I took this about six years ago while staying at the Banff Springs hotel in Alberta. This was out back facing the conference area.
The Banff Springs is a massive property with majestic views of the Canadian Rockies on all sides. While there I walked around taking shots of everything. This image has a nice leading line and captures some of the environmental elements. I’ve had three bracketed frames in my archives for a long time. Now that I have the newest Aurora HDR software from Skylum, processing it is easier than ever.
I’ve been going back into the archives a lot lately. It’s funny how you see things in a different light over time. I wish I could go back and change my camera settings, but it’s also good to notice how my technique has improved. The mountains, on the other hand, have not changed, they are just as majestic as ever. Time for another road trip.
The parks in Florida have these raised boardwalks that make it easy to see nature. But before they were built, it was no walk in the park.
The structures are everywhere, and some are quite long. I often wonder at the effort it takes to create them. They are easy to take for granted, but without raised walkways, it would be difficult to see much of the natural landscapes.
From a compositional perspective, they provide a couple of things. First and most obvious is the leading lines that our eyes follow across the frame. Secondly, the texture of the wood fits well with the scenery. Whenever I go to a park, it’s these walkways that usually end up in my photos, one way or another.
A few years ago I was wandering around the old section of Montpellier. This image is from a day when I walked around taking random photos of people walking past shops.
What’s relevant is I took this photo during the day, and the original looks much different. However, I wanted to recreate a low light look, so I’ve manipulated the lighting with photoshop and other tools, like Luminar from Skylum.
I took this when I was on vacation. However, no one likes looking at vacation photos, unless maybe they’re our own. However, I do like looking at pictures that have a sense of mystery to them. That’s what I tried to do here, create a sense of something I saw in my head but wasn’t there.
Fort DeSoto Park is a nice place to go for sunsets here in the Tampa Bay region. This scene is typical of what it looks like in the evening and, is why I keep coming back to take photos.
If you followed the path of the sun due west for about eight hundred miles, you end up near Corpus Christi Texas. To do that though you should be in something larger than a rowboat. Speaking of which, I took a cruise out of here once, and when we passed this pier in our big ship, it looked so small that I almost didn’t recognize it.
In case you’re interested, I set the aperture on the lens to f22 for this shot. That’s a little extreme, and it does some interesting things. First, everything is in focus, from the railing to the end of the pier. Second, it adds contrast to the sky so that we can see the sun rays pointing upward. There are pros and cons to using such a high f-stop, mostly cons; but sometimes it can work out. I think this is one of those times.
Here is a scenic section of road through Myakka State Park. It’s not too far from the campground, so it’s not uncommon to see cyclists and hikers.
Spanish moss hangs from the oaks all around this region. Where I live, we have oaks draped with it. Squirrels and bird use it for nests, and after a storm, enormous loads of it get blown to the ground.
There are several roads like this in the vicinity. I think they’re called canopy roads. There is one just outside the park that I’ve taken photos of a couple of times.
I’ve tried taking pictures of the oaks and moss near my home, but there are too many houses in the background, it’s not the same. So when I’m out and about in this area, I’m always on the lookout for these types of scenes.
On our summer road trip, we stopped to visit friends in Wisconsin. It turns out they live only a few minutes from Wisconsin Dells, or The Dells as its known colloquially. I never knew of such a place existed, but here it is. Despite the heat of summer, it was cool and dark in this mini canyon, so I balanced the camera on the wooden railing to get a longer exposure.
The Dells are sandstone gorge formed by glaciers. There are tributaries like this that run into the river. Below the boardwalk ran a cool creek that ended at the river. This walkway strategically ends up in a snack bar about a quarter mile up from the river. Nevertheless, the photo opportunities are endless.
In some sense, the area reminds me a little of Niagra Falls where there is a natural wonder that spawned a local tourism industry. There are indoor (for the winters), and outdoor water parks, wax museums, and lumberjack shows every hour. It bills itself as the water park capital of the world. Who knew? But for me, by far the best experience was taking a boat up the Wisconsin River to see the Dells.