Canola Road

As we were driving up I-85 to our faculty retreat at Lake Hartwell, we kept seeing these beautiful yellow fields in the distance and instantly wanted to know what they were. We saw a couple up close and found out that my guess of canola was on target.

This was the first close-up of a field we got. We loved the red barn in the background. The stalks were about 4-5 feet tall, so I had to use my tripod as a monopod to get some extra height. The dramatic sky cooperated, too. Print Available.

This was the first close-up of a field we got. We loved the red barn in the background. The stalks were about 4-5 feet tall, so I had to use my tripod as a monopod to get some extra height. The dramatic sky cooperated, too. Print Available.

After having a wonderful dinner, we rushed to Watson Mill Bridge for sunset. But even in our hurry, we couldn't pass up this Georgia red clay road bisecting these canola fields during golden hour. Michelle insisted I stop, and I think this is my favorite photo from the trip. Print Available.

After having a wonderful dinner, we rushed to Watson Mill Bridge for sunset. But even in our hurry, we couldn’t pass up this Georgia red clay road bisecting these canola fields during golden hour. Michelle insisted I stop, and I think this is my favorite photo from the trip. Print Available.

Don’t Follow the Lights!

Our time at Botany Bay Plantation in Edisto Beach, SC, brought us many surprises. The salt marshes were one type of landscape that we had not experienced, and we had a wonderfully foggy day to photograph them right after sunrise. I kept thinking of Gollum’s solemn warning to Frodo and Sam in the Dead Marshes: “Don’t Follow the Lights!” The fog helped me envision a more ethereal approach to these images, and I played a bit more with texture and color tones.

A pathway into the marshes. I wonder where it leads.

A pathway into the marshes. I wonder where it leads. Print Available.

This was the perspective that reminded me the most of the intrepid trio of Gollum, Frodo, and Sam. I gave it a greenish tinge to enhance the mood.

This was the perspective that reminded me the most of the intrepid trio of Gollum, Frodo, and Sam. I gave it a greenish tinge to enhance the mood. Print Available.

Some of the trees felt like they were creepily reaching towards the marshes, almost yearning to join their kin. I also loved how the fog shrouded the sun enough to be able to shoot into it for a different feel. It was "quite cool" the morning we were there, but  the feeling I went for here was of an oppressively humid heat.

Some of the trees felt like they were creepily reaching towards the marshes, almost yearning to join their fallen kin. I also loved how the fog shrouded the sun enough to be able to shoot into it for a different feel. It was “quite cool” the morning we were there, but the feeling I went for in post-processing was of an oppressively humid heat. Print Available.

A path into darkness. Would it be better to veer to the left and face the dead in the marshes or follow the path into the murky woods? I wonder if I might ask this tree. I played a bit with the colors in the sunlight. With the sun on the left, I toyed with the natural progression from warm to cool in the sky.

A path into darkness. Would it be better to veer to the left and face the dead in the marshes or follow the path into the murky woods? I wonder if I might ask this tree. I played a bit with the colors in the sunlight. With the sun on the left, I toyed with the natural progression from warm to cool in the sky. Print Available.

In addition to the skeletal branches stretching out over the marshes, there were single trees out in their midst. I wonder how those larger trees survived the  Battle of Dagorlad during the Last Alliance of Elves and Men.

In addition to the skeletal branches stretching out over the marshes, there were single trees out in their midst. I wonder how those larger trees survived the Battle of Dagorlad during the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. Print Available.

Afraid of a Little Rain?

February8-4

“Storm on the Mountain.” I spent most of the morning paying attention to the details and doing some pseudo-macro work. As we were leaving, though, I caught a glimpse of the rain cloud on top of the mountain and went into landscape mode. Another thing I learned about walking in the rain is that is the best time to catch some great fog and mist. I processed this as an HDR image while also overlaying some effects using the “Midnight” setting in Color Efex Pro. Print Available.

February8-3

Atlanta can be weird when it offers you a glimpse of Spring in the middle of Winter. I love the burst of color I saw in these little buds filled with rain drops. Print Available.

As many of you know, I’m teaching a course this semester called “Creation Theology, Spirituality, and the Arts.” I’m having a blast with the course and am learning a lot from my students. One of the plans for the course is to have intentional encounters with nature and to discover our own connection with it and with the divine.

Our first “experiential learning” session was Monday morning, and, of course, the forecast called for rain.
I debated whether or not to cancel, delay, or offer an independent learning session. The rain was fairly mild between 8:00 and 9:00, so I decided to go ahead with the plan.

February8-2

Michelle really liked the wispiness of this shot. Again, I was drawn to the water droplets on each of these shafts of long grass. Print Available.

Of course, when we all got there and emerged from our vehicles, the rain started a bit more in earnest. Luckily, I had read a column earlier in the morning that encouraged me to “think outside the box” even when doing theology. My friend, Carra Hughes Greer, challenged me with these words: “Maybe our quest for knowledge is a bit misguided. We see it as linear; seeking information and truth must lead to answers. Instead, maybe faith is about seeking truth through imagination, a process that is not linear and does not lead to black-and-white answers“(click the link for the full article). I’m so glad that we pressed on through the rain in order to practice mindfulness and a new way of thinking about God and practicing theology. It was a joy to see members of the class walking freely in the rain, using cell phones and cameras to record their encounters, or sitting under shelters with sketchpads and journals.

In conversations afterwards it became apparent that we all needed a jolt out of our patterns of normalcy. When rain threatens, normal people stay indoors. Normal people don’t think about a mindfulness walk at a bird sanctuary. But sometimes the spirit calls us to step out of normalcy and enter into a world of imagination.

February8

This was my favorite shot of the day. I’ve been watching a lot of Don Komarechka‘s macro work and have been fascinated with the refraction of light in water droplets. If you look at the largest drop towards the right, you can see the upside down image of Stone Mountain. Processed with Intensify Pro by MacPhun. Print Available.

 

All images ©2015 Garber Geektography.