Nature is really starting to turn up wick (an expression I’ll borrow from Mr. Kris Risch, my high school civics teach). The scenery was quite picturesque this afternoon/early evening. Beaming sunlight flaring from behind and through the clouds creating wonderful highlighted colors and deep shadow. I found myself on a very interesting and wonderful path. Hwy 58 South of Red Wing and then 325th Street to the West. 325th ends, 240th begins and heads North across County 1 Blvd; then it becomes 282nd and heads back East to County 1 Blvd. Beautiful country roads – you gotta love the upper mid-West.
I don’t know nothing ’bout the why or when
But I can tell that it’s bound to be
Because I could feel it, child, yeah
On a country road
- James Taylor
Country Roads – Old Barn – HDR
I went to pre-shoot Bay City Bay this a.m. RWPC is doing a sunrise shoot there this coming Saturday. Very cloudy – boo (images 1-3).
After a lengthy stint at National Tire & Battery (new tires, alignment, and oil change) it was still cloudy, but clearing a bit and warming up.
I [for some reason] thought It would be a great idea to spend the balance of the day in the Southeast corner of MN visiting Great River Bluffs State Park. The mini-slideshow on the DNR website and the 7 overlooks on the park map lured me in. How could this be a miss? Failure to consult the weather forecast/radar was a bit of a mistake – HUGE miss. 20-30 mph winds and sideways rain is not conducive to a enjoyable stroll through the bluff tops. I took one shot (4) in a brief break in the weather. I didn’t feel too bad though as this location is not prime color yet. I’ll be back in a week or two. Since the weather was not cooperating I took this opportunity to explore some other areas along with Wisconsin side of the river on my way home. Perrot State Park is another spot I will likely return to.
Bay City Bay
Slough – Bay City Campground
Slough2 – Bay City Campground
Great River State Park – Roadway
Trempealeau Mountain in Perrot State Park
20-30 mph wind & sideways rain
Side Mirror – Maiden Rock construction stoplight
Touch of Color – Maiden Rock
The color in Covil Bay has a ways to go as of 9/25. The weather was a bit challenging as were the flocks of seagulls fishing for what seemed like forever. Eventually the weather cleared for a shot.
[Original Covil Bay post]
It was a gorgeous day for the MN Duck Hunting opener – too nice of course. I elected to sleep in. It wasn’t long after the others left that I was awake – the sound of shotgun blasts echoed through the river bottoms at the magic hour – a half hour before sunrise. Somehow I managed to doze off awhile longer.
I did get out on the water for a boat ride around the river backwater pools with a good friend and his son. Mitchel was excited to go out and look for ducks in his newly acquired camo while touting his BB gun . The clouds were pretty spectacular.
Mitchel and his “boom-stick”
I was driving home from my meeting today watching the clouds move. The closer I got to Red Wing, the more appealing the skies became. It looked like there may be a decent sunset this evening.
Memorial Park on top for Sorin’s Bluff in Red Wing is a fantastic place to take in the sunset.
When I arrived at the location for the meeting today I spied this classic Corvette in the parking lot. This had HDR written all over it – or one could say reflected all over it. 1st and 3rd images are original exposures out of the camera. EXIF f/2.8 | 1/250 | ISO-100 | spot metered. 2nd and 4th images are the 5 exposure HDR compilations.
Well…not in the traditional sense anyway. I was on the road early this a.m. on my way to a meeting for work. It was one of the most orange sunrises I’ve seen in a while. It lasted all of 7 minutes and then the sun disappeared into the dense clouds. I really wasn’t fond of pulling over and setting up in the light rain so I utilized a technique and a method I have employed in the past. From the car – into the side mirror @65 mph on Hwy 50. Is this the safest thing to do? Nope. The color was pretty amazing though so I couldn’t resist. The 3rd shot was @ 75 mph so i cranked up the shutter and ISO lots and hoped for no blur. Fun snap shots. Fine art? Not so much. I am happy with them though. You can see a titch of a rainbow in the first shot in the upper right. It was a double-double rainbow this a.m. I wish I could have captured that.
Sunrise Side Mirror
Sunrise Side Mirror – Cropped
High Wire Sunrise
I have been kicking around the purchase of a macro lens for about a month. Today was the day. I picked up a Tamron 90mm f/2.8 instead of the Nikon 105mm f/2.8. The biggest reason – half the price as well as half the weight (14.3 oz vs. 27.2 oz). The Tamron lacks the vibration reduction of the Nikon lens so I plan not to shake when I take pictures with this lens…so far so good. I didn’t have a whole lot of time to play with it after work, but I like it so far. Here are the fruits of its first 15 minutes out of the box.
I headed down to Red Wing Levee Park on my way to the RWPC monthly meeting. The first 4 images are a 5 exposure (+2 | +1 | 0 | -1 | -2) HDR of a leaf on a bench in the park. HRD effect applied are (in order) Black & White, Compressor, Enhancer, and Fusion. The remaining two images are of a statue head (also in the park) and the waterfront.
You can only watch so much TV/Movies and nap. Days like today are hard to garner any ambition, but I managed to drag myself out of the house and down to Red Wing Levee Park. You usually don’t have to look very far to find something interesting to photograph.
Moored barge @ Red Wing Grain – Red Wing Levee
Moored barge @ Red Wing Grain – Red Wing Levee-HDR
Train Tracks & Cars – Red Wing Levee
Train Tracks & Cars 2 – Red Wing Levee
Train Tracks & Cars 2 – Red Wing Levee-HDR
Train Tracks & Cars 3 – Red Wing Levee
Moored barge 2 @ Red Wing Grain – Red Wing Levee
Moored barge 2 @ Red Wing Grain – Red Wing Levee-HDR B&W
Fisherman on the Mississippi – Red Wing Levee/Bay Point area
Mooring Piling @ Red Wing Grain – Red Wing Levee
Hen Mallards @ Red Wing Levee
Hen Mallard drinking from a puddle.
If you ever find yourself heading South from Kellogg, MN on Hwy 61 – hang a right onto 74 @ Weaver. Take a drive through the Whitewater river bottoms. 74 is a very scenic path all the way through Elba to the Whitewater State Park. Once the leaves start to turn this location will hopefully be amazing. It is still very very green. Co Hwy 39 to the South & East of 74 will make a loop back around to Co Hwy 26 (which runs East out of Elba) by Co Hwy 24; then Co Rd 37. Follow the Crystal Springs signs. There is a very small spring creek (along Co Rd 37) that feeds the rearing ponds at the bottom of the hill where the DNR Crystal Springs Hatchery is. Head East from there on Co Hwy 26 and then North on Co Rd 114. This stretch will bring you out of the river valley into high lush farmland (windmill pictures). Co Hwy 25 will bring you into Rollingstone and into a valley once again. I went to Winona and crossed the river and headed to Alma. On top of the bluff there are spectacular views via Buena Vista park. This park is worth a visit. 160 or so mile loop – great drive.