Spring is in the Air

I’ve been slowly recovering from a knee injury, which has suspended a great deal of my plans for wildflower photography this Spring. Unfortunately, I missed peak bloom down in the Ennis area, but I decided to go there today and try my luck hoping there be a few small vignettes I could work with. More than 95% of the Bluebonnets have gone to seed or have been overtaken by the grass. While there were a few lovely spots with primroses, they were in locations where there was no naturally flattering composition available at that spot. And fields of flowers don’t look like field of flowers unless you can compose them just right.

One of the spots I did have luck, was a small fenced in private pasture on Mach Road, the Bluebonnets there were thick, lush, and tall. If not at peak, they’re just a bit past peak and they were surrounded with some sprinklings of pink, yellow, and even a touch of white from some other wildflowers which intensified the blue of the bluebonnets themselves.

I was working on a composition, when suddenly I noticed a mule/donkey walking towards me. I was like, ok I can work with this. But that meant I was changing from a landscape shot, to a wildlife shot, so I switched out my camera lens accordingly. So I was trying to line up a shot testing my setting on my camera with the new lens, snapping some shots, when I noticed what I had captured. I was just photobombed by a pair of exhibitionists.

The perils of nature photography.

Advertisements

Appreciating Man-Made Objects in Photography

Nature is what drew me first as the subject I most desired to capture in my viewfinder. The world around us, from it’s unique geologies, to local flora and fauna can just fill you with awe–or at least it does me. But so many times when I would have a picture framed in my viewfinder of seemingly pristine nature there would be some man-made structure popping up and ruining the shot I wanted: power lines, water towers, buildings, or just the detritus of wind-tossed litter.

It would take me many years to begin to see how even man-made objects could have their own beauty. But if Ansel Adams who was known for creating such masterworks of nature in black and white, could also tackle man-made objects with beauty… I suppose it was only a matter of time that my own eye would develop and begin to embrace at least selective moments of such photography myself. Even so, I still usually prefer nature to man-made objects. đŸ™‚

Various Works by Ansel Adams

 

 

 

Some of my own works

Texas Wildflowers – Part 6

A hodge podge of some of the other wildflowers you can find growing across the Texas countryside: wild sunflowers, horsemint (bee balm), Yucca, Prickly Pear Cactus in bloom, coneflower, and more. So many fields are over taken by yellow flowers, unfortunately they’re a challenge to photograph as usually temperatures are such the grass is no longer quite as verdantly green when compared to early spring, and with green and yellow being complimentary colors, you don’t have the deep contrast that can help make both colors really vivid when taking a photograph.

 

Winter Wonderlands

As a Texan, I like to tell people that in my part of the state we have three seasons: Baking Drought, Torrential Downpour, and Wind Chill. It is a very rare site indeed for snow to fall in the Dallas / Fort Worth area. We tend to have ice storms, more than snow storms, and even those storms are a rare occurrence. This year in particular we’ve had a very mild winter, even the days around Christmas this year I was wearing summer clothes when the temperature reached into the 80s.

So while I did not get to enjoy a winter in my area this year, one of my guilty pleasures is traveling abroad to the Hudson River Valley and enjoying the sights of winter there. Some of these photos are from a recent trip January 2017, and others are from several years ago.

 

Texas Wildflowers – Part 4

 

In addition to the orange-red hues of Indian Paintbrushes, there are also some cousin flowers known as Prairie Paintbrush, the later appears in a range of hues including yellow, pale pink, peach, fuschia and shades in between. While these are found in Texas, they also can be found as far north as Kansas and Missouri.

I was on the 501 between Pontotoc and Cherokee in the Texas Hill Country, when I stumbled along some roadside blooms that had a range of the prairie paintbrush blooming against the Texas state wildflower: the Bluebonnet.

The image with the footpath, comes from Tandy Hills Natural Area in Fort Worth, Texas. Located just minutes from downtown, it preserverves over 160 acres of native prairie, and you can find some spectatcular sunsets here, especially during the blooming season. Milkweed in endless varieties is prevalent, and milkweed is the favorite food (as well as place to cocoon) for the Monarch Butterfly.

 

 

Texas Wildflowers – Part 2

While Texas Bluebonnets are always crowd-pleasers, one of the other more populous Texas Wildflowers, would be the Indian Paintbrush, which possesses an orange to red hue with creme tips. Indian Paintbrushes in a normal year tend to start blooming as the Bluebonnets begin to peak and fade. They tend to reach similar heights to the bluebonnets, and can offer some great contrast which can really help to really bring out the blue hues in the Bluebonnet.

 

 

For more:

Texas Wildflowers – Part 1

Monument Valley

Monument Valley was made famous by Westerns made in the heyday of classic Hollywood. The area is strongly associated with John Wayne, and continues to be used in film today. More recent examples include the Lone Ranger film with Johnny Depp in it. The iconic geology gives it that essence of “Western and Desolate” filmmakers are looking for. Much of Monument Valley is nestled within the DinĂ© (Navajo) Nation. So I grabbed a Navajo guide and got to explore the area, including an area with Anasazi petroglyphs.