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Archive for the ‘Wildlife’ Category

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.

Stuckey's

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. 

MT

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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.

MT

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Goose TriptychHaving felt some flu like symptoms, I decided to get my mind off of it by taking some photographs. I am glad I did because it was a very productive night. I went to the local lakes on the edge of town and began searching. At first I was wondering if the clouds wouldn’t overcome the sun and it would turn into an overcast sunset. To my joy, the sun overcame the clouds to create a miraculous sunset. I always say that the best sunsets are those followed by storms or clouds. I was right. Well, I went to another lake after a few landscape shots and found the good stuff. Dozens of Canadian Geese were circling and landing on what is called Lion’s Lake. It was spectacular to see them fly with the wind, cup their wings, face into the wind, and gently glide to the water. Due to the low light conditions, I was forced to use long exposures. I knew what the outcome would be; impressionistic and painterly like photos. I loved it! The geese were very nervous with me there and began taking off shortly after landing. I never chased them to fly, they naturally and freely fled the area. With the fleeing geese came great sunset shots. I began composing some simple landscapes and then I created one panorama. I may share that on another day. I must go now, even though I am just getting warmed up. I must finish a few homework assignments before going to sleep. Have a great weekend.

MT

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Well, I said that I was going to share a story of an experience I had yesterday. So here it goes.

I walked down a dried up creek bed, and hit the main stream. This is a process I do quite often, and something I learned as a survival tip. “Follow small streams down and they will lead to bigger streams, which lead to civilization.” Anyways, back on subject. I was “working the area”. I was focusing on my “intimate shots” when I glanced up stream and noticed a deer making its way up the bank of the creek. I would say the deer was probably 125-150 yards upstream. It was beautiful though! The light hitting its coat, the colorful backdrop, and the flowing stream all together. I decided that there was no time for a photo, plus I was too far away. All I did was watch this deer, unknowning to me, cross the stream and disappear amongst the trees. I sat there with a smile on my face, I knew the moment was captured none the less. My mental capture was better than any photo I could have gotten of the deer.

I popped back into photography mode and walked upstream, since I had high rubber boots on, I walked straight up the little rapids I was photographing. I like to be right in the middle of my subject. After all, anyone can walk to the edge of the water and take a photo. I photographed the water rushng by rocks that had clumps of leaves on them. Yea, thats nice. Uhh, thats fine. Nothing great though!

All of a sudden I look upstream and see movement. My hunting instincts kick in and tell me to get down and sit still. My photography instincts say, “Get a little closer Matthew”. So…I of course crouch down and jog upstream as far as I feel comfortable. I justify to myself that I was “sneaky” while jogging up the stream. Second thing. I had to switch lenses!!! Duh, I can’t photograph a deer from a hundred yards with a wide angle. Being in the middle of the stream I dipped my knees into the icy water, pulling my camera bag off my back and fumbling for my telephoto. I find a rock to perch my bag on. I keep my eye on the deer as I change lenses. Using my manual focus Olympus 70-210mm I set the f/stop and the shutter speed. I adjust the white balance and the ISO. I begin to expose images, switching between horizontal and vertical shots. I make sure I slow down and concentrate for every shot. I would rather take one great shot than ten shots and then realize I needed to change something. I watch the deer traverse the creek. I capture two images. One that travels through the elements of my lens, past the mirror, and into the sensor. The second, from my retina, to my optic nerve, to my thalamus, and then to my visual cortex. This image will saty there for years to come, being bake to be brought up fro mmy database within seconds. Within moments the images are captured. The deer moves on, defeated from the steep embankment. She searches for an easier way. Likewise, I move on. Not necessarily looking for the easiest path. All the while I smile, knowing I have done my best to capture what I saw. I am well aware that I will fail, but that is what drives me. I do not believe my images will ever equate to being in the scene itself. I only hope I can come awefully close. I am an observer of beauty, I am a philosopher of nature, and I am a photographer attempting to capture both.

MT

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Even when not wetting a line in the North Fork, that is where I am. If it isn’t the river, its the woods bordering it. It is my sanctuary, my home, and my place of solitude. Nothing can get me when I am on the river or in the woods. Only the animals that frequent the woods will sense my presence. If I am lucky, not even they will recognize me. I want to be forgotten. Motionless, slowly breathing I will become a tree, become a rock in the river, or simply become nature itself.

I do my best to blend in, it is a pitiful atempt in all reality. I am not apart of nature. The Earth has become a sanctuary for humans and not so much for the creatures that originally were here.    “I know I am intruding but please let me stay”, I cry. They reject me at first. I am an intrusion. I don’t belong here. “Please, I want to stay”, I say again. “I will be quiet, I won’t even move from this tree”, I reassure them. Shhhh…..Don’t move, they are accepting me. They are curious, just like myself.

I once was a part of nature. Mankind was a part of nature. Relying on the land, self-suffiecent, respecting the earth they stood on. Where is that today? When do you stop and look at a leaf, think about the veins of life running throught it just like yourself, and appreciate the beauty in it. Simplicity. A word commonly ignored today. Well, tomorrow I head to simplicity. I will walk amongst the trees, walk along the rocky river bottom, and I will be where I should be. It is my life. Nature is the blood that runs through my veins.

MT

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Okay, so I am jumping out of my seat with the excitement my last batch of images has brought me. Not only did I get to be in the woods this weekend and witness magnifcent (and cunning) Whitetails, but I got to enjoy a float on the river. It was beautiful and I did all I could to cram the beauty in my small viewfinder. It would be comparable to if I was a painter, I would need a canvas that I could run along and paint every detail I saw. No image can bring the happiness of actually being there, but to those who weren’t experiencing God’s marvelous creation this weekend, here is a little of what you missed. Too busy admiring my work to write more. Enjoy.        Oh!!! One more thing. Go out and enjoy nature, it changes every day.

MT

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After harvesting my turkey, Iproceeded to photograph its feathers. If observed form different angles, one can see the iridescent and reflective colors. Taking an object like a feather and turning it into an abstract image is somethign that I delight in doing. It makes the viewer look a little closer. Once you have done this, yo ubegin to see the usually unseen.

MT

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