The Footprints Of Dinosaurs In Infrared At Dinosaur Valley State Park

Earlier this summer we took a afternoon excursion to Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, TX. Even as an adult seeing the footprints of dinosaurs along the riverbed of the Paluxy River was an exciting experience. Even with recent rain the water was still low enough to allow us to walk along a good section of the riverbed and view many of the footprints. We then took a hike along the Cedar Ridge Trail in the park and enjoyed getting away from the crowds to enjoy the scenery. Though there was a fair amount of hiking on inclines the panoramic views were well worth the walk. For being one of the few state parks near the DFW area this park seemed to offer a  less urban feel for a nice getaway from the city life.

 

The Paluxy River was flowing with all the recent rain in North Texas, yet we were still able to see plenty of dinosaur footprints in the riverbed.
The Paluxy River was flowing with all the recent rain in North Texas, yet we were still able to see plenty of dinosaur footprints in the riverbed.
We took a hike up to the scenic overlook on this loop. The aged trees lined the trail on a beautiful summer day in Texas as white puffs of clouds filled the sky overhead.
We took a hike up to the scenic overlook on this loop. The aged trees lined the trail on a beautiful summer day in Texas as white puffs of clouds filled the sky overhead.
The footprints of dinosaurs line the riverbed on the bed of the Paluxy River leaving a trail for you to walk in their path.
The footprints of dinosaurs line the riverbed on the bed of the Paluxy River leaving a trail for you to walk in their path.
The overlook of the Paluxy River below on the Cedar Ridge Trail in Dinosaur Valley State Park near Glen Rose, TX. Beautiful clouds wisp across a blue sky on a hot Texas afternoon as my wife and I hiked the trails around this beautiful park.
The overlook of the Paluxy River below on the Cedar Ridge Trail in Dinosaur Valley State Park near Glen Rose, TX. Beautiful clouds wisp across a blue sky on a hot Texas afternoon as my wife and I hiked the trails around this beautiful park.
A path of rocks makes up a river crossing on the hiking trails in Dinosaur Valley State Park near Glen Rose, TX.
A path of rocks makes up a river crossing on the hiking trails in Dinosaur Valley State Park near Glen Rose, TX.
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An Afternoon in Downtown Waxahachie in the Dreamworld of Infrared

Yesterday I went downtown in Waxahachie and shot some infrared images of the beautiful old architecture of the area. Though I was dripping sweat in the Texas summer heat I got some wonderful images that are great representations of Waxahachie. Thought I would share!

Ellis County Courthouse The beautiful courthouse was erected in 1895 during an economic boom in the area. Several years back the county spent approximately $11 million to renovate the structure back to it's original glory; both inside and out and re-opened the courthouse in 2002.
Ellis County Courthouse
The beautiful courthouse was erected in 1895 during an economic boom in the area. Several years back the county spent approximately $11 million to renovate the structure back to it’s original glory; both inside and out and re-opened the courthouse in 2002.
Ellis County Courthouse and Trees Another view of the absolutely stunning architecture of this 1895 courthouse in rural North Texas.
Ellis County Courthouse and Trees
Another view of the absolutely stunning architecture of this 1895 courthouse in rural North Texas.
Missouri/Kansas/Texas Railroad Caboose and Depot The former MKT or Katy Railroad depot in Waxahachie Texas with a restored caboose sits downtown.
Missouri/Kansas/Texas Railroad Caboose and Depot
The former MKT or Katy Railroad depot in Waxahachie Texas with a restored caboose sits downtown.
Rogers St. Railroad Crossing Just to the side of Rogers St. near downtown Waxahachie, TX sits the beautiful view of small town Texas with old buildings, a feed store, grain elevators, and the rails.
Rogers St. Railroad Crossing
Just to the side of Rogers St. near downtown Waxahachie, TX sits the beautiful view of small town Texas with old buildings, a feed store, grain elevators, and the rails.

First week with a converted infrared camera. Photographs to share!

So this past Tuesday my color infrared converted Nikon D200 arrived in the mail from KEH. I couldn’t wait to get out and use it, and I shot every day last week with it. Today sadly is a dreary, grey, rainy afternoon in North Texas so I sit here trying to figure out how to better post process these images. Shooting and processing infrared images is a unique challenge.  Also had to face a few 100 degree weather, pop up showers, a scraped ankle, and poison ivy to capture these photographs.

Here are what I deem to be the best images from my days out photographing and exploring Ellis County in Texas last week and best represent “Texas” to me.

 

 

Dunn Rd. Railroad Crossing A beautiful summer's day in Waxahachie TX on a afternoon drive.
Dunn Rd. Railroad Crossing
A beautiful summer’s day in Waxahachie TX on a afternoon drive.

 

On a typical 90 degree Texas summer afternoon the clouds roll across the sky over the round hay bales and an old storage shed on a Rockett, TX farm.
Lyon Rd. Farmstead Rockett, TX
On a typical 90 degree Texas summer afternoon the clouds roll across the sky over the round hay bales and an old storage shed on a Rockett, TX farm.

 

The Texas prairie land travels as far as the eye can see in the afternoon sun on a hot summer day in Rockett, TX.
Farbar Rd. Prairie Land
The Texas prairie land travels as far as the eye can see in the afternoon sun on a hot summer day in Rockett, TX.

 

Cunningham Meadows A Dodge Charger moves quickly down a backroad in Ellis County Texas on a hot summer's afternoon while a farmer works in the field just off to the left of the image.
Cunningham Meadows
A Dodge Charger moves quickly down a backroad in Ellis County Texas on a hot summer’s afternoon while a farmer works in the field just off to the left of the image.
Lyon Rd. Rockett, TX
The clouds ripple across an afternoon sky in Rockett, TX on a summer’s afternoon at the entrance to the dead end Lyon Rd.
The fence marks the edge of the outfield on a baseball field next to Grove Creek Rd. in Waxahachie, TX.
Grove Creek Rd. Fence Line
The fence marks the edge of the outfield on a baseball field next to Grove Creek Rd. in Waxahachie, TX.

 

Youngblood Rd. Abandonment An abandoned home sits on the roadside next to Youngblood Rd. in Waxahachie, TX.
Youngblood Rd. Abandonment
An abandoned home sits on the roadside next to Youngblood Rd. in Waxahachie, TX.

 

'56 Chevy and Barn on Old Maypearl Rd. A aged and weathered barn sit next to Old Maypearl Rd. with a '56 Chevy in the driveway and farm equipment in the background.
’56 Chevy and Barn on Old Maypearl Rd.
A aged and weathered barn sit next to Old Maypearl Rd. with a ’56 Chevy in the driveway and farm equipment in the background.

 

The Dream World of Infrared Photography on a Summer’s Day in Maypearl, TX

I went out today with my D70 and an infrared filter and decided to play around a bit more with digital infrared photography. Infrared photography is always a finicky and tricky thing to do (especially well), whether it be film or digital. Most people find it hard to believe that this is how the images come straight out of the camera; no editing is needed to create these surreal images. The filter used for infrared photography simply blocks normal daylight (uv light) and only allows infrared light to pass through the camera’s lens and reach the digital sensor or film. Infrared filters are impossible to see through and make shooting a challenge as any framing has to be done before the filter can be put on the lens. The other challenge is that the focus plane of infrared photography is different than that of any other type of shooting. Most lenses have an extra dot, but it is still not precise and often needs adjusted to reach any kind of sharp focus. As with any digital shooting it is always much cheaper to experiment and try new things. I do still have some 35mm infrared film packed away to use at some point, but for now I am enjoying the ease of doing it on a digital camera. These are by no means exemplary, yet turned out better than expected. Infrared photographs create a dreamlike reality within the everyday world with the whites created from grass, leaves, and other plants. It makes an ordinary summer day seem like a world away in a place you only see in the deepest sleep. These photos are all taken in Maypearl, TX on a driving adventure I took today after the rain cleared and the sun came out (you really need bright sunlight to have effective infrared photos.

Classic Car and Old Barn Maypearl, TX
Maypearl Sunflower Field
Old Maypearl Road
Abandoned Waxahachie Train Bridge

Am I Still in Texas? Scenic Gorman Falls at Colorado Bend State Park in the Heart of Texas Hill Country

A little over a month ago I took a vacation to Texas Hill Country (south and central Texas) with my wife and dog. This was our first venture out of the DFW metroplex, and we were in shock at the beauty of this region of a state we had come to view as a brown scar of cattle land. We drove through winding hills and dense forest vegetation to get to Colorado Bend State Park in Bend, TX. The drive into the park was slow and rugged on a minimum maintenance dirt road (I would call it a car trail) in our Toyota Yaris. After what seemed a long drive, though it was only 6 miles at low speeds, we came to a paved road that rapidly descended into the Colorado River valley. The camping area was itself a wonder of wildlife and beauty. Our tent sat within throwing distance of the Colorado River and we watched deer walk through our site in the evening hours. We took a walk along the river on our first night in the park and were amazed at the abundant wildlife. We saw deer, big horn sheep, cardinals, vultures, and our first armadillo sighting since moving to Texas. During the first full day at the park I took a side hike out to Gorman Falls; the main attraction of the park. I hiked a mile and a half through terrain that would have looked right at home in an old Western movie with horses and cowboys riding across it. As I came to my destination it was a sharp downward hike on limestone to the base of Gorman Falls. Once I reached the bottom of the hill I was taken aback at the beauty that lie in front of me. The array of colors within the moving water were well worth the hike to get there. Calcium deposits built up over thousands of years to create the 60 ft. waterfall that looked like a shimmering rainbow as the water mist over the the deposits. Even though the park was in a six year drought there was still plenty of water flowing along the rock face from Gorman Creek.

Water flowing across the calcium covered rock face to create Gorman Falls in the beautiful spring sunlight at Colorado Bend State Park in Bend, TX
Calcium deposits shimmering in the April sunlight showing violets, reds, greens, and more in Colorado Bend State Park in Bend, TX

Star trails, pine trees, and mountain tops in Breckenridge, Colorado

I recently had the privilege of visiting Summit County in Colorado. During my visit I spent one of the nights outside in the refreshingly chilly mountain air. Even in April there was still several feet of snow on the ground (not a huge surprise when you are over 10,000 ft. above sea level), though the daytime sun was warm enough to be outside in a t-shirt. Being out of the city the stars shone brightly behind the silhouettes of pine trees and mountains. These images reinforce the magic of the camera as the camera captured the stars moving across the night sky.

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Rocky Mountain Silhouette
Pine trees on Mt. Argentine in Blue River, Colorado as the stars streak across the twilight sky deep in the Rocky Mountains.
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Night Life in the Rockies
A backyard view during the twilight hours with Mt. Argentine in the background as time passes during the night.
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Twilight Mountain Road
Cars fly past on Colorado Hwy. 9 in High County during the twilight hours.
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I Threw Stones at the Stars, but the Whole Sky Fell
The night view from my sister’s patio in Blue River, Colorado (near Breckenridge in High County) as the stars move across the night sky behind Mt. Argentine covered with pines and snow.

Remains of the Fruen Mill in Minneapolis Under the Moonlight

Looking back through photographs I took in Minneapolis I often come to the images I took at the site of the Fruen Mill near Theodore Worth Park on a chilly winter night. The sheer mass of these structures are a testament to a once booming time in this now residential neighborhood. The buildings have a beauty of their own as they sit and decay season after season.

The remains of a once booming mill sit vacant and rotting in the middle of the Bryn Mawr neighborhood of Minneapolis. These buildings have remained unused for over 40 years and show their wear along with plenty of street art. Most of the structures were built after 1920, but the lot has been used for milling since 1894. The lot is next to Basset Creek and adjacent to the enormous Theodore Worth Park. Empty and dilapidated buildings sit towering over the residential neighborhood boasting fantastic views of downtown. The views from the top of this structure are in part the reason that it still stands. Redevelopment has been discussed several times, yet always fallen through.
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