Thanksgiving Camping Pictures

I didn’t take a lot of time to shoot photos while camping as I was mainly hanging out with family. But we were camping in a nice place and I managed to shoot a few pictures. The place that we were camping is on some family owned land North of Edna Texas. This land has been in the family a long time and mainly leased to cattle grazing these days. There is a camping area near a stock pond where we set up tents and have a camp fire. I have taken my daughters camping down at this place several times over the years, so it’s kind of a tradition.

There is a gap in the trees looking toward the camping area. The setting sun was peaking though the trees so I thought that this might make a nice photo if I could get the sun to sparkle a bit in the lens.

Tent camping at ranch near Edna Texas
Nikon D750 + 16-35mm, f/4; 35mm, f/16, 1/8s, ISO100

Didn’t quite get the perfect sparkle that I wanted but I think that the picture tells a story with the camping tent through the trees.

A little after sunset, there were a few clouds in the sky and the wind was calm so I tried to take a few blue hour pictures. The image below is an HDR merge. I liked the way the oak trees with the Spanish moss were hanging in front of the pond and the clouds were reflecting in the water.

HDR merge of blue hour over pond on a ranch near Edna Texas.
Nikon D750 + 16-35mm, f/4; 22mm, f/8, merge, ISO100

This was just a basic Lightroom HDR merge as I was primarily interested in increasing the dynamic range of the image. I think that the problem is that the pier really doesn’t read that well being so far off to the side of the image. So, I moved over to the left a bit to get more of the pier and the overhanging tree branches.

With the below series of bracketed photos, I have processed them two ways. The first image is a basic Lightroom photo merge and the second is merged with Photomatix Pro, which provides a lot of controls for the merge.

HDR merge of blue hour over pond
Nikon D750 + 16-35mm, f/4; 22mm, f/8, ISO100; Lightroom merge
HDR merge of blue hour over pond on a ranch near Edna Texas.
Nikon D750 + 16-35mm, f/4; 22mm, f/8, ISO100; Photomatix Pro merge

With the Photomatix Pro merge I got a much warmer sky, which I like, and I got a bit more range out of the tree branches and leaves. I am always worried that my HDR merges will come out looking over-baked and fake. I am going for something close to what the eye sees, but that is not always easy to judge on a computer screen. Let me know what you think in the comments.

I think that I captured a good composition with the old mossy oak tree branch stretching across the scene and the pier leading out into the water with the colorful post-sunset sky in the background. Not bad for 10-15 minutes of work.

After this I put the camera away, and enjoyed the campfire with family. I hope you had a nice holiday as well. Thanks for reading.

16 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Camping Pictures

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