Hiking Trail Details

Wow, I haven’t posted a blog in about a month. I have been busy moving from one house to another and the amount of constant work involved in that process has put me out of my usual routine of getting out a few times a week and trying to photograph something. But Sunday afternoon, after working around the new house much of the day getting unpacked and settled, I made time for a hike.

It was a clear afternoon, warm but not hot, and I went out to the Balcones Canyonlands Wildlife Refuge for a hike. The sky was clear and cloudless, so I wasn’t really inspired by any wide sweeping vistas, but the late afternoon light was fantastic. So I set about trying to find a few details to shoot that would benefit from the light. It’s late summer and the long grass along the trail is tall and becoming golden, so I focused my attention there.

Shooting from a long focal length, 120mm in the above photo, really lets you get a nice blurred background to showoff the foreground. The blurry curved grass stalks in background work well with the in focus grass in the foreground. I also reduced clarity a bit in Lightroom to give it a bit more artsy look.

I also love seeing the grasses backlit by the sun but I have always found it a challenge to photograph effectively. In the photo below, the sun is in the sky above and behind the grasses and the grasses are glowing with golden light. I have noticed the same effect on cactus and I don’t think that I have ever really captured it well. Below is my latest attempt.

I also tried a very long zoom at some distant trees near an old stone wall. This didn’t really create the isolation of the tree that I wanted, but here it is.

At the top of the ridge I noticed the light from the setting sun on the rocks of this overlook. I set about trying to get these rocks, the view through the trees, and the curving trail in the distance in a photo. It was a battle between including the foreground and not shrinking the distant trail down to nothing. In hindsight, I might have used a longer focal length and stepped back a bit. It was kind of a quick photo along the way and I didn’t really stop to troubleshoot it. Next time I will experiment with a longer focal length.

There wasn’t much of a sunset to photograph so I headed back home. I have been thinking about getting up to try to get a sunrise at a park near my new neighborhood where I walk in the morning. The next morning would have been perfect if I had gotten out of the house earlier with my camera.

Maybe next time.

46 thoughts on “Hiking Trail Details

  1. Congrats on the house move, I hope you’re settling in well. I like the shot of the path through the trees, nice light in the distance. I keep thinking about getting up early for sunrise too … they say it’s the thought that counts, right? lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Now I wish I had stayed around that spot and worked it more. I kind of knelt down a little and took a couple of photos and moved on.
      You have some nice views of the coast where you live though, don’t you? I miss that.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That picture was taken on my front sidewalk with my phone. I got outside and saw it was immediately frustrated that I hadn’t left the house 20 minutes ago with my camera. I was up, just being lazy with a cup of coffee before my morning walk.

      I keep shooting those long blades of grass because I like them but I am not sure that anyone else finds them an interesting subject. Thanks.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I like the backlit blades of grass. Every Spring we get a lot of fiddleheads that grow in open spots. When the rising sun catches they put off a beautiful glow. Makes for a great photo in my view. But I don’t think I’ve ever thought to try to photograph a backlit cactus. Now you’ve given me an idea.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Well, I have noticed the prickly pear cactus while leaving work in the evening. There are a lot around the parking lot and when the sun is just right, the needles really glow in the back light. It always looks much more flat in a picture to me though.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. What a surprise! A post to brighten up my inbox. ๐Ÿ™‚
    As I said earlier I really like the pictures with the blades of grass and especially the one with the backlight. Glad you were able to get out at last, I am sure it felt good . That does look like it would have been a cool sunset, next time, can’t get them all!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You are welcome, the pictures made up for the “head smacks..” well at least partially. LOL! I am ready for work to end so I can go home and watch my “soap opera” as Brad calls it. Its a medical drama show though. Gray’s Anatomy. Yeah, it may have some, or a little more than some love scenes in it. LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

            1. Maybe if there was a movie in which a good dog died sadly, I would shed a tear.

              Then there is the all-time sci-fi movie tear-jerker scene of Spock’s funeral with bagpipes and everything.

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            2. Glad to know you have some emotion. ๐Ÿ™‚
              Dog dying, definitely sad!
              Spock dying? Haven’t seen it, but if there are bagpipes in it, I would probably shed some tears. Music does that!

              Like

            3. Sooo just have to ask, though I probably shouldn’t. What if the elderly couple did just save everyone in the hospital from a crazed genetically enhanced super villian with.a destroying bomb? Then would you enjoy the romantic scene of them dancing their last dance in her hospital room as she drifts away. Would you shed a tear?

              Liked by 1 person

            4. Just be glad you don’t have hormones that go crazy and make you cry! You don’t have to be embarrassed at crying at a movie, I get weepy at Hallmark commercials! I actually did shed a tear for an alien before. E.T. was cute for an alien. ๐Ÿ™‚

              Liked by 1 person

  3. that second close up of the greass is wonderful. I always like pictures that have that clear focus on an object along with a blurry background.

    I also really liked the picture of the trails throught the trees ad well as the picture of the clouds and sun behind the house.

    best of luck with your new house…

    Liked by 1 person

            1. When I moved to Leander, it was a small suburb town of 5000 that was visibly separate from Austin city. Now it is a city of 60,000 and basically part of a contiguous metro area and you really can’t tell where one suburb ends and the next one begins. There really isn’t much of a city core or uniqueness to Leander, it is basically housing for people who work in the Austin area, which describes me.

              The house where I was living was getting quite surrounded by new construction apartment complexes and I was feeling a bit choked. I moved to an established area of housing with a nicer neighborhood and not any development like that. I hope it was a good idea.

              Liked by 1 person

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