Monday, March 21, 2011

Out in the country ...

Re the headline: Anyone for a little Three Dog Night? OK, I thought not, so I'll just move right along.

I had an opportunity to shoot landscapes, flowers and nature on Sunday on some private property near Martinsville in Morgan County (Ind.). It was an outing of the Indy Meetup Photo Club, so I used the occasion to capture multiple exposures on most of my landcapes to later process in Photomatix, the high-dynamic range (HDR) melding software I acquired a couple months ago.

My "nature" shots were limited; there were birds all over the place, as the property owner maintains quite a few birdhouses and feeders. But the birds must not have trusted or liked me; I could hear them quite a bit, and on several occasions, I camped out on a bench where the property owner suggested I wait because, she said, eventually they will come. But, no such luck for me there, except for a shot or two of a bird on a tree branch, no where near any of the feeders. Nor did I see any frogs at the frog pond, a man-made basin the owner installed at the foot of a steep hill in the back of the property that helps collect runoff and leave the remainder of the property relatively dry in damp weather. 

Now ... I did get a shot or two of a baby alligator in the west pond ... except that ... well, the gator isn't real. The owner has it there to dress up the scene -- and perhaps for comedic effect. So I shot it in HDR to try and help make it seem real. I did grab a few shots of lady bugs on flowers and some floral macros sans bugs or other insects (mostly early-season blooms like crocus). I'll post those on another day. 

This post is about the HDR shots from Sunday. The shots I was most excited about were the tree reflections on the southwest pond, the shots of the landscape along the road on the property's south perimeter and -- leading off the post at the top -- the one of the silo in the distance, a vista visible from the end of the property's owner's dead-end street.

To view a full gallery of HDR images from this shoot, follow this link.

Above and next two below: Different shots of the southwest pond, where I was struck by the reflection of the trees in the background. 

Above: the "alligator" that isn't real. 

Above and below: Portrait (vertical) and landscape (horizontal) perspectives of a scene in the property owner's peace garden. I tend to prefer the portrait version; it doesn't have the distraction of the foreground birdfeeder.

Above: A two-layered birdhouse. Upper- and lower-class housing?

Above and below: Views of a wheelbarrow, whose color and shape provide a nice change of pace to a bucolic scene. Rustic ... and rust.

Above: A closeup of the dead -- and contorted -- tree in the background of the wheelbarrow photos. 

Above and next three below: Scenes from the creek that forms the east property line. The bridge is part of a road that forms the south property line.

Above: The frog pond that produced no reptiles for me to photograph during my visit. Instead, I tried to focus on some tree reflections in the small pockets of clear water on one end of the pond.

Above: Another birdhouse.

Above and next three below: Views of the look east along the road that flanks the owner's property. The bridge you see in the distance is the one pictured above from creek bank level.

Above and next two below: Western views of the same road, a vista I enjoyed mostly because of the tree on the road's horizon.

Above: A bark-stripped tree in the wooded portion that dots the ravine leading to the lower level.


  1. I absolutely love that you capture beauty in the most mundane things.

  2. Joe, I love the shots you got! So beautiful. The gater looks almost real! (her name is Alley) haha.. You are welcome to come back ANYTIME! Right now 1/4 of the 400 daffodils are blooming. The trees are starting to bud. AND several others. I'll keep you updated and you are welcome to come back! In the backyard 3 days in a row has been a Eastern Towhee. I don't have a shot of him YET! Talk to you soon! Again, you are welcome ANYTIME!

  3. Looking at the pond reflections...AMAZING!!

  4. Connie ... I didn't notice your visit/comment until today (I've had the blog 2+ years, and still haven't figured out if there is a way for blogspot to notify me when comments arrive). Thank you for not only the comments, but the offer to do another shoot. While I was there, I couldn't help but wonder what the grounds look like when the blooms are in full show -- and again in fall, when the trees take charge of the color. I'll definitely keep your offer in mind in the future.