June has been a very good month for photography! Morning colors have been good. Evening colors have been spectacular. The rain hasn’t placed a huge burden on outdoor photography and in one particular instance enhanced one of my photos! The latter part of the month is when I captured the bulk of my photos.
I’m grateful that I’m able to take interesting photos. My photos are the result of practice, patience, and persistence. If I’m being honest, there was a lot of frustration too! You know the 10,000-hour rule? Okay, maybe one doesn’t need to practice a skill for 10,000 hours. Maybe it’s 50. Maybe 200. Perhaps, it’s 6,482. The concept is simple. The more time and effort one practices a skill, they will master that skill. Some use the term “expert”. Yeah, that is how I approached photography. Continuous practice and learning.
At the end of the day, I just like taking photos.
Back to June. I share my photos on social media channels and on my blog because I hope someone will find peace or inspiration within my photos. Perhaps one of my photos reminds you of a certain time of your life. If my photos make you happy, I’m happy too! I’m also thankful for the reactions my photos receive from family, friends, and followers especially recently.
Let’s explore some photos I captured in June.
The morning of June 17th was a bust at first. I went to the marina at Knox Lake and I wasn’t satisfied with my results. I did not share any images of the morning. When I left, slightly disappointed, I noticed the sun had broken the horizon and cast a nice golden glow. I did not get a view like this at the lake. There is an obvious, to me now, elevation difference. I pull off at the first road I come across and grab my camera and tripod. I set up on the road and took just two photos. I was pressed for time, but I didn’t want the morning to be a total loss.
The morning of June 18th was absolutely gorgeous. I was in awe of the rapidly changing colors over the course of half an hour. This time of year I arrive onsite at 5:30 AM and stay until the sun crests the horizon. Sometimes I will stay until about 6:15 AM. This was one of those sunrises that you just cannot stop clicking the shutter button. I was extremely satisfied with the views this morning.
I was excited for the morning and was still carrying the momentum from the sunset the previous evening. I was looking forward to more dramatic colors to begin my day. Mother Nature had other plans. The cloud coverage was thick and there was a lingering fog hovering over the lake. I decided the right thing to do is doing what I came to do: take photos.
I looked for an interesting subject hiding in the fog. At Kokosing Lake there is an island of trees that, with enough imagination, look like a little mountain. The group of trees was the only subject available to which I could get my camera to focus on, besides geese lurking on the lake. They are always there though.
In the evening, I re-visited Kokosing lake, this time standing on top of the dam that presents a wide view of the lake. As the day progressed, the weather changed for the best. The fog lifted and the sun came out. As with most days, I spend my day glancing at the sky often with an attempt to predict the sunset. It’s more like a lucky guess because I have been wrong in the past and missed out on some great opportunities for landscape photography.
On the morning of the 20th, I was back out to Kokosing Lake. I believe I woke up later than I normally do and I felt late to the party. I jumped out of bed and ran for the coffee pot. As I was brewing my morning pick-me-up I frantically gathered my gear. The coffee wasn’t completely finished but it was after 5:30 AM and I filled up my cup about a third of the way.
I’m focused on the road and sipping my coffee. After I arrive at the lake and set up my tripod I notice one key element is missing… clouds! In my opinion, clouds make the photo. Sunlight bounces off the clouds for those awesome colors.
The sky this morning began as completely flat and uninspiring. As I stood there and watching the seconds tick by to the six o’clock hour, there was a singular cloud putting on a show all by itself. And then another decided to join. This morning I stayed much longer than the sun cresting the horizon.
I decided to stay for about 20 more minutes as the sun rose to see if anything interesting will happen. The sun was bright and vibrant and anglers decided to test their luck on the lake. While I was capturing the sun a small boat passed in front of my camera. I snapped several shots since I now had a subject other than the non-existent vibrant clouds.
I didn’t see the sunrise this morning. I decided to sleep in so I have no idea how the colors were this morning. I did, however, take a drive to visit the Clear Fork Reservoir which I had never been to. I have driven past it so many times in my life, but I never felt compelled to stop.
I have been to many lakes before, but this was the most difficult to access. I drove around the lake and one thing I noticed is there was an abundance of places to pull off into the grass with a path leading through the woods. I wasn’t feeling up for a hike today. I did find a picnic area, but again access to views of the lake is limited. Only a few breaks in the trees provided views of the lake.
The best, and only, view which provided vast viewing of the lake is at the corner of Gass Road and Lexington-Ontario Road. This fact must be well-known in the local area because a fairly large parking lot is at the corner. Minutes after I stopped four more cars stopped as well. My subject was patiently waiting next to the parking lot.
This morning was a rarity. After I woke up I did the first sight test and was greeted with rain. I stared into the darkness looking for hope through the trees. My eye caught something. It looked like the ever so faintest hue of pink. Nah, perhaps it’s just a streetlight. I bop around looking past the leaves and limbs. I’m convinced the sky has something in store this morning among the raindrops. I second guess myself. After a few seconds of internal dialogue, I grab my gear and go to Knox Lake without any expectations besides getting rained on.
I find a tree to hide under and set up in anticipation of nothing. The tree canopy is keeping me and my camera mostly dry and I begin snapping photos of a very faint spot of color in the sky. I am determined to stay until the official sunrise no matter what. As each minute raced towards the sunrise, the sky decided to put on a show despite being cloudy and rainy. I have my shutter release cable in hand and I am trigger happy. There was a wide range of colors this morning.
I glanced at the sky during the day watching the white puffy clouds on display the entire day. It seems on days like this the sunset will be worth watching. I don’t know if there is any correlation between puffy clouds and beautiful sunsets, just an observation. I take my chance for capturing the sunset at the Kokosing Dam and lake. By the time 8:00 PM came the puffy clouds broke up and some went home. There were enough clouds left to make for an interesting sunset.
This has been a great day for photography and the results were satisfying.
I was able to catch the sunset on this day. I wanted something different. I’m drawn to water which is evident in my photos. I’m not entirely sure why, but I appreciate and respect the power of water in ponds, rivers, and lakes. I also appreciate the rolling landscape in Knox County. I really need to carry a notebook to write down locations with the potential of a great capture. A few locations came to mind. There wasn’t any cloud coverage, but the sun setting behind the tree line made for an interesting photo opportunity capturing the sun rays. I took two images one at a long focal length and another at a short focal length.
On the morning of the 25th, I was back at it again with a 5:00 AM wake up call! I noticed a partly cloudy sky which is one ingredient in a stunning sunrise. I drove out to Kokosing Lake and set up among the geese. I’ve noticed that between 5:30 AM – 6:00 AM the geese are on the shoreline and it looks like they are grooming themself. It’s not just a few geese either, there are at least a hundred taking turns in small groups. It’s neat to see and we have grown to accept each other. I’m only 20 yards from them during their grooming session.
This morning wasn’t fabulous, but it wasn’t a total letdown either. There was some color, but not the colors I would have liked if I could choose the palette of colors of the sunrise. After looking through my captures, I was satisfied with the result. It could have been raining and without any colors.
During the day, I believed in the power of the sun so much so that I just knew there had to be more waiting at the end of the day. I decided by noon to make it a point to watch the sunset. After supper and a short hour nap, I geared up yet again for a lake visit. When Cirrus-type (high altitude wispy clouds) clouds begin to form this is usually a positive sign of stunning colors.
This morning provided a weird purple-blue hue to the sky over Knox Lake. I didn’t think much of the drama going on in the sky at the time of the photoshoot. I liked the look of the clouds and the reflection of color onto the lake bed. I captured a series of shots at different focal lengths providing a similar, but different look and feel to the image. My favorite part about watching a sunrise is that it can take a turn without notice. It can be dramatic and then become colorful instantly or the sky can unleash heavy rain. Other times, the clouds will just twirl and move like a wave in the sky holding onto what color it began with.
Little did I know at the time of snapping these photos there would be a funnel cloud spotted eleven miles down the road in the evening. I missed out on the fun, but an image from a security camera made its way around Facebook:
That’s a Wrap!
I share the latter part of June with you and I hope you are inspired to capture the morning colors and the evening sun. As my weekends become free for the next two months I’m looking forward to taking day/weekend trips to capture more of what the Ohio landscape has to offer. I would like to spend time at Lake Erie and the Ohio River. We’ll see how this all play’s out.
Take care. Do good. Capture the moment.
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