If you have never visited Custer State Park in South Dakota, you are really missing out. I found this pregnant burro in tall grass while we were driving through the park during our brief residence nearby. It is a great place to see the burros, coyotes, prairie dogs, buffalo (bison), fox, deer, elk and much more. This burro was just a few steps away from me. They are quite tame and like to come and greet the visitors, who often provide various types of snacks (against park rules). This picture brings me a great deal of peace and satisfaction. The rolling prairie that surrounds the scene is just as calming as you might expect.
Sometimes it’s the simple things that make life sweet. Moving through life without stopping to notice the details makes it hard to appreciate the finer points. That is what this image is a result of. Taking stock of my surroundings, and keeping an open mind. I was photographing something totally different, but the light here caught my eye and I had to find a shot. I’m pretty happy with it. What do you think? Did I move on to the next stage? Do I get to move up?
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.
What is it about seeing an old country store that makes people want to stop and take pictures? Well, anything old for that matter. Every time I see something like this as I’m out and about I’m am just completely drawn toward it like a moth to a light. Perhaps it’s just me that likes this sort of thing so much. I suspect part of it is my love of history and digging around in the past. The future is unknown and as yet unexplored, but the past is known and can be very much explored through the remnant of what once was.
This store in the central Idaho’s Camas County has probably been photographed thousands of times. It is right beside a well traveled highway, en route to a very popular birding wetland. But whatever, the Grand Canyon has probably been photographed BILLIONS of times, but I don’t see that stopping any new shooters giving it a go. Here’s my take on the old country store.
Since I am just beginning to explore the realm of HDR photography, I continually find myself trying to push the limits of what it can and cannot do. What that tends to mean is that I shoot into the sun a lot. Since we’ve been having a record dry summer here in Idaho, that means there aren’t any clouds to photograph. What then? Well, I just make the most of it. On this occasion I saw this cool tree gracing the hillside and knew that I had to at least try and make a photograph. Facing away from the sun meant a rather flat and boring scene, but facing into the sun brought those nice long shadows and also gave me something to use for framing and reducing the glowing sun. And so we have something that looks like an oxymoron, a dried up and dying tree of life.
You never quite know what you’ll find when you venture out for a photo walk… One quite evening I decided it was time to go looking in various nooks & crannies to find out what was in my neighborhood. As I boldly crossed the frontier line of my driveway and started down the adjoining one, I immediately was surprised to find this fancy little truck tucked down below the grade of the road. As I started to choose an angle to shoot from I got my second surprise; the cat on a hot tin roof of the truck. It’s my neighbors cat Lucy and she is a very good mouse hunter. What fun! What wasn’t quite as much fun was that this was really the only angle to shoot this from as the others were surrounded by busy/noisy things in the background.
I hope you enjoy this image as much as I enjoyed being surprised by it. If I try hard enough, I can even see this from my own bedroom window.