“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.

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It’s All About Perspective: Using Depth of Field

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This was taken this past summer when I was visiting Yosemite National Park.  This is a picture of the iconic Yosemite Falls.  We often see pictures trying to highlight the massive size of the waterfall.  Sometimes size is all about perspective.  Sometimes a closeup with other things in front create the same feeling of size.  The attempt was to highlight the size of this massive waterfall, but to give a perspective that is often not seen.  This was taken with a 300 mm lens and using depth of field to highlight the falls.  Although the whole waterfall does not appear in the picture the trees in front and the fact that the waterfall disappears out of the picture at the top and behind a hill in the front give the idea that there is something massive.  It is all about perspective and sometimes getting away from the norm.

 

Desolation

Desolation word

On a warm winter day I went for a drive with my father.  We had driven out into the country so that I could photograph the grave of a Civil War veteran from the area for the local museum.  On our way back I took a long detour to see what I could capture.  I drive the country roads around my home town of Richmond, KS pretty regularly in the summer when I am there, but winter brings a different perspective that I rarely get to see.

As the sun began to set the light became perfect for photographing the landscape.  I got out of the car and walked along this country road snapping pictures and taking advantage of the light.  This tree has always been a fascination for me.  As long as I can remember it has sat along the side of the road all alone, like many trees in Kansas.  As the light fell I got down on one knee in the middle of the road and took this shot.  I love the feeling of the emptiness of the prairie that it gives me.  It is a reminder of home, but also that there is a road leading there.  I love the peace and tranquility of the light as the sun sets.  I hope you enjoy it and please share what it says to you.