Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Reflective Babblings.....and Camera Stuff

Looked at the Calendar and its just about mid June...... I've been busy, but not very productive....and then I've had more self inflicted aliments and wounds and have no idea how they happened...the outcome has been a series of stitches, crutches, toenail removals, physical therapy...and other sundry Bodily fix it stuff. But I'm still breathing and that means moving...so all is well.
(c)2017HorstKelly Photographer

As I recall I was going to write about the increase of visitors in our Parks here in Texas and the impact that was causing. Well, the more time I had reflecting on the issue, the less self righteous I became and the more I came to grips with the reality that more folks are enjoying the outdoors....

The only concern that still lingers is I see a decrease in the "carry in carry out" concept...more stuff on the ground.....      empty waters bottles, papers, soda and beer cans, cigarette butts, increase in noise pollution of all kinds, and sometimes less consideration of the person(s) in the adjacent campsite, and the like. Having said that, I think its a good thing that more people want to be one with nature and explore this great country,  and by the way I can still find numerous places that are isolated...I just have to explore more. :))
(c)2017HorstKellyPhotographer

I was being a selfish old curmudgeon ...Look at the Crowds attempting to summit Mt Everest each season....Now that's a real problem.

As I said I have been busy, it just doesn't show...For one, I've been attentively sitting at my computer and bidding on Camera gear on Ebay... :)) and I ended up buying a new medium format camera and a spot meter.  The camera weighs in at a hefty 8+ pounds, and then you need to have a sturdy(which equals heavy) tripod...which means I'm not in that line that's trying to scale Mt. Everest. I have shot 3 rolls and am waiting to see the results and make sure that there are no light leaks or other stuff wrong with the camera. It is in mint condition so I would be surprised if anything is not working correctly. Plus its all mechanical... no batteries..its modular. comes completely apart, and no "priority setting" to tell it what to do....
(c)2017HorstKellyPhotographer

So why go that route with a camera, when you can buy a digital that does soooo much more and will give you a perfect photo....For me its the same reason folks are enjoying geocaching, woodworking, playing a dulcimer, cooking great dishes, quilting, building houses, extreme hiking...cross word puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, and the list goes on....to keep the mind and body active...it beats going to planet fitness....well maybe not. :)) I enjoy the slowness of the approach, the decisions I have to make(not the camera)on the  manual setting of aperture and speed based on the reflective lightening, the manual focus, the composition, and the waiting for the result...for me its a relaxing and personal event where you get one shot at doing it right and doing it "not so right" makes you want to go out and concentrate even more the next chance you give yourself. In the fast pace world of instinct gratification and feedback, I enjoy the slow and deliberate process of this method of photography....Now don't get me wrong, I haven't turned into a Monk and gone off to some Tibetan Village in the Himalayans....I still need and enjoy fast food and quick fixes....bottom line I still carry my digital camera with all its "whistles and bells" with me every time I go out to shoot.
(c)2017HorstKellyPhotographer
Have my  images improved, probably not, but like the camping experience, when they say its the journey more than it is the destination. Well that is kinda how it is with this slower process of film photography....at least for me, and my enjoyment has increased ...and that my friends is the bottom line for me.

I have rambled on long enough, I'll close and leave you with some  photos and also my website has some new stuff for 2017.
Speaking of adventures, I hoping to take one to the Coast or to the Jasper, Texas area in the next 3 or 4 weeks...Camping, relaxing, and just enjoying being out...Ahhh


(c)2017HorstKellyPhotographer

     Have a terrific summer and Happy Trails, wherever that Journey may take you. Horst sends

new web photo pages:  new web photo pages link
  
(c)2017HorstKellyPhotographer

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Big Bend...A Haven for Geologists....and a Happy Easter to All

I had intended to write a second installment of my Big Bend trip before this....but sometimes higher priorities work their way into your "gameplan"...The Bride had two Day surgeries since my return...she is doing great, but I am playing the role of Chief Nurse Houlihan ...well maybe just Corporal O'Reilly....Needless to say everything else has taken a back seat.
Big Bend, By My campsite. (c)2017Horst Kelly Photographer

I did fix my(its dead honey) Lawn Tractor...knowing my limited skills, the Vegas odd makers gave me a zero percent chance of being able to get it started, much less mow a lawn....Just to let the Naysayers know, this morning I cut the Lawn....all 2 1/2 acres of the.....  :)) Also piddled with the camper and other meaningless stuff.

Ahhh, now back to my Big Bend Trip. One of the things I wanted to get into  a post was that Big Bend is a Haven for geologists. There is more diverse fossils/history of the Earth concentrated  at Big Bend than any other place in America...maybe the world. It is a geology treasure trove that spans 130 million years or so.  To give you a short introduction that puts into perspective far better than my ramblings, below is a short article ...your history lesson for Easter.

Article is written  by Amy Atwater, Paleontology Intern and posted in The Paisano, The Big Bend Newspaper.

"One hundred thirty million years of geologic time is preserved at Big Bend, one of the longest and most complete sequences of geologic time in a national park. Big Bend is also the only national park with rocks crossing the K-Pg boundary which marks the extinction of the dinosaurs.
Mule Ears(c)2017Horst Kelly Photographer
So it is not surprising that there is an abundance of fossil fi nds here at Big Bend. In fact, over 1200 diff erent species have been found, and some have been found only at Big Bend.
Signifi cant Fossil Discoveries in Big Bend: • Horned dinosaurs such as Agujaceratops mariscalensis and Bravoceratops polyphemus. The Fossil Discovery Exhibit currently has the only Bravoceratops specimen on display. • Long-necked sauropod, Alamosaurus sanjuanensis. This large dinosaur grew up to 80 feet (24 meters) long. • The pterosaur, Quetzalcoatlus northropi. This was the largest known fl ying creature of all time with a wingspan of 36 feet (11 meters). • Duck-billed dinosaur (hadrosaur), Gryposaurus alsatei. A partial skull, vertebrae, and limb bones were found along with Big Bend’s fi rst and Texas’s
second dinosaur skin impressions. • Mosasaurs (large, predatory marine reptiles) found at Big Bend may represent the oldest North American mosasaurs ever found. • Giant alligatoroid, Deinosuchus, was discovered by famous paleontologist Barnum Brown in 1940. This prehistoric alligator could grow up to 39 feet (12 meters) long. • Eighteen stumps of 2 species of fl owering tree (Metcalfeoxylon and Agujoxylon) were found in their original growth positions. This “paleo-forest” allows scientists to determine the height and density of the ancient forest by measuring the distance between the stumps and their diameter. • Mammals such as the brontothere Megacerops, the early mammal Coryphodon, as well as the “dawn horse” Hyracotherium have also been found at Big Bend." 
Big Bend(c)2017Horst Kelly Photographer notice tips of mtns through clouds

There is a Museum of sorts ...it is free and is for the most part an Open Air exhibit...but worth going to...IMHO.  I guess I'm just one of those "romantics" who looks at the ground I'm standing on and wonders what or who else stepped/stopped at this exact spot thousands or millions of years ago...I'll never grow up....there is a difference between growing up and growing old. Growing old is kinda mandatory, growing up is optional.  :))

Terlingua, Tx(c)2017Horst Kelly Photographer
I'm guessing that this post is long enough...I will do one more in a week or so  as a wrap up and my thoughts on the increase of visitors to the Park and other observations....

I have posted some more photos.  Here is the link, folder number B has the new stuff.

Appears you need to click on the photo twice to open up the folder. :( 

Big Bend Photo Albums 2017

Happy Easter to all and safe travels.  Horst sends

A little Slice of Heaven, Big Bend(c)2017Horst Kelly photographer


Sunday, March 26, 2017

The New Camping /Photography Adventure Philosophy was a Success ...at least in my Mind....


I am back from my Big Bend adventure, and what a great adventure it was.  I tried to post twice, while at Big Bend,  and somehow the posts disappeared into a computer "Black hole"....Decided to forgo the blog until I returned Home, and here I am.

My last post I was at Seminole Canyon ...The next morning I got up...did a hike around the rim and then left for Big Bend...arriving I was again amazed at the number folks at the park...doing a informal survey of looking at license plates at the visitors center the majority where out of state plates...talking to the Ranger at the visitors Center, he indicated that it had been like this since the New Year. An interesting phenomenon. More on this in my wrap up post.

I decided to stay  at Cottonwood Campground the first night, which is on the West end of the park, close to Santa Elena Canyon. I also booked some dispersed campsites out in the hinterland of Big Bend Heaven...lastly I camped on the East end. Usually Cottonwood has one or two folks at CG...This trip, by 4pm the place was filled up...has about 24 sites.  Again most vehicle's when I was there where from out of State. That afternoon I went to the Canyon to see where a good spot was for an early morning shot...I wanted to try and get a panorama shot if that was possible...with my new shooting philosophy that was going to be my one photo for tomorrow...returning to the CG, I relaxed outside the camper reading a book on Terlinqua. Dinner consisted of a pork steak, coleslaw and German potato salad.

Next morning was  at the Canyon site at about 0545, still dark...found my spot and waited for the sun to sprinkle some magic light on the cliffs....and it did....not a cloud in the sky...I slowed down, set everything up and worked the panorama scene.  Here it is.
Santa Elena Canyon (c)2017Horst Kelly Photographer


The rest of the day I hiked, relaxed, and hitched up and moved to my dispersed campsite...it was a mile and a half off the main road, little bumpy, but the end result was fantastic...what do you think.
Campsite (c)2017Horst Kelly Photographer

Ah, this is when I really feel close to my Maker...solitude,  magnificent views(IMHO), great weather and some of the best creations God molded together. Speaking of weather, one of the things to be cognizant of is that depending on where you are in the park, the temps can be vastly different... due to the elevation gain/loss..anywhere from 1800 or so feet to close to 6000 feet at the Basin.

Dinner the second night consisted of Salmon, spinach salad and Texas Bean salad...sat outside and watched the sun set....and listened to the coyotes..it was a good day!

The next 3 days I picked out some photo ops and went either in the early morning or in the evening...I did cheat a little on my one shot per day and got some photos of the Mules Ears and the  back side of the  Windows.  I changed campsites again and went to Grapevine that has 4 or so boondocking sites...the problem with that is folks drive in  to view  Balanced Rock and a lot of them don't adhere to the speed limit and kick up  limestone dust...not good for the "respiratory concerns"...so after 3 days I moved on. Found another great spot on the East side. Also had a small hiccup, though at the time it appeared more than a hiccup...my "smart" phone decided not to be smart and thought being a "SMARTass" would be more fun...it had a blue screen and said it was downloading, though it wasn't. Long story short I drove to Alpine to a Verizon outlet(200 miles round trip)...and the irony it took the tech no more than 3 seconds to have it running...I ask her what the problem was and that explanation took 15 minutes and I still don't understand. So I ask for the "trick" to fix since I don't want to have another 200 drive...Since I had the digital camera with me, I decided to take some shots on the way back to camp.

Though it was difficult to stick to my one a day shooting and I was only there a couple weeks or so..and it was more crowded than I had anticipated....I can honestly say it is on top of the list as one of my favorite trips.....I relaxed more, read more, cooked more meals, especially breakfasts(which I have always maintained is my favorite camping meal) and enjoyed the area more. I will definably keep "tweaking" this type of photo/camping approach....

I think I have rambled on long enough,  I will do another  couple posts on some of my observations, my thoughts on using the  Mamiya camera and the results,  Big Bend, and other stuff.
All alone in the Fog (c)2017Horst Kelly Photographer

I only posted a couple photos on purpose....the files are large, especially the panaromas and to reduce the size is a major headache for this NOT so techie Guy...so if you click below, it will take you to the 2017 Big Bend folder on my website.....I hope. :))


  2017 Big Bend Trip photo's

  Not all are loaded yet...so keep returning for the next 10 days or so...

Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it and especially enjoy reading your comments and thoughts.  Horst sends

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

First Road trip of 2017...Destination Big Bend

I can't believe I left this morning...but it all came together without any major "hiccups"...got most of the major stuff done around the house, had the house painted, not to much there as most of it is stone, Super Guys...Father and Son team from the local area....yard mowed, camper washed, yard fertilized and other odds and ends accomplished...this weekend I did most of the shopping and Monday and Tuesday packed the camper and by evening hitched it all up...

Tuesday morning I was in no rush, I decided to walk so I started at 0600, still dark but had a head lamp...walked for 90 minutes..came in cleaned up an by 0830 was on the road, heading West on US 90...Weather was good and the traffic was light.  My destination for the day is Seminole Canyon State Park...I have come to love the place...usually no one else there...though in recent years out of State folks have found the place in greater numbers.  I take the blame for having mentioned it back in 2009/10..  :)).
(c)2016 Horst Kelly Photography

The drive was smooth and uneventful...got to the Canyon about 130pm...got on top of the Hill, but this place is a zoo...about 80 % or more to capacity..usually up on the hill during the week I am the only camper here...sometimes one more...today there are only 3 spots left   and all but 2 are 35-45 ft rigs...I ask the Ranger whats going on and he said its been like this since Christmas...Boy I can only imagine whats awaits me in Big Bend....Oh well, I will enjoy!!!

Going to add water to the  fresh water tank while here..I also have  10 full one gallon jugs, so I think that should last for the duration.

This evenings menu is grilled salmon, cole slaw(I made), spinach salad and some french bread...and a glass of wine...

This will be short as I'm not sure I have enough internet capability to upload this...I don;t have any cell coverage...I will try to send one photo...take care...Happy Trails,,,Horst sends

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Update and a Rekindled Relationship......

Its been a month or so,  I thought I would do a post and share some of my plans for this year...
As I had indicated in my last post...due to "stuff" at the Home Front, I have decided to forgo my usual long trip(s) to the North and Southwest.  Instead I will try and take several trips here in Texas...I am still trying to decide on what and where I would like go, see, feel, and touch....though I have decided to make Big Bend my first trip out of the gate... probably in a couple weeks, prior to Spring Break, the weather should be just about perfect and with any kind of luck, vegetation will be beginning to bud out.
(c)2017 Horst Kelly Photographer

I am also going to dive into a new approach on my photography....a little different then I have in the past...Back in 2005 or so I had bought a Mamiya m645-1000 medium format camera...I felt it would be a good teacher of photography, slow the process down and help teach me such things as metering, composition, lightening, etc....I bought it used, guessing it was a '70's vintage, got it on ebay at a steal...I worked with it a little bit, but always raced back to the new found format of digital...
Mamiya M645-1000 film camera

I guess I've come full circle now...A couple weeks ago I found that camera and the  hand held vintage analog Gossen light meter, along with a couple lens and 10 packs of film that had expired in 2007.  I took it apart, cleaned it up and decided to test a roll of film to see if it still functioned, also see if the light seals where still in tact, and if the meter and film could produce something akin to a photograph.  The film has 13 exposures on it and I wiped those puppies off in short order....the scene I shot was all the same, only with different exposure settings, etc.. I raced down to my film genius..but much to my dismay Lee doesn't do film processing anymore, nor enlargements etc...We chatted for a while about how the business of photography has evolved in the last 10 years, what he currently is doing in the business, etc...he told me there was only one place in town doing the full range of "film" work....
(c)2017 Horst Kelly Photographer

I went, they took, I  received....3 days later it was ready, a set of negatives and a scanned CD..... I was like my Grandson on his recent "first date"..bottom line the camera worked....kinda, sorta, expired film showed something...though very grainy. I am now testing another roll to try and underexpose the film. so I'm thinking all systems are a go......and I have rekindled an "old love".
My Light Meter

With this new love of my (photography) life, some changes are in order.   The most important one is how I go about shooting...I will slow down, I no longer will shoot a gazillion shots before the sun even breaks over the horizon....I won't be racing from one location to another before the "magic light" fades away...and then start all over in the evening.

My plan is to scout around, find an interesting "subject", whatever it may be...a mountain, waterfall, cave, building, etc..and spend some time seeing how to make a likable photograph...then come back at a good time and take one exposure of the scene...
(c)2017Horst Kelly Photographer

The bottom line is to enjoy where I am at, find simple images that aren't busy, or a loaded frame with Mountain, lake and fall foliage, etc...rather simple one dimensional scenes.

Don't know how this will work out, but I'm looking forward to using the new/old medium , and hoping at the end of the day I have a smile on my face.... :))  Horst sends

Oh ya...Shot.... from first roll of Mamiya:
Foggy Texas morning (c)2017 Horst Kelly Photographer

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A New Year and a 2017 redirection....of sorts

NOTE:  I just noticed that my photo's where over saturated and some looked hazy...on my laptop they look fine on my large monitor they look out of "sorts"....I do have a new computer to replace my imac..new one is windows driven and the monitor is ISP type which may be the problem...any suggestions is appreciated...I will keep working on them...and my new photo software...Horst

Page Az...(c)2016Horst Kelly Photographer

....now I return you to regular scheduled programming and my lasted blog post.

A New Year arrived without any fanfare or renewing of "annual resolutions".... the only resolution was to make NO resolutions...maybe some minor shifts and tweaks here and there, but nothing more!
Vermilion Cliffs (c)2016Horst Kelly Photographer
This past year was filled with mostly magnificent  memories....and a few not so magic....but still memories, or as my Father use to say "character building experiences"..
(c)2016Horst Kelly Photographer 

Though I only took two trips, they where terrific adventures...My Bluebonnet Spring trip took me to several places I had not ventured before...Cherokee, Texas...great area for Bluebonnets and a great place to chow down...The Llano River got together with the sun and provided photographers some magnificent sunrise and sunset photo ops....I found two more super State Parks... the funky Colorado Bend State Park and the Pedernales Falls State Park...though there was the usual Spring storms with a chance or two of a tornado, it still was another great Spring experience..
Canyonland a photo experiment(c)2016Horst Kelly Photographer

Summer was spent trying to avoid the heat and do a little of this and a little of that around the house and with the camper....I did a few modifications in my traveling cocoon,  I reduced my table size, added new, lighter, window treatments, sold and got a new invertor generator...enhanced the solar system with a new controller, new placement of the controller, more robust  wiring and purchased a new battery(thanks to Jean of Borderbrae Blog for her knowledge and advice)....washed and waxed the albino armadillo and prepped for my trip...of course did some minor maintenance  around the house... Using Jerry C of Eggrolling word ...it was "piddling" nothing more, nothing less.
Colorado(c)2016Horst Kelly Photographer

The 17th Sept was launch date for my Southwest trip...I was really looking forward to this trip....new places, solitude, testing the solar and new generator and boondocking as much as possible...Yup this was going to be a "noteworthy" adventure....and it was....just in ways that weren't part of the "game plan"...First a wheel bearing problem...5 days later a converter problem, electric problem with the 7 pin connection(fuse), also no elect from shore power...weather plagued a trip to North Rim of the Grand Canyon...and the beat goes on.
Canyon de Chelly(c)2016Horst Kelly Photographer

However, these hiccups brought a positive side that  proved to enhance the trip far more then the downside of the "hiccups".
Canyon de Chelly(c)2016Horst Kelly Photographer

I met Konrad, a great Guy and Magician Casita fixer upper...I got to new places I would not have gone to if not for the hiccups: Tonto National Forest(East side), Roosevelt Lake area, Vermilion Flats, Marble Canyon, Bisti Badlands. Lincoln and Ft Stanton NM, see Smokey Bear birth place....and the list goes on...
Colorado...(c)2016Horst Kelly Photographer

The Trip was cut short due to a health problem with the Bride...but that is on the bend and keeps getting better....all is right with the World again!
(c)2016Tetons Horst Kelly Photographer

 All in all 2016 was another terrific year....  and as I look into the 2017 "crystal ball" I see a fork in the road....and I take it (I couldn't resist the old Yogi snippet)...Seriously, based on the current home front situation I am not planning any long 6 to 8 week trips this year, nor any far Western State trips.....instead I am looking at doing several Texas trips for 3 days to ten days...Texas has much to offer that I have not seen...I may look at trying to fix in on a subject(s), Texas Forts, Missions, Cattle Drives, State Parks, Rodeos, BBQ Smoking Competitions,  etc...there are many subjects...I will do some research and then pick a few...We'll see how this unfolds...it should satisfy my hitchitch, my camping desire, photography, yet be able to scrabble home within a day or less.
Tetons...(c)2016 Horst Kelly Photographer

So, if any of you have ideas, I would appreciate hearing from you!
Relax in the Hill Country(c)2016Horst Kelly Photographer

I thank all of you for taking the time to read and also to those that comment...I do enjoy and appreciate it....Wishing each of you a Magnificent Coming Year...keep making those magical Memories and as always, Safe Travels!!  Horst sends
Llano River Texas(c)2016Horst Kelly Photographer