(Last) Spring in the Hill Country

I know, I know… I make all these big promises about sharing more frequently then I don’t deliver. I haven’t finished redesigning my website either! I don’t know why, but posting has been difficult for me for nearly a year. It all started in March 2019 when I went on an Artist’s Date to shoot the wildflowers in bloom around Sutherland Springs. When I got home and downloaded my photos, I hated them. HATED them. It put me in a funk that I have yet to shake. Now this pandemic has us safely tucked into our homes and I’m feeling my muse return. I’ve been so out of balance for so long that I wasn’t sure there was even a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. But… I am focusing on gratitude. And in doing so, I am discovering that my computer is filled with photos I haven’t shared yet and I’m grateful for the experiences they encompass. I am filled with such gratitude for my health at the moment… and the health of my family. Grateful for delivery services. Grateful that Curtis found a job just before the world shut down. Grateful for teachers that care about my children. Grateful for neighbors who are helping each other. Everything is different.

So I thought I’d start somewhere. How about I share those photos I hated from last spring? Nothing like sharing some vulnerability to connect us together, right? (If you aren’t familiar with Brene Brown, go download all of her books immediately.)

Deep in the Heart

This was taken at the Sutherland Springs Cemetery. The Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church was the scene of a horrific mass shooting in November 2017 and it shook our local community and our entire country hard. This cemetery is a beautiful tribute to generations of local residents who have lived and died in Sutherland Springs. I love this memorial marker of Jesus with a heart carved on his chest. I submitted this photo for the New Braunfels Photographic Society‘s April theme of “Floral” for 2019.

New Braunfels nature wildflower photographer
Nikon D750 | 85mm | f/8 |{bracketed} | ISO 100 | tripod

A Beautiful Place to Rest

There was an ocean of wildflowers covering the entire cemetery. The bright sunny day illuminated the blossoms while the trees cast deep shadows. I felt a connection to the earth and to mother nature. This is a beautiful place to rest forever.

New Braunfels nature wildflower photographer
Nikon D750 | 105mm | f/9 |1/400 | ISO 320 | handheld

Peaceful Cows

Just on the other side of the fence was a herd of cows lazing in the grass.

New Braunfels nature wildflower photographer
Nikon D750 | 105mm | f/9 |1/400 | ISO 320 | handheld

Texas Country

What’s more Texas than a big blue sky, a farm, a cow by a pond, and wildflowers? I do love spring in Texas!

New Braunfels nature wildflower photographer
Nikon D750 | 105mm | f/8 |{bracketed} | ISO 100 | tripod

Indian Paintbrush

By far the most prolific wildflower at the cemetery was the Indian Paintbrush. It was a stunningly beautiful and poignant scene.

New Braunfels nature wildflower photographer
Nikon D750 | 105mm | f/8 | 1/320 | ISO 100 | handheld

By the Side of the Road

On my way back to New Braunfels, I saw this yard on the corner of a rural highway and a dirt road. I had to pull off to get a photo. This was my favorite picture of the day.

New Braunfels nature wildflower photographer
Nikon D750 | 85mm | f/9 | 1/250 | ISO 100 | tripod

Out in the Country

Almost back into town, not another soul to see for miles, the countryside of central Texas is covered with wildflowers. The variety of color amazes me.

New Braunfels nature wildflower photographer
Nikon D750 | 20mm | f/10 | 1/320 | ISO 100 | handheld

So why do I hate these pictures? I experimented that day with bracketing, taking 3 pictures in rapid succession (on a tripod): one stop underexposed, one properly exposed, and one stop overexposed. Then I combined them in post to attempt to get a richer range of highlights, midtones, and shadows. This technique is called HDR (high dynamic range). But I didn’t really know what I was doing. I think that’s why I ended up not liking this series. The colors weren’t quite right, everything felt a little too overdone to my taste, and the skies didn’t look realistic to me. But I think it’s good to share work in progress, it’s good to share an attempt at learning a new skill. My lesson took a long time to sink in though… there is growth in that attempt. Taking a few steps backward can be painful but remind you of how much you have yet to learn. Don’t let your mistakes, failures, or mediocrity stop your attempt to grow.

Soon I’ll be sharing some bluebonnet photos I took in my neighborhood just a couple of weeks ago. Some of them are truly exquisite and I’m excited to share them in the near future! Thanks for reading!

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  • Tim Keppler - I love the effect that HDR has on my photos that I take with my iPhone. I cannot fathom how the technology works – and to try to do that by manually shooting three across a tight series of f-stops would certainly be both experimental and a potentially (frustrating) learning experience. I’m glad you sucked it up and and posted these. My favorite was your Indian Paintbrush photo. What I liked was how the tombstones are disappearing. At this time of year, death is important – for without it, we’d have no resurrection. It is great when the Glory of God’s beauty can nearly wipe out death completely.ReplyCancel

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