Late in the afternoon I headed out to explore with the camera. I didn’t have a particular destination in mind, it only needed to be different. Someplace I haven’t been in a while. I was letting my subconscious decide the turns along the way when I remembered Wagner Farms was open. They have sunflower fields!
The sky was looking fantastic. My excitement was palpable. Drive!
I parked the car and could not get the camera out of the bag quick enough. I took a step back. I slowed my breathing. The sunflowers were not going anywhere. I needed a moment to plan.
The macro lens was on the camera which is what I wanted to capture details. What to do for the long shots, the grand vistas, the sweeping landscapes… bring another camera! With one camera hanging off my hip from the capture clip and the other from the strap around my neck I walked into the fields.
It was a sea of yellow! Glorious!
Dang, I’m not alone. What are these other people doing in my fields? Breath…
I explored the main field switching between the two cameras every few feet. I had forgotten how people use the sunflower fields for photo shoots. Navigating around portrait photographers and their subjects was interesting but I was determined to not let it ruin my afternoon. I happily collected my images.
Off to the second field. Different varieties of sunflowers with the non-standard coloring were in the second field. There were also less people. My smile was growing.
I was almost done with the second field when noticed the sky. Whoa! The clouds had rolled in but the sun was streaking through them. I needed that image. I knew exactly where to get the one I wanted. Back to the first field…
To say I wanted to run would not be admitting too much, right? No, running not allowed. I settled on asking Mother Nature not to change the view. Please stay a few more minutes… please. Whew! I made it.
There are small platforms along the fields to give some elevation. Not high, maybe four feet but enough to allow you to look out across the entire field with the sun flowers poking through a blanket of green. This is the image I wanted. The words started trickling into my head as soon as I stepped off the platform…
ReplenishedHope. Streaking earthwardAlighting on yellow seasSpirit replenished
Hopefully, you never stop growing, or exploring who you are. You are not who you started out to be, the journey changes you. The challenge is being open to that change. The fun is finding a kindred spirit to share in the journey…
Moments frozen out of time
Windows to the heart
I truly haven’t been paying close attention to the moon cycles. I realize I should be writing my thoughts down as soon as they occur. I read something interesting on the internet during the course of the day but when I get home, it is nowhere to be found. This really isn’t a new thing with me, passing thoughts do not go into permanent storage in my head (even when they should). I almost missed July’s full moon.
I guess I got lucky then on Saturday morning. I remembered Friday night that the full moon would be setting a little before 6am. With the sun rising only a few minutes before the moon sets, it would be a good opportunity for photographing the moon. I debated over locations. Based on the direction of the setting moon I could have ventured down to the Utica Marsh but was a little worried about the best location to leave my car. In the end I decided to return to Delta Lake and see if I could manage another full moon reflection.
This is the way to the image I wanted…
Driving into Delta Lake State Park I immediately spot the moon over the tree tops to my left. This is an area of the park that has a small “pond”. I have photographed in this location numerous times, a favorite spot during autumn for the colors of the leaves (Delta Autumn). OK, this is a good place to start.
There is a lot more growth along the water’s edge than I would have liked for this view. The area where people fish is too far to the left and places the moon into the trees. I make a few exposures trying to decide the right amount of cattails to have in the foreground. I need to be quick as the moon traverses the sky rather quickly at the end of its nightly run. I get the image I wanted, now to move on to the beach.
Driving to the parking area for the the beach I get a glimpse of the moon suspended above the playground equipment. Oh, I can’t let that view go. Luckily, I’m the only person in this part of the park because I might have driven a little too fast. Time is slipping away…
I wanted the moon big behind the playground. I walked back up the entrance road far enough to use the 100mm end of the lens and still achieve the composition I wanted, the one I saw minutes ago driving in. I little more height would have allowed me bring more of the reflection into the image but the framing is the important aspect of this image. I wanted to have the moon amongst the equipment to add more depth. Right, time is slipping… on to the beach.
Remembering the Strawberry Moon in June I head toward the right side of the beach and start looking for interesting foreground elements. I didn’t need to search long. If I can get the camera low enough I can use one of the benches along the walkway. Now which one do I want.
There it is, the one I want. Sitting slightly askew. I want to break up the horizontal lines to create a little tension in the image. It might be an unconscious thought but the brain is not going to like the lines of the bench back not in parallel with all the other elements in the image.
I decide I need to focus stack this one as I could not setup the tripod far enough away to achieve good focus throughout. I focus on the bench and then quickly focus on the moon. I will bring both images into Photoshop to combine them into one. Next! Time is slipping…
I had already done the lifeguard station with the moon in June. But the reflection is calling to me. OK, this one will be different because the station is in the water. Right, logic can be twisted when a reflection is involved. I setup the tripod low again to give the chair as much height as I can. Bam! Got it.
This one is simple, the reflection is the goal. The low height of the camera to the water stretches out the reflection as far as possible. Should I switch to the 75-300mm lens to enlarge the chair and the moon? No, leave a little breathing room for the moon. Enhance the isolation with the extra sky. Time is slipping… one more?
Although it might be a repeat of June I head down the path toward the point. Maybe there will be something new. Wait, is that a fishing boat under the moon. Luck favors me this morning. Please don’t move, please don’t move…
That’s the one! The image I was searching for this morning. Sometimes you can plan for the image you want, other times you have to see it when it presents itself to you. I probably would not have captured this one if I didn’t walk down that path toward the point. I’ll take the good luck when I can.
This is the Buck Moon, at least according to the Farmer’s Almanac. The time of the year when the antlers of male deer are in full growth mode. Other names for this moon include Salmon Moon, the Berry Moon, Raspberry Moon and the Thunder Moon. With the sun rising in the East and the moon taking on the magenta color, I can definitely see this one being the Berry Moon…