From time to time I drive past things (ok, every day) and I have such a strong urge to stop and photograph them, but there isn’t time usually. Or there isn’t a place to pull off. Or the weather is wrong. Or whatever. In the case of this autumn oasis I found near my home, I decided the stop was worth it. The clouds didn’t seem to want to cooperate all that much as they were continually behind the tree, and never beside it. Odd that, but it was a fun scene to be a part of, watching the patches of shade and sun undulate over the hills, smelling the pungent sagebrush and basking in the autumn breeze.
This just happens to have been on the same day that I was out shooting the old train bridge, of which I’ll share more in the future. For now I hope you’ll enjoy this autumn oasis, and let me know what you think in the comments.
I’m beginning to play with HDR. My goal is not to create images that LOOK like they are HDR, but that have a nice range of tone that is visible to the human eye. Because current camera technology is limited, the only way to do this is to combine several images into one. This can produce some very crazy results. This image looks closer to normal than it started out. Surprisingly, it takes a lot more work to get a natural looking image using HDR processes, rather than a crazy psychedelic scene. This little view is just outside my driveway here in Idaho. It is one of my first attempts at capturing and processing HDR and I hope it is a pleasing skyway view.
Yesterday I went into town to do a little architecture shooting. I did a few things and came away with a shot or two that I like, but nothing stellar. However, on my way out of the city the moon was setting in this gorgeous soft hued sky and I was dying to find a place to shoot it. Being in the residential part of the city there really wasn’t anything striking to shoot with this fantastic sky. As I was just on the outskirts of town I decided that it would be best if I just hurried along up into the mountains and grabbed a landscape from there, though I didn’t have a clue where that would be. Suddenly I came upon this giant concrete plant and I instantly knew that this was the shot for me. I had to double back a take a couple mile circuit to return to where I saw the scene, but I was able to get there in time. The biggest challenge of capturing this scene was that I had to shoot across a very busy highway, so timing was difficult. I was shooting with HDR as my end goal using 3 exposures. This meant that I had to time each shot precisely so that no cars were passing in front of me. Add to that the extended wait time between shots for long exposure noise reduction and I had quite a task to accomplish. But, I did finally manage to get it done. And here is the end result of shooting a concrete moon.
If you don’t know what a Teasel is don’t worry, neither did I. It is the odd plant in this picture. If memory serves the prickly cone part is about 2-3 inches tall, so this is a fairly large plant. There were so many of them out there that I didn’t even pay much attention to them, but upon closer inspection I noticed just how beautiful they are. The ones shown here must be from last year as they are completely dried. It doesn’t take a keen eye to see this plant is very ‘pokey’, but at the same time is quite elegant with it’s long fingers wrapping gracefully up and around, embracing such an abrasive heart. Maybe that is how we humans are; we are mean-hearted and unkind but we cherish our sinful behavior by giving way to it and helping it to grow. But out of ugliness can come beauty as we see in this plant, and in what God can do in our lives if we only let Jesus in and let Him work.
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On my trip to Leslie Gulch we saw quite a few of these neat birds called the Chukar Partridge. Most of them were running around among the sagebrush and across the road, but I did get to see one of them scrambling up the rocky cliffs and calling. It was like a proud chief overlooking his land, or maybe just a contented nature lover enjoying the wonder of God’s creation. He was perched atop some high rocks and calling out (mating call?). As I was watching through binoculars, he too a running jump off into the abyss (about 60 – 80 ft) but I lost track of him. What a sight to see! Sadly, my images are out of focus and cropped tightly so they are quite small. Some day I’ll manage a long enough lens to actually photograph birds. For now I’m just glad I got to see them.
While hiking and enjoying the rugged beauty of Leslie Gulch, Oregon I had to get one last shot of the day, of course. On the way out, driving up the canyon, this perfect sunset silhouette of a little tree was an irresistible treat to end such a gorgeous day. Thanks to Ross & Jodi Giem for showing us such a great place to spend Sabbath afternoon. I was able to get quite a lot of great images while we were there and I’ll be posting them later on. Enjoy this finishing beginning of what is yet to come.
During a nice Friday afternoon drive on this awesome May day, I saw a large clump of California Poppies growing happily along side highway 55 near Gardena. They were really in a very unsafe place between the road and a very steep hillside, but I managed a few shots. They are not perfect by any means, but what a joy to see such beauty unexpectedly!
I went out to shoot the super moon in May 2012. I decided my best vantage point would be the top of a mountain pass between Horseshoe Bend and Eagle, Idaho. I got there exactly at the time the moon was to rise. I waited. And I waited. And I waited some more. Forty-five minutes passed and still no moon. I decided the mountains around were much too high and headed for home since the ‘magic’ hour had passed. At the last second I decided to drive up a dirt road at the top of the pass. After driving only 1/4 of a mile there it was, the super moon. And it was very super. I was stunned by the size and clarity of the moon and spent 20 minutes or more making different exposures in the freezing temperatures. It’s still cold at 4, 400 ft elevation.
The first shot of the dark sky was just to capture the moon. The second image is my attempt at incorporating the landscape. The third is a strange one because it makes the moon look like the sun and the sky and landscape day like, though the light is soft rather than sharp edged. Part of the reason is simply that it was a very long exposure, but another could be that the moon is so close. Either way, I like how it is a bit of a trick. The sun had been down for about one hour when I made these images. The fourth image shows the same scene as the third only I put an exposure in for the sky that was correct for the moon. It’s a really weird look and I don’t think I much care for it, but I thought you might like to have a look at it since I had taken the time to make it.
The moon seems to have really grabbed my attention lately. Maybe it is because I’m stuck down here in the valley, and that is all I see from home. Whatever the case, I like to look at it. Hope you enjoy it, too. Let me know in the comments below. 🙂
The benefit of chasing the sunset, is greeting the soft light of evening. Even better is the accompaniment of a full moon, and photographing it.