Lately I have been struggling to find time and inspiration for taking photographs. Most of my time lately has been spent supporting other people and there hasn’t been any time for me. I did get a false start on Sunday evening for a few hours as I drove to a couple of places and got some photos that were barely worth looking at to confirm how bad they were. So, you saw nothing from me on Wednesday. Thursday before sunset I had time and good weather, so I made myself grab my camera and head out the door.
I set out on foot in my neighborhood and had no particular place in mind. There is a flood prevention pond at one end of my street, so I walked in that area because it seems almost nature-like and I thought I might be able to compose something. I came across a scene in which some bushes and cactus along an old barbed-wire fence were catching the last rays of the afternoon sun. I set about trying to create a composition that had some sort of interest without evidence of the city in the background. This made for some odd angles and getting cactus needles in one of my legs.
In the picture below, I crouched way down to try to get the fence post in the extreme left foreground and the berry bush in the background. This angle allowed me to avoid having the construction site to the left and the houses to the right in my picture. I think the picture works with the nice light and the fence leading you through the image.
For the above shot, I put the camera in live view mode and flipped open screen so I could see it from above. I then put the camera almost on the ground looking up. This shot is taken at 24mm, is a bit crooked, and I just clipped the top of the fence post, which is I think is OK. I brought up the shadows in Lightroom and applied the built-in landscape profile and a lens correction profile. I also warmed it up just a touch to get what I wanted.
Tip: I shot this with the camera set to expose for the highlights. This allowed me to get the nice blue sky well exposed and there was plenty of detail in the shadows to bring out in post processing. Exposing for the scene would have resulted in an over-exposed sky that I would not have been able to recover.
I also did a bit of a close-up on the berry plant. I looked this up and I believe it is called an Agarita. These bushes are all over the place growing wild around central Texas and I think that they look nice catching the late afternoon or early morning sun.
My thought for this was a close-up that is well separated from the background. The fence post is still there but it is grey and doesn’t distract from the bright red and green of the subject. The large juniper in the background is well blurred. This was shot at 120mm, f/4 with a cactus poking me in the calf of my right leg. Had to spend some time pulling out needles. I also applied the Lightroom landscape preset to this photo.
I also found this prickly pear cactus catching the last sunrays of the day with some buds that haven’t opened yet. I thought it stood out well and was well lit with its own little beam of sunlight.
There is a pond here as well. I spent quite a bit of time trying to find something that would work, not include garbage or the houses, and had some sunlight peaking through the trees. The below image looks kind of swampy and you may not guess that it is in the middle of an Austin suburb.
I didn’t get the reflection in the water that I wanted nor did I get a sun sparkle through the trees. I don’t really love this image, but I wanted to use it to discuss the scene I was in with this photo shoot. I was attempting to get out and shoot something but I wasn’t anywhere pretty. I was able to walk around my neighborhood a bit for an hour and with some careful framing, I think I got some decent landscape photos in the middle of town.
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