John Deere at the Ranch

These old tractors are always interesting to photograph. I don’t know why! I really have no penchant for tractors one way or another, but they have a nice feeling about them for some reason, especially with a pastoral scene in the background… like a cabin with smoke coming out of the chimney. And just in case that chimney runs out of firewood, there seems to be a bit extra right around here somewhere…. now where did I put that extra bolt of wood?

John Deere at the Ranch

10 Principles of Beautiful Photography and the Verdant Bough

Wow I have a lot of reading for you today! I hope you have a coffee, a stiff drink, and/or some good music to accompany you!

First, my new photo today is entitled “The Verdant Bough”. The photo was shot at this really cool place in Wyoming I found while running around Yellowstone with my rig. I’m glad I didn’t fall down that cliff while shooting, but I guess that goes without saying.

Second, I had an article posted today in Smashing Magazine. It was originally titled 10 Principles of Beautiful Photography. That links here to my website, or you can visit the Smashing Magazine as well, although it’s filled with a negative nancies down at the bottom with their own flavor of commentary. No worries… I have a thick skin and I enjoy all kinds of feedback. Both articles are the same, but I like the one here on the site a little since I think the photos are best appreciated in their larger size. The eye needs to surf across them to accept all the light levels and not let your brain reject them. It’s a longer diatribe… but part of the reason this blog is soooo wide… 900 pixels across for each shot.

Oh, also, you can DIGG the article here! :)

The Verdent Bough (by Stuck in Customs)

And here are a few photos from the article that you may never have seen if you are new to the blog!

The Lonely Trinity (by Stuck in Customs)

Stuck in India - Humayun's Tomb (by Stuck in Customs)

Hindu Ascent

A soft summer night in the marsh

My shoes have never been the same since I started tromping through this muck. That part didn’t bother me so much, but I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to make a hasty escape if something started running after me. I didn’t see anything that would start a chase… there was a herd of about 14 elk about 300 meters away. I had never seen them stampede randomly in the direction of a photographer, so I felt kinda good about that. Remember, all of these were just half-fleeting thoughts that were only half-baked… I was mostly just peacefully staring at the sunset and listening to my iPod alone in the wilderness.

A soft summer night in the marsh (by Stuck in Customs)

The Entrance to the Conifer Forest

It’s always a challenge to shoot in a forest! They are so interesting while you are there, but the frustrating thing is trying to capture the moment to show others. I don’t know why forests are harder to shoot than other things, although I have a few theories. Perhaps it has something to do with how we "feel" in a forest compared to what we are actually seeing. When we lay down these memories in our brains, the imagery is tied into the feeling, and the "feeling" part of it is very difficult to capture with simply the imagery in a photo. Anyway, this all gets a bit cerebral into some crazy thoughts about photography, but you get where I am going!

The Entrance to the Conifer Forest

Meandering Through Life

These rivers always seem to have a nice sense about them. Meandering about the meadow by day and then heading into the narrow canyons at night. It seems like a peaceful existence…

This comes from my textures tutorial located right here.

Meandering Through Life (by Stuck in Customs)

The Sulfur Runoff at Mammoth

This is the Mammoth area of Yellowstone. It’s in the north, up near the Montana Wyoming border.  The whole area is very alien with that acrid smell and the crystallizing trees…

The Sulfur Runoff at Mammoth

The Wild Side of Yellowstone

I tracked this guy for over two hours through the wilderness. He knew I was following him for sure as we would move from trees to fields then back to trees. After the first 10 minutes, it was obvious that he was a million times more agile… and I was a million times more dirty. After the event, not only was I covered in dirt and leaves, but it took me half an hour to figure out where in the world the road and my car was!

The Wild Side of Yellowstone

Infinite Fence to the Mountains

These ranch fences went on and on… I probably could have stopped anywhere to take this shot — it looked equally long no matter where you stood!

By the way, it is impossible to get an extended tripod through those slats, so don’t even think about it.

Infinite Fence to the Mountains

The sun sets over the mountains

I checked the sweet internet earlier in the day to see exactly what time sunset was in Yellowstone. I have the sunrise/sunset website bookmarked, which is kinda strange, maybe… Anyway, It said 7:03 or something like that. I knew full well that it means the exact moment when the sun dips below the horizon, so the sun really “sets” about 30 minutes before that… but that didn’t help me get into the right position to see the sun right before it dipped below the mountains.

Luckily, there was a fine band of yellow sky lit up above the mountains, reflecting across the Madison River.

The sun sets over the mountains

as day shifts to night

It was just me and about three hours of sunset at Yellowstone.  I feel very fortunate to be friends with the head ranger at the park, and just beforehand, at his home, he listed off about four awesome places to go see it.  He was right!  Also, he let me borrow his tripod, so that was a real life saver (as any good ranger is known for!).

as day shifts to night

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