You Never Know

Trees in silhouette on Goose Pond at sunrise, near Center Point, Linn County, Iowa

I’ve been going through and reprocessing some of my older photos.  Just a couple at a time.  It’ll be a journey, that’s for sure.  Anyway, I’m looking through a couple photos that I have never published and came across this one.  It’s similar to another that I have published, but that one is more “bright”, while this one was more subdued.  I played around with some settings in Lightroom to tone down the overall shot even more and boost the saturation which brought out the oranges while keeping the subdued areas.

I kept looking at it and it really strikes me.  The more I look at it the more I like it.  This one just might end up on the wall… and I’m thinking metallic paper.

This shot was taken 10 years ago this month.  I did an overnight sleep study and they woke me up at 4:30 and kicked me out (standard procedure).  I then went and sought a place for some winter sunrise shots and found this place.  I have not been back since, but maybe I should.

New Beginnings

Spring buds on maple tree

I was a bad photo club member.  Kind of.  I skipped my photo club meeting today.  Again.  Now, in my defense, I did wake up with a serious sinus headache, so I wouldn’t have been much fun anyway, but at the same time I could have gone.  I just didn’t want to leave the house today.  I wanted a full and uninterrupted day of rest and relaxation.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the theme for the monthly contest was “New Beginnings”, and I had this photo printed and ready to go as my entry in the contest.

I took this shot of my maple tree in my backyard about two years ago, using my Tamron 180mm Macro lens.  And, of course, my tripod.  Always use a tripod.  The tripod has improved the quality of my photography more than ANY other piece of equipment, but I digress.

Anyway, the more I looked at this photo, the more I liked it.  I felt it was a perfect shot as spring represents a “new beginning”.  Would I have won?  Oh, I don’t know, but I like to think I would have.

As a very loose segue into this a “new beginning”, when I was looking at old photos (when I found this) I also came across several photos that I haven’t seen or thought about in quite a long time.  You just might be seeing some “new” shots that have never been published before.  Stay tuned.

Good HDR?

Rustic sign, Garber, Clayton County, Iowa
Rustic sign, Garber, Clayton County, Iowa

I normally don’t care for what I call “cartoonish” HDR, photos that look overly animated, if you know what I mean.  It’s a very common look for old rusted-out cars and trucks that have been left abandoned in fields.  Then what do I do?  I stumble across this old rusted-out signed nailed to a door on an abandoned building in very rural Garber, Iowa.  Then, to make it worse… or maybe better, I can’t decide… I think, “That would look good in a ‘cartoonish’ HDR.”

*sigh*  I am impossible.  I can’t ever decide or stick with one thing.  But isn’t that a good thing?  Shouldn’t we always have an open mind?  Truth be told, I still don’t care for “cartoonish” HDR, but to every rule there are exceptions.

You should note, too, that I didn’t get too wild with my “cartoonish” processing.  I’m not throwing caution to the wind.  It does look good, though.

Goals, new stuff, and 2017

Trees along ridge near Ely, Linn County, Iowa
Trees along ridge near Ely, Linn County, Iowa

New beginnings.  Not only is that the monthly contest theme for my photo club this month, Linn Area Photo Club, but it is a good theme for today’s entry, and a good way to kick off the new year… and we’ll talk about the featured photo, too.

The photo:  I realized last night that the last NINE featured photos are from Michigan.  Now, there’s nothing wrong with that.  Michigan is a beautiful place, and Missy and I have been spending a lot of time there the last half of 2016.  It only stands to reason that many of my more recent photos would be from there, and let’s be honest, it’s easier to be excited about more recent shots than it is about something from eight years ago, no matter how good that old shot is.  Plus, we are IOWA Landscape Photography, so here you go.

The coming year: Some random thoughts…

  • I have updated both my website and my blog.  It needed a refresh.  Now, all I did was change the colors around a bit, went for a lighter background.  I didn’t get all crazy and change everything up.  I reserve the right to do so at any time, though
  • I am going to start marketing in a couple new areas.  Postcards and office wall art.  I feel that my work is well-suited to tasteful Midwestern-themed wall art, and this could work well.
  • I have already started to a small degree, but I am going to dedicate 2017 to reviewing and re-working all my images.  I have scores of images that have never seen the light of day.  Some will be brought out, and some will be permanently deleted.  That last part I know will be tough.
  • And, of course, more shooting.  A couple dedicated photo road trips.  Not sure where yet, but I’d like to expand my spring and winter options, especially.  Plus some Iowa waterfalls, etc.  Missy and I are also talking about a long weekend in Chicago, and do some exploring and shooting in an urban environment for a change.

Back to the photo and the present:  The above photo was on a day trip that I took locally in August 2015.  This one is one that has never before been published, and it needed to be.  It has a minimalist quality that appeals to me.

I have an almost identical photo of the same trees from the same vantage point in winter from a few years prior.