My recent adventures
SEPTEMBER 25, 2017
Well worth the wait! A visit to the 'new' Grand Prismatic Overlook
Like many of you, I have had to really work on my most valuable virtue - patience. This is a virtue that is most valuable in wildlife photography, because wild animals are, well, wild - wild and unpredictable. The same can be said, it seems, for landscape shots, although less commonly a critical aspect of getting a photo. Sometimes the light simply doesn't cooperate, or the weather is terrible.
A case in point occurred last week, as I was visiting Yellowstone National Park. For years upon years, I have admired the famous aerial view of Yellowstone's iconic hot spring, it's gigantic deep blue orb surrounded by a ribbon of bright yellow, dramatized by spectacular orange tentacles. Inquiring at the Ranger Station in the Old Faithful area several years ago, I learned how many of these famous images had been captured, but unfortunately the method had not been a legal one - until recently.
In the Fall of lat year, 2016, the National Park Service chartered a project to build a new, safer trail to enable serious fans of the infamous hot spring to get a photo from an elevated angle, and do so legally. Only about a month ago, while browsing the web, I learned that the project had been completed and the new trail, a spur off the existing Fairy Falls trail, had been opened to the public.
On Monday, September 18, 2017, my patience was rewarded, and I walked the new trail for the first time. Although the day was overcast and a bit windy, I got some nice shots from the new elevated viewpoint. Never completely satisfied with my shots, I walked the trail again on Saturday, September 23rd, only to find the wind direction to my disadvantage, so much so that steam from the superheated water in the spring almost totally obscured the feature. If nothing else, I now have a healthy respect for everyone who gets a clean shot. This has to be one of my all-time favorite natural features to visit, enjoy, and of course, photograph!
JUNE 24, 2017
Planning Fall 2017 Photo trip: Badlands, Wind Cave, Mt Rushmore, Devil's Tower, and more...
Initial planning has begun for a photo trip to new (to me) National Parks, including Badlands, Wind Cave, and Mount Rushmore. Tentatively, the team will depart around October 3rd and return 10-14 days later. Check back for additional details soon. We will be shooting astrophotography with light painting, landscapes in the early morning and very late evening hours, and even some wildlife in areas where the buffalo roam and the eagles fly!
APRIL 19, 2017
Back To Parke County, Indiana's, Covered Bridges
Last week I had an opportunity to return to old stomping grounds from my childhood. I grew up in Vigo County. The next county north of Vigo County is Parke County. According to the experts at Wikipedia (whoever they are!), Parke County once had as many as 53 wooden covered bridges in service. At the present time, a total of 31 are being actively maintained and of that total, 21 are still carrying daily traffic.
The Jackson Bridge is the longest single span wooden covered bridge in Indiana, and the Portland Mills Bridge is the oldest. As of December 22, 1978, all of the remaining covered bridges are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Below are a few snapshots from last week's outing. Check out my Americana Gallery for fine art prints from Parke County.
DECEMBER 31, 2016
NOVEMBER 7, 2016
OCTOBER 24, 2016
Yellowstone 2016 Field Trip Completed
New products coming soon!
It never gets old, and this year's National Parks Series outing was no exception. We started packing a couple of weeks early, in order to get everything needed into (at most) two checked bags each. We set out early in the morning on Tuesday, September 27th. After all, nobody travels on Tuesday, right?
I am joking, of course. This year, we decided to stay in a private house that we found on the travel website "vrbo.com" (vacation rentals dot com). That was a great decision! We had more space than ever before, five bedrooms, a kitchen, a family room, a deck, and even a fire pit outside.
So, let me get to my new products: I have a new eBook just about ready for publishing, entitled, "Getting the Shot: Yellowstone National Park." Initially, the new eBook Will be available in the Apple iBooks online store, and eventually it will be available on Amazon for Kindle and other outlets. I have incorporated a really cool feature in my eBook - navigation to points of interest - by simply using a map application on the same device as used for reading the book. That's not all - there is also a new photo calendar, "Yellowstone 2017." Check back here for links to order soon!
AUGUST 8, 2016
Back to the National Parks!
After a year away, I will be back to my favorite National Park in late September through early October. Yes, it's back to Yellowstone! This year's trip will focus on content for my upcoming e-Book (the title is still in the works). I plan to publish three versions of this first book: One will be an i-Book created in Apple iBooks Author, the second will be what they call in the industry an e-pub for Kindle, and the third version will be a free version available in the Apple bookstore.
I would like to hear from you if you have any special interests, either for this website or for the upcoming e-Book about Yellowstone. I will give you a small "peek" into what I am planning for the Yellowstone book... I have noticed significant change over my years of visiting Yellowstone. I don't know if the change is a result of the current warming cycle all around the globe, or if it is due to something else, but regardless, I will try to show in photos the changes that have occurred since my first visit.
Technology being what it is, I may even broadcast something live from Yellowstone each day of the trip this year. More to come on that. If you are interested in watching a live broadcast from there, I would like to know if you prefer Periscope or Facebook Live for viewing live video.
Thanks to all who have visited this site!
JULY 30, 2016
Blue Angels Update
Here is an update to my article last month. The "Blues" are once again ripping the sky apart across the nation. They have proudly re-joined the mission without BA #6 for the remainder of 2016.
In true Navy and Marine Corps fashion, the mission of demonstrating the professionalism and capabilities of Naval Aviation and serving the communities where they perform must, and does, go on. But there is more to know. While the final report on the June 2 crash has not yet been released, from what I know at this time the pilot of Blue Angel 6 made the ultimate sacrifice that day when he stayed with the disabled plane over Smyrna, Tennessee, to ensure that it not hit anyone on the ground. US Marine Corps Captain Jeff Kuss, age 32, was married and the father of two young children. Once again, our men and women in uniform make all of us very proud and thankful for their service.
JUNE 16, 2016
Thank you, Blue Angel #6
Tomorrow, June 17, would normally be an extremely exciting day, filled with readying equipment for the Dayton Air Show. This would have been my first time since 2014 to see the US Navy's Blue Angels demonstration team performing their awe-inspiring maneuvers, ripping the sky apart as they pass overhead.
This year's performance by the Blue Angels will not take place, as the team mourns the loss of one of their own, a father, a husband, a pilot...an unselfish American aviator who we lost on June 2 during a practice session for the Great Tennessee Air Show in Smyrna, Tennessee. We pray for you, your wife and children, and your teammates. BA#6, Semper Fi.
MAY 5, 2016
Owls of the Northern Mississippi, and a rare lesson!
I had an opportunity to visit with a few of the very best nature photographers anywhere this past week. That brings to mind a concept that I'd like to share - the concept that the very best artisans in just about any art form are not necessarily the ones you hear about most. They can't be in the press and the news because they are out in field working at their art, and they don't seek the bright lights of fame. I had an opportunity to spend some quality time with a couple of these people, and I will name them a bit later.
The stated purpose of the Iowa trip was videography - taping a presentation by one of the finest Bald Eagle photographers anywhere, a man by the name of Larry Williams, who lives in the Quad Cities. Larry, who I consider a close friend, kindly offered to show me a special location where we might possibly see some young owl chicks while I was visiting from Ohio. Once we got to the location, he removed the mask covering my eyes and contacted another mutual friend, Michael Fitzgerald, who joined us a few minutes later.
The point of all this is to share something about people who are the true professionals, the de-facto leaders in our favorite art form, nature photography. Larry and Mike not only shared with me a location where I could get some rare shots of elusive animals in their natural habitat, but they shared techniques they use to compensate for harsh lighting coming through the shaded places where the birds are nesting. I was a kid in school again. What would you do if Michelangelo offered to share some tips on painting? Learn, that's what you do. What an absolute blessing!
OCTOBER 2015 - APRIL 2016
Recalling Death Valley and the 2015 Southwest Tour
Rain, rain, and more rain! At the time, we were disappointed. We had planned the trip around the objective of working on our night photography collections. But, as it so often happens in life, there was a higher plan.
GREAT 2016 BLOOM!
Check the internet for articles about the unusual flower explosion in Death Valley. The rains last Fall, followed by a Spring el nino weather pattern, have wildflowers blooming all around the valley. I have been hoping for a chance to return for the 'great bloom of 2016' but so far, the opportunity has not presented itself.
Here is my daily journal from the October trip - just for the memories!
Great Blue Heron Rookery "discovered" near Mason, Ohio
Obviously, the rookery had been there for quite some time, several years most likely. I first learned about it from a fellow hiker near a local pond where many of my shorebirds photos are taken. The lady told me that she had been on a train near where I live, taking the children on a trip, when they saw several trees full of blue herons. I have lived in the same house for over twenty years, and this was the first I ever heard about it!
So, off I go looking for it. I started with Google Earth. Searching for "great blue heron nest," I was fortunate to find some photos that had been posted to a photo blogging site back in 2007. I located a small caption that made reference to a business near the location where those photos had been taken.
Even then, success was not assured. But, with patience and persistence, in time I was able to locate this fascinating natural phenomenon. I hope you won't mind that I am not advertising the location - you see, I am concerned about the welfare of these wonderful birds. During my visits there already, I have seen the group under attack from Red-tail Hawks and other raptors.
It's a Fixer-upper
Coming back home
It's a good day to be a heron
Copyright 2017, Larry Rogers Photography