THE HEART OF THE VALLEY

Capturing the People and Environment of the Snake River Plain

THE HEART OF THE VALLEY is a personal project I have been working on capture the essence of the Snake River Plain through photography. Although some people are featured in this project, the goal was to capture the spirit of the people of the valley, rather than those specific people themselves like I would in a portrait session. My goal is to emphasis the culture, atmosphere, and environment of the communities of the Snake River Valley and to capture interconnected relationship between the Idaho landscape and the people that live there.

THE HEART OF THE VALLEY - BLOG

Capturing the People and Environment of the Snake River Plain

PERSONAL STYLE PROJECT

Learning About Myself Through My Personal Style Project

Probably one of the things I struggle with the most as a designer and a photographer is the question “What is your style?” This is really hard for me for a couple of reasons.

1 I HAVE A LOT OF INTERESTS

Like, a lot. And while it is good to be well-rounded, sometimes it makes answering these kind soft questions difficult both for other people as well as for myself. I am not a portraits only person or a landscapes only person. I enjoy shooting both, and everything in between. This is one of the reasons I kept my personal style project so broad.

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Portrait taken of a Youth on a Mormon Trek Reenactment Trip 2014

2 MY STYLE IS CONSTANTLY CHANGING

Because I have a wide variety of interests, I feel like what and how I like to shoot also changes from day to day.   I have learned so many different kinds of photography skills these last few month and have experimented with a lot of new types of photography. This has all helped me grow as a photographer and has broadened my skill set. It has also introduced me to a lot of new styles that have influenced my own.

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For example, this shot was taken in my sister’s friend’s mom’s kitchen of the rings that she makes. This came about simply because I had just tied product photography that week and was telling her about it. This is not something that would have ever happened before I tried product photography for the first time.

3 I HAVE TO TALK ABOUT MYSELF

I like to talk, but I like to talk about things. As an extroverted-introvert (someone who is introverted by nature but can be outgoing when necessary), I can talk to people about pretty much anything but what I am really thinking and feeling. In social situations I can have a lot of fun, but then I need to step away and recharge. When I was in High School my way of recharging was to go on a run or to write. I wrote this poem after a block dance I attended in the parking lot of my high school.

Running Under Stars by Alexis Moser 2012

Lights and sound fade as I walk out onto the empty track.

The sky’s inky blackness is so deep I can breathe it in. 

It is so rich I can taste it.

The heavens are spread out above me.

 

My walk slowly turns to a run.

The rich air is now swirling around me,

Embracing me as I cut through it.

I lift my arms out to the sky and it swallows me in.

The chill nips at my face as I fly to the stars.

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Astro Shot of the Milky Way from Island Park

 

MY PERSONAL STYLE

My favorite kind of photography is the shots that I take just for myself, because I like something and want to capture it. Just like running has done in the past, photography helps me escape and rejuvenate, but it also helps me then come back and really connect with people as I share something of myself with them as through my work.

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Strawberry Blooms from My Garden | Featured in FLOWERS AND BLOOMS OF SPRING I

 

My personal style is to elevate the specially beauty that is already around me. We normally don’t notice something until it is broken. Photography helps me notice things that otherwise I would completely take for granted, even if I don’t have a camera in hand.

Some of my favorite things are those releases of just really enjoying the moment. Driving through farmland ten miles under the speed limit with the window down or watching children interact with their parents or grandparents. Life is about these small, precious moments when we remember to breath deep and really live in the moment.

PERSONAL STYLE PROJECT

THE HEART OF THE VALLEY is a project about capturing the Snake River Plain and the people that live here though a mixture of landscape, environmental, event, and portrait photography. Each person has a unique story that is woven into the tapestry of the culture, community, and heart of the valley. Focusing in on that thread or at a piece of the design though different lenses I fascinating to me.

A CONTINUING EFFORT

While most projects for me end when I turn them in, I feel like this one is different because it has become  a part of who I am in its role of helping me learn about myself. I now try to take a camera with me everywhere, and it I don’t have a camera I continue to think about what parts of whatever I am seeing I would want to focus on. This has opened my eyes to a lot more beauty in the world and has helped me be better about SEIZING THE DAY, ONE DAY AT A TIME. Most importantly, this project has helped me connect with others as I have shared more about me, rather than just things and working to capture what makes each person themselves as well.

TRANSPORT THROUGH TIME

Vintage Bicycle Photography at Dusk

I have an old Schwinn bicycle that I got from my grandparents house before they past away. It is really rusted and is even missing a handle grip but it has a really cool little “gas can.” For the longest time I wanted to restore it so that I could ride it again, but I think I have found a better use for it in its beautiful rusted state. I decided that I wanted to take it out on a photoshoot out to Egin, Idaho.

So I loaded it up into the trunk of my little Toyota Corolla (yes that was quite an adventure). As a photographer I am often pulled over to the side of the road in random locations to get a shot and it is rare if no one stops to help me. This trip was no exception and I had a couple of people stop to see if I was broken down, which says a lot about the people in Idaho, as well as the state of my car.

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In the picture above and below, I started loosing the light, so I set up a tripod and dropped my shutter speed to 1/13 to 1/8. I also opened up my depth of field as much as I could so I could keep my iso down to 1600 (which is still higher than I like).

This is a situation where using a little auxiliary lighting could have been used to keep both the sky and the bike exposed to create an epic shot such as in my “MOUNTAIN BACKDROPS” post. However, I also like the monochromatic feel of these shots since it seems to transport you thought time with it’s old-fashion-feel. Either way, it is important to rock whichever look you go for.

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For more awesome vintage bicycle photography, check out this list of “10 Stunning Vintage Bicycle Photos You’ll Love.” I especially love number 6.

FLOWERS AND BLOOMS OF SPRING II

Capturing the Crabapple Blooms

In case you missed my first post about the flowers and blooms of spring, I was playing with a camera that I don’t use as much that has an awesome prime lens for getting great bokah (blurred background from a shallow depth of field). Using this lens was great for isolating just a few of the blooms of my crabapple tree.

SHALLOW DEPTH OF FIELD

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BEES AND CRABAPPLE BLOSSOMS

The shallow depth of field provides a beautiful background to the flowers, but it can also make it difficult to capture moving objects in focus. For that reason, I was really happy with these busy bees that I was able to capture among the blooms.

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Also check out  Jonathan Bloy’s crabapple blooms.

FLOWERS AND BLOOMS OF SPRING I

Capturing the “Only Good Part of Spring”

According to my brother, there is nothing good about spring. However he is a little biased since he loves snowboarding and snowmobiling in the winter, fishing and camping in the summer, and running and eating out of the garden in the fall. When I brought up the beautiful flowers of spring he said that is what everyone says because they are trying to find a reason not to hate spring. To each their own. I do love all of those other things, but I also do love the spring showers and the flower and blooms of spring.

I took all of these durning my lunch break, and I was really glad I did, because right after that we had a bunch of storms that knocked a lot of them down.

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Lilac Beginning to Bloom

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Dandelion Head in Seed

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Strawberry Blossoms

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Tulip with Feathered Edges

For more of my tulip pictures check out my “CREATING EXTRAORDINARY SHOTS IN ORDINARY SPOTS” post. Click here for or part two of “FLOWERS AND BLOOMS OF SPRING.” Check out this post for more beautiful bloom photography about The Best Flowering Trees in the Spring in North Carolina.

EARTH UNDER STARRY SKIES

Light Painting Grandpa’s Farm

While staying at my grandparents house, I decided to go out one night after the sun had set to do some astro photography. Out in the farm lands there isn’t much light pollution so that you can see the stars better. I did find that some light pollution, such as from the small town a couple of miles away was really helpful to highlight the milky way.

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As the light faded away along the whole horizon. I really wish I would have gotten a panoramic of this, because it went for a good 180 degrees at the very least.

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Using the Color Lookup Tables (LUTS), I was able to bring out more of the color in the sky.

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ALEXIS MOSER

Alexis Moser in Wyoming 2018

Alexis Moser is a designer, photographer, and community advocate. She is from South-Eastern Idaho and is a Visual Media, Communications major at Brigham Young University-Idaho.

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