return to portrait work…

I left portrait work many years ago to pursue an adventure in travel and landscape photography.  Recently, events aligned to pull me back into portrait work and I must say, I enjoyed it.  So I have taken another tentative step back into it, with a new project, “purity”.

The “purity project” explores our ideas about the word purity as it relates culturally to women and girls, in contrast to what they are in the literal sense of purity.  So far, I am only sharing it on a separate instagram account, @AthenaCareyLifeprints, but I am sharing all of it, making floral crowns, sourcing and making the dresses, behind-the-scenes videos, studio setup and shooting, editing in Photoshop and the final pieces.

I’d love for you to follow the account to join me on this adventure. 🙂


Xume Filter Adaptors

Exciting news for everyone using round ND filters.  Xume filter adaptors have recently teamed up with Manfrotto.  Manfrotto Xume adaptors will be the same wonderful design that we are used to:   a magnetic adapter ring screws onto the front of your lens and the filter screws into a metal filter adaptor.  Once these two pieces are installed, the cumbersome unscrewing (and potential dropping) of your filters becomes a thing of the past!

The filter holders and lens adapters are available in eight sizes: 49mm, 52mm, 58mm, 62mm; 67mm, 72mm, 77mm and 82mm and are priced from $10.99 to $34.99.

For more information visit the Manfrotto website. 🙂



Botany Bay Sephia Series 01

It’s been a long time since I have posted on the blog, primarily because I have been super busy.  As you may know, I have returned to university seeking a second degree.  My return was meant to be part time, but circumstances shifted and I ended up going back full time.  Needless to say, things have been pretty hectic and free time has been severely limited.  The end is in sight now though, so I am going to gradually be returning to normal operations and updating the blog more regularly.

Aside from going back to school, several other new things are in the works for me.  I’ll share them soon.  🙂

For now, lets start with a pretty picture.  This is from a new series I am working on, from one of my favorite places, Botany Bay.


Rayleigh’s Curse 2016

airy_disk_spacing_near_rayleigh_criterionJust in time for Halloween!  

Ok, so it’s not really a curse, although until now, for anyone involved in optics, including photographers, it sort of has been.  Here’s why:

Optical resolution is the ability of any optical device (telescope, microscope, binoculars, cameras) to distinguish fine detail.  It is limited by something called Rayleigh’s Criterion, named after Lord Rayleigh, a nineteenth century physicist.  What this criterion says, very simply put, is that for small bits of detail to be visually clear, the centres of their diffraction patterns must be farther apart than their widths.  In the example here, the top image represents their being farther apart than their widths, the middle image shows them meeting at that width and the bottom image shows them closer than their widths.

Schmeh” you say?  “I’m not into science stuff.”  But if you are a photographer,  you actually are into science – very much so.  From its very beginnings, in the days of Niepce and Daguerre, photography has been the product of science and it continues to be.

So back to Rayleigh’s criterion… It is the “curse” that causes diffraction, the hard limit on our ability to see finer details in our images.  It’s that bit of blurriness that we try so hard to avoid, in order to get the sharpest images possible, the limit of physics holding us back.  But recently, scientists at the Complutense University of Madrid have managed to break this limit, opening up the possibility for greater resolution in the world of optics – in our world of photography.

Presently we are using information taken from the intensity of light, but the international team in Madrid has discovered that more information can be extracted from the phase of light.  In doing so, they managed to reach resolutions seventeen times beyond the Rayleigh limit.  So the “limit” has not necessarily been in the nature of optics, but rather in our own methods!  A shift in method could offer exceptional new possibilities to everyone using optics, including photographers.

See, you are into science.  😉

Image By Spencer Bliven (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Macphun Creative Kit plus educational bundle *huge discount*

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 12.54.08Macphun’s creative kit is by far the best photo editing plugin package for photographers using Mac computers. For a limited time, you can buy it at a discounted rate and receive a bundle of photography educational materials as well, including my Africa with Athena video. If you don’t have the creative kit already, this is an offer too good to miss.  😀
But hurry because it’s a limited time offer.

If you decide to purchase, please use the special link above. This way you can help me out by giving me credit for your purchase.
Thank you for your support. ❤️


Nik is free…and unsupported. What now?

Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 14.59.09From March 24, 2016, Nik Software from Google will be free for everyone.  And if you purchased Nik Software in 2016, you qualify for a refund.  Sounds good, right?

It does, but like many good things, this one does have a downside. Google’s decision to make the software free is tied to it’s shift in interest towards mobile photography, and so they will stop developing Nik Software.  That means that it will likely stop being compatible with PS and LR as those two are upgraded.  If you are presently dependent on Nik filter plugins, you will want to find an alternative soon.


183203If you are using a Mac computer, I suggest the creative kit from Macphun Software.  The kit is comprised of six powerful photography applications and filled with unique, creative tools.

You can save 10% at Macphun with the code “Athena 10




Long Exposure Photography Workshop 2016

Dead Trees in Botany Bay, SCLearn Long Exposure Photoghraphy

Ethereally smooth water, painterly clouds, a moment of time seemingly standing still. Long Exposure photography has a way of capturing a stillness, a quiet dream like state, another dimension all together.

Join us in and around Charleston, SC for two days this summer to learn how to create these magical photos. We’ll cover using filters, calculating exposure times, choosing the effect you want, compositions, post processing and much, much more.

Dates: August 5-7, 2016
Instructors: Athena Carey and Tommy White
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Price: $449

Learn More


April 2016 Workshop || Copper Coast, Ireland

We still have a couple of spaces left for the Light Land and Sea April Seascapes Workshop in the gorgeous Copper Coast, in Southern Ireland.  Dates – April 22-24th; Cost – €350

Click here to register.

We can have it all!  This area is perfect for both colour or black and white work and long or short exposures.  We will focus on making the most of what each location offers based on what you would like to achieve.

The Copper Coast is a diverse geological area in southern Ireland, peppered with ruins of times past, glorious cliffs falling into the Celtic Sea and beautiful sea stacks.  All weekend long my Irish partner, John Dunne and I will be beside you to aid you in your photographic decisions, from composition to lens choices, shutter speeds to filters.  The level of help you receive is entirely up to you.  We will lead you to the best locations at the best times and in between we will sit down together to review images, learn new techniques and have one-on-one post processing sessions.

All levels of photographer are catered for, with two workshops of no more than 7 participants this year.
Hurry – only a few places are left for the April Workshop.

Can’t make it in April?  Join us for the same adventure at the same price this September 16-18th.

For further details and to register, please visit





F-Stop Gear Kashmir Video Review and ICU Discount

I am SO excited to share with you a beautiful video review that I did with the guys from F-Stop Gear on their Ultralight bag for women, The Kashmir. We took a quick trip to beautiful Macedonia so I could test the bag out and unsurprisingly, I fell in love with it.

AND there are a couple of special discounts going right now.  If you order a Kashmir bag, you can get 33% off any ICUs you buy with it with the code: KASHMIRICU33OFF

But wait!  If you are a big strong guy who wants a Mountain series bag instead, you can save 33% too, with the code ICU33OFF.  Something for everyone! 🙂




T&Cs for the kashmir discount:  Only valid for Kashmir UL, Orders scheduled to ship April 2016, Offer expires on 29th February 2016, Discount is limited to 1 order per customer, Discount is limited to 2 of each size of ICU per order, You will be charged at the moment of purchase.