© Brad Mangas

The challenges of photographing wide open spaces is always work with no end in sight. The opportunities seem limitless. I think this is why I love it so much. To some it may seem like a no brainer, just point and shoot right? If it were just that easy. The camera by no means is the human eye, it will not see what your looking at. From the changing light to the intimate details that make up the wide open spaces. If one just goes out at any old time of the day looks for something nice and simply points and shoots you will be loosing much of what the scene was about.

Over the years I have been fortunate enough to build a nice collection of prairie photography, this including the wonderful flint hills of Kansas. This does come with a price and that price has been time. A typical prairie or flint hills image that is added to the gallery may have days of scouting involved behind the scene. Scouting areas can involve hundreds of miles of drive time over days and then may involve hours of hiking, time spent waiting for light conditions to become more favorable and the list can go on. Why? To have a chance of getting 1 nice picture. Many times all of that produces no images at all. Sound a little extreme? Maybe to the non nature photographer it sounds extreme but the ones who truly love the experience of being in nature the benefit of capturing even 1 image is a bonus to the time spent exploring and experiencing the many benefits of being outdoors. Every moment I get to spend in nature is one more moment that I will cherish, one more moment of surprise, one more moment of experiencing that one scene that is here today and gone tomorrow.

This image was taken in western Pottawatomie Co. looking north up Otter Creek Rd. A road off of a main highway running through the flint hills but this view is only seen when you drive up the road and top the hill, other wise Otter Creek looks to be just a very low traveled road to nowhere. I drove past this road a week or two before and thought to myself, wonder what’s up that road? It’s moment like this that I get excited. A new possibility and opportunity. It may be a nature photographers thing, always wondering what’s beyond the next hill or down the next road. Thank goodness the simple things in life can still provide so much pleasure.

This post has sparked some other thoughts on the subject of prairie and nature photography that I will work on sharing in the near future. In the meen time, get out and enjoy the nature that is around where you live.

Click on image for larger view at the gallery.

Tech data: Canon dslr, Canon 17-40 f/4L, f/16, 1/125, iso 100, manual exposure, auto wb, pattern metering, 0.0 comp., raw file converted in cs4, single exposure, curves adjustment.