Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Annapolis Valley Light: Favorite Photographs of 2016!

Favorite Photographs of 2016!

 
This collection of twelve fine art landscape photographs were all taken close to my home in the beautiful Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia in 2016. They represent adventures and unforgettable moments that I have been privileged to experience and share with you. With each photograph comes a short description of the work and my thoughts about the image as I remember each capture with vivid clarity.

I hope you enjoy and have a wonderful New Year!

Symphony of Light, North Medford

From Feb. 21st 2016. Symphony of Light, North Medford.

For a few glorious minutes the light over the Minas Basin at dawn created a scene of sublime beauty. One of those very rare moments when all of the natural elements seem to come together. I consider this a gift. Stunning and unforgettable. This is the reason I make landscape photographs!
Window on Cape Blomidon

From March 13th, 2016. Window on Cape Blomidon
High on sandstone arch at North Medford catching the beautiful light at dawn, a perfect framing for a snow covered Cape Blomidon in the distance! This is a photograph I had visualized many times but was never able to capture until this moment. I love how sandstone seems to absorb the ambient light and glow with the subtle magentas of dawn.
Double Rainbow and Little Community Church

From June 23rd 2016. Little Community Church at North Grand Pré
 

I found myself chasing rainbows under very dramatic skies last evening in North Grand Pré. Years ago as a child growing up here my family helped in the restoration of this beautiful landmark in the Land of Evangeline. This was one of those photographs where I had very little time to find my composition. Literally scrambling to set up my camera and tripod, my hands shaking with excitement as the powerful scene unfolded before my eyes.
Daybreak, Derelict Train Bridge at Hortonville

From Aug. 07th 2016. Daybreak, Derelict Train Bridge in Hortonville.
The rising sun bursts through a gap in the clouds highlighting the wildflowers that cover the old rail bed. A few minutes earlier I had watched two raccoons come across the bridge and noisily pass me by as I stepped out of the way and into the thorns. This is one of my favorite locations to make photographs and I have photographed this bridge many times before in every season and weather condition always finding something surprising and new. There is magical quality about the wildflowers glowing in the morning sun as they reclaim the derelict tracks.

Fading Twilight, Little Split Cove

From April 09th, 2016. Fading Twilight, Little Split Cove
As the last remaining light fades away and the darkness settles over the shoreline at Little Split Cove I decided to try one last exposure to see if I could pick up any detail in the seascape. It is technically difficult to make good exposures in the very dim light especially when you are contending with an incoming tide and very slippery beach rocks. I was also struggling with the desire to get back on the trail for a long hike out the Cape Split Trail at night. Looking at my LCD playback I was surprised and thrilled to see the amount of vibrant colour that my camera's sensor was able to pick up in the dark. Colours that were not readily visible to the naked eye but there nonetheless. Astonishing, beautiful and well worth the discomfort.

Extraordinary Sunrise, Blomidon Provincial Park

From July 07th, 2016. Extraordinary Sunrise, Blomidon Provincial Park 
Minutes from my tent at Blomidon Provincial Park I stand at the edge of the meadow watching rapidly changing light fill the sky with spectacular colour over the Minas Basin. These are the moments when I can truly rejoice in the beauty we have here and nothing else seems to matter.

Autumn Reflection, Cape Blomidon

From Oct 20th, 2016. Autumn Reflection, Cape Blomidon
The calm leading up to sunrise at low tide on the shore of Cape Blomidon. These giant pools steadily drain as the tide recedes and it seems as the sun comes up over the Minas Basin it typically brings the wind that disturbs any chance of capturing reflection. I had previsualized this image in the past and it took many attempts and a rare combination of elements falling into place to make it possible.

Winter Twilight, Blomidon Provincial Park

From Jan. 24th 2016. Winter Twilight, Blomidon Provincial Park
Reaching the Blomidon Park meadow well before the sun comes up over the Minas Basin, the deserted park illuminated in an unforgettable twilight glow. As the morning unfolds we snow shoe the sun filled Jodrey Trail.

Paddy's Island at Dawn, North Medford

From Sept. 05th, 2016. Paddy's Island at Dawn, North Medford.
The sandstone formation Paddy's Island silhouettes in the beautiful twilight of dawn. The tide moves very quickly here on the Minas Basin and I needed to wade into the water to set up my shot so I could capture the beautiful light from the sky reflected on the receding water's surface.

Nightfall, Cape Split

From March 27th, 2016. Nightfall, Cape Split Shoreline
Traditionally the Mi'kmaq considered this site a sacred and significant place of power where the spirit and physical worlds connected.
No other place I have visited here gives me the same feeling of awe as the sea stacks at the end of Cape Split. Combined with the last glow of twilight before darkness takes over, the sound of the tidal current and the gulls' cries echoing from the towering cliffs makes for an experience I will not forget.

Mist and Rock, Lumsden Pond

From Oct. 06th, 2016. Mist and Rock, Lumsden Pond
A study in photographic minimalism. Standing as still as possible in the shallows so as not to disturb the subtle reflections as the sun rises through an ethereal mist over Lumsden Pond. This is my Zen photography and every bit as peaceful as it looks.

Autumn Clearing, Gaspereau Ravine

From Oct. 13th, 2016. Intimate Landscape Series: Gaspereau Ravine 
A clearing deep in the Gaspereau Ravine fills with the late morning light and the rich, golden hues of autumn come to life. I'm not sure for how long I sat here simply taking in the sunlight and the sounds of the river. If you have not had a chance to hike the Gaspereau River Trail from White Rock autumn is perhaps the finest time of year to do so.

Thank you for letting me share these moments with you and please take a moment to share this blog or the Fundy Rocks Facebook page with your friends. I greatly appreciate the support and would love to hear from you!
 

About the Artist

 
My name is Chris Sheppard and my passion is to make fine art photographs of the natural world. Particularly the incredible beauty I find here in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia. I am known for sharing local scenes under the name Fundy Rocks which evolved from years of rockhounding adventures that got me into serious photography in the first place.
 
I am a self taught photographer and the most important thing I have taken thus far from my photographic journey is to learn from my many mistakes and never be afraid to try new ideas or push myself out of my comfort zone. This is where I believe creativity stems from. My goal is to share an image that reflects myself as an artist with an emotional message to give and creative vision to share.
 
This process is time consuming and at times frustrating beyond belief. Overcoming the fear of the unknown. Hiking solo in the dark over difficult terrain in all weather and seasons trusting in my knowledge and experience of local tides and conditions. Not always having the best quality equipment for the job demands creativity. Sacrificing comfort and sleep to put myself in a location that might offer up a glimpse of the sublime if all of the elements come together as they did for many of the images above. This has happened a few times each year in my photographic Journey and the rewards are incredible. With each of these photographs come memories that will last a lifetime. The potential to capture something special keeps me going and trying.
 
A familiar landscape or seascape can be transformed by a fleeting moment of extraordinary light, the right weather or tidal conditions or everything at once! This process only begins with the capture. If I have previsualized an image I will certainly have an idea which direction I will take the digital negative in post processing to create a final photograph I feel is worth sharing. It may look quite different from the RAW capture I started with. Sometimes not. Some of these images are several exposures blended together to ensure maximum quality and dynamic range. I'd be happy to share any photographic techniques of capture or processing. Send me a note...
 
Thank you for following!
 
 
 

Information and Prints!

 
We have updated our pricing formula for Fundy Rocks prints by Chris Sheppard. Giclée prints of exceptional quality are done here in the Annapolis Valley and many sizes and custom framing options are possible. If you are interested in a print or joining Fundy Rocks on a future adventure or would like more information on rockhounding or my photography I'd love to hear from you too. I am considering organizing some photography adventures for the new year. Please email fundyrocksgroup@gmail.com for further info.


 




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Bonus Photographs from 2016!

Luminous Clouds, Minas Basin
Man's Best Friend, White Rock Pond
 
Mist at Sunrise, Amethyst Cove
 
Wind Tunnel, Cape Split
 
Sunrise Panorama, Blomidon Provincial Park
 

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