Beyond The Campfire was created to encourage readers to explore the great outdoors and to observe it close up. Get out and take a hike, go fishing or canoeing, or simply stretch out on a blanket under a summer sky...and take your camera along. We'll talk about combining outdoor activities with photography. We'll look at everything from improving your understanding of the basics of photography to more advanced techniques including things like how to see photographically and capturing the light. We'll explore the night sky, location shoots, using off camera speedlights along with nature and landscape. Grab your camera...strap on your hiking boots...and join me. I think you will enjoy the adventure.

The Dark Horse Region

The Dark Horse Region
A View into the center of the Milky Way

Saturday, March 1, 2014

On Any Given Day - Rural Kentucky - The Pond

Sometimes we pass by locations and never give them a second look. That is unfortunate because many of those places often provide great photo opportunities if we just take the time to see it. One such place is where a pond and barn are located just off the road on my way to work. I drive by it almost everyday, early in the morning and then again in the afternoon. I've seen it through various seasons and it changes its personality with each of those seasons and time of day. I've grown to like this location because by itself it defines the best of rural Kentucky and it has become one of my favorite photo op locations. I'd be willing to bet that most people drive by it and never see it.

Seeing is what separates a photographer from a snapshot shooter. Snapshot shooters tend to take random pictures of things rarely giving any thought to the lighting or composition. Every once and a while they will take a pretty good picture, usually more because of the high scenic value of the location that even a snapshot shoot couldn't foul up.

Although it is not always practical to do so, being able to photograph one location during different lighting events is a big time advantage. It gives you a sense of location and a feel for photographic value. That is why I encourage photographers to know their home range, to look for those iconic locations that define where they live and take advantage of being able to be there on any given day.

Oddly enough, this particular pond is no longer there. The year 2013 there was lots of rain and we live in cave country and that mean lots of sinkholes. One day I was drivng home from work and cast a quick glance at the pond as I passed by. The next morning as I passed by heading to work I through another quick glance and had to slow down to take a second look...the pond was gone and a large hole had opened up in the bottom near the outer edge and drained every last drop out of it.

It's still a scenic location, just the pond will no longer be a part of that scene. You neve know what might happen on any given day, so if you find a great location take advantage of it and capture its morning flavor and its evening taste through all the seasons. It may not be there one day.


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