Late in 2010 I made a trip to South China to visit my wife’s family in a village of rice and vegetable farmers. Being very hot and humid there, I always looked forward to walking the bean fields with my camera late in the day. It’s very peaceful and sometimes you can catch a cool breeze.
Professional bull riding is classified as an extreme and dangerous sport in nearly any measure that you care to describe. The bulls are big and dangerous; the riders are small and fragile in comparison. I took this photograph of a bull rider literally moments after being bucked off in front of an indoor arena full of screaming fans. He rode for less than 8 seconds, and consequently his day was done. The bull won.
As collectors of 19th century American paintings, my wife and I are very familiar with the wonderful twilight paintings of Frederic Church, Albert Bierstadt, Jasper Cropsey, Samuel Colman, and Jervis McEntee. While touring Grand Teton National Park in the fall of 2009 we passed by the overlook to Lava Creek on numerous occasions and stopped to determine the possibility for a good panoramic shot. I took several over the course of a few days but was not satisfied with the lighting conditions.
Rick Sammon’s first comment when I asked about this picture was, “The best time to take a night picture is not at night.” Twilight is a better choice, and that’s when this image was made in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which was the first stop for Rick and his wife, Susan, on their six-day tour last April of selected attractions along Route 66.
Traveling in winter on the train from Dresden, Germany, the mostly overcast countryside zipped by as the train quickly moved along on its way to our destination in Prague, Czech Republic. Occasionally the sun peeked out from the clouds and lit up the houses and the industrial areas we traveled through. At first I thought my images might be impaired by a too slow shutter speed and the reflection in the train windows, but I quickly decided to use those problems to my advantage. The photos I ultimately made (and named “Views From the Train”) clearly indicate movement, low light, and reflections; qualities that mirror both the literal and metaphorical aspects of the country we traveled through.
While shooting waterfalls in North Carolina, I noticed the glowing reflection of the morning sun at my back. I quickly changed my position and captured this image. The majority of people in my area were facing a different direction, missing the beauty of the soft morning light on the slow-moving water upstream as it appeared on the opposite side of the stream from the falls. The morning light was impressive and little to no color boost was necessary to deliver this picture.
When this old pebble balanced there by the Ice Age thousands of years ago in the Garden of the Gods Park near Colorado Springs, Colorado, tumbles from its perch, it could be the end of the world. I used a slow shutter speed to get this shot as the old boulder wasn’t shaking at the time. But who knows?
August, 8:45pm. The sun just set and the mercury is still hovering above 95. Not even a whisper of a breeze. It’s hot. It’s too hot to sleep, too hot to work—too hot to think. My only hope sits out back, parked on a pad covered with pavers. I simply need to turn the key, press the start button, and my ride will roar to life with only a single thought—escape the heat! I head west on State Route 412, a lonely deserted road that goes nowhere but has lovely sweeping curves and hard level straightaways where my baby can cut loose. With my feet on the pegs, the wind blows my hair back and sweat evaporates from my skin. Blessed relief!
Hiking through the mountains in the Poudre Canyon above Fort Collins, Colorado, I happened upon a small clearing. Up against a mountain and surrounded by a grove of aspen trees, I found this very old abandoned cabin. The sight of this stopped me in my tracks. I immediately felt chills and a sense that I was stepping back in time. I took very slow steps as I listened to the wind move through the cracks of this home from the past. I felt as though I was trespassing on a family from long ago. I stayed long enough to capture this image with the sun setting the front aglow.
As frequent visitors to the Gettysburg National Military Park researching the participation of my wife’s family in many different regiments during the battle, my wife and I had a strange occurrence one morning. We always arrive at our chosen point on the battlefield well before sunrise each visit. This particular morning we were set up on Cemetery Hill facing Culp’s Hill and the soon to be arriving sunrise. The morning had good promise as there was some ground fog in place already. Suddenly, from the lower part of the valley, a thick fog began rolling in. It didn’t appear from the ground up as normally happens, but was a dense mass pushing into the valley. It covered the ground up to a knoll to our right and just left parts of the treetops visible. From then on it was just scrambling around with the camera on the tripod, hitting the infrared remote and then moving again.
The January rainstorms had come to the Utah high desert mountains, making it a perfect day to capture the storm clouds and rainbows that moved across the various mountain ranges. As I was driving on the outskirts of the small town of Gunlock, Utah, I came around a large mountain cliff ledge. To my surprise under the ledge were at least a dozen donkeys trying to escape the cold, freezing drizzle and get the warmth coming off the rock face. There were two donkeys in particular that caught my eye because of their noisy insistence on being in the same place.
Growing up in Florida, I began playing golf at an early age. However, for many years the most important club in my golf bag was the ball retriever. Florida golf courses are notorious for their water hazards and I believe I found many of them.
Walking on the Greenbelt along the river in Boise, Idaho, always presents interesting photo ops. This was taken when they were putting together the framework for a new building at Boise State University.