Forgotten and Decaying


I am always on the lookout for barns. I love them because they remind me of my farming roots. The best ones have character. This barn is a forgotten relic just off of Missouri Highway 82 in St. Clair County, Missouri in Tiffin. The weathervane caught my eye as I made my way to the Schell-Osage Conservation Area early Saturday morning.  Continue reading

Simplicity and Beauty

Frosty Morning SunriseWinter is harsh time and probably my least favorite time of year. Long nights and short days leave little time after work to get outside and appreciate God’s creation. Yet, there is a simplicity in this season I often don’t appreciate. Everything is stripped bare and sometimes God’s beauty shines thru in the simplicity of shapes and colors. The color of an early morning sunrise, the muted tones of the frost on the ground, the twisted shape of a tree’s branches each have a particular beauty that isn’t evident during other seasons. 

Turner Tracks

Turners Station just east of Springfield, Missouri was once a passenger stop. The BNSF uses these tracks now. The current trains hardly slow down. Turners is off Greene County Highway D down a narrow road about a hundred yards. The station stands sentinel along the tracks and is home to a post office and mercantile. It looks like a worthy place to explore.

The image is processed using six exposures and merged using Photomatrix. I made contrast adjustments using levels and curves to the tracks alone. I added a blue filter to the sky. The clouds were pretty cool looking this morning & I did no further adjustments to the clouds.

Morning Perfection

I am coming to love early mornings. The tranquility of mornings is amazing. I have longed for a morning with fog. There is something calming about a fog draped landscape. In the city, I rarely see fog, so I often think it doesn’t exist. I rose early this morning. I have discovered I enjoy starting my Saturday’s near the river. I was thrilled to see fog hanging over many of the low spots in the landscape.

The temperature hovered in the mid 70s. It is nice to be out before the heat of the day. The wildlife like these temperatures as well. I spotted more deer this morning and a great blue heron. I had decided to let my dog ride along today, so patience was more difficult to come by (He was less than thrilled with the river). I may return early tomorrow without the dog and just set up quietly and wait. Wildlife photography takes patience, and I was unable to get any good captures.

This morning’s photo is one I tried getting last weekend, but I was unhappy with the results. This morning’s fog lightly blanketed the field. The scene reminded my of my childhood. I love old barns. They often make great photos.

Morning Peace

Early morning, before humanity has risen from bed, is a time of vast enjoyment for me. It is a time of peace, relaxation and contemplation. There is nothing more rejuvenating than taking a stroll down a trail or riverbank and listening to the sounds of the birds in the trees and smelling the freshness of early morning.

Recently, I discovered a restful place. It is a place with water and flowers and wildlife. I watched two deer grazing in a nearby field. I enjoyed the scent of honeysuckle in the air. I listened as the water and birds sang in perfect harmony. These are the places I enjoy. I watched as a fly- fisherman plied his craft in the river downstream and wondered how hard it would be to learn to cast a line like it’s a feather. We were the only two on the river Saturday morning.

During summer months, it can be a busy location. I had taken my grandson to this area the Saturday prior. We had a good time as the shad tickled our feet. We laughed and caught nothing. It was merely a time to share. On this Saturday evening though, I would return to the river again with a friend.  As others sat on a nearby gravel bar enjoying the summer evening, some swung on a rope into a deep hole. We sat on a log that had fallen into the water rocking it and talking about life. It is a cleansing place.

A Vision of Perfection

Often when I set out on a photographic journey, I have a vision of what I expect to accomplish in my head. Other times I am completely surprised by what I find. Photography is a process. Every step in the process must be perfect to achieve the perfect result. I can have a great idea in my head, but if I forget to check the simplest thing, my great idea is ruined. That does not mean it is a waste of time however, not if I learn from it. Photography is also a learning process.

Nathaniel Greene Park in southwest Springfield is one of my favorite places to go. It has great walking trails, a wonderful botanical garden, magnificent trees, a peaceful Japanese stroll garden, and a beautiful lake. I discovered recently that the lake holds the potential for a magnificent reflected sunset.

One evening last week, on a whim, I set out for the lake with my camera and set up near a willow tree. The sky was perfect, and the colors amazing. I took a series of shots, packed my camera in the bag, folded up the tripod and started back to the car. On the way, I decided to stop at a rose garden for some pictures. This is when I discovered I had failed to check the autofocus selector on my lens. I hadn’t noticed the lack of focus in my amazing sunset photo because I was looking directly into the light. The sun was just touching I line of trees in the distance and it was quite bright. Disappointed, I returned the next evening to try again, only to be disappointed by the lack of color.

This evening, I returned.There had been puffy white clouds in the sky. Clouds are a necessary ingredient in amazing sunset colors. This evenings colors did not disappoint. I had taken several different series of shots. I was thrilled with the starburst affect on a couple series, but after merging them into an HDR file in Photomatrix, I discovered brightness of the sun itself was difficult to tone map. I merged and tone mapped a different series of images after the sun had dropped below the tree line. Wow!! I got the photo I was hoping for last week.