Follow the Sun

Whether it’s there or not

Photography is all about light. In my world, the great outdoors, that means sunlight.

Sunday was a day of storms with spectacular skies — black clouds, sunbeams, and brilliant budding trees. But I missed all that because of social obligations.

A few hours before sunset, a window of opportunity opened. I grabbed my cameras — the Canon S60 and my cellphone camera — and headed out to Pleasant Hill Lake.

By then, the cloud cover had grown. Not much in the way of sunbeams. Nothing, in fact.

I headed up to Mohican State Park Lodge, hoping to catch a few rays breaking through on the western horizon before sunset.

While waiting for the sunset that never came, I played around with my new Samsung G10. I placed it inside a bird feeder and shot what sunlight the clouds begrudgingly gave me.

It worked. Plus, it gave me something to build on, something that warrants further exploration.

Almost equally rewarding was the Phoenix Lager I quaffed in the lounge while waiting in vain for a sunset.

phlakebirdfeeder

County Road 2704 — An Exhibit Waiting to Happen

It’s a short road outside Perrysville — less than a mile and a half long. County Road 2704 connects State Route 95 to County Road 775. Locals know the latter as Honey Creek Road.

That mile and a half — give or take,  mostly take — packs plenty of visual gems. It’s a rural photographer’s dream.

Here are but three. I plan to come back for more, when the light is right.

2704A

outsideperrysville

2704b

 

A FAIR SHOWING

People have been pushing me to enter photos in the Loudonville Fair for years. Finally did it this year. Submitted 10 entries in different categories in the professional class. Took 10 blue ribbons and a best of show.

Glad I listened to them.

For the benefit of those unable to make it to the fair, which runs through Saturday, here are the 10 entries.

 

canadasilhoute
Set out to get a shot of the sunset at Killbear Provincial Park and decided the people getting shots of the sunset made for a more interesting photo.
atthecowwas
Shot this in the early morning at last year’s fair. Entered it in a special category which called for capturing the spirit of the traditions of the fair.
wetmorning
This took best of show.
malabarsunsetcopy
Malabar Farm Sunset
doemalabar
Blue ribbon for best animal shot.
Bluebells111
Won a blue ribbon even though it was hung upside down.
ellisfog3
From a recent canoe trip.
icesculp111
I was going to enter this as an abstract. Since I had tweaked the color and contrast, I entered it as a digitally manipulated photo.
mennoniteroof
Horse Auction. Took this while working for the Ashland Times-Gazette. Like the cow shot, it wasn’t published.
mainstreetlville
Main Street — without the fair. Entered in the building(s) category.

 

Bonus — Here’s one I meant to enter, but failed to get a print made.

 

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You can’t always get what you want

I reached a plateau with my photography. More like running into a wall.

In the past two months, I put some of my photos out there — for sale and contests. From the feedback and spending more time analyzing my photos, it occurred to me that not all of them have that WOW! factor. A small percentage, really.

I found myself shutting down. I was no longer content to take shots that might not meet that standard.

Today, I disabused myself of that notion. I realized that the joy of photography is sharing  the subtle — and sometimes stunning — beauty of nature, rural landscapes and the visual details that we often overlook.

And that’s all about trial and error. Process.

Here’s today’s shot. It’s no masterpiece. But there was something about this scene that made me back my car up on a hilly country road, stop and capture it. I like two things about this photo — the tranquility it conveys and the ripples in the cow’s reflection.

 

Kow