In the fall of 2013 I spent five weeks here in Southeast Iowa shooting autumn color, or at least the color I could find that year. Lacey-Keosauqua State Park was on my list of places to photograph. I had seen an image of a stone bridge and wanted to make my own. As it turns out, it is my favorite black and white photo and certainly a favorite from that trip. Now that it is winter, my mind envisioned photographing the same bridge in a different season. We only have a small amount of snow and it has been melting the last few days. Rain is expected today and tomorrow and will probably wash away the remaining snow. Not knowing if another chance to photograph this beautiful stone bridge with snow would come my way, I set off yesterday to see what images could be made.
Quite the surprise to find how much ice was in the parking area near the stone bridge. And the dry creek was now full of water and covered with ice, although too thin to stand on. My plan to shoot as similar a composition as before was not an option. And that’s okay, although that plan will still be on my mind. While processing this image, I played with a color version, a black and white version and even a split-tone version. I decided on the color version. I noticed one of the trees that was in my photo from two years ago is now gone. Unfortunate as it was very light in color and a great contrast to that dark tree directly behind the bridge.
The rock ledges on the hillsides had huge icicles hanging from them. It was about 30 or 32 degrees and I was hearing icicles break and fall. Concerned I may get struck on the head with an icicle my time photographing in this beautiful park was cut short.
Before packing up my gear, a tree caught my attention. Not only due to the bark being darker that the surround trees, but the soft curves of the limbs. My mind envisioned a black and white image to show the contrast of the dark bark, pure white snow and the soft curves of the limbs.
The road leading to this location of the park is hilly and curvy. While driving back the way I came, I was looking for potential images. The trees are very tall and create an arch above the road. Had there been more snow on the trees I would have stopped. However, something did make me stop my vehicle right in the middle of the road. Not one, but two does foraging in the middle of the day! I put my vehicle in park, turned on my hazard lights and grabbed my camera out my bag. They were still standing there, looking at me as if saying “hurry up, we’re posing for you!” My 50 mm lens was attached to my camera and I knew there wouldn’t be time to change to a longer lens. I would just have to see what I could get. Quickly adjusting my camera settings to what I hoped would make a decent image and removing the circular polarizer filter, I got out of my vehicle. They stayed and stared at me. Then taking a few steps closer, I made more images. My camera was set to continuous mode and I just held the shutter open. Then one of the deer was spooked as I took a few more steps closer and ran off. One remained and she allowed me to take a few more steps and make more images. Then they both ran off into the woods. A bonus image to end my day!
You can click on any of the images below to see a larger version.