Archive for the ‘photography nature wildlife photojournalism Canon journ’ Category

I have to say that I am quite fortunate sometimes.

Today, as  I was driving through Peartle Springs I envisioned a photo opportunity  immediately. The image I saw turned out to be of a lady named Valerie. She is 82 years old and has been a fisher-woman since she was twelve. Originally from Kansas City, she has since moved to the more quiet town of Warrensburg. Valerie fishes at Peartle Springs on a regular basis; I have actually seen her before. Today the lighting was just right for making her image. Her face has such character and when she speaks that character comes out. I sat next to Valerie for close to an hour, talking only when I felt it necessary. She was confident and had a sharp sense of humor. I was enthralled by her personality, she seemed to know why I was there and didn’t mind. Normally when approaching someone with a camera and asking for a portrait I feel uneasy. Valerie was one step ahead of me. I walked up and no sooner had I opened my mouth to speak did she say, “The last man that took my picture made me look ninety-two.” I was sort of stunned. She knew why I was there. After thinking for a minute I said, “No ninety-two year old could cast that far”. We were friends with each other after that.

I feel that I am being led in other directions than I initially thought. Maybe I am supposed to connect with these people. I think I am going to pursue portraits more than I originally thought I would. I feel something completely different when photographing a person compared to a landscape. When I stop to photograph a landscape, I feel in control. I have this sense of weakness when photographing people, but not in a bad way. I feel that they are dictating my actions. I am only recording what they give me. I enjoy it. When I finally get to the point that I feel like I know this person, the image has already been taken.



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This morning I traveled the short distance to Knob Knoster State Park. I was fortunate enough to have beautiful clouds and lighting. Instead of writing in past tense about my expedition this morning, I will share excerpts from my journal. I hope you like it.

            “…Beautiful. I think to take a picture, even though it won’t compare. How can it? The viewer won’t feel the slipping ice or the wind down their back. They wont see the leaves frozen in time. Why do I try then?…”

The Lounge Chair

          “…The wind hits my journal and passes on to the shuttering leaves. Glowing like ambers of a fire, the leaves vacillate on their branches. The air is brisk and cool. Each gust cools my fingers ever so slightly. I sit at the base of a tree I dubbed “The Lounge Chair…”

To My Left

          “…To my left is the lake. I watch as dozens of dried and frozen leaves slide their way along the ice….It seems I am perched on a peninsula that contains the right formula of earthly elements to create a vast area of moss. Even in the dead of winter, the moss contains pigments of green. I pause a moment to capture an image…”

Opening My Eyes

          “…I don’t want to go. I don’t want the trees to think I am not loyal. I love them, I really do. I will stay a little longer. I close my eyes and ease my head back against the tree. It has been a magnificent morning I cannot forget. I will not let myself forget…”



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A night of cityscape photos  in Omaha and a day of shooting landscapes in the Loess Hills has produced some excellent images with my Canon 5D. When coming to Iowa I imagined cornfields and the occasional cow. I have come away with a completely different outlook. I am thoroughly thrilled with the images I have captured.

Starting in chronological order of capture is Omaha, NE. After a pleasant dinner at the Old Chicago Restaurant I took to the streets for some urban landscapes. Using my 5D I have become a firm believer in full frame sensor and its incredible image quality. Bracketing exposures of up to 30 seconds, I was able to capture detail throughout the cityscape. Using High Dynamic Range Photo to process these images enabled stunning color and detail. Omaha is a pleasant town, or at least the Old Market area I visited. I would compare the Old Market as a smaller version of the Plaza in Kansas City. Conversing with the homeless people while capturing the city lights brought some humor to an otherwise cool night.

Omaha Cityscape 

Second photo is of an old dilapidated gas station named “Stuckeys”. I hear from the locals that this was once a bustling place to stop by, but due to various reasons it has since went under. None the less, I captivated on the stores demise. I enjoy studying these broken down buildings for numerous reasons. They provide wonderful textures, colors, and shapes mainly. When photographing these areas, I am always aware of my surroundings because it is not uncommon for another curious individual to come along.


The last image is what most people that know me would say epitomizes my photography: outdoor scenics. I love this image for the pure fact that it is exactly how I saw this in real life. Minus the feeling of the outdoor elements, this image depicts the colors and texture I saw standing there. This was captured in the Loess Hills State Park. Driving along, this barn instantly stuck out as a photographic opportunity. A combination of the diffused light and the blue sky causes the barn to look ominous yet warm. I captured numerous images around the barn, but I feel this is one of the strongest compositions. I may post more from this spot when I get the time to process the rest of my images.

Loess Hills Barn

The day was great! While the wind was brisk, the sun was warm. I have over 500 images to process, therefore there may be quite a few more posts from Iowa. I hope you enjoy. Remember you must only be slightly more aware than the average person, to see the extraordinary beauty. 


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Shooting landscapes in Pisgah, IA has tested my photographic abilities. With blistering cold winds and dreary overcast skies, one might ask why I was knee deep in snow photographing. I however was impervious to the cold and trudged on with my dedicated girlfriend. Having my new wide angle on for most of the day, I was able to achieve some acceptable images. I have been fortunate enough to witness two nice winter sunsets however. One which I have posted here. Having only my laptop, I will wait until I get back to my workhorse computer to edit all of my images. I will post more on Pisgah and the surrounding areas soon.


Iowa Chill

Knee Deep

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I processed this image so that it would reflect  more of a cold feeling. Considering it was 8 degrees, this is a more accurate portrayal of the scene.


Cool Colors


I will be heading to Iowa (weather permitting) and look foward to some more cool (literally) images. I hope to have a good collection come Monday.


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First Image


Well, the time finally came for me to upgrade. Tonight I entered into the full frame sensor group of photographers. I bought the Canon 5D 12 megapixel DSLR. To go along with the stellar camera I bought a Canon 17-40mm L-series lens to along with it. This is a huge upgrade from my Canon 30D(still love thta camera too). Not only is the 5D more megapixels, the pixels themselves are bigger. Now for those that don’t understand what that means: it basically means better image quality. This better image quality will especially be shown when photographing in low light situations. For a landscape photographer that shoots mostly in low light, this is very important. I am excited to get this thing out on some longer expeditions than what I could tonight. Ahh tonight…thats a funny story in itself.

Well, to make a long story short I ended up driving around searching for the FedEx man who wouldn’t drop off the camera without a signature. Since I was in class and my landlord was out of the office, the package gets put back in the truck to be jostled for another day. Well we couldn’t have that! So back and forth I went, getting one place only to be told to go somewhere else. Finally I got “John the FedEx Man’s” phone number and met him in a Casey’s gas station for the drop off. 🙂 I drove sixty miles to pick up my camera 8 miles from my apartment. The sacrifices we make in the name of photography.

I uploaded a few pics from tonights expedition, including my first image with the 5D. Not alot I could do tonight considering it was dark, windy, and literally ZERO degrees. My fingers are still burning and tingling as I type this. Hope you enjoy and I will post more later.

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Well I must confess that I could be out taking photos in the cold right now, but instead I am inside in the warmth and comfort. I blame my laziness partially due to some sort of infection in my head that is causing severe pressure and headaches. SO…I go back on some previously skipped images and edit them or upload them.

Here is an image from Lions Lake, here in Warrensburg. Perhaps it looks familiar to some. I have many decent images from the little snow we got before Christmas and decided that it fit the mood of cold and dreary I am feeling now. Hope you enjoy.


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