Go to Sunrises

Go to Sunrises

Gotta love chasing down sunrises.  When I left this morning the sky had a lot of pink in the atmosphere before I left and I could see a thick cloud bank in the east.  It did not look very promising but I elected to go anyway.  Today I went towards the Camp Comfort Campgrounds along the Shell Rock River south of Greene Iowa.  There were a few upper level clouds and in the distance the thick cloud bank was getting closer.

At about the time the sun was due to rise I drove into a thickening low cloud cover that was moving very fast.  The sun was trying to break through in many spots along the way and the pic of the day was found south of Clarksville along a gravel road overlooking a farm.  I was very pleased with the finished images in post and with the HDR and fast moving clouds it had a surreal look to it.

Snow!

Snow!

Well it has been a very dry Winter this season and we really got our first substantial snowfall on Thursday/Friday during the overnight hours.  Around six inches of powder fell and it made for an interesting ride into work.  I went out on Saturday and headed to Mayne’s Grove south of Hampton to capture some pine trees laden with snow.

It was a cold morning at -2F but there was no wind to speak of and a thin layer of clouds made for a promising outing.  I was not disappointed and came away with some decent shots of Winter and the sunrise.  The snow was covered with deer sign everywhere but I did not see any in the woods or anywhere else in the park.  Had the whole place to myself and only saw one other sign of human tracks.

Reverence Of Abandonment

Reverence Of Abandonment

I have taken a lot of images of abandoned places here in rural Iowa.  Many of these places have been unoccupied since the early eighties and some even longer.  I found a new place locally through a Facebook group I am a member of Iowa Through The Lens.  The guy who posted it did an excellent job of post processing and yesterday I decided to go have a look at the place.

I will not divulge its location so as not to have it disturbed by too many.  I have given to the urge in the past to wander the grounds of some of these places lacking proper permission to do so.  But even when I did I tread lightly and do not disturb anything there.  I treat these places with reverence and out of respect for the souls who lived there and made them their homes, I take nothing but pictures and leave nothing.

These people worked hard to build their farms and pay for the buildings they needed to farm the land and it would be a dishonor to them and the current owner to treat it any other way.  This place had a great look to it even in its state of decay it spoke to how grand a farm it once was.

A place like this really presents one with more questions than there are answers and quite frankly I would prefer to leave the mystery behind the reasons why it was abandoned so many years ago.  The barn appears like it was used a little longer than the house, probably to keep livestock for some time until it was run down.  There was an exhaust fan in one window of the barn that was spinning from the wind blowing through the missing windows.

Somebody is still mowing some of the yard making an even more eerie look with the vines and long grass surrounding it.

Some will think this is sad and it is I guess but as a photographer I am recording history before it is gone.

Chasing Daylight Round 2

Chasing Daylight Round 2

Tonight was another night of limited time to chase the remaining sunlight and catch what I hoped would be a great sunset.  Tonight I gave myself a little more time and left 45 minutes before sunset.  I made a plan to go west towards Hampton as there was another high ground area I wanted to try.  Again I swung by an abandoned farm along the way and took its picture as the sun was getting low about 10 minutes before sunset.  I like the way the image came out.

Chasing sunsets

Chasing sunsets

A lot of my shoots are done by paying close attention to the time of sunset.  Then I pay close attention to cloud cover, Friday was one of those tricky evenings when clouds came in before sunset and in the last half hour the clouds broke up to make the sky interesting enough to venture out.

Time was running short and I decided to catch the best light possible and headed for one of the highest points in Butler county, this hill was about seven miles away and involved gravel travel to get there.  I took the time to take a few shots of an abandoned farm along the way (first image) and the image following that was taken about fifteen minutes later amazing how fast the sky and colors can change.

The Winter Cottonwood Tree

The Winter Cottonwood Tree

I took my morning sunrise drive in eastern Butler county yesterday and decided to try experimenting in RAW HDR. RAW images are not processed by the camera software and editing is done externally. I set my camera up to bracket 3 shots. Most of my HDR work involves 5 bracketed shots but the buffer in the camera struggles with saving to the SD Card when saving in RAW and JPEG.

My shot of the day was a lone and quite large Cottonwood Tree being backlit by the rising sun. I took various shots of it along the roadside but this one below was my favorite and turned out beautifully. Appear like my switching things up worked and will be doing more of this in the near future.

Framed On The Ice

Framed On The Ice

Some shots are only possible during the winter months such as this one I took on the Shell Rock river at Heery Woods State Park south of Clarksville Iowa.  The twisted tree framed the sunrise perfectly Sunday morning as I stood a little on the ice above the dam.

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