Mount Rushmore at Night

We drove across South Dakota to Rapid City, and by itself, the drive was pretty amazing, full of sights. The next day was Independence Day, and so we set out sightseeing the two main attractions. In the morning we visited Mount Rushmore which is about twenty miles from town, and in the afternoon we drove to the Sitting Bull monument which is another seventeen miles west. Daily Image At both locations, there were large crowds, but that was no surprise on the biggest holiday of summer. After a full day, we returned to our hotel in Rapid City for dinner. …

Skeleton Dinosaur

Driving east on I90 through South Dakota there are some strange sights. This sculpture is one we encountered as we approached the Badlands. Here is a Google Maps link Daily Image The open space seems endless along the highway. Mile after mile, it stretches across the country. The gently rolling landscape is broken sporadically by rest stops, gas stations and quirky recreations of western towns where billboards advertise coffee for five-cents. Images from Europe We came upon this sculpture near a stop known as 1880 Town. It’s not far from Badlands National Park which, among other things, is known for …

Big Cypress National Preserve

I just returned from driving the Loop Road in Big Cypress National Preserve. It’s a twenty-four-mile dirt road through the heart of some of the most stunning landscape in Florida. As a landscape photographer, I was in my element and overwhelmed at the same time. There was just too much to take in, but I tried. Daily Image   Living in an urban area, I find only scraps of nature as I look for it among the sprawl. So when I get the chance to emerge myself among hundreds of square miles, it’s a good thing. It took me nearly …

Away From It All

Robinson Park is a preserve in the middle of a suburban setting, and it’s a place I come to get away from that same setting. Most people come during the day, but my favorite times are dawn and dusk. Of course, I’m looking for a rare kind of light. Daily Image The image is five shots blended into one. I use HDR techniques when shooting these types of scenes because there is a combination of bright and dark light. It’s closer to what I could see with my eyes but must resort to tricks to get the camera seeing the …

Urban Mangroves

In this picture, I’m looking south over the Manatee River towards Bradenton. These are the mangroves that line it from its source to the sea. Mangroves form an essential part of the ecosystem by protecting the shore from erosion. Daily Image Believe it or not, this is across the street from the Bradenton Area Convention center, so while it looks like a nature shot, it’s in the middle of a suburban setting. Mangroves are protected in Florida, so there’s little chance they’ll be affected by development. Despite the activity all around, they continue to protect rivers and coastlines. more from …

Jungle Scene

Every now and then I need to get away from the urban chaos. I was feeling that and jumped in the car to drive here to Myakka River State Park. It was after a rainstorm; in summer, storms come almost daily. As the runoff overflowed the banks the scene resembled that of a jungle. Daily Image This is at a trailhead and I was standing on the path in about six inches of water. Beyond this, there is a path that parallels the creek. It was a few inches above the water, so I walked along it until I heard the …

Pining to Go Back

Here is another image from Cathedral Grove on Vancouver Island. I cannot fathom living eight-hundred years. Imagine the stories these trees could tell. After that length of time, I suppose the stories would go on and on. Daily Image After looking at these images, I am pining to go back. Knock on wood I’ll have a chance soon. Short of that, I’ll just have to lumber along here in Florida. Forgive me dear blog reader, you do not deserve to be pun-ished this way. other images with trees One good thing about living eight-hundred years is that the statute of …

L’Hérault, France

This is the Hérault river in Southern France. We stopped here for a brief rest on our way back from a visit to the mountain village of Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert. There are a lot of rivers running off the mountains here and many have ancient bridges or structures alongside. Daily Image Just off to the left are a set of caves that, had we not been so tired, we could have explored; something to add to the next trip I suppose. European Gallery If stopped at all the good spots for pictures I would never get anywhere. This is especially true in …

Lifeguard Stand #2

This was taken at Coquina Beach one evening last week. I took a similar picture a few years ago that I wanted to try and repeat. Over time my preferences and technique evolve and it’s fun to retry shots to see how they come out. Daily Image As in an earlier post this week I mention that the software is getting better. Both images are HDR but notice how much better the ghosting is in the newer version. In the older version, you can see double impressions of tall grasses, not so in the new one. I used Photomatix in …

Old Photos New Software

This is an HDR image full of fall colors that I took four years ago in New Zealand. It was the first morning of a five-day workshop with Trey Ratcliff. In the southern hemisphere, April is in Autumn so the leaves were turning. Daily Image I had recently purchased the Sony A7R and now, four years later, I’m still impressed with the images. Since that time Sony has created two new generations of that camera so I now use the third generation A7R III. Also, since that time Trey and Skylum introduced HDR software known as Aurora HDR. Now Aurora …