“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.

 

Moment’s Rest

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A reflection of a bridge over the river that runs through Yosemite Valley.  I took this early in the morning as I was walking along the river shooting in the early morning light.

Looking for a View

Looking for a View

Taken at Arches National Park.  A visitor takes a photograph looking from the North Window View Arch.

Arches National Park

Broken Arch

On my way to Yosemite I was able to spend one evening and morning at Arches National Park outside of Moab, Utah. Arches was an awesome experience to see the natural arches created by erosion. It was also a great place to see the amazing rock formations. Expect to hike to see several of the arches. Some are easy and some are more difficult. Unfortunately, due to time constraints I was unable to do as much hiking as I wanted. I do recommend starting early to avoid the heat of the day and the crowds. If you have time take in a sunrise or sunset.

Sign of the Change in Weather

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An American Toad took cover on the side of the trail on one of my early spring hikes.  As these small animals become more abundant it is a sure sign that the warm weather is here to stay.

Left Behind

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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.