This was a different kind of waterfall. No huge drop-off. I believe the rock is limestone, but am not sure. It is layered, though, and produced a unique affect. It’s wide and shallow. I donned my Muck Boots, waded out, set up my tripod in the middle of the stream, and shot away. I had to be careful with my footing, but it really wasn’t all that treacherous.
These shots were done in autumn, as you can tell by the leaves on the ground and in the stream bed. Maybe it’s just me, but I find waterfalls to almost always be more interesting in autumn precisely because of the added color.
Au Train Falls, in the Hiawatha National Forest between Munising and Chatham, has many interesting features, from the natural layout to the man made aspects that almost completely ruin the whole thing. Personally, I find them inordinately difficult to shoot. What appears pleasing to the eye isn’t necessarily so in the viewfinder. Access to the lower falls is easy. There’s a short road off M-94, and a short walk beyond a gate, and you’re there. There are man made features such as pipes and buildings that often get in the shot. There is a lot of “isolating” to get a good shot. But, when you do get a good shot, it’s a winner!
If you remember the photos of the farm near Dundee that I posted on 6/25/2017, and of the winding road in Backbone State Park that I posted on 6/23/2017, you’ll begin to catch a theme here. This photo, of the clock tower of the Delaware County Courthouse in Manchester, Iowa, was taken on the same road trip, and was also taken with my Pentax 67II medium format camera.
As I was pulling into Manchester I spied the clock tower across town and made a side trip to go look. It was a little later in the morning than would have been ideal. The scenery at ground level I thought was distracting, so I decided to isolate the clock tower itself. The lamp post, which is actually across the street, added a nice piece on interest and context to what otherwise would probably have been a boring photo. I also used a circular polarizer filter to help bring out the deep blue in the sky.
The richness of the colors, and the perspective, have always appealed to me. Is it surprising that this one hangs on my wall, as well? Seems this was quite the productive road trip.
Yep, this is a landscape photography site, but every now and then I’ll post something different. I’ve highlighted Wesley before, and will again. I’ve given a shout-out to Missy, and no doubt will again. And here we have an old car, albeit not necessarily in the original condition, as you can see. I doubt metallic purple was a common color back in the 1930s. I took this shot in Rio Vista, California, I believe in 2001. Oh, and this one hangs on my wall, too.
This car is an old Chevy. I believe it is a 1932, but am not sure. This was handheld, on film, at a car show. I had to do all my shots close-in like this because of all the people wandering around. I didn’t want the people in the shots. I also used a star filter to get the star effect. I almost never use that type of filter, because I do not feel it generally gives a realistic effect, but in this case I thought it worked nicely. I have another identical shot without the star effect, and while it looks more realistic, it doesn’t look as good.
Moral of the story: Rules are made to be broken. (Where have I heard that before?)
Sometimes simplicity is the order for the day. It doesn’t really matter where this photo was taken. The particulars of the barn itself isn’t a concern. The surrounding scenery is wholly irrelevant.
No, the simple selective composition shown here speaks for itself. A simple side of a barn… at the end of the day, as depicted by the shows… some mud on the wall, how and why is it there?… a rough stone foundation… barbed wire hanging on the wall… all serves to reinforce that this is a working barn in daily use. That gives the photo an honest credibility.
Would you believe this is hanging on my wall? It is. It’s a small 5×7, framed, with a hunter green mat. It looks very nice as a small accent piece.
This photo was taken on the same day as the previous photo. I was on the way to Backbone State Park and spotted this scene just outside the park, so I stopped to take a few shots.
There wasn’t any one thing that drew me. I cannot point to any single aspect that jumps out at me. It’s just the totality of the scene, in an overall sense. To be honest, it doesn’t necessarily inspire me, either, but it does scream “farm country”, and apparently several other people think so, too.
I posted this shot when I first started my website roughly a decade ago, when I hadn’t yet built up my portfolio of digital shots and I needed to put something up to fill out the website. Somewhat to my surprise, it has sold reasonably well. It sells mostly to native Iowans who now live out-of-state. They tell me it evokes a nostalgic-like feeling in them, and makes them long for “home”.
I can understand that. I have many photos of the Rio Vista Bridge in California and I certainly have nostalgic feelings there. Nostalgia makes us think of other times. Not necessarily better, but could be. We are the totality of our life’s experiences.
The obvious Beatles reference notwithstanding, I do seem to be on a winding road kick the last few posts. That’s ok. A good photo is a good photo.
Anyway, right after I moved to Iowa I asked around for some good places to shoot. Backbone State Park was a common response. So I packed up the gear, looked it up on a map, and took off for the park.
This was back when I still had film cameras, and this shot was done on film. With my Pentax 67II medium format film camera, to be specific. I sold it along with all my film equipment several years ago as I felt I was becoming a “jack of all photo trades, master of none”. I felt that by trying to do too much I was losing my focus (no pun intended). Hence, I decided to take the financial loss and focus solely on digital.
I do not regret my decision one bit, but I will admit that I do miss this camera and a couple others I had. Sometimes I feel like I should buy another film camera because I feel it would help me keep my skills sharper. It’s easy to get lazy with digital.
And here I am… all digital and going through older photos and finding some nice ones that, for whatever reason, I didn’t do anything with before. I guess you could say that this is a Reader’s Digest version of my own photography long and winding road.
I sat under a rock outcropping for over two hours to get this photo. Not just this one, of course, I got several very nice shots. I sat… I played with settings… I experimented… I zoom in… I zoomed out… I used fast shutter speeds to freeze the water… I used slow shutter speeds to get a silky smooth look… I used in-between shutter speeds to get an in-between look (like this one you see here). I had the roar of the falls in my ears for all that time. It was like being in a special room with other people around me but also being unable to hear them and having an almost unattached feeling. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I think this waterfall, one of my absolute favorites, will get a “report” sometime soon. I still have another report to do from our trip this past October, too.
In an administrative note, today I have added an email subscription form. If you desire to get email notification of new posts, please feel free to add your name and email address in the form area at the upper right of this page. As a devoted privacy advocate I will never share or sell your information.
“Peaceful, easy feeling” is how this photo has been described to me. I think that fits. It does have a certain calmness to it. The muted colors, the openness of the countryside, the sense that time moves more slowly here than in the rest of the world… all serve to reinforce that calm, peaceful, easy feeling. Every time you go by it you want to stop and follow the road around the bend.
The Montezuma Hills are in the southeast corner of Solano County, along the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, just south of Rio Vista. Historically the area had been used for what is called “dry farming”, and there’s pretty much no other reason to go there. There are no state highways into the area, nor do any bridges cross over into the area. If you find yourself in the Montezuma Hills it is because you went there purposely or you’re lost. Option C does not exist.
California, in general, is known for its wonderful scenery. A photographer’s paradise. California is also known for its smog and air pollution. And this day was one of those days. I actually went out to shoot this road in the other direction, where there is a barn in a valley. Problem was, the sky was so brown it ruined the shot.
I took a few shots anyway, then as I was packing up I turned around and saw this. This spoke to me. I composed the shot, purposely cropping the sky out of the picture, and here’s the result. What’s ironic is that the smog acted as something of a diffuser and gave the scene the muted look that you see. In this case the air pollution actually aided the photo.
I guess the moral of the story is to always keep an open mind and an open eye. And just in case you’re wondering, yes, I do have this one on my wall.
Here’s a shot from a workshop I went on in 2008. First time I had been on such a workshop. It was a week long, a lot of work, and well worth every moment. I learned so much, and got a great many fantastic shots. This is another one that I have not publish before and was just lying around on a hard drive waiting for me to go back in and update my photos and my site. It really is amazing how photos can come in and out of your interest over time.
This was actually the day before the workshop began. I got there early and kicked around a bit prior to checking into the motel. I came across this road and the way it wound its way back into the unknown intrigued me. The road leads you back into… what? You don’t know. You’re left to wonder.
Now, I did drive back there, and the road actually degenerates into nothing passable very quickly. I didn’t feel safe taking my rather large truck any farther. Interestingly enough, my judgment may have been a bit too cautious, because right after this somebody else in a bigger truck than mine came down from the beyond and I had to move. Go figure!
Today we’re taking a small trip back in time. The year was 2005, January… hence no snow… when I still lived in California. I lived about a 50 minute drive from work and every day, twice a day, I would drive this bridge. I’ve always had an affinity for this particular bridge. It’s distinctive and stands out in the local area. This part of the Sacramento River is a dredged deep-channel route for ocean freighters going to and from the Port of Sacramento, and it’s always cool when the bridge opens for one of these large ships.
On this cold and dreary morning I noticed the scene you see here and it struck me. Another one of those cases where you need to have your camera with you at all times, because you just never know. I was on my way to work, but decided to stop and take a handful of shots. If I remember correctly, there had been a wildfire nearby the previous day so there was something of a haze in the air, and this haze is distinguishable in the photo and helped give it its unique atmosphere. It’s really quite striking, I think. It has a feeling of foreboding and yet also a sense of peacefulness and calm.
Yesterday I posted a photo from this past weekend, today I post a photo from twelve years ago. At the time I took this I was formulating my move out of California, so now I look back and am in awe at how things have changed for me. My move to Iowa is one of the best things I ever did, but I also cannot deny that there are some things I miss about California, too.