Posts Tagged ‘Knob Knoster State Park’

Going out a second time to Knob Knoster turned out to be productive once again. I went out yesterday morning and snagged this HDR image of the sunrise. I love taking photos of the sun shining through the tree tops. Something about the emotions it can evoke always has interested me. I was going to go out this morning but the weather was less than pleasing. I don’t mind cold and I don’t mind snow but when it is cold and there is no snow as well as no interesting sky, I seem to value sleep more. So I sip my Espresso blend coffee and enjoy the climate controlled environment.

Check out my new page I added last night. Click here to see what gear I use. Also, you should see my latest photos on flickr. I apologize, but many of the images are also seen here on naturallycomposed. This is done so that when you click on the image, you are sent in a separate window to flickr. If you experience any problems on my site, please notify me so I can fix them. Have a good day.


Knob Knoster Day 2

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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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Tonight I began a new road in my photography. It involves software and implementing heavy post processing to my images. This may turn some off to the photos immediately, but to others that view with unbiased eyes; they will love the images and embrace them.

Photomatix is an HDR software that uses cutting edge technology and algorithms to mesh numerous images of the same scene(different exposures) into one single file. High Dynamic Range refers to the highlight to shadow difference in a scene. Even the most sophisticated cameras have a limit to the amount of detail captured in one exposure. I am not giving up my previous type photos, only broadening my possibilities. If you have ever taken a photo of a sunset, only to see the print and say, ‘You had to have been there” then you will appreciate HDR. If anything, this new software will create a more accurate portrayal of what my eyes see.


And now for a preview of what is to come.






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A unique and awesome experience came before me tonight. I truly believe I left the woods tonight, a better photographer. Let me explain why.

I began the afternoon with fairly high hopes, but little did I know the evening would be as great as it was. The sky was very unpredictable, with variety of weather. It was windy and rainy, and then just windy. Then the sun would peak out for a minute and everything would come ablaze with radiant energy. I scrambled from one spot to another as if I were a squirrel harvesting nuts. The thing I soon realized was that I was becoming free of obstacles. Everywhere I looked, was a fascinating scene. One way was direct sunlight with vivid clouds, I turn the other way there is a perfect semi-circular rainbow. It was splendid! I took images with ease. I was not intimidated by the beauty. A confession I must make now is; I often feel unworthy or not cut out for the job of capturing the magnificent scenes I witness. Not tonight. I became comfortable with my camera and lens. I used filters without hesitation or confusion. I composed with surprising speed. I am not sure what happened tonight. All I know is that I have never felt so comfortable with capturing nature. Yes, I am always at home when in the outdoors, but tonight I felt confident. I wanted to scream with happiness! I knew before looking at my LCD that I had indeed captured my vision. A compelling phenomena. I absolutely believe I learned more tonight about myself and my equipment than any other journey before today. A bold statement that only my future images can attest to. I have chosen three photos that I feel tell the story of my evening. Maybe some other night, I will go into detail about the actual journey I went on tonight. I leave by saying that God has blessed me with the most magnificent blessing. That blessing is sight. An overpowering and remarkable sense, that is dominant over the other senses the human body possesses.

On my knees behind my tripod and camera, I prayed a prayer of thanks. The shutter closed, my eyes opened, and I blew a kiss goodnight to the glory before me.



On the Hill


Kiss Goodbye

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Take a look at these images! Is this not such an inviting place? My photography buddy William, and I definately found it pleasing to the eye and to all the senses for that matter. This spot is located at Knob Knoster State Park. I call it ‘Red Rock Corner”. For those who have my book, you have seen this place before. The shale like rock is consistently changing colors; I believe it has something to do with the seasons and correlating weather. Anyhow, it is a great subject for photographing, and the variations make it a spot to frequent periodically throughout the year. It should be noted that if you look the other way as in the black and white image, you will be greeted with a reflection pool bordered with lovely sycamores. How great! Awesome subjects both ways. I could go on and on about this spot. I do want to leave some mystery though; afterall the viewer must do more than nonchalantly stare at the images to fully appreciate them.



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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.


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After a very chilly morning, the sun warmed up the day and it was absolutely lovely. It was if you were wearing a coat that is.

I took a walk to one of my favorite spots at Knob Knoster State Park this evening. I was anticipating fall colors on the trees, but to my surprise, there were more leaves on the ground then in the trees. Well, adapt and improvise. I began to focus my attention to each puddle, every cluster of leaves, and every relfection. I believe my back is sore from all the crouching and bending I did. That means I was doing a good job. 🙂 Anyways, I have included a small gallery of what I would consider, an initmate view of autumn. Hope you enjoy. Oh, and stay tuned for a great moment I captured tonight! I am sure the story will be up very soon, considering it was awesome and I want to share it with everyone. I depart now, getting my “zen on” to “Allian Bougrain Dubourg & Arno Elias”. Look ’em up if you do so feel inclined.


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