Saturday, December 10, 2016

It's was only two days...

In August I made a short trip out to Yellowstone. Here are a few images taken through the windshield with my phone.

I left home in the evening and made it out of Wisconsin across the Mississippi River and into Minnesota as the sun set.
So far so good. I spent the next nine hours driving through the night and Minnesota and South Dakota.
Sunrise found me just west of the Black Hills and at the Wyoming visitor center on I90.
Always good to be back in Wyoming. But just a quick nap and it was time to keep moving.
The highway runs past Gillette and Buffalo Wyoming, where almost 30 years ago I had some of the most delicious blueberry pancakes at a small diner at the foot of the Bighorn Mountains.
I love the wide open spaces.
After Sheridan the road swings north into Montana.
Billings to Livingston and then highway 89 to Gardiner Montana and the north entrance of Yellowstone Park.

The Crazy Mountains in the distance mean it's only about an hour and a half to Yellowstone Park.
Once in the park I got a camping spot at Mammoth and spent some time exploring the hot springs before going to sleep. I got up the next morning and was walking the Electric Peak trail by 7am and back to the car by 5 in the afternoon. I took a shower, had something to eat, and was on my way home by 10pm.
I made it east of Billings before stopping to sleep and took I94 through North Dakota the next day.
The clouds and sky really does seem different out there.
By 3:30 in the afternoon I was back in Minnesota and only six hours from home. Three days, all good..


On the way home...

I was in northern Wisconsin along the shore of Lake Superior last week and ran into a little weather on my way back to Madison.

I had snowy, slushy, and icy roads for four of the five hour drive.
Though the sun came out and the road was clear just as I made it home.
These photos were all taken through the windshield with a camera phone.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

One lucky maple tree....

Lucky for me anyway. The tree was located in a industrial area and right near the front of a building, but by laying on the ground and being vigilant about the backgrounds I was able to make it work.

I really like the patterns and shapes and colors of these photos.
I used a couple of different lenses and felt good about the images I made so I put my gear away and headed back to the cemetery.
When I got there I was just looking for color and light. I found it with this maple tree.
I love the shapes and structure of its branches along with the light through its canopy.
I spent some time reading names and dates on various headstones and sat with my back against a maple tree as the sun dropped below the horizon. It was a peaceful, beautiful night.

Looking for color...

led me to a local cemetery and golf course.

I only had about 45 minutes before sunset so I headed towards a colorful maple tree and got to work.

Isolate specific good looking leaves, watch out for the background and depth of field, and always be conscious of the light.
Sometimes just shoot it while it's there and find out it's not quite right later. I think looking up these trunks gets a little busy.
Keep looking for the color and pay attention to the light and once it's gone, keep moving.

Shadows fell over the maple tree, but the sun was still hitting some oaks on a nearby golf course.

I really liked the colors on this specific group of changing oak leaves.
As the sun dropped towards the horizon I had to keep moving to leaves higher on the tree and still in the light.
Find some good looking leaves, wait for the wind to die down, focus and shoot.
My shutter speeds were getting slow and I was hand holding this stuff so I turned up the ISO and kept working.
I was switching between three different lenses and just did the best I could.
The light was fading fast.
So I worked near the trunk and shot almost straight up at the leaves catching the last light up near the top. And then it was all over.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Color and a katydid...

I hadn't been seeing much color this fall when I had a camera and the time to capture it.

So I took advantage of a half hour and one lonely maple in the Madison arboretum.
I isolated good looking leaves using the available light and shadow and got to work.
I wasn't having an easy time of it but I kept on working with what was there.
As I moved around the tree looking for better angles and interesting images I heard something in the fallen leaves below.
I looked down and found this katydid on its side making noises. So I picked it up and moved it to a lit leaf on the tree and made a couple of quick images.
Earlier, I had heard a loud insect making noises in a different tree and didn't know what it was. Finding this katydid solved that mystery.
The light was fading fast as the sun headed toward the horizon.
Don't hurry, no worries, just keep doing what you can, I reminded myself.
This is supposed to be fun, it's beautiful out here, enjoy it.
I finished with a few leaves against the color of a maple tree whose crown was still catching the sunlight 40 feet up. And then the light was gone.