Sunday, December 20, 2009

Old Apple Tree

I found this old apple tree loaded with apples and no leaves. I saw this as a unique scene and was thinking all along of a black and white image, except for the red apples. This was edited using Photoshop©. The red in the barn just happened to be about the same red as the apples. BTW I did not spend a lot of time in Photoshop and perhaps more could be done to this image. To me, this is more of a mood piece. The red really stands out in the late fall landscape which is devoid of bright colors. Any thoughts on this?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

December Newsletter Now Online

Here is the link for the December 2009 Newsletter.

Best wishes to all for a Happy and Safe Holiday Season.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Wading Birds on the Waccissa River

I took the chance to photograph wading birds on one of the most scenic rivers I have ever had the chance to paddle. The Waccissa River is a spring-fed river located in the Big Bend Area of Florida. There is very little current and it is easy to find wading birds that are not overly shy. This Little Blue Heron was capturing and consuming crawfish at a rapid rate. Fortunately, it did not gulp them down quickly. Instead, it gave me the opportunity to photograph the mid-day meal. I found an Ibis walking a log much like a gymnast on a balance beam.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Grinding and Boiling Sugar Cane

I had the opportunity to join my friend Buddy Gunn and others in cane syrup making near Havana, Florida. They started with mules turning the press, but making a mule making actually work was a chore. So, they used a diesel mule - 4 X 4. Very old time process and a tradition kept alive in some parts of the South. After extracting the sugar solution out of the cane, it is boiled down. It will take more than 20 gallons of solution to make approximately 1 to 2 gallons of cane syrup. This is much like making maple syrup in Michigan. This was a good way to wrap up the trip to Florida.

Last Day in Florida

This looks to be my last day in Florida and it has been a good trip. I have been able to capture a couple of good images, mostly on the beach at St. George Island. The weather has been o.k., but not great. Two days of camping and two days of visiting with friends for the Thanksgiving Holiday. In some ways this has been a special trip - re-connecting with friends and the time spent outdoors.



Thursday, November 26, 2009

In the Dunes


Another from the series on St. George Island in Florida. The skies were very overcast and I was looking for the great light. That came a little while later.

Greetings from Sunny Florida


Finally, after two days of clouds and cool temps some sunshine. Here is the sunset that I captured along the beach last evening. This may get more processing later. There are many more images to be posted later too.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Finally Updating Western Gallery

I have been putting off updating one of my galleries that has had some coding issues. Finally determined to get it done tonight and it worked. If anyone is interested here is one of the new/old images from White Sands http://www.tomhaxbyphotos.com/galleries/WestHTML/WestGalleryHTML_4.html What an awesome place!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I have been feeding the birds in the woods for a couple of weeks now. Mostly chickadees, but sometimes a brave nuthatch when I am nearby with my camera. I will have to go replenish the seed stock today. Will probably get shot as this is opening day of deer season. I should put a big bulls-eye on my back and place my tripod upside down on my head. Then someone can bag a three-pointer to stuff and then mount me on their wall.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Places For Photography

If I did not have a day job, and therefore the time to travel with camera, here are the top ten places that I would like to visit, but not necessarily in order:

1.Redwoods in California - One of the most mystical places in all of the world.
2. Anywhere in Oregon - They have spectacular mountains, wildflowers, waterfalls, deserts and coasts. What more could a nature photographer want?
3. The Badlands of the Dakotas - Have never been there and few have really, really taken the time to capture the spirit of the Badlands.
4. The Smoky Mountains - I think I could wander there forever with a smile on my face.
5. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan - Have never had the good fortune to photograph a wolf, not that it would be easy.
6. A cypress swamp anywhere in the Southeastern US. Preferably during the cooler bug-free months.
7. Alaska in the Fall - Big game wildlife, fall colors on the tundra, northern lights, mountains such as Denali, Wonder Lake. Better in the fall than the summer with the crowds, lack of a night sky, mosquitoes on the tundra and the expensive prices.
8. Zion National Park - I have seen so many fantastic photos from there. All iconic and maybe over done, but still beautiful.
9. The Deserts of the Southwest - Getting off of the beaten path to find the hidden beauty.
10. White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. Pure gypsum sand dunes surrounded by mountains and amazing skies.
10 a. So, I have to add one more which is close to home. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. A little piece of natural beauty.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Starry, Starry Night

Who would have ever thought that November along the Great Lakes would see a clear night for viewing stars. The normal pattern is for stormy weather as the season's change - think Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, which occurred in November on Lake Superior. So, I tried a star trail photo and here is what I came up with: This was a one hour exposure and it took an hour to write to the flash card. This was taken on the jack pine plains of Central Michigan as far away from city lights as I could get. The only better place might be the UP of Michigan. The tough part about this, besides the cold temperature, was being able to see through the viewfinder. It was that dark. I waited in the vehicle and read a good book while waiting for the one hour exposure. It took another hour to drive home and I waited for the image to finally load to the card. I may try this again some other time when the skies are clear.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

At Home

What a trip it was to the UP! Six days and over 1,300 miles and hundreds of photos. Here are two several that did not get posted earlier. Another take on Miner's Castle and Lake of the Clouds. Unfortunately, the colors were not yet in evidence at the Lake of the Clouds and I had to head back towards home. Also, a more intimate landscape shot of aspen in a rainstorm. This was tough trying to keep myself and the equipment dry.





Wet Aspen in a rainstorm on the Keweenaw.








Another shot of Lake of the Clouds.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Still in the UP


There was a rainstorm of biblical proportions in the Upper Peninsula yesterday. So, I made it a travel day. This morning the waterfalls were really running. Here is one from Munising Falls. Unfortunately, I ran into a photo group. Not much fun jostling for position to get the same photo as the rest of the group.

Unlike the Munising Falls in the morning, I pretty much had the view of Miner's Castle to myself. What a glorious sight. One of the turrets fell into Lake Superior in April 2008. Most geologic events such as this happen at a less than glacial speed. This was very unusual. Here is the photo:


Miner's Castle on Lake Superior. Wonderful light and a beautiful scene.

Monday, October 5, 2009

It Does Not Get Any Better

This post is not about photos, it is about life. There was a young couple that I met at a campground in the Porcupine Mountains. They had their two young children with them. Yes, it was a little chilly, however their daughter was bundled in mom's lap and being read a bedtime story by the campfire. I found out later that their daughter appreciated the marshmallows the most. That's what it is all about. Spending quality time with children and passing something along to the next generation - the love of the great outdoors and the willingness to spend quality time with the children. Thanks Pete, and take good care of your family.

Fall in the UP

One last chance before winter sets in..... So, I had to head to the UP for some fall color. Here is some of what I found:

Sturgeon River Gorge





Lake of the Clouds








Presque Isle River








Iconic Bond Falls








Something Different

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Model Shoot


Trying something different cannot hurt, can it? With the held of Todd with the Traverse Area Camera Club a photo session was set up with models. This is Sierra who was graceful enough to put up with my awkwardness in photographing people. Here are a couple more:







Sleeping Bear Dunes

One of the magical places to photograph in Northern Michigan is Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. This morning I headed out early to catch the sunrise above the well known "Dune Climb" This was another in a string of marvelous September days we
have had.

Comments are always welcomed.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Reflections and My Hometown

This reflection was taken on my trip to the Porcupine Mountains in June 2009. This is an image that I have perhaps overlooked. Yes, I did throw a pebble into the water to get a small ring, just to make it apparent that this is a reflection.




The photo of Cincinnati, Ohio, my hometown, was taken in August 2009 from the Kentucky side of the Ohio River. I do not usually do a lot of photos of man-made objects, but exceptions can be made.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Freedom Concert

I attended a Freedom Concert in Cincinnati, Ohio which features Sean Hannity, Charlie Daniels, Lee Greenwood, Michael W. Smith, Billy Ray Cyrus and others. Here are some of the images.






Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Close to home

Sometimes you do not have to go very far to find great photos. In this case, these two images were taken in my yard. The first was from a seed mixture that I planted and the second is from my native wildflower area.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Photos from the past

This was taken in New Mexico in February at the Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Funny, how I never did anything with it until now. What I love besides the lines of the sandhill crane is the great color palette in the background.


This was also taken in New Mexico at White Sands National Monument. One of the most scenic and iconic places in all of the country to photograph landscapes.

Friday, July 31, 2009

More Summertime Photos

The Point Betsie Lighthouse at sunset. This lighthouse is photographed often, even in winter. I do wish that they would get rid of the Lombardy Poplars that really do not help with the composition.




This next image is an experiment, though not original. A piece of glass treated with Rain-X and sprayed with water was suspended over some flowers. The goal was to get the flowers to show in the water droplets. Very shallow depth of field made it tough to get the bigger drops and the smaller drops in focus. Comments are welcomed.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gordon Lightfoot Concert

Went to the Gordon Lightfoot Concert at the Interlochen School of Arts on July 22, 2009. Really good show. Here are a few of the pics























Friday, July 10, 2009

July Images

Here are a few images that are from the height of summer. Hope it is a good one. The one on the left I will call "Last Light" because it really was the last light.






So ends another Cherry Festival in Traverse City. The weather was fantastic all week and the crowds were huge. Fireworks are one of the most difficult things to photograph. They are unpredictable, unless you are one of the technicians setting up the show.

Monday, June 22, 2009

From the Porkies

Have been spending some time in the Porcupine Mountains in the UP of Michigan. This area is also known as the Porkies. It has been a very interesting couple of days. I saw one bear butt - that is the rump of a bear crossing the road. Later I saw the whole bear. No pics unfortunately. I did get this image of the Presque Isle River. This has to be one of the most scenic rivers.




The next image is a sunset on Lake Superior. The weather was often foggy, but fortunately the fog cleared for an evening sunset on Lake Superior. Am still trying to get used to a new camera and new software for processing. It will be a struggle for awhile - especially the software. Unfortunately, the new photos from this trip will not be ready for the Elk Rapids Show this Saturday, June 27th. This is more a matter of being around to print in time to have them ready by Saturday.








Speaking of fog. Here is an image of thimbleberries (too bad they are not ripe yet, they are delicious) in a foggy pine stand. This was shot with the Nikon D700 set on a vivid color setting which mimics traditional Velvia Film.






There are at least two varieties of lupine. In Michigan there is the native lupine which is critical to the Karner Blue Butterfly. The other is an escapee from gardens. These escapees were all over the UP. Regardless, they are very photogenic.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Irises

Here are a couple of photos of irises taken yesterday. Fortunately, the wind was not too bad and the light was pretty good. If you have noticed, there are a lot fewer landscape images of late. The lower peninsula of Michigan is a difficult place for landscapes. Lots of private property, development, powerlines, buildings and in general difficult places to shoot. There is of course the lakeshore around Sleeping Bear Dunes and forest areas which shine in the fall. Light and skies become the keys then. Often it seems that the skies are all blue or all clouds - not good. Light in the fall is the best. Soft and colorful along with the fog and dewey mornings. Thanks for checking the blog. Comments are always welcomed.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Still trying out the Orton Effect which I really like as a artistic rendering of a photograph. I believe that it works best with a lighter color that can becomes the glow in the image. Comments are always welcomed.



Monday, May 25, 2009

Straits of Mackinac

This Memorial Day Weekend I took a trip to the Straits of Mackinac. I passed many cemetaries on during the trip. It is was nice to see that so many have taken the time to honor our heroes who have sacrificed so that we may live in freedom, by placing flags on graves and paying their respects. Thank you to those who have served and to those who continue to serve.


The skies were mostly void of clouds, which is a killer for landscape photography. I did what I could and got a few good images. The Mackinac Bridge has probably been photographed millions of times. However, I have only had several chances and took the chance that there would be dramatic light. This is actually a 25 second exposure. I wanted to show the motion of the cars coming over the brige.

The second image is an abstract close-up of a tulip. This was taken with a macro lens and 3 extension tubes to allow an extreme close up. Feeling more comfortable with the camera and equipment allows me to try different things. Any thoughts on this????









The next image is a small field of Indian Paintbrush wildflowers. This was difficult because I was laying on my stomach and the black flies were swarming. Try concentrating with black flies on your ears, in your eyes and trying to fly up your nose!!









Finally, in another attempt at the Orton Process, these trilliums lining this road are not out of focus or dancing in the wind. This is a photographic effect that I am really liking.