Shiloh National Cemetery

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Shiloh National Cemetery sits within the battlefield of Shiloh National Military Park in southern Tennessee.  It lies along the Tennessee River at Pittsburg Landing which was the crossing point for the Union Army during the battle.  It is a quiet and scenic memorial that was once a spot filled with rage.  The cemetery stands as a reminder of not only what happened there on April 6 and 7 of 1862, but also what happened along the Tennessee River.  The cemetery was established to bury Union dead, but now is a resting place of several soldiers from many American conflicts.  The picture above is looking out of the cemetery toward the battlefield.  Two flags fly above the cemetery, the POW flag and the flag of the United States as memorial to all the fallen.

Dawn’s Early Light

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Sunrise on an early morning shoot at Shiloh National Military Park in Tennessee.  This is one of my favorite places to shoot, especially in the late winter and early spring.  I went down this weekend to photograph one of the nesting pairs of Bald Eagles, unfortunately, they were not very active around the nest.  I go early because I always want to try to catch the sunrise and sometimes I get lucky to capture the fog lifting from the battlefield.  The National Military Parks serve as great reminders of the past, but they also serve as places of conservation.  When you visit, listen to the voices of the past and captivate yourself in the here and now.

Bird at Sunset

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Sunset and sunrise are a great time to get out and photograph.  In Kansas the wide open spaces allow a photographer to see for miles.  Even when I am not planning on spending much time in the field I do try to get out to find the a good spot in the mornings and evenings when I am home.  The flat land and vast spaces can create some amazing colors.

In this shot I was set up trying to capture the vibrant colors of the sunset with the land and fences silhouetted in the scene.  As I was shooting this bird landed on a fencepost within my eyesight.  I got it focused in my camera and started shooting as the sun went down.  The bird silhouetted in the orange clear sky made for a striking image in what I thought would be an uneventful night.

“Open Spaces”

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On a recent visit back to my home state of Kansas for a break from school in Tennessee I spent quite a bit of my time on the country roads photographing.  Kansas offers fascinating landscape photography potential.  The vast openness of the land leads to endless skies.  As the sun slid from behind the clouds and before it disappeared behind the horizon it broke perfectly to light the dead winter grass into a golden brown.  The color only lasted a few minutes, but gave great opportunity for amazing shots.

No matter where I travel I always try to find time for sunsets and sunrises.  Sometimes the best views are in your own backyard.  Enjoy and Keep Exploring!

A Glimpse Back: “At Ease”

At Ease

One of my favorite past times is to visit Civil War battlefields.  Each year my family would plan our summer vacation and it usually involved traveling to a battlefield.  There is something unexplainable about walking a place that once was filled with conflict and now sits quiet.  For me it is also about remembering what happened.

When photographing at battlefields I have a few ideas that I keep in mind.  First, capture a picture that highlights the beauty of the area.  Second, capture a picture that reminds us or serves as a glimpse into the past and what happened.  Third, try to capture the viewers imagination.

“At Ease” is such a simple picture, but it is a popular discussion piece.  It serves as a small glimpse into the past, but it also captures the viewers imagination.  This was taken at the 150th anniversary reenactment at Parker’s Crossroads Battlefield in Tennessee.  It was just something that I didn’t think much about when I captured the picture walking the trails and looking at the encampments.  To me it serves as a reminder of the calm before the storm.  What does it mean to you?

Looking Beyond the Usual: “Step Lightly”

Step Lightly

When traveling it is easy to get caught up by the large things that are easy to see, but try to look for the less noticeable parts to life.  The large elements are easy to spot and thus easy to photograph.  There is always something beyond what we can easily spot.  Whenever I need a wake up call to remind me of that this picture is what I go to.

While I was in Samburu National Reserve in Kenya it was easy to spot the elephants roaming the landscape, but the birds that roamed with them were not always easy to spot.  Thus, they never seemed that interesting to photograph.  However,  I always try to practice what I preach and look beyond the usual.  That is when this small cattle egret stood out to me walking around with it’s much larger partner.

We had stopped to watch a herd of elephants tear apart a small tree I noticed an elephant walking by itself on the other side of the jeep.  I pointed my camera toward the elephant as it came closer.  As it came out of the tall grass I noticed the egret walking in and out from under the elephant’s feet picking up bugs, the egrets live with the elephants and will pick bugs up to eat in the elephant’s wake.  Neither seemed concerned with all of the commotion around them.  They just went about their business.  I got down on the floor of the jeep for a better view and took several shots of the two, but didn’t think anything would come out of my work.  However, when I got back to the US and started looking through and sharing my work people were amazed by this picture.

It took me a while to see it, but it is easy to get caught up in how two animals of such different sizes can be so important to one another.  The others with me asked where I saw this and when I told them they said they noticed the elephant, but didn’t pay any attention to it.  I did and as luck would have it one of my most memorable photographs from Kenya came from watching two animals that were doing what they do naturally.  Watch for the small, less noticed things and sometimes they can make the best pictures.

For more information about Pamela visit http://www.wildradiancephotography.com

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Email: wildradiancephoto@gmail.com

 

“Eyes Into the Soul”: Getting the Shot

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I have been lucky to photograph some amazing wildlife over the past several years.  This picture comes from what would have to be my most memorable encounter.  I actually thought when I was taking this shot that I might be on the lioness’ menu for dinner that evening.  When I look at this photograph I cannot get past the thought that she was staring me down from only a few feet away.

This lioness had been spotted near the road and there was a small group of jeeps near her when we pulled up.  Our guide maneuvered his vehicle to a good spot in front of her to allow us to get the best possible position for photographs.  The lioness laid in the shade for quite a while.  I waited for her to move with my camera poised for the shot.  What happened next was not completely expected, me being naive.

The lioness got up and walked toward our jeep.  I remember Jelly, our guide, tapping me on the knee and telling me to slowly back down and sit if she looked like she was going to get on the jeep.  She kept her attention solely on us then hissed at us the way cats do.  My heart began to beat faster and my mouth got dry.  I had to control the fear that was starting to take over.  Keeping my composure I began to back up, keeping in mind to do it slowly so I wouldn’t excite her.  Luckily, and uneventfully, some impala got her attention and she headed off to hunt.

This was an amazing experience, but it was also a great lesson. Enjoy.

Pamela Peters

Email Pamela: wildradiancephoto@gmail.com

For more information about Pamela go to http://www.wildradiancephotography.com.

Find her on Facebook at Wild Radiance Photography, llc or on twitter.com/ppeters