My wife has nice flowers but does our neighbor and the other day I couldn’t help but be drawn to her collection of yellow tulips, which had just bloomed. The light was poor but I enhanced the scene with on-camera flash. I rarely use flash but I have taught my students that it’s ok to use flash, but that good photographers finds ways to use it without the artificial light overpowering the scene. In the case of this photo, I think it works.
I call this post “Our Neighbor’s Tulips I” because she also has some amazing deep purple tulips and I am waiting patiently for them to bloom. And though I’ve feature them before, those who follow this blog know that I like 2nd chances on most photos I take.
Yes, I’m stuck on streams. And, once again, I didn’t go looking for this photo, which was buried in my 2008 collection. What fascinates me about this shot is that it is of the same place in the stream as the photo you see below. The camera position is different, but if you compare the two, you’ll see the same old rocks. And they haven’t changed.
This photo was “adjusted” with Nik Color Efex 4 and OnOne Perfect Effects 4. (I’m in a filtering phase and I need to get over it because years from now these filters won’t seem so cool to me.)
By the way, I still have 5 spots left for the July “Black Hills Photo Adventure.” You should join me and I’ll teach you everything I know (or can teach in two days) about photography similar to the kind you see here. And we will visit all of my secret spots along Iron Creek.
It is a fact known to my family, friends and associates. But I haven’t in any formal or public way made the announcement: after 36 1/2 years of being a classroom teacher, I am retiring. I am down to my last three days with “my” students in “my” classroom.
When I was younger, I used to think that retirement meant being “put out to pasture.” Thus, I offer today’s photo. But having watched friends and colleagues who have retired, it seems that life sometimes gets busier after retirement.
So the question I get is: “What am I going to do now?” The answer: “More photography, of course.”
Of course, this view of the distant Los Angeles skyline, taken from the Hollywood Bowl overlook just off of Mulholland Drive, isn’t alien to the denizens of LA. But to a flatlander in a relatively rural state (with little or no air pollution) this landscape is certainly foreign.
That’s not to say that it isn’t enticing and interesting to me. In fact, once I played with an HDR setting in my OnOne software, there was amazing detail and texture in this scene. I see things here that I never see in my home state of South Dakota.
By the way, in researching this post, I discovered that California is our most populous state and it is the third largest. South Dakota is 46th in population (out of 50) and we are the 17th largest in square miles. California has twice South Dakota’s area but it has 35 times more people.
This is the fifth in a series of HDR Black Hills photos taken in April, 2013. This was actually the first place I stopped the first time I went out hunting. This is not the first time I’ve taken a photo with weathered grass dominating the foreground, a distant horizon and an intriguing sky. (Lonesome Lake) But when you’ve found something you like, why not wear it out? (I will say that in the year since I did the Lonesome Lake HDR photo, I’ve gotten better – or at least I’ve found a formula I like better. In fact, I can think of a lot of things I can do better now than when I was younger. Except sit-ups.)
(PS: If you look closely, you’ll see Mt. Rushmore in this photo.)
If you were lured to this post because you thought you were going to see a beautiful church, I apologize. But there is something dome-like in these trees that arch over the snow-covered ground and that’s what inspired today’s title
To be honest, I posted this photo mainly so I could post a link to a short video I made a little bit after I took the picture. So you should watch it.
Where am I? The photo was taken in the “front yard” of our family cabin in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The snow was still falling when I took this and altogether we got between 10 and 12 inches. And it was beautiful. . . The video was filmed with a GoPro Hero 3 stuck to the front of a 4 wheeler. Why is the video black and white? The white balance kept shifting on me. (I’m still learning how to use a GoPro.)
This is the 4th in a series of recent posts that are photos I took to my recent visit to the Black Hills. It is also another surreal looking HDR photo. Generally, I am very conservative about filtering my photos but I guess I am captivating by the alternative reality that HDR brings to the world we see.
And now my mind is wandering to people from the 1960s and 1970s like LSD guru Timothy Leary (“Tune in, turn on drop out”) and peyote promoting Carlos Castenada (A Separate Reality, The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, etc.). Mushrooms, peyote and LSD were considered “mind altering” drugs. I will admit that I never tried any of them.
Nik HDR Efex Pro 2 is my mind altering drug. It may even be performance enhancing. It has no side effects and its use is legal in all 50 states.
Here’s another photo from the snowy walk I made with my friend Dennis N. This was taken a little bit before the one from yesterday. And what stopped me in my tracks were Dennis’ tracks.
As with almost all of the photos I took on this outing, this is an HDR photo. I think that HDR is one way to preserve detail in snow, which would normally be fairly non-descript in its pure white form.
The title? It’s the first line of Frost’s famous poem “Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening”:
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
When I saw these leaves a couple of days ago on a photo walk in the Norbeck Wildlife Preserves along Iron Creek in the Black Hills, I was intrigued that they had hung on for the whole winter. Most leaves drop in the fall, of course. But these high marks for persistence.
The other intriguing feature is that if you look closely, you can see that tiny buds are starting to form and I’m guessing that is a week or so the old leaves will drop and the new ones will debut. Sadly, I won’t be there to witness it, since I live 8 hours away from this scene.
I suspect that there is nothing all that special about prairie grass, unless, of course, you live where there is no prairie. Or, like me, live where there is no living grass right now. And, as I know I’ve said, when I am feeling SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) kick in, I go looking for photos I took in better weather.
This clump of grass lived on the bluffs overlooking the Little Bend of the Missouri River on Lake Oahe. In late July, 2012, I took close to 50 photos of this grass one morning, mainly because the wind was gusty and the grass wouldn’t sit still. I imagine that taking photos of children might be like that. Though children offer considerably greater diversity, don’t they?