Supertrip – (Almost) Everything Else

The rest of the trip really flew by.  Looking back, the days are starting to merge together, and it’s hard to remember exactly where we were shooting each day (good thing I took pictures).  We saw a sunrise at Artist’s Point in Grand Marais, a lot of waterfalls (some with a lot of stairs), and even a short trip up to Thunder Bay, Canada.  It was a memorable trip, but it’s good to be home.

Click on the image below for the gallery.

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 Streets of Springfield

Springfield Missouri probably isn’t the first place you think of when someone mentions street photography, but it does have streets, and occasionally there are people and/or things that are interesting to photograph.  These pictures are from a camera club field trip. I had fun hanging out with our photographers and taking pictures on what turned out to be a pretty warm day.

Click the image to see the gallery.

Photographing Bugs

Until this weekend, I had never really taken much time to photograph insects – if they leave me alone, I leave them alone.  However, one of the members of our camera club, Tom Riley, is a retired professor of entomology from Louisiana State University, and he arranged a field trip to photograph his favorite subject.  Last night, we put up a few ultraviolet lights to attract the bugs, and this morning we photographed them.  It was really a lot of fun.  Some of the evolutionary adaptations are quite amazing.  We were staying at another club member’s place (thanks, Rita Szabo!), and a few of the images in the gallery are from things lying around.

Click the image below to see the gallery.


Dickerson Park Zoo

Zoos raise more than a few ethical dilemmas for the thoughtful person – I’d much rather catch a fleeting glimpse of an animal in the wild than stare at an animal through bars, no matter how benign.  So it was with mixed feelings that I went to the zoo today with the camera club.  I will say that the giraffes seem to have adapted rather well to visitors handing them zoo-supplied snacks – long tongues on those giraffes!  Anyway, we had special access through the zoo’s education department to photograph some of their birds of prey and reptiles. I didn’t find those pictures to be particularly interesting, but I did find other things to photograph.

The first image in the gallery (click on the image below to see the gallery) is of a white peacock that sits on the roof of the admission gate in the early morning (they roam around the zoo the rest of the day). The next two images are of some interesting machinery at the zoo that caught my eye.  The last one was taken while looking down from an observation deck at a koi pond covered with a very thin oil slick (in fact, you can see the back of one of the carp in the image). Though it was disheartening to watch the fish surface open-mouthed into the oil (the nearby coin-operated feed dispenser makes it popular with the fish), it did make for some colorful, albeit abstract, imagery.

White Peacock

One Light Photography

These images are from the camera club’s second session of off-camera lighting practice using a simple one light setup.  It’s always fun playing around with ambient light to see what you can do.

Click on the image for the gallery

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

Arkansas Field Trip

Yesterday, the camera club went on a field trip to Arkansas.  It was cloudy and often rainy, but no one wanted to be anywhere else.

The first three images in the gallery below are from Smith Creek.  Acquired by the Nature Conservancy in 2005, Smith Creek is indescribably rugged and wild, full of wild flowers, lush greenery, house-sized boulders, caves, bats and occasionally photographers.  I ended up wet and muddy, but happy.  Many thanks to Harvey Williams, who gave us much easier access to this beautiful place.

The fence image is from the Mill Pond in Boxley Valley, and the last image is from Twin Falls at Camp Orr.

Smith Creek

Japanese Stroll Garden

The Japanese Stroll Garden is such a nice place to visit – whether you’re out for a walk, or for quiet contemplation.

Click on the image below to see the gallery.

Tea House

Brick City

Brick City is the home of the art department at Missouri State University.  Through special permission, members of our camera club were able to head inside and consider the apparatus of making art as art in its own right.  It was a lot of fun!

Click on the image to see the gallery.

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