I was wondering if I could find me some old barns to photograph using google maps and save time randomly driving around. I picked an area where I suspected I could find some and close to where I live, sure enough, after maybe 10 minutes I was able to locate a couple on the same road! They are very easy to spot from the air with what I call “the beak roof”.

Checked it out the next day and it sure is a beauty! Don’t you agree?

red barn
It sits next to a smaller shed where they used to store grain I presume and could be photographed from any direction. Often you find a cool looking barn and its so overgrown with trees and brush that its hard to get a good shot, but not this one, it sits right in the middle of a corn field! I must revisit this one again after we get some snow.

 

I think it hit 60 degrees today and that is rare for South Dakota winters! According to weather forecast the cold is coming back so we took a ride this evening. Luckily we have several barns right around the corner so we stopped at two. This particular barn we visited a couple of years ago during the summer and early in the morning, I remember the grass was really tall and hard to walk in.

old barn

After exploring about I came up with several compositions that I found interesting. Maybe if we get some snow on the ground again I will give it another go.

Old American barnI purposely scour the area and look for something interesting to include in the foreground, it could be things like old wagon wheels, farming equipment, interesting trees, rocks, etc.  Such objects add interest and depth to your images, so keep that in mind if you are new to photography and try to use this technique on your next outing.

Happy shooting!

I knew we might have some good opportunity when the forecast last night was calling for rain, snow and strong wind. So this morning it looked promising and we headed to take some pictures of our local barn. I wish there were a few clouds but I still like how it turned out. It was actually very warm, I really am tired of wearing gloves all the time.
They are calling for upper 40′s all next week woohoo!

old barn

We decided to revisit this cool old silo that we have driven by a thousand times but never had time to stop to take a picture, yet always admired how cool this piece of old Americana looked at sunset. So tonight, we grab the cameras and jumped in the jeep  just to take a picture around sunset, and it was so cold my fingers almost froze to my camera!

All in all I think it was worth the trip, the sunset was not as widespread as we hoped, but the light was still very pleasing. I took several dozen shots, but this is one of the better ones. I will try again in the future, perhaps it will look even better with dramatic rain clouds or an early sunrise. Oh, if you are wondering the sign says, “Catch That Pepsi Spirit.”

Taken with the Lumix GX7 and kit 14-42mm lens, which is surprisingly sharp and very light lens.

Enjoy!

Old American silo with pepsi sign

We had a surprisingly warm day yesterday for January and we took full advantage of it. Visited our local lake and snapped a few shots of a gorgeous sunset using the new Lumix GX7. The ice have melted a little and there were pools of water reflecting the warm colors of the setting sun. Of course today we have a blizzard conditions with strong wind and drifting snow. Welcome to South Dakota…

Melting ice sunset

This shot was taken on our trip to St. Petersburg, Russia this summer. This is the heart of the city, the “Peter and Paul fortress.” This is where the city have started and grew outwards ever since. it never served as intended since the enemy never gotten close to its walls. The Russian Imperial family is berried inside the cathedral. If you’ve never been inside the fortress, you could easily spend the entire day there with your friends or family and will not be disappointed.

Peter and Paul fortress

We wanted to take some long night shots with our Sony Nex 5N, but finding an ND (neutral density) filter was a major task. We finally found one in a photo shop near a metro. Apparently not many shops carry the 49mm size. So, keep that in mind if you’re heading that way, and bring your filters if that is something you might want to use.

The photo above is one of our test shots with the new filter. See how smooth the water is? The ND filter helps extend your exposure time, and this particular shot was a 30 sec. exposure which turned the water fairly smooth. I could have pushed it farther, to a minute or so, but I was pleased with the result.

We took 1000′s of pictures on this trip and we will be posting them here over the winter. So, stay tuned!

One thing I learned about photography is to get up early to catch that beautiful low angle light, also known as the golden hour. If you’re new to photography or looking to improve your photos, resist the temptation to sleep in and get out there bright and early. I guarantee that you will find something interesting to shoot, and your shots will look much better than if you were shooting during the day. Just make sure the sky is not completely cloudy before you leave, or you will not get the same effect.

OK, on to the picture at hand. While my wife and I were staying near the Badlands National Park in SD, we woke up early to beat the crowds and capture some images for the time lapse video we were working on. I couldn’t resist taking a moment to capture this shot while my wife was soaking up the warm morning sun along with a grand view of the surreal landscape. There wasn’t much color in the original photograph since I was shooting in to the sun, so I opted for the black and white and I think it works very well.

IMG_2352

So I decided to try my hand at time lapse photography and ordered a intervalometer on ebay to fit my camera. The day it arrives we have this scary yet awesome storm move right over our town. I had to quickly set up my camera, and since it was my first day with the new gear, I was not too sure if I set it up right or not. But the storm was moving quick and it was raining outside, so I pointed my camera out of the window and let it do its thing.

This was my first ever time lapse, and to my surprise and delight it did turn out OK, though a bit short as it became dark outside rather quickly due to the huge storm. Luckily, no tornadoes were reported but it sure looked awfully close.

Heavy storm clowds