Seeking Solitude in Nature

“In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir

There was a break in the weather.  A crack in winter’s grasp, spring has begun to gain a foothold, It was time to get out into nature for an afternoon.

Last Sunday afternoon I took a few hours for myself.   I took a 40-minute drive to Stone Mountain State Park to seek some healing solitude in nature.  My intentions where modest, simply to take a short walk to Wolf Rock & Cedar Rock and then back to the parking lot.  I chose this route hoping to avoid crowded overlooks within the park.  For the most part, I was successful.  I only met a handfull of other nature seekers on the trail.

Along the trail, I was also keeping my eyes open for photo opportunities.  The only camera I carried was my iPhone.  The idea was to travel light and have a device that I could slip out of my pocket easily to capture a quick snap while walking the trail.


The first composition that caught my eye were these fallen trees.  I liked the mix of old and new,  a life cycle within the forest.  The two mature trees that were more than likely blown over now serve to enrich the forest soil for the younger saplings and vegetation that will take hold.

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Not much farther up the trail, I noticed lichen growing on this tree along with this stringy vegetation.  I’m not sure if it is a species of moss or something else all together.

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I paused to take this photo of the trail bed, with it’s winter covering of leaves.

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Now, nearing Wolf Rock, I noticed the moss growing on a low hanging tree branch as I ducked to pass below it.

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My primary destination, Wolf Rock.  Before walking out onto the rock, I paused to shoot this puddle with it’s reflecting light.  Wolf Rock is a large gently sloping rock outcropping that can easily be walked over most of it’s surface.  I was hoping to have it all for myself, but, I initially had to share it with one other gentleman.  so, I’m not complaining.  I found a nice spot and sat for a while.  I listened to the wind blow through the trees and mountains, I watched the clouds pass by overhead, I observed a few soaring birgs, and I sat, still & quiet, just soaking it in, letting the experience of nature wash over me.  I would have stayed longer if I could have.

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Thanks for reading my words and viewing my photos,  I hope you have a great day. – Mike

 

 

Sunday Snap 03.10.19

Sunday Snap 03.10.19

Spring, it’s right around the corner…

I actually shot this image in the spring of 2016.  But, I thought it would be appropriate to share in today’s post since all signs are pointing to an early spring in my part of the world.

Also, I have been too busynah, the truth is, I haven’t taken the time to shoot any new photos this week.  I am planning to change that very soon.  I need to be more conscious of the fact that my iPhone can take a decent image and I need to be more mindful of that in my daily life.

Anyway, I hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Thank for viewing, Mike L.

Sunday Snap 03.10.19

Sunday Snap 03.03.19

Sunday Snap 03-03-19 Featured Image

Too cold for a swim…

I took this shot of my 8-year-old son this past December while visiting Sulivan’s Island, SC

We were actually staying in Charleston, SC and took a short drive to Mount Pleasant, Sulivan’s Island, and Isle of Palms.  The air temperatures where pleasant for December, but, way to cool to actually get wet.

We had walked out onto the beach, just exploring a bit.  I noticed the sea foam on the shore and sat my camera on the sand to get the photo with my son at looking out towards the ocean.

I realize you can’t see his face or even know that it’s him.  But, that’s one of the things about the photo that appeals to me.  I think it captures a bit of that childhood curiosity and the explorer’s spirit as he stands there looking out towards such a big world.

Sunday Snap 03-03-19

Thanks for viewing, I hope you have a great day!

Mike L.

Sunday Snap 02.24.19

Sunday Snap 02.24.19 Featured Image

Visiting my favorite coffee shop…

One of my more savory guilty pleasures is visiting Talia Espresso on a Saturday afternoon.  It’s a family-owned coffee shop in my hometown, serving a nice variety of coffee drinks and baked treats. 

My family and I like to visit on the weekends, it’s a beautiful shop in a historic building downtown.  The walls are lined with bookcases filled with books and art.  The books are provided for customers and the art is by local artist and many of the pieces are available for purchase. 

We visited yesterday, while there I enjoyed a vanilla latte and a cinnamon coffee cake, I also snapped this photo with my phone.

Sunday Snap 02.24.19

I started Sunday Snap a few weeks ago as a way to ensure that I maintained a balance between drawings and photography.  My weekly schedule is usually full and that limits my time to get out with a camera and shoot.  I wanted a way to create regular photography content between “real” outings with my camera.  Now, I’m thinking about using Sunday Snap as a way to share more about my life outside of this blog. 

I would love to hear your feedback.  Comments are welcome.

Thanks for viewing, I hope you have a great day!

Mike L.

Sunday Snap 02.17.19

Sunday Snap 02.17.19 Featured Image

For this Sunday Snap, I traveled back to 2015…

This photo was taken back in September of 2015 when I was just becoming interested in photography.  I shot this image with a Canon PowerShot SX400 IS which is a point and shoot camera.  I originally purchased this camera to document hiking trips.  That is what spurred my interest in photography.  I still have this camera and enjoy using it on occasion.

The camera lacks the ability to manually set aperture or shutter speed, it doesn’t even have a proper viewfinder, just a screen.  But, I like it none the less!

The subject of today’s snap is an abandoned building about one mile from my home.  It fronts on the same highway that I travel each day during my daily commute.  I wish I knew the history of this building but unfortunately, I don’t.  To me, it has the look of an old country store.  I can imagine a single family running the store on the ground level while living on the second floor above.

Abandoned buildings like this always make me wonder what happened.

How did this building fall into ruins?

Who is the owner?

Why has it been left to be consumed and reclaimed by nature?

Sunday Snap 02.17.19

“Ruins are more beautiful than adorned castles, for ruins are the cathedrals of time.” – Ben Caesar

Thanks for viewing, I hope you have a great day!

Mike L.

Winter’s Chill

Ice Storm Featured Image

This past weekend brought some icy weather to my neck of the woods.  So I ventured out with my camera to see if I could find any interesting shots.

The images in this post were all taken in my backyard, no more than 100′ from my house.  It just shows that if you really look at the opportunities that have been provided for you, you can find inspiration and beauty.

All of the images in this post where shot using a Canon EOS Rebel T5 with a Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Prime Lens.

The images below are linked to a larger version.  Just click on the image for more detail.

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Ice Storm Comp 01

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Ice Storm Comp 03

Ice Storm Comp 05

Thanks for visiting, I hope you enjoyed this post.

Mike L.

A Stroll Down Gateway Walk

A couple of weeks ago we spent a couple of days in historic Charleston, SC.  For those who aren’t familiar with Charleston it is a charming coastal city located in the southeastern United States.  Charleston was founded in 1670 as Charles Town, honoring King Charles II of England.

The Unitarian Church in Charleston, built in 1772, is the second oldest church in downtown Charleston.  The church has a unique cemetery, the walking paths are well maintained but vegetation within the grave sites is allowed to grow naturally, creating a fascinating and extremely peaceful environment.

Below are a few photos from our visit to the church cemetery.

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Thank you for viewing my photos.  I hope you liked them.

Mike L.

Kid in a Candy Shop

About a year ago our little town was fortunate enough to have an adventurous couple move in and open a candy shop in one of the historical buildings downtown.  The shop is comfortable and charming.  They not only sale candy but also feature handmade goods from local artisans.

We like to visit the shop every couple of weeks to fill up on the wonderful sweets that are offered there.  We were visiting the shop a few weeks ago and I decided to snap off a few photos of the brightly colored candies.

View these photos at your own risk…you may leave this page with a sudden craving for something sweet.

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Autumn Sunset

I love Autumn, it’s my favorite season.  I like the cool brisk mornings, watching the leaves fall from the trees, seeing the frost laying on the grass and roof tops.  Autumn can also produce some really vibrant sunsets as well.  I shot this one from my backyard yesterday evening with my iPhone.  I just thought I would share it with you guys.

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Have a great night!

For the Love of Apples

Every year, since my childhood, on the first Saturday of October.  My hometown closes the streets and makes preparations for the biggest day of the year…The Apple Festival.

The Apple Festival is a single day festival that features crafts, artisans, food, music, fun & games.  The typically quiet streets come alive with spectators, performers, and the tempting scents of a variety of good eats.

Lately, I have been very interested in street photography.  However, I have the same fear as many aspiring street photographers…and that is…the fear of someone being upset over having their photo taken.  But, in a festival setting…it just feels safer.  The streets are so crowded and people are so distracted that know one really notices, or cares, if a stranger is pointing a camera at them.

Now, don’t get the wrong idea, I certainly didn’t wade into the crowd just clicking away and pointing my camera at every interesting person I saw.  In reality, I was still cautious and selective about where or who I pointed my camera at.

Many times I either flat out missed opportunities or simply hesitated and the moment was gone.  But, the more I pressed the shutter release the more confident I felt and the more fun I had.

Below are few images from that outing.  Honestly, I realize that they’re a bit amateurish, but, I wouldn’t expect anything better based on my experience.  I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and the act of attempting street photography.  I plan to try again soon.

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A couple of food vendors trying to keep up with customer demands.

 

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Yes, The Apple Festival really draws a crowd, as seen here, a couple of imperial storm troopers managed to make the journey.

 

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This ladies tattoo caught my eye.  It was obviously done by a very talented artist.  I had to get a photo.

 

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I’m not sure what to say about this one.  I was actually photographing the van.  It was part of a vendor’s booth setup.  Plus, I just like Volkswagon vans.

 

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These guys were breaking it down old school.  The most interesting of the three was the guy in the black hat playing the spoons.

 

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This guy should win to award for the most enthusiastic.  Prior to taking this photo he was attempting to lead the crowd in a spirited singing of America the Beautiful.  I don’t know what the gentleman on the left said to him but, judging by his expression, it must have been amusing.

As always, thanks for viewing my photos…I hope you enjoyed them.

– Mike L.

Taking a closer look…it’s all in the details

This past week’s challenge was all about the details.  So with that in mind, I wanted to photograph somewhat everyday items but in a way that highlighted the finer details.

I had originally planned to photograph details in the built environment, such as, architectural details, mechanical details, etc.  However, the weather was not cooperating and so I ended up scavenging items around the house that I thought may be interesting to photograph.

For this challenge I used a simple lightbox with a black background and a single source of light.

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I have always been fascinated by pine combs.  To me, they are always a welcome sign of Autumn and cooler weather.  I find their structure intriguing, I have photographed and even drawn them before.

 

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This camera actually belonged to my parents.  I stumbled across it a few years ago and it’s currently displayed on a shelf in my study.  It’s no longer functional but makes for an interesting photo.

 

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I thought this small oil lamp would also be an interesting subject, especially when lit.

 

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I couldn’t resist a classic Zippo lighter.

 

As always, thanks for viewing my photos…I hope you enjoyed them.

– Mike L.