We have had more trips cancelled this year than we have gone on. Such is the year 2020.
We had put off our trip to Alstrom Point, overlooking Lake Powell, due to weather. Not bad weather, but too much blue sky! With little rain or clouds on the horizon, a beautiful typical AZ blue sky can be less than photogenic.
So when forecasts for clouds came out, we packed up and headed out. Unfortunately, there were none. While we were there, the weather forecast called for clouds the next day (when previously it had called for Clear and Sunny). So we stayed another day. All we got was more blue sky. So we headed for home.
On the way home though, we were gifted with a great little surprise: big horn sheep.
I anticipated where they were headed and stalked into them. Fantastic.
Call ’em what you will – sun star, sunburst, starburst, sunray, or just plain fun.
I love doing sunstars. A sunburst adds a dimension to any photograph and point of interest.
I am often complemented at my use of adding sunrays with a a star filter, program, or app. The truth is, sun bursts are very easy to do in camera. No apps required.
All one needs is a wide angle focal point and small aperture. I love my Canon 16mm, set at f/11 for these great results. Sometimes you have to take a number of photos to get the sun poking through the trees just right.
You may have to split a tree to showcase the sunburst, rather than just looking directly at it with full intensity.
But, it’s an easy thing to do, at sunrise, sunset, or even mid day.
As with any photograph – look ahead, look behind, look all around, and look up. Sometimes the best things are just ahead of us.
Our elk baby sightings have been fleeting since the Tinder Fire hit us two years ago now…. that is, until now.
I was so excited to see a herd of elk momma’s with babies in tow. Seeing their tired and beat up bodies, I wondered that their absence wasn’t so much the fire, as predators. One elk baby had a gash across her back that was bigger than she was. It’s amazing she survived whatever attacked her.
Watching their interactions and cute newness, was a real joy.
I hope they’ll be back, and bring their babies with. I can never get enough of these precious animals… they just make my heart feel good.
After the long drive along the bumpy dirt road to get to the creek, there are several ‘entry’ points for one to ramble down the hill to walk along the creek. We have been a number of times over the years, and enjoy the serenity of the water gushing over the rocks.
It makes a wonderful place for a picnic to relax and let your troubles wash away. (I know, I know, if only it were that simple.) It does though provide a peaceful respite from our hectic lives.
We did notice that Fossil Creek has become very overgrown and ‘scrubby’. In taking photographs, I had a hard time cutting the clutter out of my pix. You may notice that all these photos are tight knit to the horizon with no sky. That’s because the horizon above the water was tangled and busy.
Sometimes you just have to cut the clutter from our vantage point.
When I started getting serious about photography I kept reading that one should pick a ‘genre’. I was like, ‘what the heck is that’? Why can’t I take any kind of photo I want?
As I read more and photographed more, it made sense. A wedding photographer needs certain skills and tools to take beautiful wedding portraits, just as a sport photographer, and they are each different.
So, I thought – I want to be a landscape photographer.
So, I was surprised when the first photograph I got published was wildlife.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. We just got back from a trip to the beach from AZ, and these are the pix I brought back – all wildlife.
Do what you’re good at… and what you enjoy, and you’ll be good at it.
This last storm met the predictions of the weathermen who projected 2′ of snow.
With it, brought animals looking for food.
It was great fun to see this little baby deer enjoying it’s first snow. It reminded me of Journey when we get snow, as she runs around and loves to ‘snorkel’ in it.
There is something so pristine and beautiful about the new fallen snow… apparently the animals think so too.
I suppose the cold white stuff is a novelty for them, something they don’t see often… so it’s new, fun, and refreshing as they walk through the cool stuff. Like a new toy, it’s invigorating and exciting. Whatever it is… it’s a pleasure to see happiness at any time or place. Bring it on.
So continuing my current pursuit of Fall Colors, we planned a trip to Fossil Creek. When I think of water pix, I think smooth silky water cascading over rocks, which means to me, a long exposure.
So considering the outcome I wanted, I had to think about how to achieve my desired result. Do I go first thing in the morning, dawn… or dusk? With little light to be had, that could work… OR I could go in full daylight and sun and use a tool I carry in my bag – a Neutral Density (ND) Filter.
I actually use a variable ND filter so I can control how much light I cut anywhere between 3 stops to 10 stops. The ND filter allows me to stop down my exposure so I can take a 2 second exposure to get that super silky water. Tripod required!
Hmmm… it works! Thinking through our actions does make a difference. Who’da thunk it? Ha!