Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

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Each year during this time, I use my images to promote a simple, yet very important message. If this message could help save just one woman’s life that would be a priceless victory.

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Having a regular mammogram can provide early breast cancer detection. This can give a woman and her doctor a much better chance to fight this disease, and that can help save a woman’s life! Be educated about fighting breast cancer, and please share this message.

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All featured images were taken during sunrise, at Botany Bay Beach, Edisto Island, South Carolina.

For more information, please visit the official http://www.breastcancer.org/ website.

 

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Really Right Stuff Gear Review

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reallyrightstuff.com

 

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A low angle set-up was required to capture this sunrise at Joshua Tree National Park

Adding a camera support system to your gear, consisting of a tripod and head, opens up an entire new world of shooting possibilities, not possible with handheld photography. There are many tripod set-up options available, and surfing the web can quickly become overwhelming. When it comes to a camera support system, quality is of utmost importance, after all a tripod and head needs to function smoothly and accurately to give you the best opportunity to capture a sharp image, not to mention keeping your camera secure. That is why I was both thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to work with the Really Right Stuff Company, but seriously, they do not need my approval.

The really right stuff company started out in 1990, and currently ship their gear to over 120 countries. They have turned into a huge success, for good reason. The quality of their product is exceptional, and provides both pro and amateur photographer with a wealth of camera support gear necessary to capture great images.

As a landscape photographer, I have gone through several different tripod and ballhead combinations. Now, after 16 years of photographing in the field, I am fortunate enough to be in a position where I can choose photo gear which will give me the best chance possible to get the shot. Right out of the box, my RRS gear felt different than any other camera support gear I have used, giving me an instant feeling of having a professional quality product with me in the field. Using RRS equipment, has actually given me the chance to set up in more shooting situations than ever before. The piece of mind I have knowing my camera is on such solid support is invaluable, from the feel of the camera being firmly attached to the tripod and head, to the super-smooth action of adjusting the tripod legs and positioning the ballhead, for every shot.

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Tripod legs spread out unevenly on various sized rocks for this 25-second exposure was no problem using my Really Right Stuff camera support system

Whether shopping for a complete system package or individual piece of gear, Really Right Stuff carries everything required to keep your camera firmly supported in just about every situation. After careful research, I had no hesitation in upgrading to an RRS support system. I found their website to be very informative, and in no time I was able to find the best package to suit my needs. However, if more help is required, customer support is available by both phone or email, and the response time is typically very fast and very helpful. The RRS gear I chose to be my prime camera support system, is listed below. To help you select the right tripod, the RRS website includes an illustrated guide, specifically designed to match the length of each tripod model with the physical height of the photographer. I thought this was a very nice touch. Included in my package is a dedicated quick release L-Plate, which attaches to the camera, and is available for most DSLR models. The L-Plate makes the transition between shooting horizontal and vertical format, incredibly quick and smooth. For the ballhead, I chose lever-release over screw-knob as my preferred clamp option. This option allows for maximum speed during set-up, as well as offering maximum camera stability.

My camera support system set-up

TVC-23 Versa series-2 3 sections/leg Tripod

BH-40 mid-size lever release Ballhead

BD810-L L-Plate

It may have taken me a while to get on the Really Right Stuff band wagon, but now I have, I could not be happier. Their gear receives my highest recommendation.

 

David Shield  www.davidshieldphotography.com

 

 

 

 

 

Blog For Peace

“Why, if we can love, appreciate and respect the many colors in nature, can we not feel the same about the simple black and white of humanity.”

Hanalei Bay Moving Light

Hanalei Bay Sunrise

Above the image of Hanalei Bay, is the Mission Statement I have used for my website, since it was created almost five years ago. More than any social media appreciation I have been fortunate to receive and more than image print and media sales, this is the most important goal I continue to wish for and work toward.

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Yosemite National Park’s Valley View by moonlight

If you have watched a political debate recently, you may have heard a candidate claim that America is great, or America is the greatest nation in the world. I believe that verbiage would be more accurate if the word “is” were changed to “could be.” While there is so much good about America, there is also too much suffering and wrongdoing, to make the claim that this is the greatest nation, today.

What America does have an abundance of, is great natural beauty. Now, more than ever, I strive to be one of many photographers, not only in America, but all over the world that through our images of nature, show humanity that this world is a truly beautiful place.

If all people, no matter what color, religion or beliefs make an effort to be better to each other, every day, it is possible that we will start to see the world for how beautiful it is, and never again ask the question of the Mission Statement posted at the beginning of this writing.

Lake Tahoe Summer Sunrise

Lake Tahoe Summer Sunrise

 

 

 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Fall-The Gathering**OCTOBER IS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH**

With my last new image for the month, I am hoping to make more people aware of the importance of regular mammograms. If discovered early enough, a woman can beat cancer. I did not know this, until witnessing it firsthand. It made me realize how important it is to share this message.

The gathering at North Lake takes place at sunrise, during fall in the Eastern Sierras. I arrived here while it was still dark, and was greeted by an early season snow storm. Using my headlamp to navigate the area, I quickly found a spot to set up, just before the place became overrun with photographers. The storm broke for a short time during sunrise, allowing for a small window of opportunity to capture some High Sierra Mountain light.

Keep Tahoe Beautiful

A summer sunrise sheds light to awaken a beautiful lupine field at Lake Tahoe

The day’s first sun rays awaken a beautiful lupine field, during a summer sunrise at Lake Tahoe.

Recently I experienced one of the most beautiful scenes I have witnessed, while photographing wildflowers at Lake Tahoe. However, even with the excitement of capturing new images, I could not ignore the sadness I felt during my visit here.

Not that long ago, this particular view could not be experienced. The recent record-low snow pack has resulted in a dramatic drop in Lake Tahoe’s water level. Due to this fact, both locals and visitors could now experience the immense beauty of an area once completely under water.

Standing in the middle of all this, taking in the breathtaking show, my goal was to photograph the beauty. However, my biggest hope is that the coming winter produces a large enough snow pack to return Lake Tahoe to a healthier level.

Landscape Photography During a Storm

Storm Light at Lake Tahoe

Two sayings speak to this shot. First, the one about a picture can’t do a scene justice. Standing there in the driving hail, witnessing multiple lightning bolts was quite the experience, but as hard as I tried I could not capture one bolt. The main part of the storm cleared right at sunset, so I was disappointed by the lack of color in the sky; however I was happy to come away with one shot from this quick but memorable trip.

My decision to shoot at Lake Tahoe was based purely on the storm in the forecast, and the chance of it clearing at sunset. This brings me to the second saying that came to mind. Be careful what you wish for…Yea, right!

Essential Gear

  • Rain jacket with head cover
  • Water proof footwear
  • Water proof cover for photo equipment
  • Keep a set of dry cloths in your car so you can change after the shoot

*Breast Cancer Awareness*Reach Out*

A colorful dramatic sunrise at Natural Bridges State Beach, in Santa Cruz.

A colorful dramatic sunrise at Natural Bridges State Beach, in Santa Cruz, California.

*Breast Cancer Awareness*Reach Out*

I wanted to do something different, and share a story with my latest image.

Just over a year ago a mother moved to the U.S. to be closer to her son. For years and for various reasons she had not taken the time to make any medical appointments. Now in the U.S. she was encouraged to take better care of herself and sign up for a medical plan. This led to her having a routine mammogram followed by a biopsy, and then being diagnosed with breast cancer. Learning that she had breast cancer was a shock and very scary; however in this case the fortunate thing was the cancer was detected early, at stage one. The oncology doctor scheduled the woman for the necessary lumpectomy surgery, and after some recovery time and tests it was thankfully confirmed that the woman had beaten breast cancer.

I hope by writing this short story, I will be able to reach out to someone who will think about reminding their wife, sister, daughter, girlfriend and of course mother to have regular mammograms. This is so important and means a lot to me. Cancer is a very hard word to hear, but if caught early, the chances of survival can increase enough to save many lives.