Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Okmulgee Lake and Dripping Springs

Earlier this month I re-visited Okmulgee Lake and Dripping Springs Lake, on a nice sunny day, to explore and photograph. For anyone interested in paying it a visit, you can find it at GPS coordinates 35° 36' 01"N 96° 03' 35"W, approximately 5 miles West of Okmulgee on Hwy 56. Dripping Springs is signposted from Okmulgee Lake and is a little further to the South West.

I've visited the area a few times now but have still not ventured much further than the easily accessible parts - will need to correct that some time and really explore the hiking trails for any further vantage points and items of interest.

I was also taking this as an opportunity to test out a new polarizer filter, which I found was just a little too "deep" for my 12-24mm f/4 lens and it vignettes slightly at the 12mm end. Despite this minor inconvenience I really like the "Moose Filter" combo of polarizer and warm-up filter - just have to remember to not zoom out to 12mm!

lapping waves at Okmulgee Lake, Oklahoma

I don't know what it is really but I'm one of those that find the sound of waves lapping on the shore to be very relaxing and calming. Not that the shore here is really up for much comfort as its pretty rocky.

rocky shore and tree at Okmulgee Lake, Oklahoma

A little further to the South I found what looks to be the remains of a house. Pretty much all that remains is the foundation slab and a rock fireplace w/chimney. There is some wonderful weathering on it all and of course, its sprouted graffiti but it doesn't detract too much (I feel).

rock and stone chimney with grafifitti at Okmulgee Lake, Oklahoma

I like to make use of shallow depth of field whenever I can as I like how it pulls the subject out of the photograph. Not that I have anything against making full use of small apertures to gain maximum depth of field, just different styles for different subjects. The following selection of photographs are of the tall grasses blowing in the wind taken at different apertures and lens to cover varying depth of field effects.

windblown grass at Okmulgee Lake, Oklahoma

windblown grass at Okmulgee Lake, Oklahoma

windblown grass at Okmulgee Lake, Oklahoma

windblown grass at Okmulgee Lake, Oklahoma

windblown grass at Okmulgee Lake, Oklahoma

windblown grass at Okmulgee Lake, Oklahoma

windblown grass at Okmulgee Lake, Oklahoma

Now it was time to head on to Dripping Springs Lake. The main visitor here are out fishing for bass but it is still a great place to visit and explore, even if your interests are not in fishing.

Dripping Springs Lake, Oklahoma

A little further on to the south of this spot is a fishing dock that offers the chance to get out onto/over the water somewhat.

fishing dock at Dripping Springs Lake, Oklahoma

While it was a good subject to photograph, it was as I found out, a little too mobile to setup my tripod on to take long exposure photos. As the wind was picking up again while I was here, the dock (and end platform) was bobbing up and down pretty rhythmically on the waves.

sunken tree remains at Dripping Springs Lake, Oklahoma

I need to pay another visit to the fishing dock to try and capture a sunset over the water as the trees should give great shadows and silhouettes as the light reflects off the water. Just have to time it when there's a great sunset in the making.

New post(s) and photos coming soon

While there may be a pretty sizable gap since my last post, I haven't neglected my photography. Far from it, actually. I have ventured back to re-visit the Okmulgee Lake/Dripping Springs area (viewers of my G+ posts will have seen some photos there) and I have also been experimenting with some long exposure macro photography (again, posted on G+).

I am in the process of creating blog posts to give additional details on location, subjects and techniques so please stay tuned as they will be posted soon.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Return to the park

As the afternoon was passing yesterday I noticed that the sky was looking photogenic, and on a whim I headed to Mohawk Park in the north of Tulsa, OK. I've visited here before and have a couple of pictures already posted on here taken there.

I seem to end up in the same general area as before but this time I spotted a small turtle on the river bank, so naturally I had to include him (her) in the shot:
small turtle at Mohawk Park, Tulsa, OK

Just a little further along the bank I found an interesting log sitting in the water, with some nice highlights - or as I found out in Lightroom, some very blown out specular highlights. I managed to tame them a bit so they don't distract too much from the image:
reflections in water at Mohawk Park, Tulsa, OK

If you ever find yourself in Tulsa, Mohawk Park is certainly worth a visit, if for nothing else than just getting away from the city and relaxing in nature.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Interesting skies

The early evening sky yesterday was definitely interesting, so much so that I grabbed my camera to get some photos. I didn't do any fancy setup or bother with any HDR brackets, instead I just set my 12-24mm lens to manual - 12mm, f/11 and prefocused to 2ft to give me hyperfocal focus from 1ft to infinity - and started shooting at ISO 100. I did step this up to ISO 200 as the light levels fell off some. I also added a -0.3EV comp to offset the contrast.

After a little post processing (levels, sharpening, noise reduction and cropping) this is what I was seeing in the sky.
storm clouds at sunset, Oklhoma

This is facing roughly South East of Glenpool, Oklahoma which is towards where there had been some storms moving through Oklahoma. This is very possibly a part of those storms, not that the Glenpool area experienced any bad weather as you can see from the blue sky above the clouds.