Stephanie Johnson Photography (StephJohnPhoto): Blog http://stephjohnphoto.com/blog en-us (C) Stephanie Johnson Photography (@StephJohnPhoto) stephanie@stephjohnphoto.com (Stephanie Johnson Photography (StephJohnPhoto)) Mon, 02 Apr 2018 08:03:00 GMT Mon, 02 Apr 2018 08:03:00 GMT http://stephjohnphoto.com/img/s/v-5/u125930896-o129211170-50.jpg Stephanie Johnson Photography (StephJohnPhoto): Blog http://stephjohnphoto.com/blog 120 120 New YouTube Channel & Video Trailer http://stephjohnphoto.com/blog/2018/4/new-youtube-channel-video-trailer New YouTube Channel & Video Trailer

The video below is one I've just created as a trailer for this website and for a new Stephanie Johnson Photography YouTube channel.  This was my first attempt at video creation, so I had a bit of a learning curve using Adobe Premiere Pro, but I feel the video turned out nicely.

The images in the video come from the various portfolios on my website.  I chose two images from each gallery, so what you are seeing in the video are photos from these collections:

I'm excited to start working on more video projects, and the wheels are already turning over some different ideas in my mind, so stay tuned. 

Please also feel free to subscribe to the channel and share the video on social media.  And don't forget to leave a comment to let me know what you think.

]]>
stephanie@stephjohnphoto.com (Stephanie Johnson Photography (StephJohnPhoto)) stephanie johnson photography stephjohnphoto video trailer youtube http://stephjohnphoto.com/blog/2018/4/new-youtube-channel-video-trailer Mon, 02 Apr 2018 08:02:02 GMT
Location Spotlight - Donegal Ireland http://stephjohnphoto.com/blog/2018/3/location-spotlight-donegal-ireland Location Spotlight – Donegal, Ireland (Contae Dhún na nGall)

 

A year ago this week, I spent 10 fabulous days in the northwest corner of Ireland.  County Donegal is one of the most beautiful and most rugged parts of Ireland that I’ve visited so far.  There are quite a few images from Donegal in my Ireland portfolio, as well as on my Facebook photography page, but in this blog post I’ll share a few never-before-seen images from my time in Donegal. 

 

During my visit, I stayed at the Viking House Hotel, in Kincasslagh, and I spent most of my time exploring various locations along the Wild Atlantic Way.  I barely even scratched the surface of all there is to see in Donegal, though.  It is one of the larger counties in Ireland, and there are so many points of interest that it would take much longer than 10 days to cover it all.  Not to mention, the roads are very narrow and winding through much of the county, making even a short distance drive take longer than you’d expect.

 

Instead of trying to see it all, I decided to spend quality time at only a few locations so I could make a more meaningful connection to the landscape I was there to photograph.  With names like Murder Hole, Bloody Foreland, and the Poisoned Glen, Donegal possesses a unique aura and mystery all its own, and I was completely mesmerized with the immersive experience I had in this place.

 

It took me two tries to find Murder Hole (formally known as Boyeeghter Bay), but it was absolutely worth the effort.  After shooting down on the beach, I climbed up on top of this headland to shoot sunset, where I met another photographer.  It was a beautifully moving experience, and I had the privilege of sharing it with another like-minded soul.

Donegal - Murder Hole, Boyeeghter BayDonegal - Murder Hole, Boyeeghter Bay

Fanad Lighthouse is an iconic location, and most people familiar with Donegal will recognize it immediately.  I drove about an hour and a half from my hotel in Kincasslagh to Fanad Head to shoot sunrise one morning.  Many of my Irish photographer friends have photographed this location, so I was inspired and compelled to capture it for myself.  Once I wrapped things up here, I drove a short distance to another iconic location called the Great Pollett Arch, which features in the Game of Thrones series, and spent the rest of the morning there.  One of my images of the Great Pollett Arch can be found here in my Wild Light Ireland portfolio.      

Donegal - Fanad Lighthouse, Fanad HeadDonegal - Fanad Lighthouse, Fanad Head

The name Bloody Foreland conjures up all sorts of interesting thoughts and ideas, and as daunting as the name may seem (named for the blood red color of the water at sunset), it is one of my favorite places in Donegal.  I spent three amazing evenings shooting sunsets at the Bloody Foreland.  It’s a rugged place where the waves of the Atlantic crash wildly against, and over, the rocks along the coastline, and as you look out to sea, you feel like you’re standing at the edge of the world.  This particular image is one I captured during an Explore Light photography masterclass workshop, with award winning Irish photographer Peter Gordon, and it is inspired by one of his own original images.    

Donegal - Bloody ForelandDonegal - Bloody Foreland

The Cara Na Mara (Friend of the Sea), perhaps better known as Bád Eddie, is an iconic shipwreck at Bunbeg, near Gweedore.  The ship washed ashore in the 1970s on Magheraclohger Strand, and it has been slowly deteriorating over the years.  One side of the boat is basically missing, probably having been carried away by the tides.  During low tide, you can walk right out to the site, and I was able to do this on a couple of occasions while I was there.  Many of the images you see of this boat are from the ‘prettier’ side, and I’ve posted an image from that side before.  However, this image shows how much of the ship has been washed away over the years, and I feel it tells a different story than the images from the other side.

Cara Na Mara (aka Bad Eddie), Bunbeg - Donegal, IrelandCara Na Mara (aka Bad Eddie), Bunbeg - Donegal, Ireland

Finally, Cruit Island is a small island just across from the town of Kincasslagh.  I could see it out the window of my hotel room, and I spent some time there on a couple different occasions during my visit.  This image is one from a sunset shoot. Although the sunset really didn’t materialize the way I might have hoped for color, I like the moodiness of this image.  This is another image captured during the Explore Light workshop with Peter Gordon.  

Donegal - Cruit Island, KincasslaghDonegal - Cruit Island, Kincasslagh

Each of these locations is indicated by a star on the map below. 

1 – Kincasslagh / Cruit Island 2 – Bunbeg 3 – Bloody Foreland
4 – Murder Hole 5 – Fanad Lighthouse  

I've added each these images to my portfolio, so if you are interested in purchasing a print, you’ll find them there, or simply click on the image to be taken to the portfolio.

 

If you’ve visited Donegal and would like to share your own favorite spots there, please comment below.

]]>
stephanie@stephjohnphoto.com (Stephanie Johnson Photography (StephJohnPhoto)) bad eddie bloody foreland boyeeghter bay bunbeg cara na mara cruit island donegal explore light fanad head fanad lighthouse great pollett arch gweedore ireland kincasslagh murder hole wild atlantic way http://stephjohnphoto.com/blog/2018/3/location-spotlight-donegal-ireland Mon, 26 Mar 2018 12:26:15 GMT
3 Books to Help You Live a More Creative...and More Meaningful...Life http://stephjohnphoto.com/blog/2018/3/3-books-to-help-you-live-a-more-creative-life  

   If you’ve been looking for some new reading material that will help you embrace your inner creative genius AND move you farther along on your path toward becoming a better you, these three books will offer more than enough wisdom and insight to spark your creative fire and encourage you to ‘see’ things more deeply and more meaningfully. 

     These are goals I’ve had in my own life, as I’ve worked hard to build a life that is more creative, more purposeful, more connected, and more meaningful. 

     Our lives are constantly changing and in flux, with so many outside distractions and challenges that come our way each and every day.  And let’s face it, sometimes it’s a real struggle to keep the faith and stay on the path to a better life. 

     Societal pressures, demands from daily requirements, and our own internal obstacles…such as fear, doubt, procrastination, and not even knowing where to begin…all contribute to keeping us from making forward progress.

     There is, however, good news and hope for even those of us who struggle the most.  Whenever we fall off the path, or we find ourselves going backwards instead of forwards, we always have the opportunity to get back on track.  As soon as we recognize the signs that we’re backsliding, we can stop and choose to start again right where we’re at…to pick up right where we left off before we began our downward slide.  

     Be encouraged...knowing that the creative and more meaningful life you desire so passionately is a daily process.  It’s an ongoing, never-ending journey, and because I understand the struggle all too well from my own trials and tribulations, I wanted to share three books that have served as beacons of light for me…guiding me along my own journey toward the safe harbor of increased creativity, more meaning, and a deeper sense of purpose in life.  I encourage you to check them out for yourself.

     I’m really passionate about helping people explore their inner landscapes more deeply, because I know from experience that tapping into the richness of our inner self is, by its own virtue, a creative process that generates more abundance and meaning in all aspects of our life. 

     So, here are three of my favorite books that will help you live a more creative, and more meaningful life…inside and out!

 

A Beautiful Anarchy:

When the Life Creative Becomes the Life Created  

By David duChemin

     In his book, A Beautiful Anarchy, Canadian photographer, writer, adventurer, humanitarian, and teacher David DuChemin encourages us to step outside the proverbial box of authority and established order (aka societal expectations) and to color outside the lines while listening to the voice of our souls.  While it may seem a bit counter-intuitive for a photographer to produce a book without photographs, it becomes immediately clear this is not a book about photography. 

     This is a book about living an intentional and creative life of our own making and moving beyond our comfort zones, in spite of the fear that tries so desperately to keep us small.  In an excerpt from the book, this is what duChemin has to say about an idea he calls “living above the 45”…a mathematical concept for living above the 45° line on a graph, where anything at or below the 45° mark is the comfort zone:

     “The magic rarely happens within our comfort zone, but outside it, on the ragged, scary edge, where we have to fight like hell to keep from drowning in the unknown.  This is where most of us create our best stuff, have our most adventurous thoughts, and feel the most alive.  No one lives above the 45 by accident.  You wake up every day and decide, not to wait for inspiration, but to work, to do the best work of your life, even your life’s work.  You don’t sit around waiting for your life to begin, because those that do will find it never comes, or some other unexpected horror comes first to wake us and our waited-for dreams slip away.

     This book will challenge you to think and see differently about what it is you feel called to do with your life.  If you take duChemin’s message to heart, his words of encouragement will give you the prod you need to stop letting fear rule your life, and to just get out there and do the work you are meant to create, no matter what.  I credit this book as being one of the most meaningful catalysts for pushing me to move out of my own comfort zone and to do the work I feel called to do. 

     

     Have a look at this video by David, from his Vision is Better series.  In this 6-minute video, he talks about vision and creativity in a way that complements what he has written in this book.

 


 

The Universe Has Your Back:

Transform Fear to Faith  

By Gabrielle Bernstein

     Gabby Bernstein’s book, The Universe Has Your Back, is a tremendously powerful moving read for anyone who is on a spiritual journey and needs reassurance that the Source of all creation truly does take care of our every need when we transform fear of the unknown into faith in the certainty of that knowledge.  This book will guide you towards shifting from a fear-based mind to a faith-based attitude that will help you begin to create and live the life you were meant to live.  Fear is the biggest enemy of creative freedom from the status quo, and Bernstein lays out practical lessons and guidance, based on her own life experiences, to encourage us to live bigger and fuller lives. 

     In the introduction, Gabby writes,

     After a lot of exploration, I came to understand that it’s our resistance to love that keeps us in the dark.  This resistance is the reason we stay stuck in patterns that keep us from thriving.  You may have found that you regularly experience relief with meditation, prayer, positive affirmations, therapy, or any other type of personal growth, only to sabotage that great feeling with a limiting belief, negative comment, or addictive pattern.  This experience continues to occur because the moment we lean toward the light, the darkness within us resists it….You may be doing all you can to create freedom, connect to flow, and release your fear-based habits, but it’s likely that the moment you feel some sense of relief, you’re blindsided by the shadow of fear that dwells just beneath the surface.

     The Universe Has Your Back will powerfully move you to recognize the role fear has played in your life, to understand how fear keeps us living small, and to make meaningful changes in your life…changes that will connect you physically, spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually to the world around you in a more intentional and purposeful way.  When we are able to live in this kind of open awareness of the way fear steals our joy and limits our abundance, we can begin to live more creative lives in spite of the fear that wants to keep us small.  Through a series of universal lessons in each chapter, Bernstein provides useful tools to overcome the fear and stay faithful to the process of becoming your best version.

     Goodreads quotes Gabrielle's intention for writing this book, saying, “My commitment with this book is to wake up as many people as possible to their connection to faith and joy. In that connection, we can be guided to our true purpose: to be love and spread love. These words can no longer be cute buzz phrases that we merely post on social media. Rather, these words must be our mission. The happiness, safety, and security we long for lies in our commitment to love.

     

     Watch this powerful video trailer for her book, The Universe Has Your Back, by Gabby Bernstein.

 


 

Big Magic:

Creative Living Beyond Fear

By Elizabeth Gilbert

     Have you noticed a theme with these books?  Living beyond fear is one of the most important things we can do for more fulfilling creative, meaningful, and connected lives.  And, most creatives suffer from massive amounts of fear, so it’s no wonder books like Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic speak to us on such a foundational and elemental level deep within ourselves.  We can never get rid of fear, nor should we want to according to Gilbert, but we can learn to live beyond it and create the lives we so desire to live.  Big lives, rather than small lives.  In this book, Gilbert guides us through the process of finding courage, giving ourselves permission, being persistent, trusting our inner voice, and having faith in our divine purpose. 

     In the book, she knowingly lists all the fear-based obstacles we all carry around inside us:

     Let me list for you some of the many ways in which you might be afraid to live a more creative life: You’re afraid you have no talent. You’re afraid you’ll be rejected or criticized or ridiculed or misunderstood or—worst of all—ignored. You’re afraid there’s no market for your creativity, and therefore no point in pursuing it. You’re afraid somebody else already did it better. You’re afraid everybody else already did it better. You’re afraid somebody will steal your ideas, so it’s safer to keep them hidden forever in the dark. You’re afraid you won’t be taken seriously. You’re afraid your work isn’t politically, emotionally, or artistically important enough to change anyone’s life. You’re afraid your dreams are embarrassing. You’re afraid that someday you’ll look back on your creative endeavors as having been a giant waste of time, effort, and money. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of discipline. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of work space, or financial freedom, or empty hours in which to focus on invention or exploration. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of training or degree. You’re afraid you’re too fat. (I don’t know what this has to do with creativity, exactly, but experience has taught me that most of us are afraid we’re too fat, so let’s just put that on the anxiety list, for good measure.) You’re afraid of being exposed as a hack, or a fool, or a dilettante, or a narcissist. You’re afraid of upsetting your family with what you may reveal. You’re afraid of what your peers and coworkers will say if you express your personal truth aloud. You’re afraid of unleashing your innermost demons, and you really don’t want to encounter your innermost demons. You’re afraid your best work is behind you. You’re afraid you never had any best work to begin with. You’re afraid you neglected your creativity for so long that now you can never get it back. You’re afraid you’re too old to start. You’re afraid you’re too young to start. You’re afraid because something went well in your life once, so obviously nothing can ever go well again. You’re afraid because nothing has ever gone well in your life, so why bother trying? You’re afraid of being a one-hit wonder. You’re afraid of being a no-hit wonder. 

Sound familiar?  Many of these fears are on my own list, and my ego mind repeats them incessantly at times.  But, she goes on to encourage us, throughout the book, to create anyway, because “the treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes.

     

     View the inspirational Big Magic book trailer from Bloomsbury Publishing.

 


 

     Have you read any of these books already?  And if so, which ones helped you the most to tap into your own creativity and inner life?  Do you have any transformational books of your own that you would add to this list?  Leave a comment below and let me know!

     Next month, I’ll talk about three more books that have been pivotal in my transformational journey…artistically and spiritually.  They are:

  • The War of Art – Steven Pressfield
  • Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
  • Art & Fear – David Bayles and Ted Orland

If you're interested, you may purchase any or all of these three books here:

 

]]>
stephanie@stephjohnphoto.com (Stephanie Johnson Photography (StephJohnPhoto)) a beautiful anarchy big magic creative life creativity david duchemin elizabeth gilbert gabrielle bernstein inspiration live beyond fear meaningful life self help the universe has your back universal lessons http://stephjohnphoto.com/blog/2018/3/3-books-to-help-you-live-a-more-creative-life Tue, 20 Mar 2018 02:58:20 GMT
What is Art? And, Why Does it Matter? http://stephjohnphoto.com/blog/2018/3/what-is-art-and-why-does-it-matter

 

     A couple weeks ago, I announced on my Facebook photography page that I had finished a major overhaul of my website and that, moving forward, I intend to create a weekly blog post.  So, this is the first in a series of articles I will publish each week, and with it I hope to spark your own imagination and creativity, to perhaps begin to see, think, and feel differently about the world around you.

     I grew up in an artistic home, where one of my parents was a painter and the other was a dreamer / seeker.  I myself learned to play musical instruments at an early age and fell in love with literature.  And, over the years, growing into adulthood, I felt a pull to create through photography.  So, art has always been at the core of who I am as a person, but I drifted away from making it a primary focus in my life for many years. 

     The universe, though, always has a way of conspiring to bring us back to who we are essentially…we just have to be open to see the signs and to follow them to find ourselves again.  And, here I am, more than a half century into this physical presence of mine, now focusing on art and working to create a life I feel called to live.

So, what is art? 

The Oxford English Dictionary defines art as:

“The expression of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.”

     Art is essentially something that can only really be defined by each individual, in my opinion.  The underpinnings of art are that it is the expression of human creative skill and imagination, this is true.  But, how these creative works are viewed, consumed, experienced, and appreciated (or not) is a completely unique and individual thing. 

     What I see as art may not be art to you at all.  And, the impact creative works have on me quite likely will have a completely different impact on you.  We each bring our own life experiences, expectations, belief systems, socio-political-economic standings, and emotional balances to creative works, and by virtue of all those things we will each see, think, and feel differently about the artistic work.

So, why then is art important?    

     If each of us brings something different to the viewing of, listening to, or reading of art...in the forms of visual, musical, and literary arts...why then does it matter?   

     For one, the fact that we each bring a unique perspective to the creation and consumption of art means that art has the ability to spark meaningful conversations between people of differing backgrounds.  And, this essentially leads to a better understanding of people who are different from us…thus, it can open the door for more universal acceptance; it can lead to social changes; and it can enable us to make connections we might not otherwise make.  

          It opens our inner eyes to new things, to new realities, and helps us to see less through the lens of differences and more through the lens of how we are all ultimately the same at the core of who we are as fellow sojourners in this world.

     Art also connects us to our own humanity.  It does this by making us feel something, by moving us internally.  It fuels our imaginations and helps us to envision a more meaningful existence in our day-to-day lives.  It inspires us to fall in love with the world around us, and it builds bridges that connect us to different cultures from our own.  Here's a beautiful short video I hope will touch you in a powerful way, as it did for me:

  

     Essentially, art has the power to bring more peace, harmony, love, and acceptance into the world, because art is created across all cultures and is a type of universal language that transcends barriers. 

     Art is a divine expression of who we are at the center of our being, and when we connect to this divine presence within us we can’t help but embrace that same divine presence in others…making the world a better place for all living things. 

 

 

We are ourselves created, thus we are made to also create, and art is a meaningful by-product of this creative expression.   

 

 

 

     I would love to hear your own thoughts about the meaning and value of art, so let’s open a discussion and talk about it. 

     Do you agree or disagree with the thoughts and ideas I’ve expressed here?  And, why?  What thoughts and ideas would you add that I may not have expressed?  In what ways has art influenced and affected your own life? 

     Please comment below, and let’s explore this idea of art as a change agent in the world. 

     Next week, I’ll be talking about some of the books that have been most relevant and pivotal to my transformational journey in the past couple years.  Until then, may you have a meaningful week and find ways to 'see' the unseen beauty all around you and to 'feel' with your heart the beautiful magic of existence.  Beauty and magic are out there…all you need to do is be open to experience them in unexpected ways.

     Feel free, also, to visit my social media links below to see the ways in which I make my own contributions to this idea of art for the highest good of all. 

Facebook     |     Twitter     |     Instagram

 

]]>
stephanie@stephjohnphoto.com (Stephanie Johnson Photography (StephJohnPhoto)) acceptance activism art awareness compassion humanity inner life see the world differently social awareness social change social concsiousness http://stephjohnphoto.com/blog/2018/3/what-is-art-and-why-does-it-matter Mon, 12 Mar 2018 14:00:00 GMT
IrishLight Atlantic Reach Campaign http://stephjohnphoto.com/blog/2017/5/irishlight-atlantic-reach-campaign "The Pins" at Lough Leane, Killarney, County Kerry

Call to Action: Fund It Campaign for Atlantic Reach IrishLight Collection

     Many of you have followed my photographic journeys across Ireland over the past year or so, and I have been overwhelmed and appreciative of all the beautiful comments I've received for my work, as well as for the support everyone has given me. I don't take any of these things lightly, and I have been very moved and touched by the outpouring of encouragement. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a part of my journey.

     Because of the interest you've shown in my work and my journey, I'd like to ask you to join me in the funding of the 2016 Irish Light Atlantic Reach book, which will be published in September. This stunning publication will be a beautiful hard cover, coffee table style book, with all proceeds going to Dublin Samaritans. You don't have to live in Ireland to be a part of this project, and I encourage everyone reading this page, wherever you live, to take part, as well, by visiting the Atlantic Reach - IrishLight Collection Fund It page.

     Above is one of my own images from the project, which is currently featured over on the IrishLight Atlantic Reach Collection page, along with a variety of other stunningly beautiful images from several of the project photographers...many of whom I've been privileged enough to become friends with.  And, here is another one of my images from the 2016 IrishLight project.

Tower Wood Falls, Killarney National Park - KerryTower Wood Falls, Killarney National Park - Kerry

     There are only 25 days left to meet the campaign goal, and the project is 18% funded at the current moment. There are many amazing rewards being offered for your donation...from copies of the Atlantic Reach book, to prints of various images in the book (such as the one at the top of this page), to signed prints by some of Ireland's most amazing professional landscape photographers as 

Peter Gordon of ExploreLight

Norm McCloskey of Norman Mccloskey Photography, and 

Daragh Muldowney of Dúlra Photography.

     Each of these gentlemen (who were leaders and mentors for some of the various workshops in the IrishLight project last September) was nominated this year for Irish Professional Landscape Photographer of the Year, by the Irish Professional Photographers Association, and their individual works are truly stellar, so you know the standard of quality for the Atlantic Reach book is high. See the Irish Masters Collection for available prints to choose from.

     I know I speak not just for myself, but for all the other photographers involved in this project...too many to name, but here are a few - Tony MeagherAlex MottMichael McCarthyJohn MaherNoel McintyreTony CreedonJohn CrowleyAidan WhiteBarbara Tanzler, and Paul Byrne.

     We would be tremendously grateful and honored to have you join us on this journey by making a donation to the project. A donation is a way for you to be a part of this project with us, to celebrate the amazing Irish landscape, and to benefit a charitable organization that helps countless people in need. Any donation, regardless of amount, is greatly appreciated. 

     Follow this link, get involved, and be a part of our journey:  Fund It: Atlantic Reach - IrishLight Collection

     I'm extremely proud and honored to have been a part of this project...so much so that I will be participating again in 2017. This has been an amazing experience for me, and I'm truly blessed in so many ways, in large part because of the experiences this project has brought to me...from the amazing friends I've made, to the improvements to my own photography and vision, to the mentoring I've received from Ireland's best landscape photographers, to being immersed in the Irish landscape, to having some of my work published in a beautiful book. I could go on and on, but I've probably said enough! Please just consider getting involved and making a contribution.

     Lastly, before I close, below is a video by Peter Gordon about the Atlantic Reach collection.  Peter's creative vision is responsible for conceptualizing this project, and I for one am grateful to him for what he has managed to accomplish here!

Go raibh maith agat...

IrishLight Collection 2016 from peter gordon on Vimeo.

 

Invitation to Participate in the Atlantic Reach - IrishLight Collection Campaign

]]>
stephanie@stephjohnphoto.com (Stephanie Johnson Photography (StephJohnPhoto)) atlantic reach atlantic reach collection dublin samaritans explore light fund it irish landscape photography irish light irish light festival irish masters irish professional photographers association http://stephjohnphoto.com/blog/2017/5/irishlight-atlantic-reach-campaign Fri, 19 May 2017 19:53:22 GMT
Wicklow & Donegal http://stephjohnphoto.com/blog/2017/3/wicklow-donegal Glendalough Upper Lake      In just one week, I'll be headed back to Ireland to spend some time with my camera in the landscapes I love so much.  I've had a love affair with the land, the place, and the people of Ireland since my first visit in September 2015.  It is the place I call the home of my heart and soul, and I have made several visits since that first one, getting to know the land and the people more intimately.  

     As a part of my ongoing romance, I will spend some time first in County Wicklow, and then in County Donegal.  While in Wicklow, I plan to explore more of the area around Glendalough Upper and Lower Lakes, as well as the surrounds.  Of course, I'll be out and about with my camera, but I'm also hoping to do some hill walking along the Wicklow Way, as well.

     From Wicklow, I will make my way to Donegal, where I will spend six days exploring such places as Slieve League, Glenveagh National Park, Mount Errigal, Dunlewey Church and the Poisoned Glen, Fanad Lighthouse, and the northern-most point in Ireland - Malin Head.

     The visit will culminate with a landscape photography workshop in Donegal with Peter Gordon of Explore Light. Check him out on Facebook and give his page a 'like' while you're at it!  You can also have a look at the workshop here: Donegal Workshop Masterclass April 2017.

     I've not been to Donegal yet, so this will be my introduction to the place, and I absolutely can't wait to immerse myself in the stunning environment I've heard so much about.  I also have ancestral ties to Donegal, albeit fairly far back in time, but ties nonetheless.  So, I'm interested to see if I will feel the same strong connection to the place, the land, and the people of Donegal that I have felt in other parts of Ireland where I don't have any specifically known ancestral ties.  

     Before you go, have a look at this video by the Wild Atlantic Way, of the beautiful Fanad Lighthouse, which I will be paying a visit to and photographing while I'm there.  Stay tuned to this space over the next few weeks to see updates and new images from my visit.  

     Slán go fóill

]]>
stephanie@stephjohnphoto.com (Stephanie Johnson Photography (StephJohnPhoto)) donegal dunlewey church explore light fanad lighthouse glendalough glenveagh national park ireland malin head poisoned glen slieve league wicklow wicklow mountains wicklow way wild atlantic way http://stephjohnphoto.com/blog/2017/3/wicklow-donegal Sun, 12 Mar 2017 03:08:46 GMT
Literary Images http://stephjohnphoto.com/blog/2017/2/literary-images      Some of you reading this entry may recognize it from a Facebook post I made several months ago, but I thought I would use it to launch my blog.  Part of my vision with this website is to share my photography and images, but also to create a blog that will provide insights into my thought processes, as well as to connect the written word to images.  So much in the way of literature (past and present) is rooted in the natural world, and I would like to pair the two arts--literary and visual--in a way that brings awareness, knowledge, peace, understanding, and an underlying sense of inter-connectedness between humanity and nature to all who will grace me with their attention for just a bit.  

     With that said, enjoy the read below, and please don't hesitate to let me know if you have any thoughts to share.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hanging Rock Overlook at Effigy Mounds National MonumentHanging Rock Overlook at Effigy Mounds National MonumentOverlooking the Mississippi River

     I have a fascination with Mark Twain. I'm not an expert on his life or on his writings, by any means, but something draws me to him.  A few months ago, I spent some time along the Mississippi River north of Dubuque, and the image above is one of the moments I managed to capture. In his autobiographical work, "Life on the Mississippi," Twain has this to say about this section of the Upper River:

     "We noticed that above Dubuque the water of the Mississippi was olive-green--rich and beautiful and semitransparent, with the sun on it. Of course the water was nowhere as clear or as fine a complexion as it is in some other seasons of the year; for now it was at flood stage, and therefore dimmed and blurred by the mud manufactured from caving banks.

     The majestic bluffs that overlook the river, along through this region, charm one with the grace and variety of their forms, and the soft beauty of their adornment. The steep verdant slope, whose base is at the water's edge, is topped by a lofty rampart of broken, turreted rocks, which are exquisitely rich and mellow in color--mainly dark browns and dull greens, but splashed with other tints. And then you have the shining river, winding here and there and yonder, its sweep interrupted at intervals by clusters of wooded islands threaded by the silver channels; and you have glimpses of distant villages, asleep upon capes; and of stealthy rafts slipping along in the shade of the forest walls; and of white steamers vanishing around remote points. And it is all as tranquil and reposeful as dreamland, and has nothing this-worldly about it--nothing to hang a fret or a worry upon." 

     Timeless words for a timeless river.

]]>
stephanie@stephjohnphoto.com (Stephanie Johnson Photography (StephJohnPhoto)) dubuque iowa life on the mississippi mark twain mississippi river http://stephjohnphoto.com/blog/2017/2/literary-images Sun, 19 Feb 2017 17:40:20 GMT