Friday, October 25, 2013

South Dakota and the Sioux Falls

I has the chance to have to fly into Sioux Falls, South Dakota on business a couple of weeks back and had a chance to get in a couple of images.  September is prime season on the farms with the corn and soy beans at their full grown size and hint of autumn color.

The view of the farms from the air was outstanding.  I love living on the Great Plains and seeing the rural landscape like this.  I think the river here is the Big Sioux River north of the city as it winds its way south toward the Missouri River.

One evening while there I had a chance to drive into the city and see the actual falls on the Big Sioux River for which Sioux Falls is named.  It is a very nice park and the falls themselves are neat and loud.  There are several drops and chutes.  I liked them now and would really like to see them at spring flood stage as I bet they really put on a show.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The View at 10,000 Feet

I had an early departure on a flight a few weeks ago on a day that looked like a good sunrise in the making.  We took off from DFW and were quickly at altitude.  As soon as it was safe to use approved electronics, I had my camera out and was able to capture these few images of sunrise over north Texas.

The clouds were thick and the gap in the east was perfect for some very intense light across the sky.  I had my little Sony NEX-6 taking image after image.  Photography from airplanes is not hard but it is hard to get a good one.  The light, distance, wings and windows all seem to combine for tough things to pull good images out of.  Most of the time I take images I delete basically all of them.  

This particular morning was different.  The light was right.  We were still fairly close to the ground as we had not reached 30,000 ft yet.  It all came together for a few good images and it was not a bad way to spend a Wednesday morning.

Watching this sunrise reminds me why I always want the window seat.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Trinity River Early Fall

In September I was out for sunrise on the West Fork of the Trinity River in Fort Worth and found this hint of fall.  This is about 5-6 weeks before the normal start of our fall color season.  

The summer grasses had really hemmed the river in on what is a rocky section most of the year.  This sapling was growing in the river and what few leaves it had were already yellow.  

I found it a refreshing sign of the fall to come and looked forward to finding more colors along the river.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Milky Way Over the Sierra del Carmen

On my last morning in Big Bend it was clear and I was up early to start the drive home.  However, I could not pass up the opportunity to try another attempt at night photography.  In mid-February the Milky Way rises just before dawn and I hoped to photograph it as it rose over the Sierra del Carmen and Rio Grande.

I made my way up to the hill overlooking RGV and set up the cameras and tripod.  Plan was to photograph the Milky Way with the 5D2 and use my older (and not so good at long exposures) 50D to do some other images.

I did a variety of long and short images and at sunrise found that the most interesting image was the longest one.  This one is about 18 minutes.  I like the effect of short star trails with the light blur the Milky Way has made.  It gives the entire scene a mystery.

I wrapped up my morning with a clear sunrise and then packed up camp to start the drive home saying goodbye to the good friend that is BBNP and looking forward to my next visit.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Rio Grande Village

In Big Bend I normally spend most of my time on the western side of the park.  I just think it has more opportunities for photography.  Not that I dislike the rest of the park, I just like the west side better.

On this trip though, I decided to spend my last night in the park at Rio Grande Village (or RGV as I call it).  It is a more populated area, with a gas station, laundry, showers and plenty of sites for RVs.  It is also close to the Hot Springs and has a great little hill that overlooks the area that is a good photography spot at both sunrise and sunset.

Take in the view of RGV from the top and you see the narrow ribbon of life the river brings.  The shade of the cottonwoods, the surprising find of a beaver pond, and a view to the distant Chisos.

The area once supported floodplain farming but that is long gone.  Today some of the old irrigation ditches are still used to bring water into the RGV area which helps keep the trees alive and the area shady.

I was here just as the trees were starting to pop and green up in early February as spring comes early to the desert.