Thursday, October 30, 2014

Platte River Falls

My son and I visited Platte River State Park for the first time this week.  There was a photo of a waterfall that had shown up on a screen saver and he really wanted to see one.  Since this is fairly close, we decided to drive there to see.  Not having been there myself, I really didn't know what to expect.  I had viewed others photos of the falls, but you can't really get an idea until your actually there yourself.  I decided to take my camera along to grab a couple practice shots.  If the time works, I think I may go back and try some other stuff.  The photos are two little fall leading up to the bigger falls.  The little ones, as you can see, are only about 6 inches tall.  There wasn't a whole lot of water rushing over them since we haven't received much rain in the last month.  It provided just enough for some nice blur.  

We hiked down to the river bed following the trails that had been there for some time and stood in the river bed that was now a nice sand bar.  Since it was mid day, the sun was coming through the trees pretty directly, so it made capturing the shadows under the falls tough while trying not to blow out the highlights of the lighter areas.  Cameras cannot capture the same type of dynamic range as the human eye, so you have to really compensate for that.  Post production software, such as Lightroom, help quite a bit when confronted with this situation.  I moved in closer to try and avoid the harsh light.  I used f/13 to get a longer shutter speed to blur the water but it wasn't enough.  I had to use a 6 stop neutral density filter along with a Circular Polarizer (2 stops) to get the timer to between 45 and 60 seconds.  In total, I had 8 stops of light between the ND and CPL.  The last shot was taken at 65 seconds.  As always, click on the photo to view it larger on my website.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Foggy Morning on the Prairie

I visited family this past weekend and was greeted by some pretty awesome fog the following morning.  My son and I set out to get some breakfast pizza but were sidetracked with the site we had before us.  Not really having been in a true fog, I decided to take him out to see the countryside.  We stopped by the family hayfield to capture a couple iconic shots that I really love.  I plan to print these for myself as something to remember.

All of these photos were taken within miles of each other.  The sun was rising quickly, but the fog was hanging on.  The suns rays illuminated the fog in a beautiful hue that worked great with the frosty browning grass.  Here are a few from the morning.

"Trails End"

"Golden Bales"

"Windmill Sunrise"

"Lone Tree"

"Prairie Windmill"

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Epcot is not only famous for well being Epcot, but they have a very cool light show every night called Illuminations.  The fireworks last for about 15 minutes and are very awe inspiring.  I used my fisheye lens to capture as much of the show as I could.  I didn't have room for a tripod in my luggage so I had to use my shoulder to keep the camera steady enough through out the 1.5 to 3 second shots.  There were some blurring photos, but the majority of them turned out great.  We camped out under a tree due to the amount people nesting their way around the lake.  Some of my shots had a nice tree view; however, it didn't spoil the mood or effect of the fireworks that evening.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Last Few Weeks Random Shots

It has been some time since I posted anything and you may have been wondering if I had fallen off the face of the earth.  Maybe you didn't even notice or care.  If you have been one of those wondering, I have been busy these last couple of weeks with lots of awesome family time.  We went on a little vacation.  Then, the oldest and I spent a chilly 35 degree night in a tent, camping at Jubilee.

Going to such an awesome place as Disney for vacation, I couldn't help but bring along a camera.  I blew threw almost all of the 68 gigabytes in storage I took for the trip.  It was so much fun seeing the kids enjoying "The Happiest Place On Earth".  Mom and Dad were truly exhausted by the time the trip had come to an end, but I think we did enjoy a few things before we were done.

Almost all of the shots taken during the trip were family oriented, but I did take some time to snap a couple for the blog.  Maybe you can recognize a few of them.

This is a picture of my youngest admiring the enormous Spaceship Earth ride at Epcot.

And a view from the other side

A view of the fountains in front of the big ball

From the Magic Kingdom, Cinderella's Castle from the Rose Garden.  Most shots you see if this castle are from Main Street USA, so I thought I would try something a little different.

This was one of our favorite rides from the trip, Big Thunder Mountain as viewed from the Liberty Ferry.  There may be no inversions or loops, but this ride is probably one of the longest roller coaster rides I have been on and worth the wait in line.

Walking through Epcot in the Germany wing, we were greeted by a little rain storm.  It quickly passed and provided us with a little color.  I was only able to capture this little section of the rainbow since my card was low on space, but it definitely fascinated the crowds passing by.

We had to stop and see some of the favorite Cars characters.  I thought this an excellent opportunity for some fisheye fun.