March 30, 2018

Cloudy, 31 Degrees, North Winds 5 – 10 mph.

Jamie and I had a really nice walk along the Huron River this morning in Island Lake State Recreation Area. We walked a trail that parallels the river, sometimes affording views of the river and other times passing through woods with views of a big meadow. It’s a beautiful place, with such nice variety, that I can foresee it becoming a favorite of mine.

I really like the contrast of the poplars against the brush and the river. 

The cloudy and chilly weather mattered not one bit today. I’ve spent enough time outdoors in my life that there really is almost no such thing as a bad day to be outside. I can do without rain, or perhaps bitter cold with high winds, but those days are really quite few, despite what we may think.

A sampling of what the trail is like. 

The river is quite beautiful; there are dried grasses in the flood plane, brush behind that, and beautiful mature oak trees, aspens and pines beyond that, each of which have their own colors and textures. The river itself is quite dark. It makes a nice foil to the dried grasses on the banks.

These Birch trees made a nice contrast along the trail. 

I found many things to photograph along the way, ranging from the river and banks, to the trees and trail, to a big stand of pines. I used the 24-105mm lens exclusively, though I carried my wider and longer lenses with me. It’s an incredibly versatile lens, covering most of what I need for daily shooting.

Another view of the Birches, with a big Oak and some Pines in the background. 

I notice that I am framing more tightly than I think I used to. It’s rare for me to use my wide angle zoom and I seldom even use the wide end of the medium zoom. I’m finding that tighter framing creates more compact and intense shots than a wider shot of the same location. This is definitely a result of this year’s work. I’ve had fewer big vistas to shoot and more intimate scenes and that’s changing the way I shoot.

I liked the contrast against the distant Pines, and the colors on these Poplars. 

The big stand of pines was pretty interesting. Jamie and I waded into the pines (the trail does not pass through them) and immediately one and then a second wild turkey flew up from nearby. It is always impressive that such a large bird lives in such tight quarters and can fly off on a moment’s notice. We would never have seen them had we stayed on the trail.

Looking through the Pines into the deciduous forest beyond. 

The pines create a dark world with little underbrush and there are interesting views through them to the more open deciduous woods and the meadow. At the back of the pines I found a section of flood plane that opened onto the river. I waded through the flattened tall grasses that covered this plane and got some shots of the river and the high bank on the other side. Open views of the river are hard to come by on the trail as it’s lined with trees, so this was a welcome find.

I love the bare branches of the Pines against the lighter backdrop. 

We walked on a ways farther, shooting groups of aspens against the meadow, the surrounding brush, and distant trees, before turning back.

Sun through the Pine grove. 

Once back to the car and heading home, Jamie did his happy and peaceful dog thing again. I love to see him so relaxed and happy. He leaves the car all wound up and excited, running everywhere, sniffing He returns a happy dog, all his energy drained. He’s napping on our bed right now as I write this.

Grasses in the floodplain of the river, with forest in the background. 

I have nothing else on my mind this morning other than walking in nature and capturing the images I see. I get excited every single morning despite the continuous walking and photographing every day. Today was especially enjoyable with the new location. I’ve been there before and even taken pictures that I printed for my portfolio. Today I saw much more and took many pictures that I’m sure I never took before.

Looking from the river floodplain back toward the Pine grove. 

This exercise has broadened and deepened my eye as a photographer for sure. I know the kind of things I used to shoot, and they were nice, but now I see much more. The shots are often subtle and intimate, maybe less dramatic than what I used to do, but I like the interesting patterns I see now. It’s nice to see so much more. The images I make may not be as powerful as what I used to seek out, but I think they provide a richer view of the world I’ve been exploring. I’ll leave any further judgments for later.

Some really nice trees against a bluff, with the river in the foreground. 

I had so many nice pictures from today that I’ll include some more in tomorrow’s post.

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