Many Thanks to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

Summertime in southeast Texas can be brutal. Most folks around here spend the summer cooped up in their air-conditioned homes, cars or offices and never venture forth until the cooler, dryer days of autumn. Other folks like myself, head for the closest state park when the mercury begins to rise.

We are blessed here in Texas with some of the most beautiful and well maintained state parks found in the US. The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) folks do a great job of managing and maintaining these incredible parks, most of which have been in continuous services since the 1930’s. In fact, many of these wonderful parks were built or expanded by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

The Texas Legislature has charged the folks at TPWD with protecting the state’s fish and wildlife resources and managing the state parks, wildlife management areas and historic sites for people to use and enjoy, now and in the future.

As a landscape and nature photographer, I am constantly amazed at the beauty and grandeur of our state parks. As a husband and father of four daughters, I am grateful for the efforts of the folks at the TPWD in preserving these treasures for future generations to enjoy as we do today.

Summer at the 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 38mm, f/16 for 1/30th 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: Bastrop State Park Lake – Bastrop, Texas

Park Road 1C Between Buescher and Bastrop State ParksHere’s a bit of advice for you summer couch potatoes. Grab your keys, your kids and your car this Saturday and head on out to Buescher State Park or Bastrop State Park just a few miles northwest of La Grange, Texas on Highway 71.

It’s only 90 minutes from Houston (if you drive like I do) but the scenery is unlike anything Houston has to offer. Rent a canoe, bring your fishing pole or just dip your toes in the water. Life is too short to spend it inside waiting for cooler weather.

And just before sunset, you’ll find me on Park Road 1C setting up my tripod and camera and enjoying the late evening Texas heat. Come on out and join me! There’s always plenty of room for folks looking to enjoy a beautiful Texas sunset.

Greener Pastures

This post is for you urban photographers longing for greener pastures, wide open spaces and a whole lot less traffic.

Tucked away in a remote corner of Buescher State Park on Park Road 1C is utility easement for a natural gas pipeline that runs east-to-west through Bastrop county. It crosses Park Road 1C on a hillside about 300 feet above grade overlooking a beautiful cattle ranch with one of the oldest and tallest oaks in the region. Behind this majestic oak lies several more heavily wooded hills leading to the “Lost Pines” of Bastrop State Park. Since this easement is for an underground pipeline, there are no power lines to spoil your view of some of the most beautiful sunsets this side of the Hill Country.

During the hot and humid summer months, these hills take on an almost magical appearance as the sun begins to set in the distance. If you can stand the heat and humidity (not to mention the mosquitos) right before sunset, this spot offers some great photographic opportunities.

View Location on Panoramio & Google Earth: Overlook on Park Road 1C

Greener Pastures

Greener Pastures – Smithville, 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 IS USM lens + EF 1.4X Extender tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 280mm, f/18 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.

Hill Country Landscapes

Just a gentle reminder to everyone that my first book Hill Country Landscapes is back in stock and available for immediate shipment. You can preview the book below to see some of the wonderful landscapes you can find in the Texas Hill Country.

 

My next book should be completed in the fall and be available before Christmas, so stayed tuned!

Patterns of Light and Dark

Happy Monday Morning!

Here’s a shot I took a few weeks back on a late afternoon drive on Park Road 1C between Buescher and Bastrop state parks. Park Road 1C is 12 miles of hilly S-curves through some of the most beautiful countryside east of Austin, Texas. It’s a joy to drive in almost any season but spring and fall bring the most photographic opportunities.

A quick stop is at the small lake near the entrance of Buescher State Park. The lake is well protected by trees all around and becomes mirror smooth on quiet evenings. It’s wonderful to capture the patterns of light and dark in such a picturesque setting as this.

Have a Wonderful Week!

Patterns of Light & Dark

Patterns of Light & Dark – Smithville, Texas
Copyright © 2010 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture priority (Av) using an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 21mm, f/16 for 1/30th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming circular polarizer and 3-stop graduated neutral density filter. All post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3 Beta 2. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Deep Blue

Summertime has come to southeast and central Texas a bit early this year. The temperatures are already well into the 90’s with the humidity not too far behind.

Most folks would rather sit inside when the weather turns this hot and humid but for those of us with the itch to shoot, any weather is the right weather. It does help to find a deep blue lake to wade in at the end of a hot and sweaty day.

Deep Blue

Deep Blue – Bastrop, Texas
Copyright © 2010 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture priority (Av) using an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 22mm, f/16 for 1/5th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming circular polarizer and 3-stop graduated neutral density filter. All post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3 Beta 2. Click on the image above for a larger version.

By the way, both Buescher State Park and Bastrop State Park have small lakes stocked with fish. For you city slickers in Houston it’s a quick 90 minute drive and for you statesmen in Austin, it’s just 30 minutes away. I highly recommend both parks on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. The folks at Texas Parks & Wildlife do a great job maintaining both of these wonderful spots.

Sometimes you have to wait a while for those Texas clouds to show up. 🙂

Deep Reflections

Deep Reflections – Bastrop, Texas
Copyright © 2010 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture priority (Av) using an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 19mm, f/16 for 0.4 seconds at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming circular polarizer and 3-stop graduated neutral density filter. All post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3 Beta 2. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Reflections of Spring

Spring is coming soon to a Texas town near you! The poppies are beginning to bloom in the Franklin Mountains and the Hill Country’s lakes and streams are flowing well. The air is cool and crisp and the clouds a billowy white and gray in the distance. Don’t sit home another weekend. Get out and see the beauty of a Texas spring!

Reflections of Spring

Reflections of Spring – Bastrop, 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 30mm, f/5.6 for 1/50th of a second at ISO 80. All post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3 Beta. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Back to our Regularly Scheduled Program

Now that we’ve ventured into new photographic territory. Braved the wilds of high-powered strobes and battery packs and the swirling rapids of feathering a softbox. I’m sure were all ready to return to our regularly scheduled program. So here’s another landscape shot taken with my Canon G10 during a quick hike around the lake at Bastrop State Park.

Bastrop State Park

Bastrop 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 30mm, f/5.6 for 1/60th of a second at ISO 80. All post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3 Beta. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Everywhere You Go

Canon G10 Landscape RigI wrote a quick little post back in November about how to outfit your Canon G9/G10/G11 for landscape photography and I thought it might be time to explain why this is so important.

Like many photographers, I really love the resolution and detail my Canon 5D Mark II is capable of producing and for most of my professional and personal shooting it’s my camera of choice. However, like all other DSLRs the 5D2 can seem like quite a load to lug around for a casual hike or even during a drive down a beautiful country road.

Sometimes all you really need is the convenience of a point & shoot combined with the control of a DSLR (without the weight of course). This is the niche that Canon’s Powershot “G” series were made for. And with the addition of a few inexpensive accessories as shown above, the G9/G10/G11 can perform perfectly on those occasions when less is more. In fact, I find myself taking my G10 with me everywhere I go these days, just in case I stumble upon a scene like this!

Still Waters

Still Waters – Bastrop, 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 30mm, f/5.6 for 1/50th of a second at ISO 80. All post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3 Beta. Click on the image above for a larger version.