This is another one in Custer State Park showing bison on the hillside. It was quite a nice autumn scene. The bison were all around us just happily eating what was left of the green grass. Because it is unsafe to be near such large, wild animals I had to be quick about this shot. The other three people in the car were my spotters as I got out long enough to get this shot. None of the bison were near enough to be a danger, and I had a road guardrail between me and a lot of them so I was not in any actual danger. Still, it is best to be cautious. It was a small risk for a pleasant photograph of bison on the hillside.
Sometimes you don’t need a reason to shoot a location a second time in as many days. When an early autumn storm blew through this week, I knew I had to get out and see what was worth shooting. I had second guessed the sunset time wrong, again, and so was not able to continue to the location I had in mind. Instead I turned of 10 miles early and headed to where I thought I might see something nice. I was right. The elevation difference between the valley and the heights of Squaw Butte made for and excellent aerial playground. The clouds shearing across the landscape were interrupted by the stalwart ridge and forced to give way, washing around it like the sea around coastal shipwreck.
I just love old things, which I think shows through clearly in my work. Maybe it has something to do with my revere for the wisdom of the aged. They are still, quiet but when they speak there is a lot to learn. If only this old train bridge could talk. Sitting under its wise gaze learning from the years that have passed over it, the many lives it has seen and the changes it has grown though would surely fill many enrapturing volumes.
For my part, I tried to drink in as much of it as I could, even with my lowly camera lens. Sitting under this beautiful functioning relic makes autumn even that much more magical. Thanks for the memories, old train bridge.
I was watching a concert pianist on YouTube this morning and she said we could watch her practice all day long. She practices for 10 hours each day! I guess that is what it takes to become an expert at something. That really struck me hard because sometimes I think I can just pull out the camera and make an awesome shot, but that is rarely the case. It takes loads of time and practice to hone any craft or skill, not just the desire. It was with that same attitude that I got this nice Squaw Butte Sunset last night.
All day long I research and learn new techniques for improving my skills, if I’m not actually shooting. But what good is research if you never actually do anything with it? So I set out to go and find something to shoot, even if I didn’t have a solid plan. It’s a good thing I was committed before I left because as it turns out my initial target was no good. Then I remembered Squaw Butte and how nice it is up there. I wanted to get the sun while it was still up, but I was just about 5 minutes too late. As I was driving up the mountain I was watching the sun creep higher and higher, while growing softer and more faint. When I finally arrived at my destination, all was lost. Ok, not really. I just had to modify my plan and hang about for 2 hours while it got dark. I decided I could at least shoot some stars. In the mean time, there was plenty of sunset watching (and a little shooting) to do.
Plans had to change again as the clear sky turned to partly cloudy, which is no good for shooting stars. It’s funny too because the initial reason I went out was because the sky had nice clouds, but by the time I got to my location they were all gone.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy looking at the Squaw Butte Sunset as much as I enjoyed being there. It was a cold fall treat, and I might just go do it again someday soon.
Autumn bring such nice changes to the visual world. Clear skies, crisp air to look through, different colors to paint the landscape and more gentle midday sun. In this scene I was particularly impressed with the beauty of the river that most people never see, because you have to walk across a train bridge for access to the view. What is normally a drab and dreary part of the Payette River has now become a river of color thanks to the autumn change. Enjoy this little trip to a peaceful place in a busy life.
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.
Living in small town doesn’t afford that many opportunities for landscape photography, but it can provide an old bridge or two to shoot. Actually, in this instance, there are two bridges directly beside each other, but the one you don’t see in the picture isn’t very interesting. This old train bridge was built in 1912. It is cut into the steel at the top on both ends, so it seems pretty obviously accurate to me. I wonder if anyone had a celebration for it. I didn’t see any festivities.
Well happy birthday old train bridge.
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.
Sylvia and I went on a road trip to Portland, Oregon to see her mother. (Actually, she lives in Vancouver, WA but it seems like more people know where Portland is. That, or they get confused between Vancouver, WA and Vancouver, BC.) Along the way I had to stop at the overlook. It is really very high above the valley, but the conditions at the time and the lens I used really didn’t let that part of the story come through.
There was skinny trail through the grass leading off to who knows where, but all I could do was point my lens and make a photograph. I didn’t have the time to follow my nose.
We didn’t do a whole lot, but one of the fun things we did was to visit the Portland Chinese Garden. It was really very beautiful, even in the autumn. It was a cloudy day so I didn’t photography much worth showing. The lanterns were very cool, and the floor mosaics all over were amazing. Each of the different areas had a different theme, story, or meaning. The photograph of the large area with the jagged floor mosaic represents ice and the dark spots are berries or flowers. I’ve forgotten so much! It was either ‘winter’ because of the ice, or ‘spring’ because of the breaking up of the ice, and the flowers.
*I cannot sell any of the images from the Chinese Garden without special permission as everything inside is copyrighted.
This is a prime example of almost doing it right, then trying again. And getting it very wrong
on the second try.
I first decided to shoot the little beach and when I thought I had it, I moved on to doing a “backup” shot of it with the sky. Well, both shots were sub-par. The first is mostly a cropping issue (save the lack of light, but the sun doesn’t shine here for more than half the year). The second has a better crop, but in trying to create and HDR shot from 4 exposures I really ruined this one. Not to worry. I’m showing it anyway. This is a blog, after all, not a portfolio.