I have just returned from a 2 week trek in the western half of Oklahoma. Though I had orginally intended to go East, a commitment to a friend of mine dictated that I change my plans.
My first stop was to visit once again the Gloss Mountains in northwestern Oklahoma. I had planned to re-visit this place in the future but my change of plans presented a new opportunity. I spent a week along and deep into this 30 mile stretch of highway in search of light and compositions that would reflect a new direction in my work. Much of this area is on private property but oil field roads allowed me to reach into the backcountry, so my compositions are not generic shots from the highway.
The image above was made along one of these oil field roads a few miles south of the highway. The gray mudstone in the foreground added contrast to the otherwise red sandstone that predominates in the area. The sky was courtesy of Mother Nature.
After nearly a week, it was time for me to move on and head south towards the western Wichita Mountains where I would visit Quartz Mountain Nature Park, and Great Plains State Park, and where I would meet up with my fellow G+ photographers, Linda Stokes and Jackie Estes. Though our shooting time would be limited together, I managed to get out one morning on my own and create some work under ideal conditions.
Our first morning together at Quartz Mountain was a bit chilly and windy with few clouds to help out the compositions. Before heading back to Linda's, I scouted out a vantage point from which to work the next morning. The following morning I found myself alone at this vantage point under ideal conditions with light winds, fast moving clouds that changed from minute to minute locally, and a gorgeous sunrise with the mountains. Below is just one of many images from that morning.
Linda and I arranged to meet up with Jackie that evening at Great Plains SP for an evening shoot. We arrived early at Tom Steed Lake inside of the park and began wandering around looking for compositions. We had not been there long when the wind picked up and the promised thunderstorms began to develope. Little did we know but this storm system would spawn mulitple tornadoes later that evening near my home in Oklahoma City. The wind began to pick up and it was not long before blowing dust started pelting us. The continued drought conditions and low lake level made sand readily available for ammunition! The storms were really starting to ramp up and we decided to head to Jackie's for a pre-arranged dinner. We stopped several times on the way back to photograph the building thunderheads. The image below was made using the top of Jackie's car as a 'tripod' and despite the 40+ mph winds buffeting us I managed to get a sharp image from a handful. The reflection of the cauliflower shaped storm on the car top was an unexpected benefit too good to be true.
All in all, I had a great time with Linda, her husband Freddie, Jackie, and her husband Herb. I was the recipient of some of the finest hospitality I have ever received in my travels and look forward to getting together with them all in the future. Thanks so much Linda for setting up this little get together!
Guess that's enough for now. Stay tuned for some upcoming news!
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