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WPC: Favorites

Back when I shot with a large-format view camera, I would certainly agree with Mr. Adams.  Now that I use a camera that can shoot hundreds of frames in a day, oddly enough, I still agree.

I spent time in Hawaii this summer, and I’m sure I have twelve photographs that I like from just the first couple days.  When I look at all of the images I have captured this year, and try to envision those which I will still cherish years from now, the process of choosing twelve became clearer.  My time in nature was limited this year, but I made those moments count.  In some situations I had similar lighting or compositions where I couldn’t really define one shot as a clear favorite, but in the end, I think I’m very happy with these 12.

I don’t own a drone, but I love taking photos from airplanes.  This photo from over White Sands, New Mexico looks amazing at full size, with all the dunes at the edge looking like bubbling foam.

aerial photography, desert, dunes, White Sands, New Mexico, Steve Bruno

My ‘backyard’ locations of Red Rock Canyon or Valley Of Fire didn’t see me as much as in years past, yet I had plenty of images which made the A list.

sunrise, Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas, Nevada, gottatakemorepix

rainwater pools, Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas, Nevada, Steve Bruno

reflection, Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas, Nevada, Steve Bruno

natural windows, sandstone, Valley Of Fire, Nevada, Steve Bruno

natural arch, desert, Valley Of Fire, Nevada, gottatakemorepix

A little further out, but still in Nevada, I captured many satisfactory images in a short time at Cathedral Gorge.  I had no trouble picking a favorite, however.

sunset, desert, Cathedral Gorge, Nevada, gottatakemorepix

Oregon was another place I spent some time last summer.  Although the trip was mainly for a family gathering, I had time afterwards to head to the trails in the Columbia River Gorge.

waterfalls, Oregon, Columbia River Gorge, Steve Bruno

As I mentioned earlier, Hawaii was part of my travels this year, and gave me many great photo opportunities.  My time on the lava fields at sunset certainly stands out as one of my favorite experiences, not just for this year, but for a lifetime.

 

Pacific Ocean, cliffs, Hawaiiold growth forest, Hawaii, trees, gottatakemorepixwaves, lava, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean, Steve Brunolava flow, Hawaii, sunset, gottatakemorepix

 

Monochrome Madness: MM4-31

On my first full day on the big island of Hawaii this summer, I set out to return to some locations that I had visited my previous time there.  I hadn’t checked the weather before I set out, so I was unaware that a tropical storm was a couple hundred miles offshore.  The first place I stopped at was too wet to get out for pictures, and I thought the day might be a bust.  I was pleasantly surprised to drive a little further, and see drier conditions for another spot with fond memories.

I chose my first location cautiously because the waves were more robust than my last visit.  The area I picked didn’t have a single drop of water anywhere under my feet.  Nonetheless, I waited about 10 minutes and watched wave activity before unpacking the camera and tripod.  That first spot was on a ledge about 15 feet above ocean level, and the bigger waves splashed close to that height, but all towards the left.  I spent over half an hour there, getting some great stills and video.  Afterwards, I moved to some other areas along this point where the water was calm by comparison.

I thought I was almost done, but returned to the first spot, just slightly further back.  The contrast between the close rock formations and the ones slightly further, with occasional light splashes of water, gave me a different perspective.  I had my shutter release cable attached and my drive on high speed, because you never know what you might get with water splashing.  You can always delete the boring ones.

All I will say is that I heard this one coming.  Instinct told me to keep holding the shutter.  This is not a telephoto shot, but actually a bit of a wide angle lens.  Somewhere under all that airborne water is the spot I had been standing earlier.

This is my contribution to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness this week.  In the first week of the month, there is a theme, with this theme being up in the air.  To see what other photographers have contributed, or instructions to join in, please visit Leanne’s website.

WPC: Serene

As is probably obvious by now, I have a fascination with the desert.  The plants, features, textures and moods always provide reasons to explore further.  Although I have experienced serenity in the desert, I’m not sure I have images that convey that mood – especially to those who have never truly explored those same places.

I think there are many who would agree that oceans are a great place to find serenity, especially on a remote beach at sunrise.  I find that sunrises, in general, tend to be more peaceful and calming than sunsets.  Perhaps because they signal the start of a new day, often witnessed alone.  Almost everyone I know thinks this is not a good time to be awake yet.  That’s OK.  More serenity for me to enjoy.

clouds, reflection, black sand beach, Hawaii, solitude

trees, mountains, sunrise, colorado

I can find calm settings just about anywhere in nature, but I think forested mountains would have to be second on my list, right after oceans.  Having a lake or a small stream is certainly an added element of calming.

mountains, lake, reflections, wasatch mountains, utah, Steve Bruno

Black Hills, South Dakota, rolling hills, Steve Bruno

I spend a fair amount of time in airplanes.  By allowing myself to get distracted looking out the windows, I find this can become very calming, especially when flying over seemingly infinite cloud cover.

gulf of mexico, clouds, aerial photography, gottatakemorepix

clouds, aerial photography

Also making my list would have to be any moment when witnessing a rainbow.  This one happened to be from an airplane.  Ahhhhhhh!

rainbow, sunset, sacramento, california, aerial photography

 

PHOTOS:

  • Feature photo:  Early morning on a black sand beach in Hawaii
  • 2nd:  Same beach and morning as above
  • 3rd:  Sunrise from Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
  • 4th:  Small lake in the Wasatch Mountains, Utah
  • 5th:  Infinite rolling hills from the Black Hills, South Dakota
  • 6th:  Minimal cloud cover over the Gulf of Mexico
  • 7th:  Sea of clouds somewhere over Texas
  • 8th:  Rainbow upon approach to Sacramento, California

Monochrome Madness: MM4-30

I’ve had plenty of time in airplanes recently, and this is the view of the desert just east of here in the Arizona desert.  I have crossed this location several times, but never with this beautiful early morning light.

This is my contribution to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness this week.  Next week there will be a theme of Up In The Air.  My photo next week will not be another aerial view….this is just a teaser.  To see what other photographers have contributed, or instructions on how to join in, visit Leanne’s website.

WPC: Glow

When I saw the title for this week’s photo challenge, I immediately thought of some of the canyons I’ve visited.  The canyons of the southwestern US are great places to hike because there is often shade.  Because of the shade, light reaching the bottom is often reflected off higher sunlit walls, resulting in a warm glow.  In those canyons where water is present, the effect is magnified.

My photo comes from Zion National Park, Utah.  As sunrise lit up the high cliffs on a morning with clear blue skies, the North Fork of the Virgin River glowed from the light being cast onto it.

Monochrome Madness: MM4-24

Last winter/spring was one of the wettest that California has ever seen, and was declared a drought-buster by several accounts.  Now, about a half year later, we have seen the most devastating fires to ever hit that state.  What happened to all that water?  Did the drought really go away?

Intense, out-of-control fires have occurred in places that you would not normally expect these to take place.  Oregon, Montana, western Canada, and now Portugal have all been in the news for their fires this year.  A reasonable person would have to look at this situation and wonder if there is something we can do for long-term fire prevention.  The White House says global warming and climate change is a hoax.  More FAKE NEWS!

My photo is from several years ago, and is one of my favorites from a springtime trip in what used to be a normal weather year.  I know fires have threatened Yosemite National Park in recent years, and I can’t help but wonder if the next one is the one that leaves the park in ashes.

This is my contribution to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness this week.  To see what other photographers have contributed, or instructions to join in, please visit her website.

WPC: Scale

On my first trip to the big island of Hawaii, we had lucky timing with the volcanic activity.  The day before I took this photo, a lava tube broke, and all the lava was now running over the hillside instead of underneath it.  I wanted badly to get closer to this spectacle, but the viewing area was roped off, and there was a security patrol to make sure nobody went where they weren’t supposed to go.  Or so I thought.  The viewing area closed at 10 pm, and at 9:55, three men came walking from the other side of the rope and in plain sight of the guards.  None were wearing ranger uniforms, or showing anything indicating authority.  I remember thinking “Who are they, and how the hell were they allowed out there?”  I couldn’t make it back on this trip, so my thoughts of trying to figure out how to get past the rope were not going to make a difference anyway.

What you are looking at is not the source of the eruption.  There was so much lava coming down, that this was where it met the ocean, causing it to shoot up in the air 300-400 feet.  It was really hard to fathom the size of this event, and it wasn’t until I looked at the images blown up on the computer screen, that I saw that those men were in a couple of the frames providing a sense of scale.

Monochrome Madness: MM4-19

After having spent most of July in Oregon and Hawaii, I have to admit I’ve been a bit uninspired to head out into the desert.  Last week we had a beautiful day that started out with clouds and rain, and I made a relatively unplanned tour through the desert.  One of my stops was at Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge along the Great Basin Highway.  I probably would have seen more wildlife if this hadn’t been towards the middle of the afternoon, but tall shade-providing trees, roads lined with sunflowers and small lakes were enough to soothe the senses.  The breezes would occasionally find a lull, and the clouds were just enough to provide a little contrast for my photo here.

You can see this photo on Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness this week.  To see what other photographers have contributed, or instructions to join in, please visit her website.

WPC: Elemental

My recent trip to Hawaii provided me with the perfect shot for this weeks Daily Post Challenge of Elemental.  Earth, air, fire, and water are all there, but you can’t tell that the air is not exactly the best for you from this shot.  I probably could have gotten a little closer if this hadn’t been the downwind side.  I was fortunate to grab a couple shots before retreating to cooler non-toxic air.  In full size images enlarged on my screen, I can see the distortion from the heat.

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