Desert Ride

Landscape photography in Texas is an endurance sport, especially for your vehicle. The best locations are far from any major cities and in many cases, far from civilization itself. Having a dependable ride like the Subaru Forester is essential to your success and your survival.

My 2010 Forester has a little over 103,000 miles on it and still runs like a champ. I’ve taken it all across Texas from Houston to Amarillo, Dallas to El Paso and Harlingen to Nacogdoches with not a single breakdown to its credit. We’ve traveled the dirt roads of Big Bend National Park, the two track trails of Guadalupe Mountains National Park, the back roads of twenty different Texas State Parks and the dirt roads of over 150 Texas counties.

Man, what a ride!

Desert Ride

Desert Ride – Salt Flat, Texas
Copyright © 2013 Jeff Lynch Photography
EOS 5D Mark III w/ GP-E
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with GP-E2 unit attached, set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens and tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 24mm, f/16 for 1/20th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter and 2-stop, soft, graduated neutral density filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 4.

Click on the image above for a larger version.

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Bastrop State Park – Before the Fire

I drove through the “Lost Pines” region last weekend along Park Road 1C which runs from Buescher State Park north to Bastrop State Park and was both saddened at the devastation last year’s wildfires had wrought and cheered to see new growth among the ashes. After visiting this gorgeous region for the past thirty years it was hard to see the once beautiful pine forest cut low by the wildfires. Luckily, my memories and my photographs will always remember the past glory of this beautiful state park and I look forward to the day that my grand children can explore these pine forests and trails in all their splendor.

Here’s to the brave men and women of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, the US Forest Service and the Bastrop County fire fighters that worked tirelessly to save as much of this glorious park as possible. This Texas photographer salutes you, one and all.

Bastrop State Park

Before the Fire – Bastrop State Park, Texas
Copyright © 2011 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 23mm, f/16 for 1/10th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter and 2-stop, soft, graduated neutral density filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 4.
Click on the image above for a larger version.

Remembering Bastrop State Park

Rather than focus on the recent wildfire destruction of Bastrop State Park, I thought I’d present two images that sum up how I’ll always remember this picturesque and historic state park.

Bastrop State Park Lake

Bastrop State Park Lake – Bastrop, Texas
Copyright © 2010 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 23mm, f/16 for 1/30th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.
Click on the image above for a larger version.

Fishing at Bastrop State Park

Fishing at Bastrop State Park – Bastrop, Texas
Copyright © 2011 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 155mm, f/8 for 1/125th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.
Click on the image above for a larger version.

Bastrop State Park

Bastrop State Park is only about 30 miles southeast of Austin but once you enter it’s like you’re a million miles from the city. The park is surrounded by tall pines which block much of the noise from the highway and it’s 6000 acres of hilly terrain offer miles of trails to explore to your heart’s content. My favorite spot is the small lake near the park historic cabins and camp sites. On any given weekend you’ll find folks fishing from it’s quiet banks and enjoying the sun and wind. As you can see, it’s also a fine spot for a little late afternoon photography.

Bastrop Lake

Bastrop Lake – Bastrop State Park, Texas
Copyright © 2010 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 22mm, f/16 for 1/15th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer and two-stop, soft graduated neutral density filter. Post capture processing was done entirely in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.

Click on the image above for a larger version.

BTW – Some folks have asked how I create the white inner border and darker outer border on my images. I’d love to take credit for this but honestly I use a simple plug-in for Adobe Lightroom 3 called LR/Mogrify 2 from Tim Armes’ Photographer’s Toolbox. Tim has lots of great plug-ins available for Lightroom and I’m a big fan of his work.

Waiting on Springtime

After a week that set record low temperatures in southeast Texas, I’m ready for a little springtime warmth and sunshine. How about you?

Springtime

Springtime – Bastrop State Park, Texas
Copyright © 2010 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 23mm, f/16 for 1/10th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.

Click on the image above for a larger version.

Ripples

I love Scott Kelby’s photography books, especially the sections that explain exactly how to get a certain type of shot. I think these quick “recipes” as he calls them are some of the best tips and tricks I’ve seen written down in the past 30 years. So here’s my take on getting this type of shot!

I also love walking around the edge of the lake with my camera and tripod slung over my shoulder and hearing the local fishermen joke about the length of my “fishing pole”. Tripod envy?

Ripples

Ripples – Bastrop, Texas
Copyright © 2010 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 17mm, f/16 for 1/13th of a second at ISO 100 with a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.

Click on the image above for a larger version.

View Location on Panoramio & Google Earth: Ripples – Bastrop, Texas

Characteristics of this type of shot: The classic wide-angle shot of beautiful white clouds reflected in the perfectly still water of a lake or pond, found in most outdoor photography magazines during the summer months.

  • The key to this shot is the weather. Here in Texas we have over 300 days of sunshine per year, making this shot much easier for me to capture than my friends in the Pacific Northwest. (You could always grab Ray and come visit Texas, Sabrina)
  • This type of shot is best taken in the late evening when the light is soft and warm and there’s as little wind as possible. If you live in Chicago like I used to, you’re out of luck. Here in Texas you can always count on the hot, humid and utterly still summer evenings. You can also count on the Texas size mosquitos, but that’s another story.
  • A good sturdy tripod is a must in a situation like this. Yes, I know you could hand-hold this shot with your new “IS” or “VR” lens but why risk it? Setting up a carbon-fiber tripod like my Gitzo takes only seconds and what’s your hurry anyway? We’re supposed to be enjoying this experience. Setting your camera’s mirror lock-up is also a good idea as long as we’re taking our time here.
  • A final key for this type of shot is having the little boy standing next to you drop a rock in the water at just the right moment. No, I did not pay him but his father did ask me what the going rate for an assistant was. :-)

A Night to Remember

As with most folks, September 11th is a tough day for me. Caught up in the strong emotions of reliving that day I find myself feeling as hurt and as angry I was those nine years ago. I pray for those that lost their lives that day and for their friends and families. I pray for those brave souls that protect us still today. I pray for us all.

And then the Lord opens my eyes and fills them with the beauty of this world and the quiet at the end of this day. As I sit here and photograph this beautiful scene I feel the warmth of His touch. I will never forget but I pray someday to forgive.

Night to Remember

Night to Remember – Smithville, Texas
Copyright © 2010 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 31mm, f/16 for 1/3rd of a second at ISO 100 with a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.

Click on the image above for a larger version.

View Location on Panoramio & Google Earth: Lake Buescher – Smithville, Texas

I’m Going Fishing

Here are a few shots taken last month at Buescher and Bastrop state parks near Smithville, Texas. I’m in the middle of writing an article to go along with these shots and hope to get it published in Texas Parks & Wildlife or Texas Highways if I’m lucky.

I drove up to this spot with Brad Paisley’s “I’m Gonna Miss Her” playing on the radio and the song seemed to capture the mood perfectly on that hot summer afternoon.

Well I love her, But I love to fish
I spend all day out on this lake and hell is all I catch
Today she met me at the door, said I would have to choose
If I hit that fishin’ hole today, she’d be packin’ all her things
And she’d be gone by noon . . .

Well I’m gonna miss her when I get home
But right now I’m on this lakeshore and I’m sittin’ in the sun
I’m sure it’ll hit me when I walk through that door tonight
That I’m gonna miss her, Oh lookie there I’ve got a bite

I'm Going Fishing

I’m Going Fishing – Bastrop, Texas
Copyright © 2010 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 70-200mm f/4L USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 200mm, f/16 for 1/10th of a second at ISO 100 with a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.

Click on the image above for a larger version.

Bastrop State Park Cabins

Bastrop State Park Cabins – Bastrop, Texas
Copyright © 2010 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 70-200mm f/4L USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 144mm, f/16 for 1/10th of a second at ISO 100 with a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.

Click on the image above for a larger version.

Fishing at Bastrop State Park

Fishing at Bastrop State Park – Bastrop, Texas
Copyright © 2010 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 70-200mm f/4L USM lens hand-held. The exposure was taken at 155mm, f/8 for 1/125th of a second at ISO 100 with a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.

Click on the image above for a larger version.