POTD: Sunrise 2:30 a.m.

Title and Location

Sunrise 2:30 a.m.

Location: Antarctica
Camera: Phase One P65+, 75-150mm, 645DF
Settings: f/11, ISO 400, 1/250 sec, six shot panoramic
When: December 2010

The Antarctic sky had cleared for the first time during our trip, the cruise ship floating near the Lemaire Channel.  You don’t anchor in Antarctica, you turn slowly around a stationary point for the night.  The captain estimated sunrise at 4am so a 3:30 shoot was planned.

That evening the light was surreal and stretched into a four hour sunset.  Every 30 minutes I climbed up to the observation deck to photograph the changing light. One by one the others passengers retired to their cabins.  Eventually, I was the only one awake shooting and loading images into my laptop.  After midnight I decided I might as well stay awake until the sunrise and kept up my 30 minute routine.  At 2:30 the sky burst into incredible color and in a few moments the color was gone.

I traveled to Antarctica a year after a near-fatal accident in the Arkansas wilderness.  I still recall my emotions of being alive, completely alone, on this ghostly quiet ship in the middle of Antarctica – unbelievable!   Outside in my shirt sleeves the temperature just above freezing I reflected on the accident, months of therapy to walk and here I was the sole witness to this incredible scene.  That moment was the beginning of my passion for photographic discovery that continues to this day.

Your darkest moment may contain the seeds of your destiny

All my images are available as limited edition artwork. Click here for more information or to purchase a fine art print.

POTD: White Rock Autumn

White Rock Autumn, Ozark National Forest, Arkansas

White Rock Autumn

Location: Ozark National Forest, Arkansas
Camera: Phase One P30+, 35mm
Settings: f/11, ISO 50, 1/250
When: October 2010

White Rock Mountain is a rocky outcrop in the southern edge of the Ozark Mountains.  It is one of the easiest places to enjoy the vistas of the Ozarks with a short walk downhill from the parking area to a lookout pavilion that has a stunning 270 degree view from northwest to southeast.

Called the Ozark Mountains it is actually the Ozark Plateau and like the Colorado Plateau is full of eroding canyons that have stunning waterfalls in the spring.   On the southern edge of the plateau where it falls to the Arkansas River Valley you’ll find great views looking southward.

All my images are available as limited edition artwork.  Click here for more information or to purchase a fine art print.

POTD: Maroon Bells

Title and Location

Maroon Bells

Location: Aspen, Colorado
Camera: Phase One P45, Schneider 72L Lens, Cambo Technical Camera
Settings: f/11, 1 sec, ISO 100
When: Unknown

I’m back after a short break, I hope you enjoy today’s image of the day.  Located outside of Aspen, Colorado these majestic mountains received their name for their maroon-colored bell shape. Maroon Lake in the foreground mirrors the foothills making it one of the most picturesque and photographed mountains in the country.

All my images are available as limited edition artwork. Click here for more information or to purchase a fine art print.

POTD: Peaceful

Title and Location

Peaceful

Location: Beaver Lake, NW Arkansas
Camera: Phase One P30, Mamiya 645D, 300mm
Settings: f/16, ISO 100, multiple exposures stitched and overlaid
When: September 2009

A few days ago I posted an image from this location called “Moonglow”.  A beautiful moonrise captured just as the moon was floating through the “Band of Venus” whichis a band of pink that rises through the sky just after sunset.

Following that photograph, I repositioned the camera slightly using a much longer focal length to compress the scene.  By shooting two tall exposures over one another I was able to stitch them into this vertical panorama of the scene.  I also photographed the moon with a much faster shutter speed to reveal the detail on its surface.

Vertical panoramic images are much more difficult to compose but no other format can fit a huge statement onto such a small amount of wall space.  An image only 2′ wide is more than six feet tall.  Standing in front of a print that large you feel as though you could step right into the scene.  One theme you will find with most of my photographs is realism.  My primary goal is to capture stunning scenery as closely as possible to what it would be like had the viewer been standing next to me.

All my images are available as limited edition artwork. Click here for more information or to purchase a fine art print.

POTD: Forgotten

Title and Location

Forgotten

Location: Somewhere in Missouri
Camera: Phase One P65+, Cambo RS, Rodenstock HR32
Settings: f/16, ISO 50, 2.5 sec
When: Winter 2011

The job of a nature photographer is combining subject, light and weather into a 2-dimensional scene the expresses a mood or tells a story.  While I enjoy photographing scenes that tell a happy story or brighten spirits, some of my most rewarding images are those that evoke an emotion in the viewer.  “Forgotten” is a special image that folks in my part of the country really relate to.

Almost every person native to the midwest either lived or had a relative who lived on a small farm. A simple lifestyle of hard work, home cooked meals and family was predominate not that many years ago.  Unfortunately, this style of living has almost disappeared from the fabric of this area but not the good memories.

Faith and I flew past this location on our way home from a failed outing scouting a prairie in southwest Missouri.  The fantastic oak tree caught my eye and I turned the jeep around to investigate.  After scouting a half-dozen compositions I waited an hour or so for the light to become golden then exposed two 3×4 images by shifting the back 15mm from side to side creating this panoramic view of a lifestyle long “Forgotten”.

All my images are available as limited edition artwork. Click here for more information or to purchase a fine art print.

POTD: Little Hawksbill Crag

Title and Location

Little Hawksbill Crag

Location: Calico Rock, Arkansas
Camera: Phase One P30+, Mamiya 645D, 35mm
Settings: f/11, ISO 100, 1/100 sec
When: November, 2008

The White River is truly an Arkansas original with headwaters in the Boston Mountains. Most of the White is contained within the state as well as its confluence with the Mississippi River.  The White River is a working river which has been dammed into several lakes to provide water, power and flood control for communities nearby.

The White River National Wildlife Refuge located in South Arkansas is home to large populations of mallard duck and snow geese during the winter months.  The refuge also has a large population of black bear and some of the most dramatic swampland scenery in the state.

“Little Hawksbill Crag” was photographed on City Rock Bluff near Calico Rock during the last of the autumn colors.  I return to this beautiful spot as often as I can and have a summertime sunset image releasing soon.

All my images are available as limited edition artwork. Click here for more information or to purchase a fine art print.

POTD: Paradise Falls

Title and Location

Paradise Falls

Location: Silver Falls State Park, Oregon
Camera: Phase One P45, Cambo RS, Schneider 35XL
Settings:f/11, ISO 50, 2 seconds
When: June 2010

Great scenic photography is 90% getting in front of interesting subjects.  (The other 90% is planning, equipment, technique, and tenacity but that’s for another day.)  Sometimes during my travels, I have stumbled into locations or circumstances that were so incredible it simply blew my mind.  Silver Falls State Park in central Oregon is one of those locations.

Imagine having a hole in the ground 175 feet deep with a diameter of a mile or so.  Into that hole in the ground fall a dozen waterfalls from around it’s edges.   Each waterfall has a total different character.  You may recall I mentioned when I was there they had record rainfall and these falls were raging and so beautiful.

There is a 9 mile trail at the bottom of the hole taking you to visit all of these waterfalls.  The trail goes behind the veil of several.  Simply stunning scenery and I understand it is even better in Autumn.  Often referred to as the “Crown Jewel” of the Oregon park system.  Silver Falls is truly a paradise which inspired this photograph of the North Falls.

Click here for more information or to purchase a fine art print.

POTD: Daydreaming

Title and Location

Day Dreaming

Location: Beaver Lake, Arkansas
Camera: Phase One P45, Cambo RS, Schneider 72L
Settings: f/11, 1/250, ISO 50, 2 shot stitch
When: July 2010

Beaver Dam was built during the 1960s flooding the White River to create Beaver Lake.  The lake and dam provide flood control, fresh water, and hydro-electric power for the entire region.

At the time the dam was built there were not many people in this part of the state.  Since then, NW Arkansas has grown to nearly 1/2 million people and quietly become an economic powerhouse.  Well know companies like Walmart, Tyson Foods, JB Hunt Transport were founded and still headquartered here.

Scenes along its 500 miles of shoreline provide local flavor for those who happily live here and love its natural flavor.

Click here for more information or to purchase a fine art print.

POTD: Tenacity

Title and Location

Tenacity

Location: Escalante National Monument, Utah
Camera: Mamiya 645d, Phase One P30+, 28mm
Settings: ISO 100, f/16, 1/8 sec
When: March 2008

This cottonwood tree picked a difficult place to survive.  Each year into the drought it struggled losing more and more green.  Even so, it still hangs on.

Photographing this scene inspired me to never give up.  Success doesn’t require luck or even skill in most cases.  With the “Tenacity” to just keep trying you can accomplish almost any goal.

Click here for more information or to purchase a fine art print.

POTD: Valley Sentinel

Valley Sentinel, Mt Magazine SP, Arkansas
Valley Sentinel

Location: Mt. Magazine State Park, Arkansas
Camera: Phase One P65+, Cambo RS, Schneider 24XL
Settings: f/16, ISO 50, 24 seconds
When: November 5th 2010, 6:15pm

This view is perhaps the most stunning vista in all of the mid-western states.  A nearly 800 year old cedar tree overlooks Blue Mountain Lake in the Petit Jean River Valley.  In the distance you see at least 50 miles into the Ouachita Mountains.

I had already photographed a vertical panorama of this tree well before sunset when the sun dipped below storm clouds on the horizon. Thinking the show was over I packed up my gear and was enjoying the view as the light faded.

Shortly after sunset the horizon began to glow. I scrambled to setup my gear and had time for a single exposure of nearly a half-minute. This image is still my favorite and I will never forget the last minute gift of this scene. The wide angle lens allowed me to capture the transition of day to night in a single exposure.

Technical camera wide angle lens naturally darken at the edges making a wonderful vignette highlighting this incredible scene and saved the sky from being too bright at the horizon.

Click here for more information or to purchase a fine art print.