Elk in Boxley Valley – near Ponca Arkansas

Elk in Boxley Valley – near Ponca Arkansas

We have only live in the North Arkansas area for a little over a year. We have done a little exploring, here and there. One such trip, we were coming from a hike in the upper Buffalo River area, and Andrea noticed that there were deer crossing signs along the road. Andrea pointed out a deer crossing sign that we just passed, and said that the picture of the deer looked really strange. We keep going for a few miles and came across a large herd of elk crossing the road. We had no idea that elk lived in the area. Since we were out hiking to a water fall, I was a carrying my light weight kit that contained mostly wide angle and moderate length telephoto lenses. I did not bring my big lenses…. Sigh. I have been waiting and planning the best time to photograph the elk since then. The rut is just beginning for the elk now, and they have been observed in the valley most mornings, so we drove down to see what is going on. We arrived in Ponca around 7 am, and the whole valley was covered in thick fog. The 1st shot of the day was the fog from the road as we headed down into the valley. As we continued on, the fog was so thick, i was worried that we would not get any usable images. We came across a large herd of elk in one field just as we left Ponca. There must have been at least 40-50 elk. One very large bull was bugling chasing other smaller bulls...
Using a neutral density filter

Using a neutral density filter

  I was talking to an older photographer the other day. He was from the film days. The days, when everything had to be done right in camera. And, he asked me if I used filters. In film photography, filters were a very large part of the process. You used them to color balance film, or lights,  and used them for special effects and all sorts of things. Digital Photography has changed that, and, on the whole, we do not use filters very often, because we can achieve the same or similar look that filters provided. There are still a few filters that I use almost every time that I go out. One of my favorite filters is the B&W ND110. The ND110 filter is a 10 stop filter, meaning that it reduces your exposure by 10 stops. So if you are shooting a scene at 1/8000 of a second and then you add this filter you will need to change your speed to 1/8th of a second. It is a great filter any time you are shooting images of water, as the lower shutter speeds allow the water to show movement.  Here is an example:   You can see that both images are basically the same, the only thing that really changes is that the shutter is left open long enough for all the movement in the water is smoothed out and the  clouds overhead are beginning to blur. ND filters come in many flavors, you can buy them from 1 stop all the way to 20 stop. The 10 stop filter that I used on the above...
Music at the County Fair

Music at the County Fair

Well, the County Fair is in town again. It is hard to believe that it has been a year since it was here last. This year a friend told me about a band that was playing at the main stage, and I tagged along and listened to them play. I, of course, brought my camera and snapped a few shots as they played, they were pretty good. Much better than what i was expecting for a rock band in a town of 12,000 people 🙂 They call themselves 9N. Check them out on FB at : https://www.facebook.com/pages/9N-Band/125415524211724   After listening to 9N play, Catie, Andrea and I walked the midway and played a few games. Last year Catie won a goldfish, this year…. it was a hermit crab. sigh. more animals to take care of. I swear, before we are done, we will own a farm.    ...
My Favorite time of year

My Favorite time of year

  This is my favorite time of the year. The oppressive heat of summer finally broke a few weeks ago, and last night a cold front moved through and brought temps down to low 50’s. Pretty soon the leaves will be falling, the days getting shorter and shorter. With the rain that we have had, we should see some really nice color. Some of the trees in my yard are already starting to show some color from the cooler temperatures at night. Looking forward to some bonfires in the backyard and to getting out a few weekends and doing a little camping. There are so many things that will be going on this season. I have plans to shoot the country side during ( at least near) peak colors, the trout head back up stream to spawn, the changes in the weather usually bring sensational storms that can be truly beautiful and terrifying to watch and photograph. But. It will all change so fast, and last year I missed most of it… I was busy at work, busy with family, looking for a new house starting a new job…. I am looking forward to having the opportunity to get out there....
the Rodeo comes to Mountain Home, Arkansas

the Rodeo comes to Mountain Home, Arkansas

  Andrea and Caitlyn were at the Rodeo in Mountain Home this year helping raise money for Peitz Cancer Support House. They were selling raffle tickets, and the proceeds went to Peitz House. On the second day, I tagged along and brought a camera just to take a few images for fun. The rodeo did not start till after sundown, so that made for some very tough shooting conditions. I was shooting a canon 6d with 300/2.8 and the 85/1.4 L. both fast lenses, but I was still forced to shoot at iso6400.  Even with the ridiculous iso, I was still pretty happy with the results, I probably could have dropped the iso a stop or two when shooting with the 85, but the extra speed gained seemed to give me sharper results over the reduced noise from lower iso. No tripod, just a monopod. It was a fun evening, and we were there supporting a good cause, and I got to have a little fun shooting the rodeo which, by the way, was the first rodeo I have ever been seen....