Actually this is sculpture of sorts by artist Steve Murillo called “Solar Calendar”. Made of limestone pillars, my understanding is that at local noon on the first day of each season, the sun will shine through a metal ring atop the appropriate pillar and illuminate a colored glass stone embedded in the ground in the center of the array. I had never visited the stones before, as it slowly came into view through the mists I couldn’t help but think of Stonehenge. Interesting and clever work by Steve Murillo, and a somewhat unusual point of interest for our main park near the center of Wichita.
Here’s the glass stone at the center…
My wife and I have been walking, and she insists on taking the same route every time because we have figured out distances for it. Unfortunately, at least most of this route is the most non-photogenic landscape (really cityscape). I’ve taken my small camera on a couple of those walks recently with the self imposed assignment of finding some sort of image(s) that are satisfying. I saw this cover plate, something we walk over all the time, something no ‘normal’ person would ever stop to photograph. I never claimed to be normal, so I did it anyway and here it is. I wanted to find images that were interesting without Photoshopping them to within one inch of their life, which is why this one has only been Photoshopped to within two inches of it’s life.
Scientifically speaking, as most of you probably know, Spring has officially arrived here in the northern hemisphere. In honor of this, I found an image from a few years ago, some tiny blossoms on one of my trees. I am by no means a macro or flower expert, but I thought this one looked pretty good. As I recall, I was fooling around with my Canon screw-on magnifying lens on my 70-200mm zoom. I’m fairly certain a true macro lens would make things easier, however the Canon magnifier does work quite well for the occasional use. Happy Spring.
Fog + Playground Equipment = Interesting. Who would have thought? I’m beginning to think that if I had run across a ham sandwich in the fog, it too would have looked compelling.
Yes, I’m afraid it’s another fog post. This tree sits directly across the river from a large high school (my old high school as it turns out), and if you were to turn your head to the right from this perspective you would see a large municipal swimming pool. Such are the challenges of the urban nature photographer. The fog made things so much easier.
Early in my epic foggy morning photo shoot, these guys waddled up to remind me to take a moment and make sure everything was set right. My camera ISO was not accidentally cranked up to 3200, my exposure compensation was not accidentally set to something extreme, my shoes were tied, etc. etc. I thanked them and moved on.
One of Wichita’s notable sites is native American sculptor Blackbear Bosin’s 1974 “The Keeper of the Plains”, which sits at the confluence of the Big and Little Arkansas rivers in downtown Wichita. A few years ago this area had a major facelift, the statue was elevated on a much higher rock base, and two rather spectacular (by Wichita standards anyway) suspension bridges for pedestrians were erected. The statue area is now easily accessible from either side of the rivers. I like photographing the Keeper, but had never gotten the chance to shoot it in the fog.
I was trying to think a little more outside-the-box creatively on this one. A little less conventional you might say.
It would be hard for me to understate how exciting it was to photograph in this dense fog, which is a fairly unusual happening in my hometown. The ethereal quality the fog imparts to otherwise ordinary scenes was remarkable. The stable lighting allows one to concentrate on composition. Another fundamental truth of photographing in fog is that your physical distance to the subject matter becomes very important. The closer the subject, the more details are revealed, and vice versa. No zoom lens is going to make that distant tree obscured in the fog any clearer. If you want it clearer, you’ve got to move closer. This was as much fun as I’ve ever had photographing anything. Ever. I hope it happens again soon!
Two more foggy images. I neglected to mention earlier in the week that the black and white conversion was done using Lightroom. I also just noticed, the day after posting, that my image sizing was a little off, cropping off the right edge of these photos a little due to my wordpress theme limitations. Darn it! I have fixed that, a day late.
Even man made objects can be made to look extraordinary by the fog. I remember photographing this bridge during a summer photography class back around 1980 or so. That time it was in bright sun to illustrate the concept of contrast for a class assignment. This time it was a little different, this scene is probably as London-like as you’re ever likely to see in Wichita, Kansas.