Two years ago I posted an image of the falls at Zindel Park and recently showed you another taken there in mid-winter. Yesterday was a beautiful day here at the farm but the weather service was calling for unstable conditions to come so I wanted to be out with the camera. The other night I listed to an online lecture about landscape photography and was surprised to hear the speaker say something like, if it’s a beautiful clear day with not a cloud in the sky, the best thing to do is to go fishing. What I think he meant was that a cloudless sky doesn’t provide much of a backdrop for a landscape and, I suppose in some sense, he was right. But that doesn’t mean one shouldn’t venture forth on a cloudless day. Yesterday’s clear sky provided brilliant illumination and presented a great opportunity to take photos in the woods, and Zindel Park came to mind. As soon as I arrived it was clear that the creek which ran through the park was going to be the focus of my attention. The water was moving swiftly and the sun cast some nice shadows as it made its way through the high canopy. I’m guessing that your reaction to the first picture is going to be something along the lines of He played with the colors too much, the result is over-saturated and looks much like one of those Elvis-on-Velvet prints. Although I adjusted the vibrance a bit (not the saturation), I did not play with the color and limited other adjustments to exposure and clarity. So what you see is what I saw. For those of with an interest in metadata, the first image was taken using a Hoya ND64 Neutral Density filter, a 25 second exposure at f18 and ISO100. The long exposure allowed the camera’s sensor to discern the subtle hues of blue and green which cast down upon the water from the sky and canopy above. I liked the second photo for the way in which it expressed the contrast between the movement of the water and the stillness of the mosses and ferns. You may click both of these images for larger versions which I hope you will enjoy.




22 thoughts on “Zindel

  1. I love this shot with the green reflections in the water … it looks so refreshing and cool. And the textures in the second shot are wonderful … a whole miniature world πŸ™‚

    • Thanks … really, thanks Charlie. My photographic psyche (if there is such a thing) has been at a particularly low ebb. You must have channeled my need to read a comment such as yours. A real boost which is timely and much appreciated. I will endeavor to keep going if, for nothing else, to keep ’em coming for appreciative folks like you. Thanks again. D

  2. With regard to “if it’s a beautiful clear day with not a cloud in the sky, the best thing to do is to go fishing,” one thing the speaker could have been referring to is the garishness of bright midday sunlight and the harsh shadows it typically causes. On the other hand, people have occasionally asked me if I do my photography primarily in the early morning or late afternoon, when the light is softer, and they’re sometimes surprised when I say no, I’m often out in the middle of the day. Since so many of the pictures I take are closeups, the background often goes out of focus anyhow and the harshness of midday light is mitigated. As for a clear blue sky, you already know I’m fond of using it as a neutral background for flower portraits, and a background that often does a good job of complementing the yellows and oranges and reds of so many of the wildflowers in my area. For whatever reason, we don’t often get dramatic clouds or great sunsets in Austin, so I make do with what we have.

    Like you, I generally add a bit of vibrance to my images to make them closer to the way I remember seeing (or imagine I saw) the scenes in them.

    • Yes, you’ve made me realize that I really need to talk to someone with more experience than I. I’ve been looking at http://www.500px.com (do you know it?) and getting pretty darn depressed. When I look at the images posted there it’s pretty clear to me that most everything is pretty heavily processed and I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I think lots of the stuff there looks pretty darn good. When I look at my stuff it seems to lack drama and depth. I know you’d say something like, ‘It depends,’ if I were to ask, ‘What makes for a good portfolio?’ Folks say that you have to find your individual niche … ok, so be it. I look at my stuff and find it interesting but it doesn’t seem to rise to the level of photographic art. The majority of heavily processed images at http://www.500px.com seem to. I’m not sure what it is I’m doing but, when compared to the stuff others are doing, it just doesn’t seem at all interesting. I’ve you’ve looked at 500px, let me know what you think. If you’ve not gone there, perhaps you could … and maybe check out the ‘landscapes’ or perhaps ‘nature’ shots and then tell me what you think. Or … perhaps I’m just tired and this is simply a silly line of inquiry? D

      • I took a look at a random sample of the pictures on 500px.com. No question that some of them have that oomph factor, and also no doubt that some have been extensively processed. We’re looking at photographers’ choices for their most appealing work, so it’s not surprising we’d see impressive pictures. Another factor to consider is that photographers are submitting photographs from some of the most exotic and scenic places in the world; I can’t find much in Austin to compete with those places, nor can you in your locale.

        I also noticed there are plenty of pictures of pretty young things scantily clad, where the attractiveness of the models carries much of the weight of the images. Try putting one of those models in one of your creeks or waterfalls and I’ll bet you get a lot of people wanting to see the resulting pictures.

        • Thanks for taking the time to responding to this and for being the ‘voice of reality’ that I needed to hear. It was just what I needed. I read your response to Joanna and we both had a good laugh … especially about the extensive use of ‘props’ in many of the 500px images. You have provided some much needed perspective … many thanks. I will persevere. D

  3. I believe you when you say “we see what you saw”. I also enjoy walking besides creeks under a canopy (especially when it is hot in summer). I had often tried to take photos of the playful interactions of color and light – but always in vain. Just trying to remember those moments I feel that the most fascinating aspect is the diversity of colors and the “bandwidth” of brightness – from bright white to very dark … and then I should not forget the contrast of water motion and quiet. All of that is perfectly captured in your images.

    • The green was transmitted through the green canopy, while the blue was that of the sky which reflected off the water. I felt so of funny about posting a photo which seemed to have been over-processed that I actually made Joanna look at the computer screen as I booted up Lightroom to show her a side-by-side, before-and-after (processing), version of the photo. Even I found the colors remarkable … and she can vouch for the fact that they really were ‘there.’ Thanks for touching base today. Oh … by the way … the son of the friend who I told you was working in the Grasslands Preserve up there recently sent home some photos of his ‘work place.’ B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L … out there to be sure … but beautiful. D

      • The image is beautiful. I am not very good at processing digital images, so I can’t imagine how a photo could be given that degree of variety in colour, or be distributed in such even tones with a logical pattern (the greens are contained amid the rocks). Ah, I’m glad you like our landscape. I’ve been wondering if he had arrived in the park yet. I hope we have agreeable weather for him this summer.

    • Yes, that would have been nice. Something about having all that expensive equipment that close to the water makes me just wanna get down to business and then get the heck out of the stream! I’m glad you like the images … I was hoping someone would! D

    • Hey there Sarah … thanks very much for the observation and for taking the time to comment … much appreciated, really. I took a quick look at the sarahinskeep blog and will have to tell Joanna about it … I liked the knitted sheep (adapted from Tiger with Dress) that you showed a few posts ago. If you follow Pairodox you’ll know that we raise Shetland Sheep, and Joanna is always looking for sheep-type-things for gifts and such to knit from the wool we produce. This looks perfect. Also … the name Inskeep isn’t that common a name … any relation to Steve Inskeep of NPR? Couldn’t resist asking! D

      • Hi! You are so welcome! I follow the Pairodox blog (LOVE that name, by the way!) and I thoroughly enjoy all of your posts! It’s really neat that you raise Shetland sheep! Do you shear them yourselves? Do you prepare and spin the wool yourselves? Do you use most of what you produce or do you sell some? I’m glad you found something helpful through my blog! If Joanna decides to make a knitted sheep (adapted from Tiger with Dress), I would love to see a pic! πŸ™‚ You are right – Inskeep is an unusual name. πŸ™‚ Yes, we are related to Steve Inskeep of NPR, but it is likely pretty far back in the family tree because we aren’t personally acquainted with him – it’s a shame, really! πŸ™‚ I do get asked about him quite a bit… πŸ™‚ Wishing you and Joanna a lovely evening! ~Sarah

        • Hey there Sarah. It’s funny that you should comment on Pairodox … few understand it. For years someone thought that the name of our farm was pair-of-ducks! We do do our own shearing, once a year, at the beginning of May. Joanna has been a spinner and weaver for nearly a quarter-century and she takes great pride in taking our wool all the way from the animal to finished garments. Her area of particular focus right now has been knitting fine lace. Some of her pieces have been featured here on the blog. Perhaps the search function will lead you to them. There’s one describing her adventure with Estonian lace from a year or two ago. I laughed when you asked if we sell our wool! We’ve literally got a barn full of the stuff. Joanna and I are both teachers and we know NOTHING about marketing. We’ve lost our proverbial shirts whenever we’ve tried to sell anything. At some point we simply stopped trying. So, yes, we have lots and lots of raw fleeces. We ask $25 per fleece, regardless of weight, plus whatever it costs us to ship via USPS. If you have interest, let me know, and I can send some samples if you tell me something about color choice (we have all natural shades) and what you’ll be using it for. Thanks very much for getting back … your attentions are much appreciated. D

  4. I really like the coppery effect of the top picture . My brain wants to interpret the second image as mountains. Pretty!

    • Now … what does it tell you that Joanna said the same thing about the second image! Great minds think alike … it is true. Thanks for the observation. D PS: She’s home … 24 hours EARLY!

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