Friday, February 21, 2014

Fall Changes on the West Fork

One of my favorite local photographs is the view overlooking the West Fork.  There on a rocky hillside I have a view of the river as it runs through a forested section of trees that pick up some great color.

Looking southeast there is a bend in the river I can see that always intrigues me.  To photograph it means I usually put aside my more commonly used lens of 17-40 and use my 70-200 so I can bring that bend of the river to be more than a small distant object in the image.

It is probably not a great photograph and I am sure most people would not only not photograph it but also delete any images they made of it.

Yet for me this is a really neat image.  Or maybe a better way to say it is that it is a neat image for being made not only in Texas but in town,  I look at this view and thing of a place far from the city.  It certainly does not look like a location found inside the loop.  But it is.

I visit this location throughout the year and over the last couple of seasons I have photographed this view in fall color, winter snow, the first signs of spring and the hot and greens of summer.

Every time I come to this area I make a couple of more.

In fact, I probably have a huge collection of images of this scene.

I bet a lot of them even start to look alike.  Although they are are probably slightly different.  Those differences might be subtle or in the fall, they might be big.

Here are several images of the bend in the river from this last fall.  Spanning about five or six weeks as the trees changed to great fall color and the leaves slowly faded and fell as winter arrived in north Texas.

I am already looking forward to the arrival of spring which should be a matter of days or even hours of when this post goes live.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Frost on the West Fork

On a frosty November morning I found myself back at the West Fork of the Trinity River here in Fort Worth.  The crisp morning air and fall colors were enhanced by a morning frost and I even found some fog or maybe steam rising from the water.

I started on the hill overlooking the river and set up a few images to photograph all of the elements.  The bright fall colors were in full swing and I liked the added effect of the frost.

After making a few images on the hill, I worked my way down to the river and found the view of the waterfall as the steam was rising off the warmer water into the cold air.

By this time the few clouds were getting some light and I hoped I would be able to capture the frost, color, water, and sky.

This is such a great time of the year here.  Most of the country has moved on to winter but we get some great weather and our best fall colors in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.  I always hope to get out and make the most of the time and color.  I always feel lucky on days like this to be out on the river taking it all in.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Fall Colors Along the West Fork

As November bought autumn color to north Texas, I began to make more trips to the West Fork of the Trinity River.

There are several spots I know where the trees along the river turn will display fiery fall colors.  Being able to add that splash of fall color to an image of the river is something I look forward to all year.  

Summer is a long season in Texas.  It is also a very green season.  After those many months of summer green, the tints of yellow are a welcome sign of the fall.  Then when the trees turn gold, or red, or orange, it is truly a fantastic way to see the river.

The West Fork of the Trinity River cuts through the limestone that underlies Fort Worth and I try to find those sections where the river winds across a rock bed.

Put the fall colors with a rocky river bed and I think there is the potential for a good image.

I usually like to be down on the river and try to frame the water and trees with a sunrise.  However, when the days are cloudy or clear I will try to take a higher view where I can look down on the scene and leave out the sky.

This year in my walks along the West Fork I photographed as much from above as down along the river.  The colors were good in 2013 and I was able to capture the cottonwoods, and red oaks in full autumn glory along the Trinity.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Early Fall Color on the Trinity River

As October rolled into November the fall colors really started turning here in north Texas.

After having been on the road much of September and October I was glad to be able to have a few weekends to photograph around Fort Worth.  I find the colors are are actually quite good but subtle at the same time.  We have certain trees that will put on a great color display, but you have to know where and when to look.  Our fall color here in north Texas is a long drawn out affair.  Unlike some places that have two weeks of fall color we have more like two months of fall color.  That long slow change fools people into missing it.

I photograph around the area but tend to concentrate on the Trinity River.  I really like the river and consider an untapped treasure for photography.  Most local photographers ignore it.  I look at it as that leaves it all for a lucky few like me.

I have several locations I frequent.  I also ride my bike along the outstanding Trinity Trails bike paths that follow the Clear Fork of the Trinity and the West Fork of the Trinity as they wind through town.

This fall colors seemed to start early.  I was seeing a few trees start turning in late September.

By early November there was nice color starting to happen and I was keen to photograph what I could while it was here.

Over several mornings I visited these locations to find these scenes as the colors started and fall arrived in north Texas.  I knew the colors would peak around Thanksgiving and I was looking forward to seeing what the next few weeks would bring.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

In the Desert

I was driving from Las Vegas down to Bullhead City.  I left early hoping I might get a repeat of the sunrise I had seen a few days before.  However, as I headed down the hill into the desert it became clear that it was clear.  Very clear.  I had driven this stretch of road a few years before and knew it was a pretty empty drive.  I was hoping something would draw my attention for a photograph.  I made a few stops but nothing seemed to work.  Finally as it was light in the sky and the sun was getting close to rising, I noticed several Joshua Trees along the roadside.

I found a BLM road and stopped.  One of the nice things about Nevada is the abundance of publicly owned lands.  In Texas this would be private property and I would be photographing from the road.  Here I can actually get close to the tree.  

The earth shadow was still in the west and I framed up this Joshua Tree to fill the frame.  I had a shot.  It was not bad, just not the sunrise I was hoping for.

I packed back up and made the drive into town for breakfast by 7.