Sunflower Dreams

This past Sunday I went to a sunflower maze in a small town nearby. Armed with my tripod and camera, I set out to hopefully capture some beautiful pictures. The vision in my head was one of those shots where there is an infinite field of short sunflowers, the sun is low in the sky, and there are big, fluffy clouds. Well that didn’t happen. Most of the flowers I encountered were 8 to 12 feet tall. The sun was still relatively high in the sky. And clouds? Nada! But I am always optimistic about making pictures in any condition.

The maze itself was 5 acres in size. I spent roughly 3 hours walking through it, intentionally going the wrong way just to see what I could find. As this was the last day of the maze being open, a lot of the flowers were past their prime. But most of them were still blooming out nicely. I walked along stopping every so often to take a picture. I was nearing the end of the maze when I saw this flower. The sun was lighting it up from behind and the glow was amazing. I moved around looking for the right angle to capture it. When I found the right spot, I set my tripod up and shot. I looked on the camera screen and thought – no that’s not it. I turned the camera just a little bit and just as I pressed the shutter, the wind blew slightly, moving the other flowers and leaves around. I checked the screen and I was ecstatic. This was the shot I was looking for. The sun flares glowing across the frame in a diagonal line. The bright spot of sun in the upper right. The light cast on the back of the flower. All of these contributed to a shot that only required me to be in the right place at the right time.

I didn’t do very much post processing on this shot. A little bit of sharpening, contrast, and clarity were all that I needed to do in Lightroom.

To enjoy a larger view, please click on the image below!

I hope you enjoyed today’s post and I encourage you to join the conversation by writing your thoughts below as I truly like to hear from all of my visitors! 🙂

Giving Me The Eye

As I was browsing through my catalog of images over the weekend, I came across this one that I had never posted and wanted to share it.

During the beginning of March last year, I went to one of my favorite local parks to do some bird watching. The Osprey nesting season happens at this time of the year which makes for great photo opportunities. I always make sure to keep my distance so I don’t disturb them. I had been to this nest before, but it had been awhile. I walked down the trail and everything started to look familiar. I remembered exactly where it was and found my subject. I took pictures for about 30 minutes before mama decided to go back to her nest.

Osprey, also known as Fish Hawks, like to nest in tall trees and can usually be found close to water.

To enjoy a larger view, please click on the image below!

I hope you enjoyed today’s post and I encourage you to join the conversation by writing your thoughts below as I truly like to hear from all of my visitors! 🙂

At Peace

A couple of weeks ago I went to the Florida National Cemetery to visit my grandparents’ grave site. Every time I am there I always think to myself how beautiful the place is and about taking pictures. I usually don’t get out my camera, but this time I did. With a little bit of a slope, I really thought this spot was very pretty with the overhanging tree and the shaded bench.

This was shot using an 8mm fisheye lens which gave it a little bit of a distorted look in the corners even after applying the lens correction in Lightroom.

This was taken at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida. A beautiful and peaceful place dedicated to our heroes and their loved ones. Let us never forget.

To enjoy a larger view, please click on the image below!

I hope you enjoyed today’s post and I encourage you to join the conversation by writing your thoughts below as I truly like to hear from all of my visitors! 🙂

Lufty Baptist Church

Just inside the park boundaries of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is a church that up until my last visit, I had never even seen before. Perhaps because of the foliage on the trees during the different times of the year? Maybe. Who knows for sure. On this particular occasion, the trees were bare. I spotted the church to my right way up on the hillside. I had to turn around and come back to a side road that went in that direction. With the church now in front of me, I found a small parking area to stop and get out. As I ascended the hill, the tall building loomed overhead blending very well into the surrounding forest. The small wooden sign next to the pathway stated that this was Lufty Baptist Church. Established in 1836. Reconstructed in 1912. It is in an area of the park known as Smokemont, on the North Carolina side. Although the church was closed in 1939, it is open to park visitors who wish to see the inside.

To enjoy a larger view, please click on the image below!

I hope you enjoyed today’s post and I encourage you to join the conversation by writing your thoughts below as I truly like to hear from all of my visitors! 🙂

 

The Old Homestead

In the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains National Park, just outside of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, there is a place where time has stood still. The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a 6 mile one way loop road that will take you on a journey through lush forest and flowing mountain streams. Along the way you will find 2 waterfalls, grist mills, log cabins, and other historic buildings. Your senses of sight and sound will become overloaded. Around every bend there is something to see and rushing water can always be heard. Nature is at peace here. Different types of wildflowers bloom throughout the seasons to add splashes of color here and there.

The subject of this photo is known as “Jim Bales Place.” This charming piece of property has been preserved for future generations to enjoy. It is just one of many stops to get out and stretch your legs and enjoy the surroundings.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post and I encourage you to join the conversation by writing your thoughts below as I truly like to hear from all of my visitors! 🙂