I fall for this photo every fall

Morton County is one of the best places in North Dakota for a photographer. It has so much variety of terrain – Badlands-like formations in its southeast regions, scoria roads in the west, buttes and wetlands dotting the landscape within its borders, and plenty of the “old farm stuff” I like so much. Then there are places like this one.

This is perhaps my favorite shot of this spot. It may be familiar to you…it was the cover photo for a calendar produced by one of my clients. I love the sky in this one too. Guess what – I had to Photoshop the sky in the first one. Those darn cloudless skies again…but this one is 100% legit.

I like the first one because it gives Morton County some props. It will always be one of my favorite places to roam!

Background check

I know Photoshop has a “sky replacement’ tool now, but I’ve never tried it. I did this one the old-fashioned way. I posted the original a while back with a perfectly blue sky. I’ve also mentioned in another recent post that I don’t really care for cloudless blue skies, because I find clouds so much more interesting. I’ve taken photos of just cloudy skies before in case I needed them for a project, and I decided to put one of those photos behind this windmill for effect. I’m pleased with the result.

It’s important for me to disclose that this photo is artificial as a matter of photographic integrity. I don’t mind this sort of pic, but in the proper context. I suppose I’m a bit of a purist in that regard.

The grass was greener

I actually have a backlog of photos to share, and most of them are from prior to “the autumn browning” which arrived some time ago. So here’s a cool old barn I spotted while bolting to another photo location.

I thought this yellow house looked pretty cool, too…although it’s from yet another photo trip. It’s interesting…I can look at a photo like this and tell you where it’s at and the photo trip from whence it came. Considering I have around 150,000 photos in my collection, that’s saying something.

A slightly different perspective of the same old house on a hill. I was blessed with interesting skies that day. I actually dislike going out on clear, sunny days…clouds make photos so much more engaging, and I had perfect clouds to work with this day.

I’m going to work on that backlog of photos to share, and hopefully get some interesting winter photos to add to them! Stay tuned.

Blown sideways

I spotted this Morton County windmill while chasing down something on one of my “lists” of potential photo opportunities, and I had to stop to take a look.

I’ve chased more windmills than Don Quixote since I got into photography as a hobby, and each one has its own character. This is particular true of the gnarly ones.

I love the curvature of this one along with the fact that the head reminds me of when my mohawk would lose its integrity and start to fall over! That was a long time ago, though…I don’t think I’ll do the mohawk thing again.

Isn’t this some magnificent geometry, tragic though it may be? I love the old windmills, and I’ve got even more of them to share before I run out of summer and autumn photos to post. Stay tuned.

What’s up, dock?

I forgot to post this photo from the October trip I took to the wreckage of the Abner O’Neal. After I was done shooting I headed back to the Steckel boat landing. I met a couple of girls along the way who were going to hike – barefoot, mind you – the half mile down to the site. I pointed out that it was private property (I have permission), it was a long and rocky hike, and that the sun was going down, so they decided to turn around and head back.

Once we got back to the boat area, I put the drone on the dock and showed them all the close-up photos I’d taken. They provide a far better view than even the closest shoreline vantage, anyway. We all agreed that the Abner is pretty cool, then parted ways as the sun began to set. I snapped this photo from the drone even though the rotors weren’t even turning, and it was a perfect way to cap off the evening.

Some dangling may occur

I was bolting toward a photo subject for a project I’ve been working on when I spotted this windmill along the road. Over the past fifteen years of this blog I think I’ve established that I have a thing for windmills, although I don’t have one on my own property. But I have grown selective over the years, only looking for ones with a lot of character. This falls into that category.

Once I got in close and was able to find an angle with some interesting clouds in the background, I got my shot. This is one unique windmill. I liked the dangle of the wire, too. What an interesting photo subject! I spent a few minutes angling around to check it out, settling on the thought that this really was my best interpretation of this specimen, then moved on to continue the other project. Someday, if it’s ever ready, I’ll get to share that here as well.

Gnarly, dude

I saw this tree along a gravel road in Morton County and had to stop and take a few shots. I had the right sky for something so twisted and nearly grotesque. What a testament to the tenacity of creation!

Clearly this tree has endured some things, but it doesn’t appear as though it’s given up. Reach for the sky!

I’m no Tim Burton, but I see an elegance, a grace, even a beauty in this tree. That’s why I jammed on the brakes as I careened down the adjacent gravel road at 45 mph, threw it in reverse (I drive a manual transmission truck, so I can “throw” it into any gear I please), and whizzed back to take a few shots of this remarkable tree.

Love tractor

I couldn’t resist a nod in the title to one of my favorite bands from the Athens era. This tractor caught my eye from a distance, and I had to go check it out. It really stood out against such a beautiful blue sky!

As colorful as it is, this thing’s really broken down. Wheel’s off. Cylinder head missing. I don’t think it’s going anywhere for a while. That’s okay…it’s really photogenic right where it’s at.