Saturday, February 28, 2009

Glimmer of Sunrise - Texas Panhandle

Watching a herd of deer in the grass, I could tell the sun was about to burst over the horizon somewhere near the two windmills on the ranch across the shallow depression from where I was sitting.  I waited for the first glimmer of sun and used my 100-400L IS lens to catch the first arc of the bright globe as it slide up into view.  My spot was pure accident or maybe serendipity happened for me?  Not sure I really care but the image was just a grab shot while photographing deer.  Lucky works, sometimes, doesn't it?

Friday, February 27, 2009

West Texas - Palo Duro Canyon

Palo Duro Canyon is always a neat place to hike and shoot. Today was no exception. Got there in the late afternoon and stayed until sunset. Interesting light as the shadows crept up the canyon walls. First trip to Palo Duro was in 1968 with a girlfriend while I was in college. We eventually got married, 1969, which is still going strong nearly 40 years later. Hard to believe she is that old!

West Texas - Caprock Canyon State Park

This was a great surprise. Left Oklahoma this morning to see Caprock Canyon State Park. New one to me! It was actually a very neat place to hike and shoot. Our timing was bad - got here in the middle of the day - but the trails were very exciting. Highly recommended as long as it is not summer!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Near Summit of Mt. Baldy

Ok - so I stayed awake a little longer to get a shot posted from "Camp V" on Mt. Baldy. To get to the top all I had to do was manuever thru the Ice Fall and over the Hillary Step and I could have been at the summit but I was out of Oxygen, bottle was depleted, and this was affecting my thinking. Ok, you alert readers know there is no Camp V here and all I needed to do was abandon my camera gear and scramble over some rocks and I would have been on the summit..... ....but it would still look like western Oklahoma below, just 150 feet higher. I have an aversion to leaving a 40D and a Rebel XTi sitting with a 16-35L 2.8 lens, a 100-400L IS len, a 24-105L IS lens, a Canon 100mm/2.8 macro and Tamron 11-88 lens sitting along a trail just to get you guys a shot from the real summit when mine was quite nice, thank you.

Quartz Mountain

Quartz Mountain is one of the most spectacular places in all of Oklahoma and for that matter the plains states. I literally fell in love with it this trip (first time I have been here) and plan on making several return trips. I am staying in the lodge overlooking the lake right out my room for $59 a night. The room is excellent and the restaurant here is fantastic. Met the chef. He is from Nigeria but has been in the US for 24+ years. Excellent guy and the food is superb.
Took a fairly long hike today around the base of Mt. Baldy, a fav for rock climbers and took a hike up the back of the mountain to within about 150 feet of the summit. Had to turn back with too much camera gear to do all the rock scrambling. Did get some nice shots looking out across the plains from up there. Will post one of them later. Headed for Palo Duro Canyon area tomorrow.

SW Oklahoma

Been on the road since Wednesday morning and did make it to the top of Mt. Scott in Oklahoma in time for the sunset whcih was excellent. Mt.Scott is in the Wichta Mtns Wildlife Refuge near Lawton, OK. We were only there for the afternoon then headed over to Quartz Mountain for the next day.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sunset in the Ozarks

Driving from Jackson, MS to Mountain Home, AR yesterday afternoon with a side trip to Corinth, MS, I was watching the sunset in the Ozarks of Northern Arkansas and knew it would be a nice colorful sun sinking in the west. Not many good views were available with either trees or houses in the way, but as I topped a ridge, directly across the valley, the sun was resting on the trees of the opposing ridge. I dove off the road onto a small drive, shut off the engine, popped the trunk and ran around scrambling to get the Canon 40D and Canon 100-400L IS coupled and powered up. Quickly ratcheted in an appropriate ISO setting and selected AV mode at f/8 and braced the combination on top of the roof (no time to set up a tripod!). I got about 10 shots before the scene was gone. Luckily it came together. So many times when a setting like this is happening, there is no place to pull off or the foreground is BAD or the camera is not with me (seldom is this a problem) or some other issue exists. This time I won for a change!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day Banquet

Last night was our Valentine's Day Dinner served by the youth at our local church. Great dinner and fun entertainment!  I shot a few images using the 40D Canon and 24-105L IS lens as well as the 580 strobe with bounce and fill set to -2/3 at ISO1600.  Worked out well.  Put together the composite shown above and it was hanging on the bulletin board this morning in 13 x 19 size (Super A3 for those keeping score) - Excellent turnout.