Today I was walking around town on my lunch break. The spring tree blossoms are going nuts! It won’t be long before they are all gone but I’m happy to get a few while I can even if it is just on my phone.
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.
It is always such a pleasure to go to the beach and watch the waves roll in. Sometimes you just don’t want to leave. I visited Seaside, Oregon a couple of years ago and was in no hurry to leave. It was such a peaceful evening and the salty air was so refreshing. There was a large festival in town with a concert so most of the beachgoers were over at the venue, leaving the rest for me to enjoy on my own. As the sun began to dip I decided I needed to keep this memory fresh so I made a dash for the car to get my camera. I hope you get to visit some day and take in a Seaside, Oregon Sunset just like this one.
I was just leaving Gem State Academy after the first night of camp meeting. I was about to turn north on Karcher when I noticed how stunning the Caldwell sunset was. I had my left turn signal on, but after seeing the sky I immediately switched it to ‘right’ and headed into the sunset. Being among so much developed land I was not very hopeful that I’d find a spot to let the sky sing while the surroundings played second fiddle. I was not disappointed. The growing wheat makes a nice, gentle foreground while still letting the light dance among it. If you are ever in that neighborhood and you think it’s just ugly old farm land, think again. Caldwell sunsets may not happen all day long, but they sure do happen!
Every now and then I find an old place that just intrigues me. This was not one of those places, necessarily. The property wasn’t all that interesting and I just wanted to finish my work and move on. At the corner of the lot I noticed this old building, and was suddenly alert. I did find at least one way to enjoy the place. Maybe this is where clouds are born.
I was up early a few weeks ago, with nothing much to do that day. So I decided to go out looking for a nice photograph. The sun was far from coming up so I had time to go poking around on this unplanned shoot. I came to a meadow filled with cattle, but more impressive were the approximately 200 elk grazing on the early spring grass. There were about a dozen elk calves wandering around in a clump. I did shoot a few shots of them, but simply wasn’t prepared for wildlife that morning. Nothing to show for it. I did hang around for a couple of hours watching the light do it’s little dance across the horizon to the west, gradually creeping down the sides of the mountains. As the sun finally peaked over the hill in front of me, I clicked off a few shots, but nothing was really exciting my artistic eye. As the morning wore on I suddenly became aware of the cattle guard I had been standing nearly on top of for the past two hours. The sun was glinting nicely off of it, making it a magnet for me. The sun rose higher and happily the clouds grew more interesting. The result is nothing short of pure joy for me. I hope you like it, too!
Labor Day weekend is a prime time to hit the Colorado high country. The majority of the summer adventurers have headed for lower climes, which leaves the higher and cooler areas less populated and more peaceful. Ice Lake is just one of those places that people love to visit, but not quite as much in the early autumn of the high elevation.
This particular day we encountered rain and hail on the several miles hike up to the lake. It was a tiring trek, but this view at the end was well worth the effort. Have you ever visited Ice Lake? If not, be sure to put it on your list.
While at a family camp this past weekend I saw this pretty frozen sunset lake scene. I wasn’t the only one to get a panoramic shot of it, but I’m probably the only one to do it in HDR. I shoot a lot of images in HDR but I make every effort to have them appear as the human eye sees things, though I am a saturation junkie at heart and so I do sometimes boost that out of control. Anyway, this was such a gorgeous scene the picture really cannot do it justice. The fog was ever so slowly rising up off of the lake and the golden sun was shining down through it making it look like a sea of gold. If you ever get the chance, be sure to visit Payette Lake in McCall, Idaho in the winter. It is truly gorgeous!
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 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.