Which is better?

Shade Tree and Tire Swing, near Mt Vernon, Linn County, Iowa

Back on July 30th I posted this photo.  It’s a great photo, but I wondered if maybe it was too bright.  I also asked the question on my Facebook page, and some felt that it might be and said they’d like to see a darker version should I do one.  In general, I like darker photos, but I also need to be aware that my tastes aren’t necessarily everyone else’s tastes.  Many people prefer brighter photos.  Plus, while my darker photos tend to look great on a back lit computer screen, they sometimes look way too dark when actually printed.

Shade Tree and Tire Swing, near Mt Vernon, Linn County, Iowa

So, I reworked the photo a bit.  All I did was back off on the exposure a bit… a full stop, actually… and here is the result.  Same photo, just a slightly different exposure, and thus a slightly different result and feeling.  So tell me, which one do you like better, and why?

Personally, I like the darker version better.  It’s easier on my eyes, for one thing, plus it evokes a sense of a softer and less harsh time of day, which adds to the feeling of calm.

Time for a change…

Big Sable Lighthouse, near Ludington, Mason County, Michigan

…but it’s only a minor change.  To give a little background, I have never been happy with the long website URL, “iowalandcapephotography”.  It’s just too long and unwieldy.  Several years ago I purchased “iowa-photo” to use on a more casual basis, and re-directed it to the longer original name.

Fast forward to today and I have switched them.  While the site is still named Iowa Landscape Photography, the official URL is “iowa-photo.com”.  If you have the website and/or the blog saved in your bookmarks you will need to update them.

Now let’s get down to the serious business… photography.  This photo was taken on Missy’s and my honeymoon seven years ago.  There’s a bit of a hike through a state park to get here, but it’s worth the walk.  We went later in the day hoping to get some good shots with the sun setting over Lake Michigan.  There was no stunning sunset, but we still got some good shots with the clouds and various foregrounds and background.

I like the perspective in this one.  It’s something you won’t normally see.  Crane the neck, look to the sky, and you can see the clouds sweeping by.  It also provides a close-up of the structure of the lighthouse itself, the steel plates bolted together.  All lighthouses are unique and this one is no different.  The color scheme of most major lighthouses are also unique to aid mariners in keeping their bearings and location.

At the end of our shoot we had to hike back.  We didn’t get back until well after dark.  Our motel was a short drive away, and our biggest challenge was yet to come… finding a place that delivered pizzas at 10:30 pm on a Sunday night.

There She Is!

Missy and Ken

As most people know, I lean just slightly to the introverted side.  Oh, who am I kidding, I am a screaming introvert.  I like to be in the background and incognito.  As such, I am rarely willing to post photos of myself.  It’s something I am not comfortable with, and I now understand why my mother always wanted to be on the back end of the camera and never the front end.  Having said that, here I am, in all my casual glory, and not just me, but my wonderful wife, Missy, too.

Missy is my greatest encourager.  My greatest cheerleader.  My greatest motivator.  She’s always by my side and is the perfect road trip companion.  In short, she’s my buddy!

This shot was taken this past October on our 2016 Fall Color Tour of Michigan.  We are at the east end of Miner’s Beach in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore near Munising, Michigan.  I came back to this site after having visited it in 2008.  It has changed dramatically.  The beach that was there was pretty much gone this time, and the small waterfall in the background was now inaccessible.

This ties into a photo lesson I learned long ago:  Never pass up an opportunity thinking conditions will always be the same.  Too often, it is not.  Take your shot now.  I have some shots of this waterfall from 2008 that I will post soon.

The Simple Pleasures in Life

IMG_4336-800Today we’re going to address the simple things in life that can bring us pleasure.  In this case it’s our pets, and for me specifically, my dog.  Maybe I’m a bit biased, but as you can see he is a handsome creature.  Very dignified.  A total goofball in personality… a big oaf in many respects… but he certainly does look dignified, doesn’t he.  LOL!!!

I include him in the Family category because he really is a legitimate member of our family.  He is 4 years old.  We have had him for just over a year.  We adopted him from the Iowa City Animal Care & Adoption Center, if anyone is interested.

IMG_4389-800Missy and I took him out to the front yard one evening because I wanted some decent recent shots.  It was a great deal of fun.  He squirms a lot, and I have many photos where he looks away at just the last moment as I’m taking the photo… which, of course, makes us laugh even more and makes the whole process more fun… but the good photos we do get like these make it all worthwhile.

The photo above was when a car drove by, and that caught his attention in a, “Ooh, who is that?” kind of way.  The other photo we managed to catch in between “squirms”.  I cannot decide which one I like better… the serious photo or the goofy photo.  They both convey his personality.

He is part Basset Hound and part Black & Tan Coonhound.  He has the long body and head and temperament of a Basset, but the coloring and slightly longer legs of a Coonhound.  And his paws… they are HUGE.  People always comment on them when they meet him for the first time.

So, it doesn’t have to be all landscape.  Take some time for the simpler things in life, too.  It’s well worth it.