A Heavenly Sign . . .

A recent photo sojourn to one of my favorite Texas State Parks proved to be a most wonderous event! Near the end of my walk, I stopped by the edge of a lake looking for any last photo opportunities before leaving. After a few minutes, I was drawn to look upward and noticed a striking cloud formation. Within moments, I observed the formation of a cross in the cobalt-colored blue sky. I was mesmerized! My very being felt transposed, lighter and more absorbing. A sense of overwhelming joy penetrated me.

It was truly a spiritual, indelible experience I will cherish for the rest of my amazing time on earth! There are signs everywhere . . . when we take the time to focus our attention. Psalm 19:1 (NIV) The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

I did manage to capture a few frames during those two minutes of visual and emotional bliss. Technical Data: The attached image (actual, non-manipulated) was taken with a Nikon D850/Nikon 24mm f1.8 @f8, and a shutter speed of 1/500 sec. Time at moment of capture, 3:40pm (CST).

“There is always, always something to be thankful for.”

Celebrate the wonder of this Thanksgiving holiday with people who celebrate you!

Image captured on a misty morning in the foothills of the Julian Alps, Slovenia. I used my favorite landscape and all-around camera, a Nikon D850 with a Nikon 70-200mm at 200mm. I love using longer glass when shooting because of the additional compression that takes place. As a result, the soft, misty background was brought in to a closer relationship with the foreground, which helped to evoke a painterly quality to the photograph.

Reduce the Tussle . . .

I think photographers often tussle too much with their art. I have always believed that simplicity was the key to better photography. Over the years, I have seen a great many photographers try too hard in order to create the perfect picture. Often to the detriment of the subject before them. They include everything but the kitchen sink in their photograph! Which is a sure recipe for what I have termed image dilution; too much information in your photograph. I think the artist Leonardo da Vinci had this in mind when he expressed so eloquently, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Learn to say more with less.

When I feel myself struggling with the endless search for the perfect composition, perspective, gesture, narrative, point of view, etc., I take a step back and quiet my mind for a few moments. I stop trying so hard. Such was the case with the photograph of the nearly twenty-foot, hand-painted Moroccan door. A feast for the photographer’s eye! So many possibilities, so many choices of artistic execution. I could have chosen to include the entire door, which I felt was a bit too busy. While observing the door from a closer perspective, I became more aware of the beautiful gold colored latch! All I had to do was refine my vision and reduce the extraneous. I simplified my approach and the result was a most delightful surprise. It had always been there waiting to be expressed.

The next time you feel overwhelmed with your photographic subject whatever it may be, take a few moments to quiet your inner thoughts. Relax your being. Simplify your approach. If you let it, the answers will come in a more crystalline form than you thought possible!

Autumn Wonder . . .

I am struck by the simplicity of light in the atmosphere in the autumn, as if the earth absorbed none, and out of this profusion of dazzling light came the autumnal tints. ~ Henry David Thoreau

On this first day of autumn, go out and frame something glorious with your camera! Image was captured while sauntering through the Socca Valley, Slovenia.

Elk – Yellowstone National Park

I spotted this elk after sunset as we were driving toward the north entrance of Yellowstone. He separated from a group of elk that were getting ready to bed down for the evening. I shot several frames handheld with my Nikon 500mm f5.6 as he ambled along the grassy meadow. Some nice shots, but when he turned his head to look at another elk approaching him, I knew that was the gesture that would add the pizzazz I was hoping for.

Last Kiss of Light . . .

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On our western driving sojourn, we spent time in the quaint town of Pinedale, Wyoming, which is the gateway to the picturesque Wind River Range. The Winds stretches for more than a hundred miles with 35 peaks over 13,000 feet in elevation. Yes, a nature photographer can truly get lost in time here. It was fun chasing the sweet morning and evening light. In this image, I was attracted to the last rose-colored rays of light kissing the mountains. The scene kept unveiling new, beckoning wonders that had me keeping the camera to my eye shooting. This final capture was its ending tease! A fitting tribute to a fine day of photographing and revealing in the peaceful, majestic Wind River Range. We will definitely be back!

Technical notes: Nikon D850 camera, Nikon 70-200mm f4 @f8, +0.3 exposure compensation.

Bannack Ghost Town, Montana

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This is an interior shot believed to me a miner’s cabin built sometime after gold was discovered in 1862. I loved the natural quality of light that was flowing through the windows, which created a soft palette of colors. Additionally, the gesture of the rippled and peeling wallpaper added some nice visual tension. The wonderful chair just happened to be in the right location. When the gifts come along, celebrate!

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Bannack is truly a fine art photographer’s playground! So many soft, colorful interiors that took my creative breath away! The whole experience was a memorable immersion into historical renderings, lovely natural light, pastel colors, perspective, and weathered design.

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Bannack Ghost Town, Montana

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During our recent western sojourn, we made time to spend a day in an authentic, well-preserved gold mining town dating to 1862. Ambling the main street on a quiet July morning, one feels as though you were transported back in time. The over forty buildings have been preserve rather than restored, which only adds to the “frozen in time” feeling one gets. This image is the grand staircase of the red brick Hotel Meade.

I shot with natural, available light (my preferred style) to preserve the wonderful narrative of the scene. I used my favorite Nikon D850 camera with a Nikon 35mm f1.8 lens shot at 1/60 sec., @f6.3. I really love shooting with fixed focal length lenses! Many times it is my preferred choice over zoom lenses. There is nothing like a single focal length lens to make you move yourself in relation to your subject. As a result, more possibilities continue to reveal themselves.