Photo #28: Stone Arches

It was a good evening for photography, clear skies, good sunlight. So, I set out about an hour before sunset, looking for something intriguing. Again, I was hoping to find a good barn, but I was open to any possibilities. I drove around on the backroads, through the fields, looking and finding nothing.

If I were back out west, this method would yield a subject quickly, but it’s a little bit trickier around here. I found myself still driving around as the sun sank closer to the horizon. I turned north, still looking for barns. The road dipped down through a valley. At the bottom, a small stream ran between the fields. Here, the road necked down to one lane, crossing the stream. The bridge had concert guardrails, arched somewhat like an old Roman aqueduct. Through the arches I could see the setting sun reflecting off the waters in the stream.

I drove across the bridge, parked the car and walked back. I hadn’t seen a single car on this stretch of road, and it was quiet and calm, so I walked out to the center of the bridge. I took a few shots of the setting sun through the arches, framing it with the concrete. I was pleased with the result.

Photo #28: Bridge

Photo #28: Stone Arches

Tech Details:
Equipment Used: Sony NEX-5R, 18-55mm standard lens.
Image: 1/80 sec exposure, f/4.5, ISO-160.


Photo #23: Evening on the Road

Once again, evening rolled around, and I hadn’t taken a photo, nor did I have a good idea for one. It was another sunny day, with perfectly cloudless skies, so I decided to take a drive before the sun set. I headed out of town, and turned off onto the country back roads. I was hoping to find an old barn, but I was open to anything that caught my interest.

It didn’t take me long to get out in the middle of nowhere, or at least as out in the middle of nowhere as one can get in the Midwest. I found myself surrounded by lush green fields. The terrain was slightly hilly. I pulled off at several spots along the road, just to take photos of the landscape.

Roads themselves are a draw for me. I love the visual of a solid black strip winding through the natural landscape. This is particularly true when both the road and the landscape are devoid of human life. I revel in the solitude of a road going nowhere. Roads also appeal to me because of what they suggest: travel, the unknown, desolation.

The sun was sinking fast and I was losing light. Sunsets are another favorite subject of mine, but the lack of clouds meant there would be no color tonight. Fortunately, I had found a rare spot around here, a place where the horizon isn’t blocked by buildings or trees. I shot a few frames of the sun touching the hillside. My favorite of the day incorporated both the sunset and the empty road.

Photo #23: Evening on the Road

Photo #23: Evening on the Road

Tech Details:
Equipment: Sony NEX-5R, 18-55mm standard lens.
Image: 1/50 sec exposure, f/5.6, ISO-100.

Photo #17: Calm Waters

It was a nice evening, so I grabbed the camera and went up to the local park. The park presents lots of opportunities for photograph. At the center is a larger lake, line with trees and benches. Ducks can be found on the shore and swimming in the lake. This time of year, there are trees in bloom. Swingsets, slide and old merry-go-rounds are strategically placed around the lake, with larger playground and some tennis courts on the north-east side of the park. It’s wooded to the south, and there are open fields and a few old barns to the north.

The park is not without it’s challenges. It’s a popular destination when the weather’s nice. There are cars parked at intervals around the lake, and people fishing, picnicking, and walking. Powerlines stretch over the lake, there are “No Swimming” signs, outbuildings and the occasional piece of litter on the shore. Editing undesired elements can be tricky.

I walked around the south and west shores of the lake, ending up at the fence and the fields to the north. I photographed several different subject, playing with various photo styles, the effects on my camera, and used all three of my lens.

I had a hard time selecting with photo to share tonight. It was a close running between three different photos. Landscapes are my favorite subjects, and although I’m not in love with the landscape around here, it can still produce good pictures. I realized I haven’t shared a true landscape photo yet, so I decided to select my photo of the lake for today’s picture.

I took this photos at the water’s edge. The shore was lined with stone in this particular area, and I used that to frame the lake and draw the eye into the center of the picture. I think it turned out pretty well, even if there are cars around the lakeshore.



Photo #17: Calm Waters

Photo #17: Calm Waters

Tech Details:
Equipment: Sony NEX-5R, 18-55mm standard lens.
Image: 1/80 sec exposure, f/8, ISO-100.

Photo #10: Cornstalks

Cornfields. They’re everywhere in the midwest. My drive to work is only about eight miles long, and cornfields line the roads for most of the way.

The fields have yet to be replanted, and they’re full of dried brown stalks, none more than a foot high. These have been catching my eye lately, and I wanted to photograph them.

I waited until it was within an hour of sunset, and drove to some nearby fields, which had both the surroundings I wanted and were oriented best for the light of the setting sun.

I walked over to the field. The shadows were long, forcing me to angle the shot correctly, lest my shadow appeared. I wanted to get the cornstalks from a lower angle, showing both the size of the field and the brittle stalks. I tried a few different angles, starting at the end fo the field and working my way slightly inward.

I immediately noticed that there were red cornhusks scattered throughout the field. I realized that these would make a pretty cool picture by themselves, so I took a quick break to capture a few macro photos of the husks. Since the photo of the field itself was my goal, I’m not going to share the macro. (Maybe I’ll share some of my extra photos after I’ve finished with my 30.)

After a few minutes. I moved to another field. I shot the first field from the west, with the sun directly behind me. The second field I photographed from the south. It was closer to sunset, making the light a little softer. Finally, I tried a few to the west, including the setting sun as well.

I had a really hard time picking my photograph for today. I had several that turned out well, although none were quite what I initially envisioned. I probably went back and forth a dozen times about which photo to include. In the end, I finally decided on one of the photos from the second field. I like the softer light, and the composition is more visually appealing. Here it is:

Photo #9: Cornstalks

Photo #9: Cornstalks

Tech Details:
Equipment: Sony NEX-5R, 18-55mm standard lens.
Image: 1/160 sec exposure, f/4.5, ISO-100.