Doesn’t seem quite right that I have to write a blog post announcing that new images will be showing up on the website, but with the slow addition over the winter months it is something somewhat new. I love winter and I love going out in the cold and snow to experience that side of Mother Natures personality. Commitments over the last couple of months have kept those trips to a minimum and it’s about time that changed. I try to share information here to let others know what I’ve been up to so hopefully you can understand my lack of photo outings recently. As the seasons change so does my mindset in priorities and now I’m getting somewhat anxious to spend days lost in the Flint Hills and prairies of my home lands. There seems to be nothing better to clear my mind and rejuvenate my spirit like serious thought provoking time with nature. (With camera in hand of course.)

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© Brad Mangas

I shared in the last post about the Docent training program that started last weekend at Konza Prairie Biological Station, the turn out was I believe the biggest they have every had there must have been 40+ new folks ready to begin the 17 weekend 3 hour each training sessions along with 10 or so Docents. It was a pleasure to see so many people willing to learn and then share their love for the Flint Hills and tallgrass prairie. It’s going to be an exciting time with all the new folks whom all seem very willing to jump right in with questions on what the Docent program is all about. I will be planning on making it to many sessions myself not only for refreshing my knowledge but the teachers may need some extra hands as the classes progress, I am really looking forward to it again this year.

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© Brad Mangas

After the session was over Saturday I hopped in my truck and took of for the open lands hoping for some of that inspiration that I eagerly yearn for. For some unknown reason I feel like I’m seeing things somewhat differently at the moment, It could be a new appreciation for nature or photography, or maybe a personal insight that is easier for me to get in touch with, I’m just not sure how to describe the slight different feeling I have when it comes to these things. Whatever it is I like it, I feel more open to new things more curious about what I thought I already knew but obviously didn’t. I explored some new areas along with some familiar and was able to find things that I’m not sure I would have paid attention to in the past. Simple views seem to not look so simple to me as if there is more of a presence to them. This can only translate into more of my personal feelings into the images I chose to take and after all, isn’t that what it’s all about.

This new approach may or may not result in images that look much different than some of my work of the past, one thing that is different is my processing of images in the digital darkroom. New tools and techniques have already resulted in a look that I like much better than before, utilizing software such as the tools from Nik and Topaz in a slightly different way are producing  results that look new at least to me, I can even see more black & white and monotone work showing up. It’s exciting to me that the feeling of exciting anticipation stills finds it’s way in to my mind sometimes without even knowing why. At times I wonder if I will ever get tired of this creative endeavor even though I can not imagine a reason I ever would. As long as we keep trying new things, be willing to make many mistakes along the way without becoming discouraged that excitement should always be at our finger tips, seems to be a recipe that works for progression and personal growth in many parts of our lives.


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© Brad Mangas