Friday, November 27, 2009

Depot - Shawnee, OK

One of the earliest things I can remember doing as a child was riding with my mom on a train from Shawnee, OK to Houston, TX. I was almost 4 years old. It was an exciting time to be boarding a train. I don't remember much but I remember the seats, the window and getting to travel all night. OK, maybe I was asleep for a lot of it, but it is still a memory I can recall. The year would have been 1950. My brother was not around yet but was "in the hanger" which is very appropriate since he became a pilot eventually. I always drive by the station when I am in Shawnee just to see what photo ops exist and every time it is cloudy or dreary. Thanksgiving day was EXCELLENT! Required a delay before lunch so that I could get out and walk around this fine bit of architecture and history. It is now a museum and warrants a return visit to see the inside, not that I remember anything about the old depot, but somehow I want to see that part of history. Having traveled in Europe by train, this station has none of the size and grandeur of some of their stations but then most of the ones in Europe I visited were new, the old ones demolished in conflicts.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Photographers in the Mist

Just completed the annual meeting of the Great Plains Nature Photographers here in Kansas. Attendance was almost 140. Our featured speaker this year was none other than world renowned conservation writer and photographer, Boyd Norton. Excellent programs were presented about his work and the history of saving places both wild and beautiful all over the world. We also had a very interesting presentation by Gene Worsley of MPIX concerning color and color space.

I have been a friend of Boyd's since 1981. he and his wife, Barb, drove in from Denver on Thursday and spent the weekend at our place in McPherson. Great evenings of wine/beer/food and conversation. To make the weekend even that more special for me we also had Keith Schwamkrug (an excellent photographer and teacher of Photoshop) here along with great friend Allen Crenshaw (I worked for Allen in his studio in Denison, TX back in the 70's) and his brother Clark Crenshaw (a fine art photographer from Dallas, TX). WOW! Could not have been better for me in any way.

On Friday we drove out early to Maxwell Wildlife Refuge near Canton, KS. The goal was to photograph bison and elk on the refuge. The fog was so thick we were not sure we would even see any much less get chances to shoot images. Refuge worker and wildlife expert, Owen, took us out on the range in the refuge pick up. Within 10 minutes he had us in the middle of a herd of Bison. Owen apologized for not having sunny skies little knowing at the time that we were delighted to have the fog, a nice change for the type of images we were seeking. After 45 minutes with the Bison we left in search of the Elk. Again, Owen had us in great shooting range within just a few minutes. The elk, all big bulls, were spread across a hilltop with a row of leafless cottonwood trees faded into the foggy background. WOW! Excellent shooting again!

The photographers in the truck are left to right: Boyd Norton (; Clark Crenshaw ( and Duane Graham, my great friend from Hesston, KS and a shooting companion on many trips! Hope you can join us next year.