Sunday, August 2, 2015

Lovely, Shaded Waterfall in South Chagrin

Spent a very pleasant morning last week shooting the little waterfall at Sulphur Springs picnic area in South Chagrin Reservation. A bit of a scramble to get a good vantage point, but not too bad. The slate bed is slippery, so be careful if you get into the stream. After all the heat of the last week, I was quite happy to shoot from the cool water of the stream.

By about 8:30 am, hotspots started showing up in the woods. I think I stated shooting about 7:30 or so. You can see a couple of the in the upper center and right.

From the parking lot, this is maybe twenty steps, a short wade and a scramble down the side of the falls.

Lately, stacked stones are showing up at a number of the streams and little falls I've shot. Is that a thing now? Some are attractive, some, like these, seem a bit awkward. Which is why I choose to shoot around them.

An abstract of the stream bed, looking like mountains running down into the sea.

Here's the link for the picnic area:

If you decide to photograph the falls, earlier is better. The sun starts blowing out the background around 8:30 am. Technical details, 18 - 105MM, 100 ISO, circular polarizer, cable release and tripod. I let the camera choose the shutter speed after making sure it was slow enough to smooth the water. You might want to bring kneepads - there's a bit of gravel in the stream bed.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


It's Chagrin Valley Hunter Jumper Classic Time! Gorgeous, immaculately groomed hunters, fierce jumpers, and, of course, mud. Because it's Ohio and a horse show. Today was nice and cool, though, good for the horses and for the hunter riders in their nice wool hunt coats.

Looking for her next fence.

Sometimes, the rider's expressions are just priceless. He had a decent round, despite the "I'm going to die" look.

This pair knows their business.

Sometimes, the horses' expressions are priceless, too. No way, Jack!

Elegant turn out.

Cute fence.

Pure power.

Just happy to be here.

A little bit of mud after the warm-up.

Texting the critique.

The horse show mantra: hurry up and wait.

Admission is free through July 9 (tomorrow). You can find more information on their website:

Monday, June 22, 2015

Fiery Solstice Sunset, Cleveland Flats

Spent a fun evening with what seemed like a couple hundred other photographers at the Solstice Shoot in the Flats on Friday. Many thanks to Dale Kincaid for organizing the shoot and to Cool Photo Ops (Cool Photo Ops and Creative Challenges) for promoting it.

The skies were pretty glum when I arrived at 7 - gruesome Northcoast grey - and as sunset approached, the sun plopped behind a thick bank of clouds, crushing any hopes for lovely color. However, it's Cleveland and you know what they say about the weather - start packing up your tripod, and - BAM! - magic:

The clouds shredded, and the sky took fire. If you look close, you can see a bit of blur as the distant railroad bridge lowers for a train.

Tiniest sliver of a moon above the Shoreway Bridge.

The Detroit-Superior Bridge, also know as the Veterans Memorial Bridge, looking like wedding cake.

This fountain is lit with a couple of different colors in the evening. Faintly lit in the background is an old railroad lift bridge. If you want to see moving bridges, the Flat is the place to go. There's even a bright red swing bridge.

Fabulous cloud formations and reflections.

Terminal Tower illuminated in blue. I think the old warm lights looked better, but they were having fun with the light show.

I fled before the Indians game ended (If you've been in an Indians traffic jam, you know why). They must have done something fabulous, because there were fireworks over the stadium. There is nothing like driving down Huron, desperately searching the construction madness for the 77 South ramp as the sky explodes over your head. And knowing your camera is safely stowed in the back of the car, well out of reach...

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Kentucky Horse Farms: Mamas and Babies, Part 2

Lots fewer photos from our second farm - mid-afternoon light is pretty bad for photography. This was a much bigger farm. The horses all looked fat and sassy, but weren't as glowingly groomed as the first farm. Looked like a mixed group of breeds - Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses, paints. Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses don't come in paint, so at least three breeds and maybe more. The farm has over three hundred horses and is a pretty busy place. Maintenance guys were everywhere, mowing and trimming and fixing things, plus a bunch of folks working in the barns.

The mares and foals were turned out in larger groups and there was a little more interaction, but the mare still kept the foals apart from one another. It's interesting to watch the hierarchy in herds.

Wish we could have stayed another couple of days and shot early and late with better light (and cooler temperatures). The nice thing about photo tours is that we get to shoot at interesting places that normally aren't accessible. The not-as-good-thing is that you take what you get in shooting conditions because of the limited time at the location.

Kentucky Horse Farms: Mamas and Babies, Part 1

Mark Perry set up the Kentucky Horse Farms trip in May so we would have plenty of foals to photograph. Our first stop of the day had two babies. One was very busy snoozing most of the morning. The other more than made up for his sleepy buddy - running, kicking, making faces, and annoying his mother.

Fair warning, this post has a lot of photos - who wants to leave out even one cute baby photo? More family photos from the second farm we visited will be up shortly.

Yes, I am alert, intelligent, and a future racing champion:

Or possibly a flop-eared mule?

Break time:

Back to harassing mom:

 Where's my buddy?

So tired, it's easier to snack laying down.

And then a quick nap...

The snoozing baby.

Keeping an eye on Mom.

Classic mom-n-foal pose.

Looking for his friend. The mares would not let these two get close to each other. Every attempt was met with laid back ears, bared teeth and maternal squealing.

All this standing up and nursing is a lot of work - time for another nap.

Next, more mamas and babies from the second farm we visited.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Kentucky Horse Farms: Equestrian Paradise

In mid-May, I was fortunate to attend a photo tour of two Kentucky horse farms conducted by Mark Perry of NPEG. Both farms are in the idyllic countryside just outside of Lexington. Our early morning destination can only be described as an equestrian paradise. Perfectly manicured landscaping, beautiful residences, immaculately groomed horses, right down to freshly dressed hooves - less a working farm, more a bucolic ideal.

This first set of photos includes the homes and barns, as well as some of the landscapes.

The barns are all stone with oak and iron doors and stalls. Every one I looked in was pristine - almost as though only dream horses lived there.

This is the brood mare barn:

Every barn had a cupola for ventilation. And good looks.

No bit of hay, random tack, mucky footprints, just a broom, waiting to be called back into service.

Even the stall locks are pretty. Also, horse-proof.

Sturdy oak and iron doors, the most elegant barn doors I've ever seen.

Looking out of the brood mare barn into lovely green pasture.

Looking up into the cupola. There's netting up there, possibly to keep pigeons or bats out of the barn.

The event barn. We weren't permitted to shoot in there, by the request of the trainer. Lovely rolling countryside.

Gorgeous setting.

Hardy geraniums, blooming madly.

The owner's residence. In the foreground is a brick traffic circle. All the lane are paved, pretty unusual for farm roads.

View from the traffic circle, with another residence in the distance, as well as a small lake, turf track, and a spacious gazebo.

Next post: Mamas and babies