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Carol Freshley (PhotoSpydie) Interview

Marsha Edmunds (meadowlark2)

Keywords: travel, landscape, photography, nikon, photosydie


Carol Freshley (PhotoSpydie) and her husband, Tom Davison, live the dream.  How fulfilling and exciting it would be to travel together wrapped up in quest of the remarkable paired with grand photography experiences.  Carol has recorded thrilling views and has been versatile finding ways to get unique and inspiring perspectives.


Upper Lake in Glendalough, Ireland.
D810, 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 26mm, f/8, 1/13s, ISO 200.
Click for an enlargement


The above is a morning photograph of a place known to sometimes ‘catch fire’ as the sun comes up over the ridges. I loved that the mist was still visible in the photograph as I often have a problem capturing that feature.

The image was minimally processed in Lightroom and Photoshop was used to remove some disturbing debris around the rock.

Retirement has afforded my husband and I the joy of travel in support of our joint passion for photography.  We live in a 32 foot 2016 Winnebago Brave.  In the past two years we have put 22,000 miles on our motorhome and about the same on our towed vehicle (separate from being towed).  We have traveled the United Sates West Coast as far north as the Olympic Peninsula, spent the fall in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, and spent this past spring and summer traveling through Virginia, Missouri, Arkansas and states in between.


Valley of Fire State Park
Nikon D800, 14-24mm f/2.8G, @ 21mm, f/16, 1/8s, ISO 200
Click for an enlargement


This image was captured by wiggling myself into a tight space of one of the rock formations at Valley of Fire, NV. I laugh now as I look back and remember the squeeze of getting the camera and the heavy lens positioned and stable. I am not going to admit how many rejects there were of this scene!  Processed in Lightroom. My edits show that I used a selection to decrease the highlights in the opening to the outside.

We choose our travel itinerary based on what we think would provide us with unique photographic experiences.  We have admitted to ourselves that we could spend several years in any of the states we have visited and not run out of good opportunities.


White Sands National Monument
Nikon D800, 24-120mm f/4 @ f/11, 1/400s, ISO 100
Minimal processing in Lightroom
Click for an enlargement


One of my favorite photographs taken at White Sands, New Mexico. It was very windy the day this image was captured and I loved seeing the wind catch the sand and blow it upward; just a taste of how these wonderful formations are created.

Landscape and macro photography share top billing in my preferences.  Yet, if I have no good options I have been known to photograph my tennis shoes!  I am a beginner in photographing the Milky Way and I have enjoyed time lapse photography. Probably the reason I don’t enjoy some genres of photography, such as studio and action, is because I am no good at them. 


Grand Teton National Park
Nikon D800, 24-120mm f/4 @ 98mm, ISO 400, f/11, 10s
Processed in Lightroom with some exposure compensation
Click for an enlargement


It was such a cold morning and the approaching storm made getting any good photographs feel like a futile effort. I do not have a device that is triggered by lightning so I tried time-lapse instead. One of about 20 images contained the lightning.

When I purchased my Nikon D300s I was told by the salesman that I should check out the Nikonians website.  He told me that I would find lots of great help in learning how to use my camera and become a better photographer.  He was correct on both counts!  I value a community of people committed to both photography and helping each other.  I very much enjoy seeing what other photographers are posting and feel that it is also important that I share.


Yellowstone National Park
Nikon D800, 24-230mm f/4 @ 24mm, f/13, 1/100s, ISO 400
Click for an enlargement


This photograph was taken on a trip where we had 19 days of rain out of 21 days into the trip. Yellowstone looked like this most of the day we drove through it, looking more for sun than any photo-opportunity. Minimal processing was done in Lightroom, with some exposure compensation, a shadow adjustment and small amount of saturation and lightening of the aqua color.

Inspiration can be hard to come by sometimes.  When I am actively involved in Nikonians I find lots of ideas that get me inspired.  I love to examine the photographer’s composition, metadata, colors captured, post processing . . . well, just about anything.  Sometimes I chuckle at what someone comes up with such as the recent posting of a drop of water on a single thistle seed.  I would never have thought of doing that. Some photographers create a mood that I would like to be able to emulate in my own photography.  


Black Mesa Sunset
D800, 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 44mm, f/11, 1/80s
Click for an enlargement


The Black Mesa above Albuquerque is my favorite place to photograph both sunrise and sunset. Its large expanse of open range on the west and its placement to look over Albuquerque directly at the Sandia Mountain make it a place to go again and again. This image was processed in Lightroom with some added color saturation.

The best piece of advice I have been given is one that is often given to aspiring photographers. That is, if I want to become good at photography I will have to use my camera often, very often and that I must surround myself with fellow photographers that are also committed to improving their craft and be willing to share their knowledge and experience.  I have done both.


Nikon D800, 24-120mm f/4 @ 110mm, f/8, 1/640s
Click for an enlargement


We took a Nikon sponsored trip to Iceland. Some of my best photographs were taken from the window of our moving bus. This was one of them and reminds me more of that beautiful country than some of the more iconic images captured. In this image there was a minimal exposure adjustment in Lightroom. Cropped aggressively.


Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Nikon D800, 24mm f/1.4, @ f/11, 1/45sec
Click for an enlargement


I spent the whole day at the Great Dunes in CO. But, my favorite photograph turned out to be this sunset image captured as I left the dunes.
Minimal processing in Lightroom.

When I think of memorable experiences I have had a good laugh for two reasons.  One is the experience of falling in a creek and drowning my D810 and lens two days before the total eclipse. The camera and lens were both ruined!  B&H jumped through hoops to get me a new camera and lens in time to photograph the event.  But, the better description of that memorable experience is that sweet moment that sometimes occurs when I have to set the camera aside for a few minutes or longer and just be in the place where I am photographing. Later, in looking at the picture I can once again feel that place, it all comes back.  

Carol and Tom - wishing you happy trails in your coach with wonderful light and weather to add dimension.  It has been fun to entertain the idea of your itinerant photography wanderings and to see the stunning results.  As the Irish saying goes “May the road rise up to meet you…” 

You may also want to visit her profile.

Originally written on March 6, 2018

Last updated on September 5, 2018

Marsha Edmunds Marsha Edmunds (meadowlark2)

Donor Ribbon awarded for her support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Fellow Ribbon awarded for her continuous encouragement and meaningful comments in the spirit of Nikonians. Donor Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017 Awarded for her in-depth knowledge and high level of skill in several areas.

Lethbridge, Canada
Team, 8829 posts

More articles by Marsha Edmunds

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Noel Gillam (NFG) on May 2, 2018

Hello, some beautiful images you have there We are going to Iceland later this year so your shots give me inspiration, very well done Noel

Mark Roberts (mrob) on March 19, 2018

Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017

Carol, amazing article and photos that go with it. Thanks for sharing. Marsha, thanks for another wonderful article.

Larry CdeBaca (elcee) on March 13, 2018

Fellow Ribbon awarded for his sharing knowledge contributions to the community in addition to his words of encouragement for further advancement Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level of skill in several areas.

Carol, you are a gem and quite modest about your skills! I'm sure you have taught as much as you have learned. You and Tom are doing what my wife and I can only dream of. Congrats on a great article.

Carol Freshley (PhotoSpydie) on March 12, 2018

Donor Ribbon awarded for her support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the 2017 fundraising campaign Ribbon awarded for her generous donation to the 2019 Fundraising Campaign

Thanks so much everyone for the nice comments. I just noticed that it was published, Shame on me for not looking around a bit more on the website when I log in! As for our lifestyle, nope it is not for everyone. But, we are outdoors a lot and get to camp right by our choices to explore photographic opportunities. No matter where I am I still feel part of this community and have found so much inspiration and support for growth right here. Ya'll are the best! A special thanks to Marsha who was able to get me to sit down at my computer and answer her questions.

Hazim Aldujaili (Haz65) on March 10, 2018

Your images are really deserve your time . Really enjoyed your story .

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp) on March 10, 2018

JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources

Carol, thank you very much for the interview and your kind comments about the community. Splendid work. The Grand Teton National Park image is stunning and unique. Congratulations.

Sarah Boser (Sarah9) on March 9, 2018

Carol, I really enjoyed reading your story and seeing some of the images you've made. They are soul touching. Bob and I enjoy spending a week or two at a time in our travel trailer, and look forward to 2-3 month long stints after retirement, but full time, hmm...that's a commitment to a lifestyle experience :) It looks like it really works for you! Thanks for sharing your experience. Thank you also, Marsha for bringing Carol's story to us.

John D. Roach (jdroach) on March 9, 2018

Fellow Ribbon awarded. John exhibits true Nikonian spirit by frequently posting images and requesting comments and critique, which he graciously accepts. He is an inspiration to all of us through constant improvement in his own work, keen observations and excellent commentary on images posted by others. Donor Ribbon. Awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his most generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017 Ribbon awarded for his generous contribution to the 2019 Fundraising campaign

Carol, that is a fine article. Thanks for sharing.

Bear Dale (BlueHealer) on March 7, 2018

Wonderful article Carol and Marsha, thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Huge congratulations to you Carol, I always look forward to seeing images posted by yourself. Enjoy your travels!

Kathy Cavallaro (Cavy2) on March 6, 2018

Awarded for her continuing willingness to keep on learning and to share her knowledge with others in the Nikonians spirit Awarded for her in-depth knowledge and high level of skill in several areas. Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art a

Enjoyed this article Marsha and Carol. Stunning images Carol and I always enjoy your posts. I must admit the thoughts of being confined in a 32 ft motor home with my husband of 42 years does make me slightly claustrophobic! Glad you're enjoying the lifestyle! If you ever find your way to PA please drop me a line. I'd love to show you some of our countryside.

Russell Whittemore (rosewood_ltd) on March 6, 2018

Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017 Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level of skill in several areas. Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art a

Lovely images and a great story, Carol. I'm continuously surprised and delighted to learn about my fellow Nikonians. Happy trails to you and hubby as you continue your adventures. If your vagabond ways ever take you to northeast Ohio, give me a shout out!

Tom Jacob (sevendayimages) on March 6, 2018

Awarded for his continuous knowledge and images sharing with community members Awarded for his win at the Best of Nikonians 2016 Photo Contest Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level of skill in several areas.

(Edited by jrp Tuesday, 06 March 2018 ) (Edited by jrp Tuesday, 06 March 2018 ) What a joy to read your article Carol, while all of us envy your new lifestyle roaming the streets and shooting pictures :) Excellent shots of course here to go with it and I enjoy reading through your story on them. Fantastic... See you around on the forums and drive safely :) Cheers, Tom