Month: August 2017

The Return

The Return

Got back yesterday and it was a great trip.  But as a photographer I would have to lean towards the Badlands as being my favorite place to shoot during the trip.  There is so many shapes and colors that contrast each other I believe one could spend a couple of weeks there and just begin to touch the tip of it all.

I especially enjoyed the way the colors came out at sunrise and sunset.  This will be a spot I intend to visit again and do more exploring of its beauty and wonder.

Eclipse D-Day

Eclipse D-Day

Well tomorrow is D-Day for my son and me as we head off to Nebraska  with a stay overnight in Valentine.  We are taking the outlaw trail which runs the norther part of the state and should offer up many photo ops along the way.  Spent months planning this trip and looking at Google to spot any sites worthy.  Also scanned county maps and found some still standing country school houses.

After totality we are heading up to Devils Tower to spend the night then traveling the Black Hills and over night at the Badlands.  I am planning on 5000-10000 pictures in HDR for this trip my camera will have a work out.  Very excited about it now.  Just hope to sleep well tonight and be on the road by 4:30AM.

An Image Can Grow On You

An Image Can Grow On You

Yesterday morning the clouds moved into the area fast and led to a disappointing photography session or at least I thought.  After processing this image and looking at it numerous times I began to like it quit a lot.  The barbed wire fence leads one into the image and the posts rugged beauty just seem to work.

Odd how a seemingly bad outing can present a gem…

https://duane-klipping.pixels.com/featured/fence-line-sunrise-bonfire-photography.html

Planning Shots

Planning Shots

Most of the time I never plan my actual shots any further than a general direction I plan on exploring.  Each weekend I get out before sunrise and head usually east towards the rising sun.  Chasing daylight freestyle with no plan other than driving gravel roads.

Most of what I consider are my best images were taken this way, drive until the view I see from my window grabs my attention.  Maybe it is the framing in my driver’s door of passenger window the works for me as it is like viewing an already framed photograph.  Something just clicks and I stop the car and get out standing on the gravel and take a series of images before climbing back in and continuing on my nomadic journey.

I have been doing this for a number of years now and when I come across a scene that has potential I just know it is worth stopping.

Sometimes I see a scene but the lighting is not quite right and make a note of it’s location so I can return on another time when the lighting may be better suited for the capture.  This is a quick run down on how I manage to get my images.  No real planning just what captures my eye first.

Another one of my well received images on Iowa Through The Lens is this shot of a level B road that runs the western edge of the DNR lands and belongs to The Big Marsh. Sunday I had no real plan and did some free style just taking off and heading south before sunrise. As I went down the blacktop going to Aplington I was presented with low hanging ground fog along the West Fork of the Cedar River. This was going to be my subject this morning. Seems there has been a lot of ground fog these past few weeks in the low lands.

This road has recently been graded due to all the ruts and potholes that were in it from the past years weather. The road is seldom used other than by hunters in the fall deer season and can turn into a muddy mess with just a half inch of rain. Not a high speed road by any means and I was surprised the county spent time grading it as much as they did. A little gravel and it would be better than a standard B road.

I took this image in the middle of the road as the sun cast it’s ray upwards and the fog can be seen in the distance.

https://duane-klipping.pixels.com/featured/level-b-morning-2-bonfire-photography.html

Plains Skyscrapers

Plains Skyscrapers

I have always loved the grain elevators of the plains states.  They are towering structures built of hundreds of board feet of 2 x 4’s laid flat and spiked together then covered with a layer of skin to protect the wood from the elements and the grain stored inside them.  Many were built along the railroad tracks that connected the towns to each other.

Things have changed over the years and one of them is the tracks were removed.  Farms got bigger and many store their own grain in large metal bins.  The need for these structures are subsiding and many such as this one in Dumont Iowa stand dormant some are only used during fall harvest others stand idle a monument of times past.

https://duane-klipping.pixels.com/featured/dumont-elevator-2-bonfire-photography.html

https://duane-klipping.pixels.com/featured/chapin-co-op-bonfire-photography.html

Road to Nowhere

Road to Nowhere

Road to Nowhere

August 1 already and I am now a mere 20 days until my trip to the pan-handle of Nebraska to view the natural event of the year and what has become known as the Great American Eclipse.  I get bouts of anxiety contemplating the event and whether my photographic skills are developed enough to capture it justly.   I planned on doing this over three years ago and all my practice and learning my camera and composition will come into play.  Looking forward to it and my only hope is clear skies.

I have my glasses, lens filter, memory cards, two new batteries and a place of total seclusion on a road to nowhere at an undisclosed location.  I do not want to share this moment with spectators hooting and hollering.  The only other person I plan on having around will be my son who is traveling with me on this journey.   If it all goes well I may plan on seeing the next one in 2024.

The road to nowhere is where we will be, but this road to nowhere leads to a spectacular event in American history, a rare natural phenomena that has not happened in around 100 years.  It will be awe inspiring and a spiritual event for many including myself.  To not attempt to capture a small part of it would be a fail on my part to document the event as it unfolds.

Afterwards we will travel to Devils Tower Wyoming, Black Hills of South Dakota, Custer State Park, The Badlands along with numerous other locations we run into along the way.  Time to treat these “fly over” states with the respect they deserve and see their natural beauty that many miss or fail to enjoy.  I am my camera will be on overload.  I expect it will take me a couple of weeks to sort through all the images and process the best of the best.

The image below is one I took last weekend and is also a road to nowhere in Butler county Iowa.  But in the end all roads lead to somewhere you just need to travel them to find out where that is…

https://duane-klipping.pixels.com/featured/road-to-nowhere-bonfire-photography.html