Sunday, March 29, 2009

Clear Fork Clouds

The Clear Fork of the Trinity River on a cool , blustery, cloudy March day.

The bouncing temps of spring continued over the past week. Some days go into the 80's. We have sun. We have green everywhere.

Then there are days like Saturday. A big front moved down out of the Rockies. It dumped some snow up in the panhandle but we mostly got heavy overcast and cold wind. Temps in the low 30's and wind chills down in the 20's. Think I even saw a few snowflakes fly by.

I thought it was a perfect day to walk the river at daybreak. On a day like today I have it to myself. The low fast moving clouds drew my attention so I tried to emphasize them with long exposures to add some movement to the images. I also went about working with how to deal with the clouds being a bit brighter than the ground. That dilemma is a common one for the landscape photographer
but there are a few ways around it. I played around with a couple possible techniques.

Here are two of my better ones.

The top one is using the "new fangled" digital blending technique. The bottom one is old school all the way with a filter to balance the light.

There is some difference between the images but I think they come down to a matter of preference on which one might be "better".
So I think they both work. And to get two decent images in about ten minutes is a good morning to me.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Flowers of Spring

Spring is in full bloom. what began several weeks ago with a few dandelions has become budding trees, fresh green grass, and wildflowers.

I saw my first bluebonnet about 10 days ago. We have had a dry winter so I do not expect it to be a banner year but even getting a few is a nice way to get through March.

This one is the first one I saw. Had to stop, get out and make an image.

Bits of color are everywhere. there is still some of that winter gray but with the fresh spring green taking off it has given the world a fresh green feel to it. And then we even passed the Vernal Equinox, so now even the calendar says it it spring.

Time to start getting ready for Big Bend.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Great Falls by Night

This post makes it a trifecta of the Great Falls of the Clear Fork.

Here is early one morning when I went out to try some light painting along the river. Even at night I hope the breadth of the river and the falls are apparent.

Light from LED headlamp.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Great Falls after a Rain

We have been in very dry conditions in Texas for several months. The lat fall and winter rains all but stopped. That all changed this week as we have had three days of nice rains.

It was damp but not raining this morning so I walked the river to the Great Falls and found the river has been up but still running clear. I waded out into to it to photograph it with more water going over the edge.
The water was moving fast but only 8" deep or so across the top of the ledge. I was able to make my way over and make several images across the top. Down at the bas of the falls was a little trickier as the water was within 2" of the top of my Wellies but with some careful steps I just picked up spray splatter on my pants and avoided a boot full of water.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Great Falls on the Clear Fork

The Great Falls of the Clear Fork of the Trinity River in Fort Worth.

The Clear Fork is a marvelous river and really a well kept secret known to even few locals. The river is more of an afterthought in modern society. I have to face the fact, unless there is a severe drought and you cannot water your lawn or a flood most people do not put much thought into it. Yet it is the river and the Clear and West Forks meeting here that Fort Worth was established (yes, as a fort).

The river has been tamed over the last fifty years as the Corp of Engineers has carved the banks and in places put in a levy to protect development-all in a response to the big flood in the 40's. A few low water dams have been placed too but the elemental nature of the river is not all gone. There are several sections west of downtown where the river runs clear over limestone rocks, past fossils, and over small cascades.

There is even a 3' fall that spans the entire river. That might not be the crashing water of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, but it is still pretty darn nice for the plains since the entire river drops over this limestone ledge.

Here it is-the Great Falls of the Clear Fork.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Stormy Skies on the Clear Fork

Stormy skies over the Clear Fork of the Trinity River in Fort Worth.
One of the tame sections of the river west of downtown. The Clear Fork has areas of rock ledges and spills. A short way from here the entire river spills over a wonderful natural water fall.
A hidden gem of living in Cowtown that I constantly find to be a place for great photography.
Here I hoped to bring out the brooding stormy quality of the sky and went with a b+w conversion to maximize the effect.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Tree

It seems a theme for me these last few months have been trees.

Well here is one more.

It was taken a few weeks ago of the same tree I photographed on the Winter Solstice. This time it was an overcast afternoon and it was that brooding sky that I wanted to bring out.

I liked the reaching limbs and the billowing undersides of the clouds and tried to enchance them with the sepia toning.