Don't fret, it's just Charles Ford's photography blog.


A Tree With Character Revisted



The weather systems aligned and we were blessed with two mornings of dense fog a couple of weeks ago here in Wichita.   I had a great time taking photographs.   This is a particular tree that caught my eye out at Sedgwick County Park.   The last time I went out for a major fog shoot here at home, I had posted a “Tree With Character”  on the blog, I thought this one qualified for the same honor.  All the post processing was done in Lightroom.

The Path

The Path.jpg



Taken before all the leaves fell from the trees at Sedgwick County Park, Wichita, Ks.  I was shooting fall color but this has had an infrared style filter applied in post processing.  I think this was one of the filters built into Lightroom.  The color version is nice too, but the leaves here were still mostly green, so I got out of hand with the filter thing.

Beer Bottle Chandelier




The only reason I’m posting this is because it was taken with my new iPhone 5s.  I waited a long time to get a phone with a good camera.  This particular indoor, fairly low light image does not stand up to much magnification, however at this size it looks pretty good.  I haven’t yet gotten the new phone outdoors to see what it can do.  It’s not replacing my Nikon, but I’ll always have it with me, which of course is not the case with the big DSLR.    By the way, this is a light in a local Mexican restaurant.

Fall at Beaver Pond




Another 2008 image from Acadia National Park.  This was among the very first images I took in the park.  We had arrived at Bar Harbor in the evening, and I took a little recon drive into the park.  I recall driving around a curve and two things hit me….first I recognized this was beaver pond which I recognized from my trip research, second…wow!   I HAD picked the right week to visit, fall color looked to be peaking inside the park.   I wasn’t alone either, there were at least five cars parked along the road , and five to ten photographer with tripods shooting the trees and glassy water in the fading light.  I pulled over, found a spot, and took a few photos myself of course, the best of which yous see here.

Boulder Beach




Wet rocks.  I traveled almost two thousand miles from Kansas to Maine, to take photographs of wet rocks.   Because that’s what we do.  (Fortunately,   I came back with a lot more than wet rock photos.)  These are the particularly photogenic rocks of Boulder Beach in Acadia National Park, Maine.  This location is along the shore just north of the Otter Cliffs in my last post.   The waves have worn these rocks super smooth.  Generally, they range in size from baseballs, up to watermelons.  Of maybe softballs to footballs.   Most of them are grapefruit sized.   You get the idea.   I must add that the entire “beach” is composed of these rocks at this spot.  It was very difficult to walk around and use a tripod.  Not an ankle friendly environment, especially in the rain.   The plan was to be here for some super cool sunrise photos-but there were low clouds and rain, no sun – one has to improvise.   I re-post processed this one recently and am quite fond of it.


Otter Cliffs




I’ve been revisiting some old images, and found this one from a 2008 visit to Acadia National Park in Maine.  This one was overexposed but I was able to extract some lost detail and color in the sky, much to my surprise.  Shooting RAW is the only way to fly!   I believe that’s Otter Cliffs in the distance.  I love Acadia – it’s a do-not-miss destination especially if you time it right, and visit in the correct one to two week period for fall colors.   (Which varies year to year of course-usually sometime in October.)

Tora! Tora! Tora!


This years Wichita Flight Festival featured the Tora Tora Tora airshow.  Flown by members of the Commemorative Air Force based in Texas, the show gives the audience just a taste of what it looks like to be attacked by a swarm of Japanese aircraft.  It is a recreation of the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.  The group takes pains to explain the show is not a glorification of war, but rather a dynamic history lesson about the event which propelled the U.S. into World War II.    As I understand it, most if not all the Japanese planes in the show are very accurate reproductions, which were constructed for the major motion picture Tora Tora Tora from 1970.

The show is very enjoyable, something I will not soon forget.  World War II era aviation has always been an interest of mine.   Although I’m sure all the flying is choreographed, from a photographic standpoint (from someone who had never seen the show before), it was chaos and mayhem.  I’ve never attempted to shoot such an event, I was reasonably pleased with the outcome.   The show includes lots of explosions and smoke, which definitely adds to the experience.

I’ve posted these photos as a gallery, please feel free to click and enlarge!  Amongst all the Japanese planes, you’ll see a lone American P40 Warhawk in there.  I’ll have more of that great plane at a later date.





From the Wichita Flight Festival airshow last weekend.  Above, we have Otto the helicopter, flown by pilot Roger Buis.






This is pilot Kent Pietsch flying his yellow plane through one of the more sedate maneuvers.  I just like the smoke trails for photography purposes.  Pietsch later landed his plane on top of a truck.  (Well, there was a little flat platform on top of the truck, but still…..









These last two are pilot Jason Newburg in his Pitts Viper aircraft.

The Fires Of Sunset





Sunset storm in Wichita, Kansas  about an hour ago.  My next few posts were supposed to be airshow photos, but this sky thing happened tonight so I ran out for a quick snap.

Ford Shoots Ford




Last year around this time I posted a “Ford Shoots Chevy” photo from the Blacktop Nationals car show.  This year it was a Ford that had the best hubcap for a self portrait.   So there you have it!

Hood Ornament Bonanza












From the Blacktop Nationals car show in Wichita.


Ford Out Front



Just a couple of Ford related images from the Blacktop Nationals car show in Wichita a couple of weeks ago.   I love the details on the old cars.   I was going to say I love the details on the old Ford’s, but I see that in the mirror every day wink-wink.




AMC Pacer!




I just returned from two hours of exhausting walking around at the Blacktop Nationals car show in Wichita, Ks.   I haven’t had time yet to do any real post processing work on the material, except for these two….this is for you Ken Bello!   Knowing  you are obsessed with the classic AMC Pacer, one of the great misunderstood genius car designs of modern times, when I saw this, I immediately knew I had to share.



Oh yeah, this is what the Pacer on the top was sitting on…..




Ladybug On The Vine




Ladybug (Known as “Ladybirds” in Britain, according to wikipedia – you crazy Brits!)  are actually a beetle of the Coccinellidae family for all you bug science nerds.   I only know this because I just looked it up on the internet just now – thank you Al Gore.    Anyhow, my wife has a very personal connection going on with this particular vine growing on a fence here, and also has a very personal connection lately with ladybugs.   It would make sense if I explained but that’s for her to reveal, not my place.  Suffice it to say, when ladybugs appeared all over THE vine on Saturday morning it was a big deal.  I was instructed to “get a photo”.  

I’m not an insect photographer, or even a macro photographer, but I did the best I could.   I discovered two things….lady bugs are small…..and working with incredibly shallow depth of fields is a challenge.  I was going handheld, next time I should use a tripod.   I came away with a couple hundred frames, of which about ten or so were keepers.   We liked this one because it shows a ladybug and the vine in context together.   I salute all you insect specialists, it isn’t the easiest photography is it?   Ladybugs are probably about the easiest to shoot, they don’t move around very much, for which I am thankful.  I used my Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 zoom with my Canon magnifier lens thing threaded onto the front for this exercise.


Jet Power



This is an image I unearthed while re-processing my air show photos from 2011.  ( I have all the originals but lost my Lightroom edits in my tragic double hard drive disaster.)  My main website is run by Smugmug, and they have just unveiled a massive redesign of the whole operation.  Photographers are going to have to re-design their websites, there is much grumbling on the Smugmug forums about it, however many people are pleased with the new customization and appearance features.  I’ve redesigned my site at     The website redesign has given me a little shot in the arm of photography enthusiasm, which is a good thing.

The Mists Of Time




I call it the mists of time because that sounds more poetic than “slide scan of smoke in the Grand Canyon”.   The year was 2003, and there I was with my new Nikon N80 film SLR at the Grand Freaking Canyon.   There were fires in the area that dropped smoke into the abyss, which depending on your point of view might have been either a good thing or a bad thing for photography.   I am working my way through some scans, this is the first one I thought was blog-worthy.   Working with these .jpg scans makes me appreciate all the more the beauty of shooting digital in RAW.

Someday I may tell the tale of how my cell phone died on the day this was taken, preventing me from checking in with my fiancee (now wife) back at the hotel in Sedona.  OK, if you insist here’s the short version…   When I hadn’t arrived back safely when she expected me, she started calling the authorities, thinking I had “fallen in”.  Apparently the park service, the Arizona highway patrol, and perhaps the Boy Scouts were on the lookout for me.   I was in trouble when I got back to the room.   Oh and none of the agencies looking for me found me.

Happy Fourth of July




It’s not midnight here yet, but getting close, so I can still wish everyone a happy July 4th.   As I sat outside, watching the neighbors explode giant (illegal in Wichita) mortar shell type fireworks over my house, suddenly I thought I should run in here and do a blog post.   In the interests of full disclosure, it should be noted that all these fireworks photos were taken at the Wichita Riverfest, which is not in July.  The ones with the bridge and Keeper of the Plains statue are from May 2007, and the other one from May 2009.    Still, they seemed appropriate, and a good subject to try posting a gallery instead of a single image.

Alright, back outside to man the hose!


Famous Since 1891



When in the heart of Eureka Springs, Arkansas one is confronted with these giant signs painted on the brick sides of this building.  I always thought they looked cool.  That’s all.

Five Balloons






Did you ever work on a project, only to find at the end it did not turn out nearly so brilliant as you had convinced yourself it would be?   Alas, I give you Five Balloons.   There were going to be six balloons, but we at the Warped Prism have suffered budget cuts like everyone else.   All the tools were pulled out for this one….Wolverine slide converter, Lightroom, Photoshop Elements, and Perfect Photo Suite 7.   It’s still photography….sort of.    Kinda.    Happy Friday!





This is from a slide, probably the late 1980’s.   There were some incredible clouds forming right overhead, lit up in shades of bright orange by the setting sun.   I remember I was having to shoot basically straight overhead, no foreground possible.   This was one of the most vividly colorful cloud displays I can ever recall witnessing.

Down The Hatch





A blast from the past.  Back in the 1980’s I was in a local park when some hot air balloons became visible, drifting slowly across Wichita.  I saw one of them was going to line up with the giant smoke stack at North High School, which was just across the river from me at the time.   I waited until the right moment and took this exposure.    There it resided in it’s boring slide mount for probably close to 30 years, until last night it met up with my new Wolverine Slide Converter gadget.   Thanks to Ken Bello for making me aware of this device.  I’ve started converting a few old slides, trying to learn the quirks of the Wolverine.   (By the way, that was almost the title of this post…”The Quirks Of The Wolverine”. )   This particular image has also had some Lightroom work done on it to make it a little more graphically interesting to my eye.   I look forward to finding other old gems.

The Meteorite Shop




One of the quirky little shops in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.   Not your garden variety establishment.   I didn’t actually go into the meteorite shop (which is upstairs apparently)….that would have involved sprinting a block to catch up with my wife to tell (OK, ask) her about going in.   I was already tired, there is virtually nothing level in Eureka Springs.    Still, it makes for a nice little storefront image.





During a stress filled trip to the Ozarks last week, after my brothers death, my wife and I managed to get away for a few hours to the charming yet baffling town of Eureka Springs, Arkansas.   A little town full of bed and breakfast’s, and shops of all kinds, it is a favorite destination.   Built on steep hills, I still haven’t grasped the geography of the town, despite many visits.  I have photographed this building facade before, but wanted to take another crack at it.  I’m not sure if 1902 refers to the year, or the street address, I wasn’t paying attention!   This is an HDR image derived from a hand held bracketed set, ran through Photomatix Pro, Lightroom, and a slight touch up using Photoshop Elements.

Life goes on, and being out shooting was a bit of a healing for me, at least a start.

A Passing




My brother died last week.  There, I said it.  It’s even hard to type.  My brother, who was also one of my best friends,  became very ill and died last week.   I got to speak to him a little before the end, but he was pretty far gone on the medications they gave him to make his condition bearable.    The magnitude of the loss is so great that most of the time I am in denial….interrupted by occasional weepy-eyed episodes.   I, and the rest of his family will miss him, and that is the understatement of the century.   Any words I type about it are going to be inadequate… I know he’s  in a better place now, but it is still hard for us who are left behind.   Goodbye Marty.