I came across a saying yesterday that seemed to make a good deal of sense to me at the present time. It was actually from a fortune cookie. “Over every mountain there is a path, although it may not be seen from the valley.” It seems to relate very well to my present journey. Along with the growth of my photography and all that encompasses that, such as working on this site, developing new work, continually trying to hone my direction as I move forward. I seem to always be facing mountains. No matter how hard I look, no matter how long I study a situation I just can’t see the other side. It’s a constant climb. One thing I do know and have always believe in is, you will never make progress if you don’t keep going, no matter what the obstacles appear to be at present.

I’m generally talking about the work I do in photography, this is nothing on a “personal” level. I am quite content with all that. Thank goodness. I have much support in what I do, the time I spend doing it and encouragement whenever I need it. That really has become a strong foundation to build upon. When it comes to personal growth in the creative matters the mountains show up. They don’t show up out of nowhere, I’ve come to understand I place myself at the foot of them. I do this intentionally and quite purposely. It must be the challenge that I feel I need, maybe a need to always be learning and faced with things I don’t quite have an understanding of. I really dislike not knowing something that I am interested in. It begins to consume me. Simple things seem to be just that, simple. Not enough potentiality in learning simple things. I need more complex situations to fight through. Only then do I come away with a full understanding of what all is involved. This becomes much more time consuming the older one gets. That to becomes challenging. More precise plans must be made so the direct is more of a straight line than a wandering down a winding road.

OK, guess I just needed to ramble a bit. When things get stuck in my head at some point they always make their way out. This blog has become a good place for some of that brain spilling to take place.

Now for a little continuation of the previous post on growing pains. I am continually working to add content to this site. As of today my three folios that are available now have been added. There are definite plans to keep producing folios. You will read how much I love making these folios. I really do. They, along with a bucket full of other ideas have led me to where I am at the moment. That being putting a new layout together here and opportunity to offer my work to others. Believe me, it is a mountain.

I am in the process of getting select portfolios together for the portfolio pages. There is a plan but not set in stone. Most things I do are not “set in stone”. It’s that learning thing, the more I learn the more I seem to change. That’s about all I need to expand on at the moment. Oh there are lots of ideas but, until they happen they are just ideas. No need to ramble on about what if’s and maybe’s.

My time out in nature has been slightly reduced the last couple of weeks. Not to much but noticeable. I have made a few short trips to nearby areas and have visited the wonderful Shunga Park area three or four times in the last couple weeks. I have been getting into the grasses that exist in a small area, maybe a few acres that is part of a natural restoration area, I believe I have mentioned it before. There is Big Bluestem that has reached ten feet tall, I kid you not! They along with Little Bluestem, Indian Grass, and Gama Grasses have become so thick I can barely make my way through them! When I go there I first have to basically take a bath in insect repellent, which I do not like much at all but, the alternative would be a zillion bites from all those little itch making machines that live within the grasses. Hey it works and I can spend a couple of hours in the evening wandering the head high grasses. I have really worked hard at making images when there. Imagine standing among and surrounded by thick head high grass and trying to take a picture! Yeah, seems kind of crazy! Oh it is but, I just love doing it. It has made me figure out how to do things that other wise I would never think about. One thing that becomes absolutely critical is focal plane. For you non-photography folks that is simply making sure the items you want in focus are perfectly parallel to your cameras sensor. When shooting at minimum depth of field at close distances the slightest variance of this will determine if something is in focus or not.

As I get more of these images worked up and shared here and on my facebook page you will notice most of the image is out of focus. Not that the image is out of focus but the subject or subjects in this case a stem or blade of grass is what has been focused on letting the rest fall out of focus. It has become a very good learning experience making me spend a good deal of time on the subject of focal plane.

I will leave you today with a the so called horse of a different color, thank you very much Wizard of OZ.  I made a last minute visit to nearby Shawnee County State Lake a few days ago basically just to get out of the house and change the scenery from what I had been staring at all day, the computer screen. I got there right at sunset and the light was quickly fading. Along with the low light the wind was doing a nice job of blowing everything around. All I wanted to do was take a few pictures and enjoy the cooling temperatures. I stopped at the first place I could near the waters edge and next to a field of grasses and smatterings of wildflowers. The yellow sunflowers were what caught my attention. The wind was making sure nothing stood still, swaying back and forth like the pendulum on a grandfather clock. I had no intention or time to attempt capturing anything sharply focused. So I done the normal thing, I took pictures of what was there, the blowing sunflowers. I played around with a few different exposure times, mostly in the one to four second range to see how things turned out.

The horse of a different color kept me entertained until the darkness moved in and I slowly meandered back towards the homestead.

My Horse Of A Different Color

© Brad Mangas

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