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.

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.