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
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
Selecting favorite photos from the past 12 months is a fun exercise, and also an opportunity to see where my interests have taken me. And, sometimes a way to measure one’s growth. Mostly, however, these are the photographs that bring a smile to my face when I remember pressing the shutter release…
So, here we go, roughly in chronological order:
This is one of my favorite flowers, as it is one of the first signs of spring in Arkansas. This one reminds me of a sea creature…
Devil’s Den State Park, Arkansas
After a short hike on the Devil’s Den Trail, you will find yourself at Twin Falls – unless it is the dry season. This is the west falls, with photographer for scale…
Wild Rose, Cherokee Prairie
Cherokee Prairie, near Charleston, Arkansas, continues to be one of those locations I return to regularly. This wild rose was past its prime, but I liked the patterns, color, symmetry, and its friend. I hope you notice the antenna that mimics the flower petal lines…
Colorado National Monument
In June, I traveled to the Eastern Sierras of California to attend Derrick Story’s photography workshop. (You can read about it here.) The road trip included a one-night stop at the Colorado National Monument, near Grand Junction, Colorado. I would definitely camp there again.
Great Basin National Park
From Colorado, my next stop was Great Basin National Park in eastern Nevada, home to 13,063-foot Mount Wheeler. This mountain stream was near my campsite…
Yosemite National Park
From Bridgeport, CA, where Derrick’s workshop was based, I drove into Yosemite National Park via the Tioga Pass, highway 120. Road construction stopped me from driving to the Valley; while stopped for the roadwork, I made this photo…
Mono Lake, California
This has got to be one of the most unique places in the U.S., and I made hundreds of photos there…
Antique Airplane Fly-In, Oologah, Oklahoma
Closer to home, some friends and I visited Will Rogers’ Birthplace Ranch for the annual Antique Airplane Fly-In. Dozens of planes and antique autos were on display, and their landings and departures were a sight to see. The whole day was fun!
Our “fall colors” were not the best this year, but we always try to make the best of it. 😉
Natural Dam, Arkansas
This rock shelf creates a natural “Dam” with an 8-foot tall waterfall. I am not the only photographer to visit, and – like many others – I have made hundreds of images over the years. Just a few days ago, this was the scene just before sunrise on a cold, frosty morning…
Although I had heard of this for many years, it was only a few days ago I made my first photos of Frost Flowers. Sometimes called “Frost Ribbons”, apparently they happen on cold, frosty mornings, when vegetation still has moisture in its stem. The moisture freezes, and forces its way out forming these ribbon flowers…
Best wishes for a Great 2016: Sweet light, peace, and joy…
In one of our favorite destinations, Texas’ Brazos Bend State Park, spring is when a number of bird species nest, brood, and raise their chicks. One of our favorite birds is the handsome Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, with striking colors and intriguing behavior. (By the way, their feet are not green.) 🙂
However, the chicks are less handsome, and this one looks like the original “Angry Bird.”
We used the Sony Alpha 700 camera, with a Tamron 300mm f/2.8 and Tamron 2x teleconverter, on a Manfrotto tripod.
Brazos Bend State Park is roughly an hour southwest of Houston, Texas. In this park are many alligators, which is surprising to many people. After all, this is Texas, home of cowboys and The Alamo…
Actually, there are alligators all along the Texas coast, from Louisiana to Corpus Christi, but this State Park may have the largest population per acre in the state. They’re in the lakes and swamps, and they love to lie in the warm sun on the trails.
Gayle looks forward more to photographing the alligators than the birds in the park – and this is one of the best places I’ve seen for birds!
On this trip, we had just arrived, and as soon as we were settled, we headed out to the trail around Elm Lake. Gray clouds filled the sky, and although not dark, they weren’t the kind you wanted to have behind your subject. As we walked the trail, I saw several Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks in a dead tree not too far away. I stopped and took some photos, trying to silhouette the ducks against the gray clouds.
Gayle had kept going down the trail, but she was within my sight. After I took a few photos, I headed her way. When I was close enough, I could see she was set up near an alligator…
She got some pretty good images, including this one.
After photographing the gator for a while, I saw that the clouds were beginning to break up. I dragged Gayle away from the alligator, telling her that we were about to be blessed with a great sunset. We headed back to the spot where I had photographed the ducks earlier.
Sure enough, after we had barely set up our tripods, the sun began to make its appearance.
We each took about 20 photographs, then it was over…
Lessons learned: Keep your eye on the sky, and always be ready, for anything!
Cameras used were Sony Alpha, with Tamron lenses.
Driving the backroads within the Cossatot River State Park & Natural Area, it was warm, dry, and dusty. I was exploring, and watching for interesting subjects. Alongside the road was a patch of thistle, the flowers in full, fresh bloom. Swallowtail butterflies were swarming the blooms – yellow tiger, spicebush, and two-tailed swallowtails were everywhere. They were in a feeding frenzy, and paid little attention to me and my camera. Again, I had the 70-210 f/4 Minolta lens mounted on the camera; a long enough lens that I could reach the butterflies without being too close to cause them discomfort, but short enough that I could find them in the viewfinder quickly. I set the aperture to f/4, with a fast shutter speed of 1/1500 sec to freeze their movements.
Here are a couple of photos. Butterflies, flying flowers…