January was a different month then most January’s in past. We had some temperatures in the pluses. Which was a nice break from the normally brutal coldness we usually get. During the really cold parts I was able to experiment with my new macro extension tubes.
Here are some extreme close-ups. Can you guess what they all are?
January 10th I had great exploration. After a super cold stretch of weather it was nice to get out of the house. I revisited a few spots I have been before and found some new locations in the process. I finally stopped to get a shot of this old house that is barely standing (see below, right). Strangely, I found this old house (top, below left) just down the road from another abandoned place I found last spring. Why I didn’t find it then is beyond me but I am glad I did find it.
On the way home I took a different route then I normally do. The sunset was started to really pop with color and to my luck I found myself near my favorite tree (see above middle & below) just in time to catch the colors.
January 16th was probably one of the best explorations I’ve had in a long time. Not only was the weather great but the finds were plentiful. One of the first things I found I can’t say I’ve ever seen before. Sunflowers in Winter. Needless to say, they made for some interesting shots.
The blue sky really helped these sunflowers pop. On this exploration I found many lonely trees in the fields. Here is one of my favorites (see top right). Below is a macro of a sunflower plant.
I ended up getting so many shots I decided to convert a bunch of them to black and white. Here are a few of my favorites.
I decided to revisit one location since I was close. I found this old homestead last fall just before the snow came. Now here is a shot with snow (see below).
An exploration just wouldn’t be complete without a culvert photo. These culverts were big enough for the snowmobile riders to drive through. Near the culverts were some bales which looks like its on a drag strip waiting to take off.
My last find was the cherry on top of the icing on top of the cake. I was hoping to find something in time to catch this great sunset. To my luck, I came around a corner and spotted this old Massey Ferguson Tractor. While composing this shot and getting my camera set up I was blessed with a little bird that came and landed on the steering wheel. At first it was bouncing around too much to take a photo but then it stood still long enough to get a capture. Then flew off.
January 23-25th was an interesting weekend. We were hit with a ton of wet snow that started on Saturday and continued on through to Sunday. During the day Saturday I didn’t venture too far from home but I did manage to get a couple shots of the storm.
Sunday I decided to venture out a little further. Although the roads were pretty bad I still needed to get out. The trick is, drive according to the road conditions. Apparently someone didn’t know this. While I was out I passed the ambulance and sure enough, on the way home I saw a van that had rolled in the ditch. Something which could have easily been avoided had the driver slowed down. The start of Sunday’s exploration was a quick drive-by shot of this really need looking tree I call the Guardian Tree. If I didn’t already have a favorite tree this one would be it.
Stuartburn Auto Service closed it’s doors in 1960. I have driven by this old garage many times and many times I’ve wanted to shoot it but for some reason it was never the right time. This time it was. Since it was an overcast day I decide to try some different processing on these. I really like how they turned out.
As you can see there are some interesting textures on this old garage.
Monday we were snowed in due to a blizzard. The winds were too bad to drive into work so the boss told me to stay home. Yes, a free day! My only trip out was to the store in town but I did manage make one quick stop. Here is a 360° (14 image) panorama of the main intersection in my town.
January 30th was my last exploration of the month and a good one. Definitely the coldest day I’ve been out shooting. Even though I thought I was going to freeze my toes off at one point it was still worth getting out. Sometimes the coldest days make for great photo opportunities.
A good friend of mine collects animal skulls. He has a wide variety in his collection. He said I could use what ever I liked for props for photos. This expiration I chose one of his bison skulls. One of the challenges with using a skull like this in a scene is to get it to look natural and not placed. I had to make it snow with my hands to get a natural look. Below is my favorite shot of the day. I had to go back to my car to warm up and let my camera battery charge before I could get this shot. The cold cuts right through you like a knife and eats batteries like nobody’s business. My toes were so cold at one point I could barely feel them so I turned the heater on full and stuck them in the vent below the dash. Eventually they came back to life. I waited until the light was just right then returned to catch this sunset.