand – I had been in kind of a slump mentally. So, going into this infection, I already wasn’t my usual self as far as my head was concerned and now I somehow had to garner all my willpower and kick the infection to the curb in a very short period of time.

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The last week has been a little rough so I decided to cheer myself up by posting what is quickly becoming my favorite thing to shoot: waterscapes! I feel instantly calmer, happier, and more myself when I am on or near the water. I can’t really explain it but I love being near the ocean or on a boat fishing with my dad in the summer.

Some of these are not super great, some were taken on my phone, and some I am pretty happy with.

Film School Work

I wanted to post some of my favorite shots from the projects I worked on while I was studying film production in university. I made the (very hard) decision to quit university but I made a lot of good memories and met quite a few people that I have a lot in common with.

University is just not my jam. There was not a moment in high school where I ever thought that I would not go on to get a degree. But here I am at almost 22 years old and I’m fairly certain that I will remain degree-less. And I’m actually okay with that. University makes sense for a lot of people and a lot of people go on to be successful afterwards but I am just not willing to pay an institution a lot of money that’s not really mine (student loans!) to force me to take several classes that I will be miserable taking and that I won’t ever really need in my actual career. I may sound bitter but I’m just putting out there what’s what for me. And from the research I’ve done, it seems that a film degree doesn’t help you out a whole lot in that industry. There are, of course, pros and cons to everything.

Anyway – no degree for me!

But I did get a chance to do some work that I enjoyed while I was in school so I thought I’d post some of it here.

These two photos were taken on my dad’s old Pentax K1000. We had to use that specific camera and we were given a list of shots that we had to get. The first shot is my landscape. My professor gave me the idea to breathe on the lens to create different effects. It was terribly cold when I shot this so it worked pretty well! I had the camera set up on a tripod, breathed on the lens, and then waited until I felt like enough of the fog had disappeared and took the photo. I’m pretty happy with the effect. The second photo was one that I really wanted to get. My poor friend’s hand froze in the wind but she was a good sport. This was my shallow focus shot. Unfortunately, I got a bit of a sun glare on the tree to the left. Ah well!

These photos were taken in the winter of early 2014. Obviously my photography still needs a lot of work but I’m enjoying experimenting with it! Once warmer, photography-friendly weather comes around I will be enjoying it even more! At the lake!

The Crooked Trees

This past summer I visited the Crooked Trees (also known as the Crooked Bush). They are located near Speers, Saskatchewan. I was visiting Speers for a Scottish family reunion on my mom’s side of the family. I had been to this grove of trees many years ago with my grandpa but hadn’t been back since so I was excited to go as I didn’t remember much from that first trip when I was so young. I snapped quite a few pictures although some aren’t very good because I was trying to figure out my dad’s camera on the go! If you are ever in that area of Saskatchewan it is definitely worth a stop to stroll among the crooked trees. For some more info on them check out Tourism Saskatchewan’s page: