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.”
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.)
This photo found me. I was heading west yesterday morning to run an errand on the way to work and I noticed nice, soft blue and scarlet hues in the western sky. Thinking that I might have a good sky to drop in to a photo that has I less interesting sky, I took this photo.
I really wasn’t thinking that the photo would stand on its own, but when I worked on it in Aperture 3.4, and with Nik HDR Efex 2, I decided I liked it.
This is another HDR photo taken on the same outing as “Back To Lonesome Lake.” This one was taken 15 minutes before the Lonesome lake photo. At sunset, a minute or can be significant in the look you get. And, as I think you can see, 15 minutes can be worlds apart as far and the light and cloud cover are concerned.
I have been sailing Lake Oahe on the Missouri River in South Dakota for over 20 years. I have seen all kinds of weather and wind. And so you might think I would be jaded, wouldn’t you? But I will tell you that I doubt that I will ever got bored by the amazing scenery and experience this place affords.
Recently, Deb and I were enjoying our last full day of the season on Lake Oahe. We set sail shortly after sunrise and made it upriver to my favorite place, Mission Creek. By afternoon the wind had slackened and though we enjoy the serentity that this place offers when there is little wind, we decided to go motoring.
At one point the wind died completely and I stopped the boat in the middle of the reservoir to enjoy the beautiful clouds, sky and water. The silence was absolute and I was reminded of the simple magic of that keeps drawing me back to Oahe: on this day we weren’t looking at a mirror; we were in the mirror.
Wandering Star is back in our driveway and will be put into storage soon. I put over 800 miles under her keel this summer, which is equivalent to going east to west across South Dakota and then back again. At about 5 miles an hour. A waste of time? An expensive hobby?
“Yes” is a simple answer to those questions. But for me sailing Oahe is an important part of who I am and how I live. For me (and many others I know) it is a truly uncommon place.
Once again I ventured out before sunrise this morning. My wife and I were at the Spring Creek marina and when my wife told me to make less noise so she could sleep a little longer, I grabbed my camera bag and tripod and went driving.
I headed to the two trees that I photographed last summer thinking that I might get something a little different. And I did. What made this shot special, of course, is the rain shower that is happening miles off in the distance. And I should admit that one of the reasons I went back to the same two trees is that I wanted to try to get an HDR photo that does a better job of exposing the relatively dark foreground. And I got what I wanted. Because of that, there’s a lot of texture in this photo. Maybe too much?
This photo was taken a few miles west of the city of Friday Harbor, Washington, on San Juan Island. I had found this location the day before but thought that it would photograph better just after sunrise. The chances that I would have a mostly clear morning weren’t that great. But, as you can see, nature performed well for me.
I used Auto Exposure Bracketing to take three different exposures of the same scene but in the end I used the darkest of the three and a plug-in in Aperture to create this photo, which shows details in the darkest parts and in the brightest. That’s what HDR (high dynamic range) does.
As if to prove my point about redundancy (or obsession, compulsion, practice, repetition, etc.) here’s a morning cloud shot.
To be honest, though, when the sun rose high enough the morning I woke up in this back bay on Lake Oahe, this is the first thing that caught my eye: narrow, nearly pink clouds reflected almost perfectly in the calm, dark water of the bay. I also liked the silhouette of the land, which is almost black and nondescript.
But enough words. . . Just imagine the cool, quiet calm that I was wrapped in when I took this photo.
*No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.
This is rural Germany, just outside of Rothenburg o.d.T. So why is my first post from our trip to Germany and Slovenia a scene like this? One possibility is that while foreign travel is about seeking and savoring the differences that foreign countries have to offer, there are times when I miss home.
Another possibility is that I liked the cool green and strong blue colors in this scene.