This Week at the Lake – 47/52

More snow in middle Tennessee!? We’ve had quite the winter so far. I haven’t lived in this area for long but even I know that this much snow is pretty unusual. Tuesday night into Wednesday morning we got more snow so I headed out to Radnor Lake. I got the above shot before anyone else messed up the snow on the deck by putting footprints all over it!

Other shots from the snowy morning:
Caught these bucks in a battle to the death! OK, not really. They were more just kind of playing I guess. It never looked real intense and it certainly didn’t last very long!

I really liked the framing of the trees here and cold tones.

More random texture work

I haven’t gotten a shot of this stream at all during this project. This is downstream from the dam.

I went back to the lake on my lunch break to try to get more snowy shots:

Saw this deer about to cross the road as I leaving to go back to work. I got out and ready just in time! (I wish that sign was a “Deer Xing” sign)

I also went on Monday when I got these Deer shots:

And just to say I saw the owl again, here is a shot from Friday:

And that’s it for the week!

Thanks for looking!

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Burgess Falls

This past weekend we visited Burgess Falls State Natural Area. Nothing original here, in fact I had to wait 10 minutes or so while other photographers got this same shot. I only took one shot (the one above) and then switched lenses. When the sun came out there was a rainbow across the falls, but of course once I switched lenses, the sun didn’t come back out. It really was an impressive waterfall, the trails are just too crowded for my liking. Plus, the only good shot you could get of these falls is the same one everyone else has. We took this shot then we went back to the park area to cook out for lunch. After lunch, the kids went to the playground and I went back down the trails. By then, there were tons of people swimming in the water so I never hiked to the bottom because I wouldn’t have wanted a waterfall shot with lots of people in it!
Here are a couple others I got along the way:

This was the stairway leading from the top of the falls to the bottom

And of course, a couple of the kids enjoying the playground:

If you are interested in going to Burgess Falls, check out the map

Fairly easy hikes (my kids made it!) and an impressive waterfall.

Thanks for looking!

Walter Hill Dam – Murfreesboro

Walter Hill Dam

Thanks to flickr contacts Rhonda and Donna and their awesome shots of Walter Hill Dam at sunset, I decided to ride out there and check it out. We got lucky with the sunset, it was awesome!

A Black and White World

I recently downloaded the trial version of Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro. I have to say, I like the results. Here is an example:
Here is a color photo I took at Walter Hill Dam in Murfreesboro, TN:

Here is a version that was simply converted to grayscale in photoshop (Image – Mode – Grayscale):

Here is how I would have converted to black and white before Silver Efex Pro:

And Here is the Silver Efex Pro version:

What’s the difference?
Well, I tend to like very contrasty images and silver efex pro seemed to help with that. The contrast in the last is the best, in my opinion. See the trees? The rocks? The waterfall? The building? They are all a little brighter but with out losing the darkness of the image, which I like.

So after downloading the trial version I went out with a black and white frame of mind. I decided to head over to Murfreesboro’s Cannonsburgh Village. What could be better for black and white than historic buildings?
Here’s is what I came away with:

Here are some others shots I got during my trial period:

Hills Repair... Needs Repair

Not to bad, huh? The problem? Silver Efex Pro runs for $199.95…..
I have not paid for the full version, so expect more color from me!
On a side note, I also tried out Nik Software’s Dfine. I really liked the results and it only sells for $99. That would be used for every photo, every time. I think that one may be worth it! I will try out some other noise reduction software first though, I’ll let you know what I find….

3 Parks in 5 Days

In addition to the Savage Gulf Trip we took on Thursday May 27, we all went to 2 other state parks over the Memorial Day weekend. On Sunday May 30 we went to Old Stone Fort State Park in Manchester Tennessee:

We’ve been there before, but this time we went to cook out. We had a great time, the kids even got to cook some marshmellows:

(she was not happy that it was burnt!)

Other shots from that day:

There are several great waterfalls there but they are kind of hard to get to (especially with two young kids!). I think we found a way but then it started raining so we headed back to the car.

Here are some shots from previous trips there:
Old Stone Fort State Park

The Leaning Tree of Middle Tennessee

The next day, Monday May 31, we went to Rock Island State Park near McMinnville:

View Larger Map

This was our first time at this park. Shortly after we entered the park, we saw this:

There were lots of waterfalls there but this place was a composition nightmare! None of the falls were easy to get to and I didn’t get a shot of most of them. None of them looked really great from the overlooks. Maybe I’ll go back with out the kids….

We also cooked out for lunch here and then the kids got in the water. It was packed but still fun:

My son under one of the many small falls

Other shots from that day:

(this one took a long time to get as people kept walking through the scene….)

On the way home, we stopped just outside of the park and got this:

It was a great weekend! Hopefully we will do more of this all summer…