This week our family from out in Colorado came out to see us. We had my son (Bryan) and his wife (Sara), her mother (Karen), and their two previous kids (yes, our grandkids), who are 9 months (Luke) and 6 years old (William), out from Denver to visit with us. It was a short visit, but we had enough time yesterday in the sweltering heat to do some family photography out on the tree swing. This is just a small sampling of photos, but enough to see who the joker is, and who likes sitting in the grass. We haven’t seen Luke since he was born back in September when he looked like this, and they haven’t been to the property since July, when Luke looked like this. It’s amazing to see how much he has grown since then. Tomorrow they fly back to Denver where the air is thin and dry, but Nana and Popo were very excited to get to see the grandkids again for a quick summer visit.
This is one of my favorite places in our backyard, and of course if you have been around this site for a while you will recognize the tree swing, but I keep finding unique ways to shoot it. I’m working on getting all the photos on my site of this swing to be searchable through “my swing” but they aren’t all up there quite yet. Yesterday afternoon I was cutting the grass and noticed the sun setting right behind the tree and actually took this shot while I was on the tractor, mowing. I later stopped and tried to setup a better shot with Deborah in the swing but none turned out as this one did with the sun right in my face. Today it was my Project 365 photo for Day 158.
OK, so this will probably be the last post of the Spring showing our Dogwood bloom or our Wisteria, but I just love the colors so today it’s my Photo of the Day and my P365 :2012 photo [Day 114]. I don’t know if it’s all the rain we got over the winter or that I’m just another year older, but this Spring has been the most beautiful I can remember in a long time. The Dogwood blooms around Auburn were, and still are spectacular this year. The one pictured above is from our yard and is just screaming of the beauty of creation.
This photo was taken handheld, and is seen basically straight out of my Nikon D7000 camera body, with a little added saturation processing from Adobe Lightroom. You can see the full exif data from over on my Flickr site. The background blur comes from the lens I was using, a Nikon 50mm f/1.4 G version (a very fast and inexpensive prime lens), shot almost wide open (i.e. f/1.4) so the depth of field was very shallow. The purple and green, two incredible contrasting colors for a white flower, come from our purple Wisteria blooms and the trees in the background. This wouldn’t necessarily be considered macro photography (see my previous examples here), but it was shot at the lens’ minimum focal distance.
Hope you have been able to get out and smell the roses this Spring, even if they are in the form of Wisteria and Dogwood blooms.
Every year as the seasons change this tree puts on a different face. I’m guessing I have taken 100’s of photos of this one particular tree, and every shot looks different. Today we had a fog-bank cloud descend over the property making visibility a few hundred feet or so giving me this shot. The weather this year just seems freaky, like having 75*F and fog on December 6th, but in a few days it’s supposed to be below freezing. Oh well, that’s the weather in the south.
I know I post random photos on here from time to time but each individual photo I pull out of a shoot is part of a bigger set, and next year, I am actually going to do something I have wanted to do for the better part of 15+ years, and that’s Project 365 as it is so called now. Project 365 is something I will post about more later, but basically that is a project that refers to taking and posting one photo a day for 365 days. I know, sounds simple. Ever tried it? Maybe 2012 will be the year. Today this is the P365 [Day 8] photo.
That cold-ish time of year has come again, even down here in the south. On Wednesday it was almost 80*F, and now it looks like all that warm air is gone for now. One of the things we love about our house in the winter is our Lopi wood burning stove, but it takes a lot of wood too. Normally we cut and split wood all throughout the year, but the past year or two we haven’t really been able to catch up with the wood work so to speak. With all the trees down from the storm on Wednesday it’s too bad we couldn’t have just driven around Auburn and picked up all the wood, but instead I just cut my own up for today’s Friday Feet via my cell phone.
It was a little surreal driving around Auburn today in the sunshine seeing huge holes in people’s roofs, and massive trees down all over the place. I know there are still a lot of people in Auburn that are dealing with huge trees down on their property, and many with a lot of damage to their homes. Hopefully this will be the end of any more tornados for Alabama this year, this state has seen enough for 2011.
It was a dreary cloudy day in Auburn today, but almost 80*F in the middle of November, until this really fast moving storm system sort of caught everyone saying “what just happened?” These storms have now moved east doing about the same damage as they head towards the east coast. We didn’t have any damage at our place but there was pretty significant damage all around Auburn in the form of downed trees and power lines, some turned over cars, and apparently some damage to Auburn High School and Haley Center on campus. We are thrilled to hear that, so far, there haven’t been any injuries associated with the storm.
The only reason Deb and I happened to be on campus at lunch time today was to get her out of the house for a quick lunch in Foy Hall where they have one of her favorite places to eat. Once the sirens started going off on campus (see a really splotchy video here) everyone headed for the hallways and campus became like a ghost town. It’s just part of living down here in the south, glad no one was hurt. I did however get some photos while we were walking/driving around trying to get home (all taken with my cell phone here). Stormy weather always makes for such great lighting conditions, even if it is just on your cell phone.
This week was one that won’t be forgotten any time soon in the state of Alabama, especially not in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham or Dadeville, but I think in many ways the storms took so us by surprise. At the moment there are at least 320 people dead from all the related storms and tornadoes and the news just seems to just keep coming even days after the storms have passed. It took about 24-48 hours for people around here to even realize what had happened but the videos from Tuscaloosa and Birmingham are just incredible. The Big Picture has a few images from the storm at Tornadoes kill over 200, and they are bound to have more soon. Some of those photo really are worth at least a thousand words.
I am reminded that even among all the damage, the flowers still blooms, the plants still grown, and God is in charge, even if we like to think we really are. A man at a gas station tonight was showing me photos of his cousins mobile home that took a direct hit from a tornado in Dadeville and there was nothing but an empty spot on the ground with a mailbox. He made the remark to me that “what would have taken months to clear by bulldozer a storm did in 30 seconds”. Yes, the power of man is no match for the power of nature.
I took these shots today on my iPhone as I walked around our property. While we did have a tree or two go down we were basically untouched by any of the storm damage and wild flowers were blooming and corn was growing in the fields. Such an amazing contrast for just 30-40 miles away from here. Our church is taking a collection up on Sunday to deliver to Tuscaloosa, if you are in the Auburn area and would like more information please visit Tornado // Disaster // Relief. All of the photos above were taken with my iPhone today except for the one of the rain, which was taken the day all the storms hit as we were driving back from Columbus, GA. I almost didn’t make it this Friday but with 90 minutes left in the day, this is my Friday Feet post. Have a good weekend everyone.
Dogwoods are finally blooming over at our house, must mean we have about 2 days left of Spring before the brutal summer heat shows up. Either way the Dogwood blooms this year have been incredible all over Auburn and the surrounding area. I took these particular shots this morning while there was still a little fog hanging around, which made for some nice soft colors.
Hope everyone is enjoying the Spring colors (at least if you are down in the south where it’s been warm). Even though every single year our Dogwood blooms right around this time the beauty always amazes me, kind of like watching a sunrise that only comes up once a year, at the end of March.
Ok, well maybe not here in Auburn, but right now, the Aspen groves of the Rockies are ablaze with color. After flipping back over some fall photos of the last few years I came across this one, taken at this exact time of year, but at the 11,000 foot range in the Rockies. You can’t see the glorious fall colors that surround these tall pines from the photo, but at the time, it was about 40*F outside and the entire surrounding area was full of yellow aspen trees, like the one shown below. Fall has to be one of my favorite times of year, almost as much color in the fall (if you look closely) as there is in Spring.