Waiting on the Weather!

The spring 2011 Texas Landscape Safari is right around the corner and planning is well underway for an expected large turnout this spring. Last year’s weather was just about perfect in the months leading up to the workshop with cool temperatures and lots of winter rains in the Hill Country. The crop of wildflowers last spring was stunning and with a little luck and some wet winter weather, this spring’s crop could surpass all expectations. The area’s waterfalls were running great last spring as you can below but right now however, we’re in the middle of a mild drought here in Texas so as usual, we’re waiting on the weather!

Pedernales Falls at Dusk

Wandering Around Pedernales Falls at Dusk – Johnson City, 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 32mm, f/16 for 6/10th 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.

Landscapes of the Texas Plains & Canyons Book

My second book, Landscapes of the Texas Plains & Canyons is available today for delivery before Christmas. I’ve had a lot of fun putting this 70 page book together and there’s a special treat for photographers on each page. Taking a cue from many of Wyman Meinzer’s incredible books, I’ve included my exact settings for each of the 50 images presented in the book including the camera, lens and exposure. It’s my hope that this information will help other photographers enjoy the incredible photographic opportunities available in the Texas panhandle.

Here’s a Sample to Whet Your Whistle

 

As many of you know, my love affair with the Texas plains and canyons began with an invitation from a fellow photographer Jerod Foster and with my daughter Kelly’s decision to attend Texas Tech in Lubbock. These two seemingly random events opened my eyes to one of the most beautiful and majestic regions in our great state and an area that calls to me like a bee to honey. Join me as I explore the rugged outback of the Texas panhandle with its rich history and unique geology and geography. From the verdant plains to the deepest canyons, it’s a region like no other.

Jeff Lynch
December 2010

Landscapes of the Texas Plains & Canyons

Landscapes of the Texas Plains & Canyons (10″ x 8″ x 70 pages, Autographed)
Copyright © 2010 Jeff Lynch Photography, Ltd.
$39.95 + $5.00 for Shipping and Handling (USPS – US & Canada)
$39.95 + $15.00 for Shipping and Handling (USPS – International)

More Adventures in Palo Duro Canyon

Another great thing about hiking in Palo Duro Canyon State Park is the freedom you have to explore to your heart’s content. Trails run throughout the park with miles and miles of some of the most interesting geology in the state. During the spring and fall, you can spot groups of geology students wandering through the park with their Brunton Geo’s recording the “strike and dip” of the rock formations in their Moleskin notebooks.

For photographers the canyon trails offer wonderful vistas to capture around every bend. Hiking with a photographer has it’s drawbacks however, since we’re prone to sudden stops and long periods of waiting for the light or clouds to become “just right” during our quest for the perfect exposure. Most avid bikers will avoid a photographer like the plague, since these periods of waiting are contrary to their very nature.

Whatever your reason for visiting the canyons, encountering a scene like this makes the trip to the Texas panhandle worth every dime you’ve spent on gas!

Hiking to Fortress Cliff

Hiking to Fortress Cliff – Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas
Copyright © 2010 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using a TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 24mm, f/18 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.

Exploring Little Sunday Creek

For me, one of the most enjoyable aspects of hiking in Palo Duro Canyon State Park is exploring dry creek beds running throughout the park. Walking across miles and miles of alluvial soil gives you a real sense of perspective here in the canyons. Millions of years of erosion, piping and weathering come together to create an almost “alien” landscape with hidden wonders around every bend.

It’s humbling to think that all of our current architectural and construction technology will mean little to the inexorable power of the elements. In less time than these canyons were formed, every trace of our “modern” civilization will someday be washed away by the slow but relentless power of wind and rain.

If you’ve never visited the Texas panhandle and explored these canyons I strongly urge you to do so. I find that hiking through a million years of history is an experience that “moves” even the most stoic of personalities. It creates a connection with the land that draws folks back to the Texas plains and canyons year after year. It’s hard for me to explain, but exploring these magnificent plains and canyons makes me feel somehow “young” again. Hiking through the beauty of this region refreshes me, lifts me up and brings me peace. What more could a person ask for?

Little Sunday Creek

Little Sunday Creek – Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas
Copyright © 2010 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon Powershot G10 set on aperture priority (Av) using a circular polarizer. The exposure was taken at 38mm, f/6.3 for 1/40th of a second at ISO 80. All post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Click on the image above for a larger version.

Footprints in Little Sunday Creek

Footprints in Little Sunday Creek – Canyon, Texas
Copyright © 2010 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon Powershot G10 set on aperture priority (Av) using a circular polarizer. The exposure was taken at 42mm, f/6.3 for 1/100th of a second at ISO 80. All post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Click on the image above for a larger version.

Canyon Self Portrait

You know, a guy could really lose his head in a place as beautiful as this! 😉

Canyon Self Portrait

Canyon Self Portrait – Palo Duro Canyon 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 17mm, f/16 for 1/15th 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: Canyon Self Portrait – Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas

Those Palo Duro Colors

The colors of the desert, plains & canyons never cease to amaze me. Hiking through an area created by millions of years of erosion and piping (underground rivers) is a humbling experience for any nature lover. The colors unearthed by this process are stunning to say the least and yet, I still hear the occasional tourist complain about how “barren” the plains and canyons seem.

I just sit back and smile, while viewing some of most vibrant reds, oranges, greens and blues that I’ve ever had the chance to capture with a camera. I’m not sure what most folks expect from the Texas panhandle but I know it’s a region full of color and life. A photographer could spend a lifetime exploring this region and never tire of it’s beauty and majesty. I know I never will.

Palo Duro Colors

Those Palo Duro Colors – Canyon, Texas
Copyright © 2010 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using a TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 24mm, f/18 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.

Coming Soon!

Landscapes of the Texas Plains & Canyons

Click on the image above for a sneak peek.

Blogging from the WordPress IOS App

Since I’m in the middle of migrating from my 13″ MBP to a 15″ MBP, I thought I’d try out the new WordPress application for IOS 4.2 on my iPad. So here goes nothing!

Castle Peak

Castle Peak – Palo Duro Canyon, 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 21mm, f/16 for 1/13th of a second at ISO 100. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.

Click on the image above for a larger version.

A few years ago I bought a hard copy edition of Wyman Meinzer’s book Canyons of the Texas High Plains published by Texas Tech University Press in 2001. This book contains a stunning collection of the most incredible images ever taken in the canyons of the Texas panhandle. It also contains a ten page introduction by noted author and historian, Frederick J. Rathjen, covering the geological and historical significance of the Texas plains and canyon lands. For any photographer serious about exploring this region with a camera, Wyman Meinzer’s book is required reading.

My own journey into this unique region came at the intersection of two seemingly unrelated events last year; my daughter Kelly’s decision to attend Texas Tech and an invitation from noted plains photographer, Jerod Foster, to visit his old stomping grounds. With Karma like that in play, what adventurous photographer could resist?

Before I go much further, let me come clean here about something. I’m a “damn yankee”, born and raised in upstate New York and educated in the frigid outback of Michigan’s upper peninsula. Having endured years of sub-zero winters, upon graduation I took it upon myself to head as far south as possible to thaw out and to find fame and fortune in the oil business. To make a long story short, things didn’t turn out quite as expected but I did stick around long enough to marry a sweet Texas gal that bore me four beautiful daughters. Which is probably the only reason these hard working Texas folks would let me stay and photograph their gorgeous state, but I digress.

Folks that visit the Texas panhandle for this first time are generally surprised by just how vast this region really is. During my last two photographic trips to this region I put over 2500 miles on my suv just driving from Lubbock to Amarillo, to Claude, to Turkey, to Quitaque, to Silverton, to Tulia, to Happy and back to Canyon.

It’s only when you stand next to a field of wheat or cotton that stretches as far as the eye can see, that you gain a true sense of scale out here. The plains and canyons of the Texas panhandle are incredible sights to view and photograph.

Each day in the panhandle brings new sights, new weather and new photographic opportunities. It’s a place rich with geology, with history and with passion. The plains and canyons of the Texas panhandle may well be the last region of western frontier left in the country today. From the verdant plains to the deepest canyons, it’s a region like no other.