One last image from Nebraska before I move on to other images from my mid-west trip. My absolute favorite time of day to photograph is that magic time just at and before sunrise. If clouds are present above the horizon and the horizon is itself clear, the clouds can take on amazing colors of pinks, reds and orange as they reflect the light from the rising sun. This sunrise made at Smith Lake was fabulous and although I did not know it when I photographed it, this would be the first of several amazing sunrises I would see and photograph in the following days.
Smith Lake Sunrise ©Stephen Weaver
One of the main subjects I am drawn to now in my journey to photograph the beauty of the natural world is the prairie, and the amazing textures and colors of grass that make up this often unappreciated environment. True, the prairie and plains are relief challenged environments and they may not bring to mind the incredible vistas of rugged alpine terrain, but I personally have found that if you take the time to experience the prairie and really see it you would be astounded at the beauty that is present. One of the goals of this web journal will be to highlight my vison of the prairie and hopefully illustrate that the beauty of nature extends well beyond spectacular the red rock country of the southwest or the unquestionable grandeur of the mountain environment. To that end I present the next image from my recent Midwest trip.
Smooth broomgrass grows thickly around a lake in Crescent Lake NWR, Nebraska ©Stephen Weaver
Photographed in the Sand Hills of Nebraska in Crescent Lake NWR, this image highlights the luxuriant growth of grass surrounding one of the many lakes in the refuge. I was blessed with great clouds and soft light and the different layers and textures as well as the near-far composition help to make this a satisfying image.
Ok here we go with my first real post. I have been travelling quite a bit this summer and recently returned from my third major trip of the season from Oklahoma where I taught a photo workshop at the Museum of the Red River in Idabel. I will cover that trip in a future post, but for this opening I want to start with my first big trip taken in mid June through the upper midwest. I was scheduled to attend a conference and work shop on Field Computing in Education sponsered by the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) that was held in Door County Wisconsin at Lawrence Universitys Bjorklunden. I decided to drive to the conference and do photography on the way and after over a space of about 2.5 weeks. It was a fabulous trip photographing in Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wyoming with total miles travelled being 5,312! Photographically it was very productive, particularly with new prairie images from Nebraska and North Dakota. My first day was spent in Nebraska in the Sand Hills region, an area I first visted last year. Because of lots of Spring moisture the grass was amazing. I camped at Smith Lake and made several really nice images at sunset and also sunrise the next morning. Below is one of my favorite images from that first evening
Sunset light on the prairie grass in the Sandhills, Nebraska ©Stephen Weaver
What I was attracted to in making this image was the amazing warm sunset side light which illuminated the grasses as well as the strong layers with diagonals of the receding hills accented by the light. As with all strong photographs the presence and capture of dynamic light is the key that makes this image work. It was a great start to my trip!