A River Hike

Just another hiking expedition to the trails along the North Fork San Gabriel river in central Texas. We received some rain and I had hoped that the river would have a bit more water in it, but it was about the same. I enjoyed some hiking anyway and carried around the camera with only a small 35mm lens attached to limit the weight. 35mm is about midway between wide and normal and a good focal length for landscape shots. Below are some fence posts and a cactus along the bank of the river that I thought made a good photo.

Old Fence Posts Along the North Fork San Gabriel River

Carrying around just a lens with a specific focal length does make you stop and consider more carefully what you are shooting and where you stand. I tried several different vantage points for the shot of the trail below. I wanted the trail to curve off toward the center of the background and I wanted the big oak tree about mid distance in the photo. I probably walked around 5 minutes thinking about this photo and considering the shady area in the foreground.

Hiking Trail Along the North Fork San Gabriel River

Below is another trail in the tall grass that I thought looked good in the afternoon sunlight. The final picture is a bit off center and I clipped the top of the oak tree.

As it was getting close to sunset, I turned my attention to some brightly lit rocks on the opposite shore from the setting sun. The low light and still water puts a lot of texture in the rocks and their reflections. You almost can’t tell where the rocks end and the water begins.

North Fork San Gabriel River at Sunset (near Tejas Park)

I also worked on getting some sun flare through the trees. You can enhance the flare by stopping the lens aperture down and that’s what I did shooting this at f/14. It is a merge of 3 images that I shot in rapid succession by setting my camera to bracketing and continuous shooting. The sun flare have multiple lines in them from passing though all of the tree branches I suppose.

Setting Sun Through the Trees Over the North Fork San Gabriel River (near Tejas Park)

As you can see, there was no point in hanging out for a post sunset cloud show. Thanks for reading.

22 thoughts on “A River Hike

  1. Clouds are nice, but working without just makes one more aware of what else is possible. I switched from Canon to Fuji a number of years ago and then made a switch to Olympus. I enjoy carrying the much less weight with a full pack (couple zooms and body) compared with one lens and a dslr. I have no regrets, and client seem happy with the results as no one has had issues with a m4/3 images. As I got older it was nice to get the still needed results but with carrying so much less weight, especially when out hiking. Lived in Midland, TX a number of years in the 80’s working for the local paper. I enjoyed the landscape out there, the sparseness and as big of sky country as Montana claims. Nice images, Jason. And sometimes it’s just nice to get out and walk, maybe shooting, maybe not. But the mind is working looking for possibilities so one’s effort is never wasted. Have a Merry Christmas. jerry

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  2. During my early years in photography only fixed-focal-length lenses were available, so I can relate to your walking around in search of the best place to photograph something with your 35mm lens. Now I’m spoiled by good zoom lenses, and when I want to travel light I put on my 24–105mm lens, which covers everything from wide angle to mildly telephoto. Of course even with a zoom a photographer still has to look for good places to stand.


    1. I got this little 35mm f/2 lens for cheap on the used market because it was so light. I make myself go shoot with it sometimes. It does make the camera a lot lighter and less of a strain on the neck.


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