Who says winter is dull and colorless?

fallen_farm_dji_0246-50When I set up for this photo, I was really just going through the motions.  The reason is that there wasn’t a cloud in the winter sky to break things up or throw some colorful reflections into the sunset. Well, that’s what I thought, anyway.  I was pleased to get a splash of all kinds of color as the sun reached the horizon.  At one point the barn was blazing with a beautiful gold, and then the blues, purples, and even a touch of reds kicked in.

I haven’t been able to do a whole lot of photography-related stuff lately, so it’s like I’m forgetting the fundamental technique of getting in place and letting the light come to me, and to anticipate great things from God’s creation.  I’m glad I got this reminder as I slowly dust off the cobwebs .

Wherever I may roam

sunset_road_44542-4_hdrNo, the title is not a Metallica reference.  In fact, a more appropriate word for the title might be whenever. I haven’t had many opportunities for photo trips lately, but I did get my garage Sheetrocked and lots of other big projects are coming along nicely.  I did try to get out this weekend for some drone flight, but strong winds seemed to kick up as soon as I got into position.  I marked a few locations for future flight opportunities and headed home, stopping to catch this sunset shot along the road as I was heading back toward civilization.

Waitin’ around pays off

bethel_church_43477-9_hdrI camped out by this former church in Morton County to allow the sunset to do its thing.  A row of storms had just moved through, and I had correctly guessed that the clouds tagging along the tail end of those storms would provide a lot of color to the sunset.  I was correct.  But I wasn’t done just then…


bethel_church_43550Waiting for the sun to go down and the moon to come up gave me the opportunity to capture some different clouds, albeit with stars sprinkled in as well.   To top it all off, my friend Zach and I headed out to a different prairie church, the one I wrote about a couple of days ago.

Tuesday night turbulence

clouds_42486I worked late Tuesday night, and when I left my south side studio at just after 9pm I was blown away by the clouds to the south.  I’m told this cell actually put down a tornado somewhere to the west.  I was concerned more with the colors, oblivious to what it was doing down along the ground.

I bolted as fast as I could in the new truck to find a spot where I could try to capture the color.  I know how fleeting that sunset light can be, and last night was no exception.  As I got set up and mosquitoes as big as dimes began to swarm around me, a cloud moved in along the western horizon and choked off that amazing light.  There was more than what you see here when I first bolted in search of a suitable spot, and almost immediately after I took the shot these clouds faded into dull blues and grays.

Sandbar sunset surprise

hoge_sunset_ip_2465I took my little family to our favorite secluded sandbar spot tonight, and it was a win on all counts.  Wading in the river cooled us off in the warm early evening, a bonfire allowed for heat as dark approached and provided opportunity for lessons in fire safety while letting the boys poke sticks into the fire, and we got to watch the die-hards in the area continue to light off expensive fireworks.


sandbar_dance_circle_ip_2481One of the best parts was dancing with my wife.  After a while one of the boys came up and pointed out that we were making a circle with our feet, which was pretty cool too.

I have fond memories of going to the sandbar under the Memorial Bridge in the 80s, especially in the evening after various practices would get over and we’d get a group of guys assembled for some frisbee.  We’d have some fusion jazz going on a big boom box and hang out at sunset until we couldn’t see the frisbee anymore, then jet up the hill and eat insane amounts of A&W food.  So to be able to share the music, the sunset, the frisbee and football with my sweetie and my little guys brings back old memories even as we forge new ones.

Sunday evening sunset from flyover country

sunset_36693The sky actually didn’t cooperate with me tonight.  I was working on an idea I’ve had with the Square Buttes in the foreground of a sunset shot, but the sky really didn’t do a whole heck of a lot.   So I zoomed in on one portion of the horizon where there were actually some clouds.  As you can see, most of this is the result of jet contrails.  Oh well…it got me out of the house for a while. 🙂

Tuesday night sunset

sunset_60d_1433I wasn’t in a very glamorous location, but I was in the right place at the right time to catch this sunset being gently laid to rest by a neighboring three branch.  I would have liked to take a little more time on this shot and try to avoid some foreground and background stuf I didn’t want to, but that wasn’t possible.  So even with a touch of chain link, this shot will just have to suffice.  I think it captured the highlights of last night’s sunset pretty well, actually.

Sunset from the driving range

sunset_ip_6546Click the image for a full size version.  I was giving my little boy a motorcycle ride when we saw this sunset developing.  We pulled over in the parking lot by the golf dome and grabbed a quick pano.  Then it was more Daddy-son time on two wheels!

Long-awaited post


I know, I know…posting has been far too infrequent lately.  2014 was the year of severe health issues rampaging through our entire family, making 2015 a “rebuilding year”.  Well, actually it’s been a “building year” too.  As we get our lives back, we’ve also been building a new home.  Lord willing, we’ll be homeowners again tomorrow morning.

I really needed to get out and roam.  Working at the house until 1:00, 2:00, even 3:00 in the morning many nights while holding down a full time job runs a guy ragged.  With nothing left but the formalities of paperwork, it’s time to relax a little.  My wife urged me to get out and capture the sunset.  I didn’t have much time, but I grabbed my friend Zach and we headed north.

The shot above is one I’ve wanted to get for possibly years but never quite pulled off; you see, the light on the grass and the post is mine.  It’s not easy to light such a scene as this without it looking entirely artificial, but I think this time I actually did pretty well.  I was able to light the post and surrounding grass without losing the sky.  No Photoshop…just a well placed and configured remote flash.  That right there gave me great joy, and made all the mosquito bites worth it.


double_ditch_post_34535Feeling a little adventurous, I decided to go closer to the aforementioned post and take a shot down the barrel, as one might say.  This post is hanging on tenaciously by multiple strands of barbed wire, so I don’t think you’ll find it at the bottom of the cliff anytime soon.  I’m afraid the bank itself will keep receding, though.

It felt great to be out and about again, with a close friend and some cameras.  I got a couple of other shots too, but I can’t share them all at once.  Gotta tease ’em out slowly, you know.  Stay tuned.