Title: Woodland Path
www.zpstephens.us



"Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean."
-John Muir

This quote couldn’t get any clearer to me right now. Lately my world has been overwhelmed with numerous stresses and sometimes it feels as though the pressure is grinding me into the the pavement. But then as if by magic, if I wander out into the woods and just start to explore and let my curiosity run wild, I feel all of those stresses slowly fall away like the leaves in autumn.
So my advice to all of you photographers, wanderers and explorers, is this. Go get lost. It will help you find yourself. 

Title: Woodland Path

www.zpstephens.us

"Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean."

-John Muir

This quote couldn’t get any clearer to me right now. Lately my world has been overwhelmed with numerous stresses and sometimes it feels as though the pressure is grinding me into the the pavement. But then as if by magic, if I wander out into the woods and just start to explore and let my curiosity run wild, I feel all of those stresses slowly fall away like the leaves in autumn.

So my advice to all of you photographers, wanderers and explorers, is this. Go get lost. It will help you find yourself. 

Title: The Train Tunnel
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I just read about a photographer who go hit by a train and killed because he was trying to get a shot. In fact there are a lot of stories with the same tragic ending. It’s awful. Admittedly I thought about it before going to get this image.
I think it would be best if everyone stayed off the tracks.
With that said, I made sure that I had everything on my camera set before stepping onto the tracks, that way I could quickly set the tripod down, hit the shutter, get my exposures, and get off the tracks as fast as possible. I know, it sounds a little paranoid. But I don’t want to get hit by a train.
There is something really cool about this spot. The tunnel goes right beneath Main Street in Greenfield, Mass., and the buildings overgrown with vegetation, stretch down the tracks for a way. Extending the feeling of being enclosed.
I like how it naturally draws you in and how it looks a little like mother nature is trying to reclaim what is hers.

Title: The Train Tunnel

www.zpstephens.us

I just read about a photographer who go hit by a train and killed because he was trying to get a shot. In fact there are a lot of stories with the same tragic ending. It’s awful. Admittedly I thought about it before going to get this image.

I think it would be best if everyone stayed off the tracks.

With that said, I made sure that I had everything on my camera set before stepping onto the tracks, that way I could quickly set the tripod down, hit the shutter, get my exposures, and get off the tracks as fast as possible. I know, it sounds a little paranoid. But I don’t want to get hit by a train.

There is something really cool about this spot. The tunnel goes right beneath Main Street in Greenfield, Mass., and the buildings overgrown with vegetation, stretch down the tracks for a way. Extending the feeling of being enclosed.

I like how it naturally draws you in and how it looks a little like mother nature is trying to reclaim what is hers.

Title: Rainbow in the Woods
www.zpstephens.us
There is this wonderful place in the woods of Dummerston, Vt., that has an amazing brook that winds and weaves through the trees. There are spots that are great for kids to play and wade in and there are spots that are just great for exploring. This is one of the latter.
As I am sure that you already know, the rainbows in this image are just lens flare. If you angle your camera just right in relationship to the sun, you can get nice little glints, sparkles and flare on your images. I personally love them and usually I have all of my lens hoods on backwards because I would rather have the lens flare in my image than prevent it.

Title: Rainbow in the Woods

www.zpstephens.us

There is this wonderful place in the woods of Dummerston, Vt., that has an amazing brook that winds and weaves through the trees. There are spots that are great for kids to play and wade in and there are spots that are just great for exploring. This is one of the latter.

As I am sure that you already know, the rainbows in this image are just lens flare. If you angle your camera just right in relationship to the sun, you can get nice little glints, sparkles and flare on your images. I personally love them and usually I have all of my lens hoods on backwards because I would rather have the lens flare in my image than prevent it.

Title: Cave Exploring
www.zpstephens.us
I spent a little time last summer exploring the caves of Custer State Park in South Dakota. These are not big caves, just little inlets created by the large rock formations coming together. But they are dark, intriguing, and for one with an adventurous spirit, they are also inviting. So with camera in hand I had to go in and see what I could see.
This particular spot was really cool because of the opening at the top of the cave letting in a beautiful shaft of light. The light filtering down from above had a cool tone to it while the light inside of the formation was warmer. It created an interesting contrast in colors which led me to create this image. 

Title: Cave Exploring

www.zpstephens.us

I spent a little time last summer exploring the caves of Custer State Park in South Dakota. These are not big caves, just little inlets created by the large rock formations coming together. But they are dark, intriguing, and for one with an adventurous spirit, they are also inviting. So with camera in hand I had to go in and see what I could see.

This particular spot was really cool because of the opening at the top of the cave letting in a beautiful shaft of light. The light filtering down from above had a cool tone to it while the light inside of the formation was warmer. It created an interesting contrast in colors which led me to create this image. 

Explore More
www.zpstephens.us
It was an amazing and beautiful Father’s Day weekend made special by the two most important people in my life, my wife and daughter.
We went treasure hunting, picture taking, and just generally wandered the area exploring. Taking the road less traveled, which is always more fun.
It’s a beautiful world out there, why don’t you go out and be a part of it.

Explore More

www.zpstephens.us

It was an amazing and beautiful Father’s Day weekend made special by the two most important people in my life, my wife and daughter.

We went treasure hunting, picture taking, and just generally wandered the area exploring. Taking the road less traveled, which is always more fun.

It’s a beautiful world out there, why don’t you go out and be a part of it.

Title: Green River Rocks
www.zpstephens.us
There is this portion of the Green River in Guilford, Vt., that I used to sneak away to and relax and eat my lunch. It secluded, wooded, it has just the right mixture of sun and shade, and you can sit on these big rocks in the middle of the water. I just recently brought my family there and found out that it is a great place for my daughter to play in the water too. 
This image is a tiny little channel of the river that passes through the rocks. It is my favorite part. I photographed it a dozen different ways. So far this one is my favorite. But there might be more. 
I feel like I am starting to really find my vision. I recently decided to let go and just let my camera guide me. I will photograph whatever piques my interest. No themes, no big projects, nothing like that. My photographs are becoming a visual representation of who I am and how I am feeling at any given moment. I like that. 

Title: Green River Rocks

www.zpstephens.us

There is this portion of the Green River in Guilford, Vt., that I used to sneak away to and relax and eat my lunch. It secluded, wooded, it has just the right mixture of sun and shade, and you can sit on these big rocks in the middle of the water. I just recently brought my family there and found out that it is a great place for my daughter to play in the water too. 

This image is a tiny little channel of the river that passes through the rocks. It is my favorite part. I photographed it a dozen different ways. So far this one is my favorite. But there might be more. 

I feel like I am starting to really find my vision. I recently decided to let go and just let my camera guide me. I will photograph whatever piques my interest. No themes, no big projects, nothing like that. My photographs are becoming a visual representation of who I am and how I am feeling at any given moment. I like that. 

Title: Pine Ridge
www.zpstephens.us
Here is another image from South Dakota last year. This one is on the Pine Ridge Reservation. This shot is actually more wooded than most of the reservation. The majority of the landscape is wide open prairie. 
You can see a storm coming for miles out there. The big, thick clouds would slowly come your way, rain would start, then it would pass and leave an incredible sky once again. This image is that transition.

Title: Pine Ridge

www.zpstephens.us

Here is another image from South Dakota last year. This one is on the Pine Ridge Reservation. This shot is actually more wooded than most of the reservation. The majority of the landscape is wide open prairie. 

You can see a storm coming for miles out there. The big, thick clouds would slowly come your way, rain would start, then it would pass and leave an incredible sky once again. This image is that transition.

Title: Sylvan Lake
www.zpstephens.us
Here is another photo from Sylvan Lake in South Dakota. I have a lot of photos from this area of the world that I want to share with you. It is really beautiful and incredible. 
I’m headed back here in a few weeks for work. I have been planning the trip for months and we are getting closer and closer to the date. There are so many details that I am responsible for and it can get quite overwhelming but my excitement for the adventure is starting to bubble to the top.
I have been really getting into some post-processing and image blending in Photoshop lately. I find that it is a way for me to really share the beauty of what I have seen and felt that the camera can not do for me.
This was a single image that I processed in Lightroom in 5 different ways. Each time was for a different element in the photograph. The clouds, the water, the rock face, etc. I then put the images into Photoshop and started to blend the different elements together using layer masks. It’s a beautiful and meditative process. 

Title: Sylvan Lake

www.zpstephens.us

Here is another photo from Sylvan Lake in South Dakota. I have a lot of photos from this area of the world that I want to share with you. It is really beautiful and incredible. 

I’m headed back here in a few weeks for work. I have been planning the trip for months and we are getting closer and closer to the date. There are so many details that I am responsible for and it can get quite overwhelming but my excitement for the adventure is starting to bubble to the top.

I have been really getting into some post-processing and image blending in Photoshop lately. I find that it is a way for me to really share the beauty of what I have seen and felt that the camera can not do for me.

This was a single image that I processed in Lightroom in 5 different ways. Each time was for a different element in the photograph. The clouds, the water, the rock face, etc. I then put the images into Photoshop and started to blend the different elements together using layer masks. It’s a beautiful and meditative process. 

Title: Souphine Phathsoungneune
I made this portrait of Souphine for Vermont Life Magazine when he was awarded the Vermont Heritage Artist Governor’s Award. Souphine is a master folk opera singer from Laos and has been a resident in Brattleboro, Vt., for over 30 years.
Speaking of music….
The Great Photo-Song List
Here’s the deal. I’m am a total photo GEEK. I love just about everything photo. Right down to photo themed songs. 
Admit it. So do you!
So I thought I would create THE GREAT PHOTO SONG LIST (insert oooos and aaaahhhsss here)
Let me know some good ones that I missed in the comments and I will add them to the list.
Enjoy!
F-Stop Blues - Jack Johnson
Camera - R.E.M.
Hey Ya! (Radio Mix/Club Mix) - OutKast
Flashbulb Eyes - Arcade Fire
Kodachrome - Paul Simon
Photobooth - Death Cab for Cutie
Kamera - Wilco
Photo Jenny - Belle and Sebastian
Photograph - Weezer
Picture Book - The Kinks
Camera - The Editors
I Turn My Camera On - Spoon
And this goofy one by photographer Joey L


Do you know of more?? Post them in the comments below and I will keep the list up to date.

Title: Souphine Phathsoungneune

I made this portrait of Souphine for Vermont Life Magazine when he was awarded the Vermont Heritage Artist Governor’s Award. Souphine is a master folk opera singer from Laos and has been a resident in Brattleboro, Vt., for over 30 years.

Speaking of music….

The Great Photo-Song List

Here’s the deal. I’m am a total photo GEEK. I love just about everything photo. Right down to photo themed songs. 

Admit it. So do you!

So I thought I would create THE GREAT PHOTO SONG LIST (insert oooos and aaaahhhsss here)

Let me know some good ones that I missed in the comments and I will add them to the list.

Enjoy!

And this goofy one by photographer Joey L

Do you know of more?? Post them in the comments below and I will keep the list up to date.

Title: The Green River Bridge
www.zpstephens.us
This place is pretty special to me. 12 years ago this is one of the first places that I spent time with my now wife. This is where I brought her to propose. This is where we now bring our daughter to adventure, swim, picnic and explore. 

Title: The Green River Bridge

www.zpstephens.us

This place is pretty special to me. 12 years ago this is one of the first places that I spent time with my now wife. This is where I brought her to propose. This is where we now bring our daughter to adventure, swim, picnic and explore.