Once again, it is time to review the photographs made this year, and select my favorites. We have been doing this for the past several years, and I look forward to it every year. This year, I started with over 50 photos, and after making several passes through the collection, and making some tough decisions, I selected the 10 photographs that gave me the most joy and satisfaction when I made them, and continue to do so now. Here are my Favorites for 2017, in roughly chronological order… Continue reading
Some years back, we suffered a computer hard disk crash. There were some photos on it, but I did not consider them a great loss, and thought they were backed up… somewhere. I said “some years back” meaning before I had learned about serious back up and better organization. (Today, we use three duplicate external hard drives, with more drives for images prior to 2015.)
As time went by, I did not find that back up. Until recently.
Since I retired as store manager, I have gradually been re-organizing my office. And, some old CD’s have appeared. On one of them is this photo, my first good water drop with refraction. For me, it is important, as it marks a turning point in that part of my photography. My first success! Although it is not a perfect photo, I learned much about searching for the right combination of water drop, refracted flower, and light… Continue reading
Canoes with Morning Reflection
Image 5105 Date: April, 2016
A couple of years before this, I had begun photographing the canoes at Devil’s Den State Park. Probably, I had seen similar photographs of canoes elsewhere (I know – who hasn’t?), and was inspired to make my own version. Each time I revisited these canoes, I would make new photographs, and with each visit, it seemed my photographs improved.
On this day, we were holding our spring macro photography workshop in the park. I arrived early, and while waiting, I walked to the canoe docks.
From early spring to late fall, the park rents the canoes and paddle boats for use on the Park’s little lake, formed from Lee Creek. It’s a very small lake. Besides the lake, the Park has miles of hiking trails, waterfalls, and plenty of the rugged beauty Arkansas is known for. It is my favorite Arkansas State Park. Continue reading
Every two years, the Photographic Society of Northwest Arkansas (www.psnwa.org) hosts the Mid-America Photographic Symposium (MAPSYM). This year, for the first time, I was able to attend the weekend event, held in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Kudos to the PSNWA for putting on a first-class event, aimed at photography enthusiasts and professionals alike.
One outing I joined was an early morning “Nature Hike” at Black Bass Lake. Even if you’ve ever been to Eureka Springs, a small community built on a steep hillside, I doubt you’ve heard about this lake. At least, I hadn’t, and I overheard another participant, from the area, say the same thing. So, we drove down a steep hill on a gravel road, to the lake, and it was like going to another world; right in the middle of the community, we were suddenly in a wilderness. It was so cool! (Are we supposed to say “cool” any more? I can’t keep up, so I just say what I feel.)
The morning was typical spring for this area; cool and damp. The lake had some misty fog hanging over the surface, and fortuitously, there were two fishermen in a small boat…
Walking one of the trails around the lake, I photographed this C-curved blade of grass, with a dew drop hanging on. Those that know me, and especially those that have sat through a class with me, have heard me stress simplicity…
There were also a number of these purple flowers; according to Don Kurz’s Arkansas Wildflowers book, it’s called the Leather Flower. Cool flower…
So, it was an interesting weekend. I learned a bit about how Hanson Fong takes portraits, saw & listened to Nikon’s Mark Kettenhofen deliver an awesome keynote presentation, and more. Glad I went. 🙂
Camera used was the Sony Alpha 77, Sony 16-50 f/2.8 (I love this lens!) and Minolta 100 macro, Manfrotto tripod with Really Right Stuff ball head.
I first saw reflections in water drops in a magazine – probably Outdoor Photographer. The photos were fascinating, and I decided it was a subject/technique I needed to learn. There were a number of failures over the years, until this photo.
On the day I took this, I was visiting Cherokee Prairie Natural Area. In fact, I had been there for a while, searching the Prairie for just the right combination of water drops, grass tangles, flowers, and light. I had no success, and was walking back to my truck, when at the very edge of the parking area was a perfect arrangement. I set the tripod up in the short grass of the parking area, and made a number of exposures…
One of the problems with making these photographs is that all of the vegetation – grass, flowers, shrubs, briars – is connected! Setting a tripod up without causing the water drops to fall is sometimes impossible. Often, I get it almost just right, move the tripod – or the camera & lens – and bump or pull something, causing the water drops to disappear. So, finding this at the parking lot was exciting! Ever since that day, I always look around the parking area before heading off into the grasses of the prairie…
I have always like the sharpness of this image, but would like to have the same situation again; I think it deserves some different compositions, and would like to shoot it with one of today’s higher resolution cameras. However, photographs are the reflection of a moment, then it’s history. As much as we might wish to relive our past, we cannot… 😉
Minolta Maxxum 7D, Minolta Maxxum 100 mm macro lens, Manfrotto tripod.
Each spring, I look forward to going out to locate, and photograph dew drops reflecting, preferably, a wildflower. Of course, any breeze, even one barely felt on skin, is the enemy. So, we hope for no breeze, large dew drops easily photographed, and a colorful wildflower behind…
On this morning, I found a spiderweb covered in dew, and in the background was a black-eyed susan wildflower. However, there was a nearly imperceptible breeze – just enough to move the spiderweb. I took several photos, trying to time the exposure for the least movement. Here is one of the best, but because of the air movement, I was unable to keep all in sharp focus.
I took this photo at Cherokee Prairie Preserve State Heritage Site, near Charleston, Arkansas, using the Sony Alpha 700, the Minolta 100 mm macro lens, Manfrotto tripod. The shutter speed was 1/320th second, in an attempt to freeze the movement from the breeze, at f/8.
Two years after our Route 66 day trip, I journeyed to the little town of Bristow, site of the “Route 66 Classic Car Show.” I had searched for a destination and found the car show, and decided to check it out. Gayle was unable to go with me, so I didn’t plan an extended outing, but couldn’t resist the opportunity to revisit the Mother Road.
Bristow, Oklahoma, is a small town, but on this day, it was full of cars, people, motorcycles, and tractors. The car show was bigger than I expected, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I left Bristow, and headed back toward Tulsa. But, there are always photographs. These mailboxes were just off the highway, and I had to stop. They speak of rural Oklahoma, and simpler times gone by.
I also stopped by the Rock Creek Bridge, and the Tee Pee Drive In, near Sapulpa. The drive-in theater has not seen a movie in a decade or more, but still stands as a reminder of other times.
These photos were taken September 1, 2012. I used a Sony Alpha 77 camera, and Tamron lenses – mostly my favorite, the 17-50 f/2.8 zoom.