A Wild Time in the North Dakota Badlands

It’s been about a month, but we are finally around to processing some of our favorite photos of our Dakota adventure. The first  stop in North Dakota was Theodore Roosevelt National Park, where we encountered the “badlands” as well as some great wildlife. Here is one of our early views of the landscape:

DSC01361-Edit

A black and white rendition of the North Dakota Badlands landscape. I’ve always been fascinated by sedimentary rock. I also could not keep from saying, “It’s sedimentary, my dear Watson,” to Michelle.

We also encountered our first bison of the trip while in the park. Here are a couple of portraits:

I love their orange eyes!

I love their orange eyes! Print Available.

Mmmm, snack time. Processed in Tonality Pro by MacPhun.

Mmmm, snack time. I processed all the monochrome images in this post using Tonality Pro by MacPhun.

One of the highlights of the trip, by far, were the feral horses in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. We came upon this group of horses on our first morning drive of the loop road.

This was the first horse we came across. It seemed to keep a distance from the rest of the herd, thought there was one other gray horse with it.

This was the first horse we came across. It seemed to keep a distance from the rest of the herd, thought there was one other gray horse with it.

This colt was laying beside it's mother, having a snack on the grass.

This young horse was laying beside it’s mother, having a snack on the grass. Print Available.

The horse herd seemed to work together as a family unit.

The horse herd seemed to work together as a family unit. Print Available.

“Marching Orders.” Fed up with the loitering photographers, the herd decided to hike up the mountain for some alone time. Print Available.

A bit later we ran into a family of deer.

A bit later we ran into a family of deer.

DSC04881-Edit

I wonder what these two prairie dogs were conspiring about. Print Available.

This was one of my first attempts at stitching a panorama. I made this photo out of about four or five individual shots. Print Available.

This was one of my first attempts at stitching a panorama. I made this photo out of about four or five individual shots. Print Available.

All images ©2015 by Garber Geektography

Please Excuse Us: We’ve Been Out Chasing Rainbows

FullSizeRender

Michelle portrays us as the intrepid adventurers we are using her iPhone 5 and Snapseed 2.0. They just updated the app with a set of “grunge” filters right before she shot this image. It must have been fate.

Yes, yes. It has been a while since our last post. We have been image-mining, as they say, out on our Dakotas road trip for two weeks at the end of May. When we returned, I immediately began teaching a three-week intensive class while Michelle caught up on administrative work.

In the meantime, I hope my foodie picks over on the Instagram account have kept you entertained, if not hungry. I’ve been trying some new processing techniques on our landscape and nature photography, and have been quite overwhelmed by the amount of images we were able to bring back from our trip. I plan to spread those out over the next few weeks on the blog.

In the meantime, here are a few “in the field” images that we shared on Instagram and Facebook over the course of our trip, followed by something new as a preview of what’s to come. I processed all of the images below, except for the last one, using Snapseed 2.0.

Our first destination was to see our good friends Eric and Holley in St. Paul, Minnesota. Thanks to Eric for showing us around some of the chapels at Luther Seminary!

One of the benefits of camping is that I can still cook while on the road!

Here are our cameras and tripods being all cheesy as they try to capture the sunset in the northern area of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.

Benefit #2 of camping: tuckered doggies!

Of course, we don’t always have to cook. This was a refreshing peanut butter pie from Bobkat’s Purple Pie Place in Custer, SD.

For some reason my neck always hurts when I look at this photo. Checking out some of the waterfalls at Spearfish Canyon, SD.

This was on a fun day where we just ended up driving everywhere we could on some dirt roads in Wind Cave National Park, SD. Unmarked roads are the best!

In case you were wondering, rain + dirt = mud. Michelle getting down and dirty in the Badlands, SD.

We really loved the Badlands. I’m having a difficult time picking which images to process and share!

If my camera does yoga, I don’t have to, right?

For those of you who know Michelle, you know this was a major step! She’s not fond of bunnies! In other news, Wall Drug — whoa!

Our last stop was Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium. This place was amazing and we have so many photos! We’ll try to spread them out over the next few months so you don’t get bored! This is a picture of the Desert Dome.

DSC02287-Edit

A little preview of what’s to come. A magnificent double rainbow greeted us on our first night in the Badlands of South Dakota. Print Available.

All images are ©2015, Garber Geektography.

Playing with Fire and Light at the Georgia Renaissance Festival

A couple of weeks ago we went with our niece, Sarah, to the Georgia Renaissance Festival. We try to make it out there at least once a year, and had some fun playing with light this time. There are still a few weeks left to go out to the festival, which closes on June 7. Here are some of the highlights of our day:

Gargoyle

This lovely gargoyle greeted guests at the Georgia Renaissance Festival.

Love the eyes on this gargoyle who was heckling visitors (in a fun way) as they entered the gates.

I love the eyes on this gargoyle, who was heckling visitors (in a fun way) as they entered the gates.

We quickly went to the dog trick show. This border collie had fun playing with medieval frisbees.

We rushed to the Dynamo Dogs show where Michelle captured this border collie playing with medieval frisbees.

Both the trainer and the dog were great at the show.

Both the trainer and the dog were great.

This rehabilitating owl's orange eyes can stare right through you. We love the Birds of Prey show at the festival.

This rehabilitating owl’s orange eyes can stare right through you. 

DSC04058-Edit

We never miss the Birds of Prey show.

Prayers to the fiery serpents. Aaron Bonk with his flaming whips before the Birds of Prey show.

I like to call this “A Prayer to the Fiery Serpents.” Aaron Bonk with his flaming whips before the Birds of Prey show.

I love capturing fire entertainers. It does make me wish that they had some evening shows at the festival. This is from the Cirque du Todd show.

I love capturing fire entertainers. It does make me wish that they had some evening shows at the festival. This is from the Cirque du Todd show.

I caught the tail end of the joust when Michelle and Sarah were practicing their archery. I had some fun processing this with some new Lightroom tips I learned from Ron Clifford in my new cohort in The Arcanum. I used a combination of radial filters and adjustment brushes to direct the light to the main action of the scene.

I caught the tail end of the joust when Michelle and Sarah were practicing their archery. I had some fun processing this with some new Lightroom tips I learned from Ron Clifford in my new cohort in The Arcanum. I used a combination of radial filters and adjustment brushes to direct the light to the main action of the scene.

Wherever we May Roam: Tugaloo State Park

DSC00606-Edit

A gorgeous red clay road through the canola field. Print Available.

Our second camping adventure took place in northeast Georgia at Tugaloo State Park, near the small town of Lavonia. Tugaloo

An osprey we encountered at

An osprey we encountered at Richard B. Russell State Park.

State Park is located on Lake Hartwell and within a short driving distance of several other state parks such as Richard B. Russell State Park, Victoria Bryant State Park, and Hart State Outdoor Recreation Area (two of which we visited).  We enjoyed driving through the small towns dotting the area and taking pictures of the canola fields in bloom.  We hopped over to Athens one day for lunch and stopped off at the outlet stores in Commerce on the way home, so there is plenty of variety in the area to explore. We didn’t see too many restaurants near the park, and everything seems to close up early, so be sure and pack your meals!

Sunrise over Lake Hartwell.

Sunrise over Lake Hartwell. This location was about twenty steps from our campsite.

Our campsite was a decent size, very level, and covered in gravel.  We were right on the water, near a small cove for boats, canoes, and jet skis.  The view was beautiful and it was very peaceful to listen to the water as we relaxed in the shade.  We both agreed it would have been more fun to be there with a boat or kayak, but the view was nice and we were able to walk along the beach, and the dogs had fun getting muddy.  We didn’t fish or try the water or the pool—too cold—but it looked like all of the kids were having fun!  We had a fire pit, concrete picnic table, water and electric hook-ups, and a nice, clean comfort facility just steps away. And we loved having a pull-though site!

Sunset near the amphitheater, a short walk from our campsite.

Sunset near the amphitheater, a short walk from our campsite.

The roads to the camp sites were more narrow and uneven than we had experienced before, and this campground was both larger and more crowded than our last experience, but we did arrive at the tail end of Spring Break.  There were a lot of kids and families there, but it was a fun, friendly experience overall. My only complaint would be the ENORMOUS light our neighbors left on all night (the same neighbors who played the radio well after quiet hours). Some friends of ours camped there the same weekend and their grandson had a ball playing with the other kids, swimming, etc. We saw plenty of dogs, kids whizzing by on bikes, and boats making waves in the lake.  It would not be the place I would recommend for peace and quiet, or nice long hikes, but it was a fun getaway and the landscape in the area is beautiful.

While I love wide angle landscape photos, I am beginning to see the different stories I can tell with the telephoto. Here is the same sunset on Lake Hartwell from , as Obi-Wan would say, "a different point of view."

While I love wide angle landscape photos, I am beginning to see the different stories I can tell with the telephoto. Here is the same sunset on Lake Hartwell from , as Obi-Wan would say, “a different point of view.”

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.