Hiking With My Girl

My teenage daughter often wants to hang around with me. How wonderful is that for a dad?!?!! Makes me feel like I have done something right for the last 17+ years. She is a fantastic girl, full of positivity and hope and I love her outlook on the world. I am a bit of a proud father, as you can see. Last weekend she wanted to go hiking and shooting photos with me – two of my favorite things. She drove us out to Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge as it is close-by and I really like the place.

We started by taking a trail up to a bench that faces mostly West. On a good evening you can see a nice sunset from here. The sun is setting near its Northern-most point this time of year, but in the image below you can see it peaking through the trees.

Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge sunset on hiking trail

I exposed for the highlights and brought the shadows up in Lightroom. I think it turned out nice with all of the green on the hillside this time of year. This might be a nice place on a foggy morning.

Here is my girl with her camera among the trees looking to the West. She has the Nikon D5300 that I used before I got the D750. They are both great cameras.


In the above image I was trying to get the curving, gnarly tree trunks and branches to frame my daughter in the late afternoon sunlight. I like how she is in the curve of the tree trunk. And you can see up the trail which leads to the top of the ridge.

I am always trying to get the late sun in the tall grass as I think that it looks beautiful. In the below picture, I have the trail going into the distance and the tall grass on one side lit by the evening sun, with a bit of interest in the clouds.

Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge sunset on hiking trail

I spent a lot of time processing this photo to try to get something I like. It was a very contrasted image with the bright sky and dark ground. I exposed for the highlights so that nothing would be clipped and in Lightroom I boosted the exposure and pushed down the highlights. I also messed around with the dehaze tool as it can bring out color and definition in the clouds.

We began to lose our light and as we hiked down from the other side, I took this picture on the side of the ridge. This was on the other side of the ridge you can see in the first picture above. I wasn’t really sure how the clouds were going to turn out, but I think they turned out nicely.

Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge sunset on hiking trail

That was my mini-hike and Balcones Canyonlands NWR with my daughter. Thanks for reading.

2 thoughts on “Hiking With My Girl

  1. I love everything about this post. In college, I spent many weekends on a ranch east of Marble Falls that almost borders that refuge, if I’m not mistaken. It’s beautiful country. Nothing better than time with the daughters.

    Liked by 1 person

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