Every year, I get up early and take along quiet walk in the national cemetery here in Springfield, Ohio. It's a time for me to spend some time thinking about the sacrifice of others and to put my own service into some perspective.
This year, I decided to head over to the larger national cemetery in Dayton. Seeing the rows upon rows of head stones brings the impact to an even greater scale. I thought about the many thousands of headstones, all in their neat rows, every one of them lovingly given it's own American flag.
I think about my grandfather, my father, my uncle, and all of my ancestors that served and I am proud.
In today's society, I don't often find cause to be proud of being an American. To much political finger-pointing, social division, and a general attitude of selfishness. However, when I find myself surrounded by the quiet ghosts of these brave men and women, I am proud that some American's sons and daughters knew what real sacrifice meant and were proud to do their part for our nation.
I feel humbled.
Sometimes, I am racing along the road and see a scene that makes me hit the brakes, turn around, and come back. Scenes like this are the reason you should always have your camera with you. you just never know what you will find.
The back roads of Ohio are full of these scenes and I love to wander the roads in the early morning, looking for them. In this case, I was on my way to Mansfield, Ohio to a shoot when I found this yellow barn. Against the dark clouds, it jumped out at me.
Two weeks ago, I was invited to shoot photos of a friend fly fishing at dawn. The photo shoot occurred this morning, so I had plenty of time to get my thoughts together.
I always first think about the conditions. Shooting at dawn meant low light and long exposures. This time of the year, it would be cold. So, I would need to dress warm and bring my tripod.
I also think about what the shot might feel like. Fly fishing always seems to be about motion. The rod waving back and forth, the fisherman moving through the water. Dawn is about long shadows. It's about that brief period of time when its not day and its not night. It's kind of an other worldly time. Everything is soft and hard to see. It's sometimes about vivid and saturated skies, but that isn't how I saw the shoot. It should be about the fisherman on the dark river, not the sky.
So, I put the thought of long exposures, motion, and that sense of otherwordly-ness together. I could use the low light and motion to create ghostly images of the fisherman's motion and the motion of the water's surface.
We shot in the cold and after coming home, I processed the images, culling the ones that were obviously not good. Next, I culled out the ones that did not have the ghostly feel that I wanted. I made some basic levels adjustments and burned some areas.
I hope you enjoy the image.
The past few weekends, my morning walks at the dam near my home have been beautiful. This particular morning was full of gold tones that filled me with warmth.
Getting up early hand having a few minutes or maybe even an hour to have the world to myself is good. It gives me time to think and to charge my batteries for the day or the week ahead. Morning walks are my version of a cup of coffee.
On a recent Saturday morning, I drove over to the farm and went for a long walk. It was a nice cool summer morning and I was feeling the need to get outside a little bit. This is a mood that comes over me from time to time. I need to commune with Ma Nature a little bit on my own.
The path took me along the edge of one of the pastures and then turned into the woods and crossed a stream. I still get a kick out of crossing a stream by hopping from rock to rock. Now that I am getting up in age a little, I am far more careful than I was in my youth.
My sense of balance is not what it used to be. As a matter of fact, I am thinking about taking some yoga classes to see if they can help me become more limber and more balanced. If you take yoga, I'd like to hear from you on the subject.
After emerging from the trees, I stumbled upon Jason and one of the farmers out in the sorghum field. They had Rosie harnessed up and were cultivating between the rows to keep the weeds down to a reasonable level.
Rosie is new to the farm and this was a good opportunity to get her some practice in harness.
This morning I took a chilly walk along the lake shore as the sun rose up into the clouds. I was there to try a graduated ND filter for the first time (more on that later). I used the filter for this image and I am pretty happy with the results. In spite of the cool wind, It was a really nice experience.