Tinkering

Small, subtle edit improvements can make such a difference.  This image was posted before but I learned something new in Lightroom and voila. Makes you wonder if we are more of a graphic artist or photographer?

No Matter the Question…

“You will always find an answer in the sound of water.” Chuang-Tse

Yesterday morning was spent hiking around my favorite Texas nature spot: Pedernales Falls State Park. I went there with questions both practical and philosophical. I walked away with answers. And the only counsel there was the rock and the water and the sound they make together.

Sunset through Grass on the Burton Ranch

I was walking along the Burton Ranch with the sun setting and lighting up the tips of the grass – it was the magical part of the day. I took a few shots at a higher, standing angle that emphasized the grass field top surface but decided to go low to get the grass base and tops. I thought about getting into the middle of the field but I could hear some rustling in there and was afraid I would go in and hear the familiar rattle of a not-very-friendly snake. It has happened before.

These images are made from three images and enfused together into one. I made a conscience decision to nearly silhouette the oak trees in back. The most important part of this image is not the sunset or the grass stalks; it is the oak shadow area. This dark area is what gives the sunset and grass the base to shine. One thing I do not try to do often is have all of the image elements in visual detail with no dark shadows. That is very easy to do when bracketing images and processing via HDR workflows.

Oak Trees on the Burton Ranch

I almost always have a music playing while I edit photos.  And if it is not literally playing then it is playing in my head. While editing this image I could hear Rush… The Trees… with the struggle between the Maples and the Oaks.  “…and the trees shall be kept equal by hatchet, axe and saw.”

Oak Trees on the Burton Ranch
Oak Trees on the Burton Ranch at Sunset

This image was actually a three image composite I was shooting to capture the deep shadows and the sunset sky.  While not tone mapped with HDR software per se, the three images were blended using an enfusing plugin in Lightroom.  I was never happy with the color version but did like the monochrome version enough to post it here.

“Big whirls have little whirls…”

“Big whirls have little whirls,
That feed on their velocity;
And little whirls have lesser whirls,
And so on to viscosity.”
~ Lewis Fry Richardson

Pedernales Falls State Park – my favorite local hiking spot!

Some days are magical and this was one such day hike. With the recent rain I knew the Pedernales River at Pedernales Falls State Park would be high but just how high I was not not sure. If it was too high I would not be able to hike into this area for this picture. Too low and the falls would not be be flowing enough for a good image. This has been the case for the last few years – never catching the river at good point to get this image. But this day was damn near perfect. I had to jump across a few shallow, thin river flows across rocks to get to this point. If the river was just one foot higher I probably could not have gotten out here to get this shot. If you want waterfall shots in central Texas this is has to be one of the top spots.

Shot with a Lee Seven5 filter system on the OM-D E-M5.

When I Walk Our Land

I am a different person when I walk our land. The birdsong and wind’s whisper are seen even more than heard. Every cactus needle and yucca tell a pointed tale. The roadrunners are leaning forward into their runs. A thousand firewheels orchestrate a symphony of swaying waves. And yellow blooms breathe in-out, in-out, in-out lungfuls of air. I have not found it yet out here but somewhere there is the pulse of a beating heart.

“As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can.” ~ John Muir

Prickly Pear Cactus Blooms

Firewheels

Field of Firewheels

Yet More Spring 2015 Wildflower Images

As the Spring deepens, the Prairie Coneflowers and Firewheels take over our field. In a couple of weeks time the field transitions from blues and purples to a field of reds and yellows.  These wildflowers grow taller than the earlier arrivals and the blooms can reach my hands as I wander past them looking for that one view angle that will make a good image.