“Rhea Spring”: Shooting in the Morning

Rhea Spring

One of my favorite times of day to photograph is early in the morning, especially when I visit a National Park.  Many people prefer sunset because of the convenience, but at sunrise there are often fewer people.  As the sun comes up the land begins to come alive.

This was a morning a couple of weeks ago at Shiloh National Military Park near Rhea Spring.  The sun was coming up and the water was running well from all of the recent rain.  I don’t always shoot toward the sun, but use the light that is cast over the landscape to photograph scenes.  The fog was rising from the water due to the warming of the landscape and the light highlighted it showing a mist.  The ISO was lowered and shutter speed slowed in order to create the effect with the water and capture to light right for the breaking sun.

Don’t be afraid to try shooting from different positions to get different perspectives.  As the sun rose I spent about an hour capturing the scene before the fog was gone.  I moved around along the creek bed standing, sitting, getting closer and further from the bridge.  The idea was to not only frame the scene the way I wanted, but to work with the natural light of the rising sun.

Left Behind

Left Behindword

While traveling the back roads of Kansas I am always looking for old houses and barns to photograph.  This abandoned house sits a few miles from where I grew up.  It sits inconspicuously on a hill hidden by trees from the highway that runs behind it that is less than a mile away.  These old homes have so many stories tucked away in their walls and I am always challenged to tell their story.  This was a late spring day just as the sun was setting and a storm was moving in.

Take a Hike

Grand Canyon

Take a Hike: Grand Canyon National Park VIDEO

Here is something new that I have started.  After having several people ask me to start documenting some of my stories and sharing my adventures I started a YouTube series called Take a Hike.  This is the newest episode based around my trip to the Grand Canyon.  Take a look at my other episodes.

Discovering Yourself and the Outdoors

Encountering Yellowstone’s Wildlife

Yellowstone’s Changing Weather

Photographing Sunrise

Old Relic

Old Relic

One of the projects that I am currently working on is highlighting the state of Kansas.  I am working on photographing the landscape, historical places, but also some abandoned towns (ghost towns).  This building is the last remains of Silkville, KS in Franklin County.  The schoolhouse sits close to the current town of Williamsburg.

The town was established in 1870 by French immigrants who wanted to establish a town that relied on the silk trade.  The town was prosperous at first, but slowly declined.  In 1916 the remains of the town burned leaving the only three stone buildings, the school and two barns.  The school is all that fully remains today.

I spent some time photographing the schoolhouse as mist fell.  The fog created left a kind of eery feeling on the day as I photographed this historical and abandoned building.  As I photograph more I find that old buildings have a great story to tell.

Dawn’s Early Light

Dawn's Early Light word

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.