[box] In the summertime when the weather is hot  You can stretch right up and touch the sky  When the weather’s fine… Lyrics from: “In The Summertime” by Jerry Mungo[/box]


Brilliant Moon - FHSU_7883

©Brad Mangas

That is such a fun song to listen to, you can’t help but feel good while it’s playing.

I look forward to the summer months but maybe for different reasons than most. I never seem to be one that hangs with the crowd so this isn’t a surprise to me at least. I find the summer months which I note by the calendars marking of them, as a time to slow down. When most seem to go, go, go, cramming as much fun and adventure into the hot days and warm nights I find it to be more relaxing without the need of constant adventure. That’s not to say I don’t go on adventures but it is to say I don’t ramp up as it were just because the weather is warmer. It’s one of those things that photography has taught me. Every day, no matter what the season holds a bounty of possibilities. I do know that the summer months seem much more appropriate for increased activities and may be the only time a family can spend abundant time together. We do what we need to do when we have the time.

Living in Kansas and spending as much time out on the open prairie summers can be, to put it mildly, brutal. I never make camping plans in the midst of the hot summer months, it may happen on occasion but only if opportunity can not wait. I have mentioned previously the spring time kept me rather busy this year with many things other than spending additional time in nature. I typically plan 2 or more multi day adventures out into the springtime landscape. Hiking and exploring during the day and sleeping under the stars at night. Spring and fall are custom made for this. Winter can even be exciting, but summer…hmm… not so much, at least for what my objectives are.

I have found a little additional time to write which I enjoy very much. You may have noticed in a previous post I decided to push myself more in this area and put out a monthly newsletter. It’s a good time to offer something new to those who might enjoy it. This of course has nothing to do with the season other than it seems to be time to do it.

I do make it out on a regular basis regardless of the weather or temperature. There is one thing that really makes me reconsider when thinking of heading out on to the prairie and that is the wind. The wind in Kansas can be absolutely relentless.  It will beat you up, knock you down and then dare you to get up. Ahh yes, The Land of the Southwind. You can actually wear out a wind chime around here or they just flat get destroyed!

I always feel the need to create, something, but not just anything. My outings of late have been devoted to the late evenings and stretching a little into the early night time. As far as that goes summer rocks at those times. Most work for the next few months will be produced during this window of opportunity. I actually am somewhat of a night owl anyway and always have been. I don’t fight it much anymore.  Pre-dawn and early mornings are obviously just as good in the summertime but don’t seem to work out as good for me to participate in. As much as I don’t want too, I guess I have to sleep sometime.

I know the saying, “timing is everything” has a lot of truth to it. There may be no better way of proving this than to be a nature photographer. Timing is so crucial when it comes to capturing just the right moment. When you throw Mother Nature in as the one deciding every moment you literally are at the whims of her and her timing. This could mean our timing is almost irrelevant. Yes maybe, but as far as I know there is a way to increase our odds of our timing and Mother Natures timing to meet with our expectations. Be there. As much as possible put yourself in the position to experience the meetings. Nature photography demands far more time than anyone who does not participate in it realizes. As I have mentioned, 95% plus of the time is spent seeing, looking, experiencing, just to give yourself a chance of that special meeting.

Afterglow - FHSU_7876

©Brad Mangas