Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Lost Valley Arkansas

Going to to the town of Jasper, Arkansas, with the camera club usually starts or ends with a meal at the Ozark Cafe. That was where several SWMCC members met on Friday evening for a tasty meal before heading out to a beautiful cabin in the woods not far from town.

Early the next morning (which came very early given how late we stayed up the night before), we headed over to Lost Valley (part of the National Park Service’s Buffalo National River) and made the short hike to Eden Falls. It’s a beautiful area, and well worth the visit.  One of our goals for the trip was to photograph Arkansas’ first batch of wildflowers. At this time of year, these flowers are pretty close to the ground and getting some of the pictures took some creative tripod techniques.

If you go to Lost Valley, go early! It’s a popular place, but if you’re there at dawn you’ll have it all to yourselves (unless there’s a photographer in the neighborhood).

Click on the image below to see the gallery (the full-sized images contain the flowers’ common names).

Dutchman’s Breeches

Supertrip – Day One

Camera club Supertrips (i.e., trips that take us on a week-long tour of a particular location) are a lot of fun.  I think this is the 6th one I’ve been on, and it may be the best yet. We had great luck with cooperative weather, and beautiful scenery.  The first two days we stayed in Duluth, and this gallery is from the first day of shooting. The first four pictures are from Gooseberry State Park.  The next four are from the town of Two Harbors (that’s an iron ore loading dock, along with a pier), and the rest are from Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.  It was a long, but fantastic day!

Click on the image below for the gallery.

Split Rock Lighthouse

The Big House – Missouri State Penitentiary

Wow!  The latest field trip that I organized for the Southwest Missouri Camera Club was to the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City, MO.  It was really a fantastic trip!  (Personal note – my parents lived within a half-block of the penitentiary before I was born, back in the spring of 1963.)

The penitentiary is historically significant, as far as prisons go, and you can find more information about it here.  The penitentiary was closed in 2004, and things were pretty much just left where they were.  Because of the proximity to the Missouri River, humidity has taken its toll on this former institution, leaving peeling paint and an unyielding sense of desolation and ruin.  I’m actually kind of thankful for the state of shambles – it makes the fact that this facility was used to house and execute extremely violent men and women a distant historical memory – something I can ignore if I don’t think about it too much (note to self: don’t think about it too much). Regardless of the purpose of the facility, from a photographer’s point of view, it was unadulterated ruin porn.

Missouri State Penitientary

The Needles in Canyonlands, Utah

On a vacation a few weeks ago, we traveled through Colorado and into Utah to camp for a few nights under the dark skies of the Needles area of Canyonlands National Park.  I added more evidence to my hypothesis that hiking does not mingle nicely with photography.  Attempting to do both doesn’t serve either well.  However, I will say that the short hikes we took were very pleasant (certainly a stark contrast to hikes local to Springfield!).  With the exception of the petroglyph, which was taken on nearby BLM land, all of these images are from Canyonlands.

Click on the image below for the gallery.

Parking Garage on a Rainy Day

Itching to get out and take a few pictures, I was nearly thwarted by a torrential downpour.  Happily, a parking garage provided shelter against the rain as I snapped a few in downtown Springfield.

Click on the image below for a small gallery.

A Trip to the Missouri Institute of Natural Science

The camera club was invited to do some macro photography at the Missouri Institute of Natural Science.  When I first heard about the trip, I knew I wanted to shine light through translucent objects just to see what it would look like.  With the exception of the picture of anthracite coal, all were photographed using this method.  All were surprising.  For example, seeing a rainbow in the calcite, or the deep hues of the fluorite and the other-worldly red of the sea urchin!

Please click on the image for the gallery.

Green Fluorite

Galena II

I’ve visited the “Y” bridge at Galena several times trying to take a few good pictures of its unique structure.  Though I’m not entirely convinced I’m finished, here is what I have so far.

Click on the image for the gallery.


I wasn’t familiar with Galena (other than the town of the same name in Stone County) until Mary brought a fist-sized chunk of it home one day.  As an ore of lead, it is gray, crystalline, and very heavy. Fascinated by its reflective properties in light, I’ve spent the last few days trying to capture it in a photograph.

Click the image below to see the gallery.


I really wanted to try working with clay again.  The last time I did, it went very well and the clay cooperated by sticking throughout the photo session.  This time, it dried and flaked off very quickly, and was a bit of a mess.  The rest of the session worked with a cloak (well, the clay is a form of a cloak) as a tribute to Joyce Tenneson’s work.

Click on the image to see the gallery.


Commercial Street

For the photographer wanting to photograph Springfield, Commercial Street is one of the few remaining places that holds some level of fascination.  So much of downtown and the surrounding areas are being gentrified – cleansed of anything awkward, dirty, or interesting.  I understand the reasons why this happens, but loss accompanies all change.  Happily, I think there will always be something to photograph.


Commercial Street

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