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

double_ditch_post_34520

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.

 

 

Saturday night’s all right for photo-ing

crown_butte_sunset_34261I took my boys to an area near the Square Buttes for a sunset tonight.  We managed to find a couple of ticks climbing on us and even a pretty decent sunset, before clouds on the horizon cut the show short by choking off those golden hour colors.

I’m still struggling to get back into the swing of things photographically.  Last year and the year preceding it were consumed with health-related issues for our family.  2015 is being consumed by happier circumstances, as we’re building a house to replace the one we gave up last year.

I keep telling myself that we’ll have more photo time soon, but I’m starting to realize that I have to make that time.  There have been times where I’ve been able to get out and pursue a certain shot but have simply been unmotivated, burned out, or just too darn tired to do so.  I know that getting into a new house is a huge task and that there will be plenty to be done, but having a home again really is the closure we’re looking forward to after the last couple of years.  Having reached that milestone alone will allow us to relax and take things as they come.  I expect to have lots of photo opportunities sprinkled in with all that.

Easing into it like a hot bath

crown_butte_33942Maybe it’s a guy thing – we go with what we know.  That would explain why so many dudes to back to their ex-girlfriends, or something.  Anyway, as I continue to resume my photographic journey, I find myself shaking the cobwebs by visiting some of my favorite sites…and this is one.  It’s a small no-maintenance road east of Crown Butte, from which I am able to get some pretty nice sunsets (if the sky will comply).

On this particular night, I was surprised to see that there was no water in the lowlands below the Butte.  Only a few remnants of last year’s cattails remained.  Given this week’s rains, maybe that has changed…but it was dry as a bone when I took this shot.

This was one of those nights where I hiked into position, photography buddy nearby, receiving my first tick (and bite!) of the year…and then something on the horizon flipped the OFF switch on our sunset.  Thankfully I was able to catch these colorful clouds before things fizzled!

Aaaaahhhhh…now that’s more like it

sunset_32646What distinguishes tonight from just about every other night in recent memory?  I got out with my flippin camera, that’s what!  I took the day off and spent it with my family, then met with some folks on fixtures for the home we’re building, and then had a chance to grab my cameras (and one little boy) for a dash to the river.  I handed him a camera, albeit without a memory card until I realized my mistake, and had mine as well.

It was a short window of opportunity.  Things got gold really quickly for us, but then the clouds you see on the horizon above rolled in and prevented the sun from splashing any other colors across the sky ahead.  That’s okay…we took advantage of our opportunity.  I’ve often said that any photo trip from which I bring even one photo I like is a successful trip.  Today was an obvious success.

Thursday Night Sunset returns!

sky_ip_3981Click on the image to view full-size

Remember way back when, in days of yore, when Thursdays meant that I’d be posting sunset photos like clockwork?  I’d sure like to get back to that for a while.  Here’s what the sky showed me last night, and I had the opportunity to be in a fantastic spot to capture it while sharing some quiet time with my sweetie.  I know the shot above isn’t a sunset, but it was so beautiful I just had to share.  But the real dazzle was yet to come…

 

sky_ip_4007Click on the image to view full-size

Last night had some amazing, brilliant colors.  The orange and pink hues reflected by the clouds were a sight I’d been craving for some time.  I’d either been tied up with Daddy stuff, reading to my boys at bedtime, or otherwise incapacitated when other sunsets presented…not this time.

 

sky_ip_3992Click on the image to view full-size

Like all amazing sunsets, they come and go quickly.  Already the sky began to darken in the east as the reflected colors blazed on.  Then, within a few short minutes, it was over.  Before departing, the sky gave my bride and me a few precious moments to admire God’s handiwork and each other’s company.  Oh, how I needed one of these.  And I also wanted to make sure to share!