Wednesday, December 31, 2008
The Louisiana Monument is the highest point in the Vicksburg National Military Park. It offers a panoramic view that I greatly enjoy. I have shot photos of the monument in morning light as seen in the top photo, but my biggest success has been at sunset. It's pushing closing time in the park to get the sunsets, but they haven't locked me in yet! Many people just gaze upon the monument from afar, but the artwork on the monument itself is beautiful as well. Take a stroll up to it one day and enjoy the view. If you are lucky, you'll see a hawk riding the wind currents coming off the hill.
The trees of Steele Bayou are spectacular to me. They are absolutely majestic. I venture there quite often in the fall when there is plenty of color to reflect off the water. Such is the case with these two photos. Me and the cows that occupy the field next to the bayou have spent many an hour watching sunrises and sunsets at the bayou. Very peaceful place.
Downtown Vicksburg is great to shoot. The diversity of storefronts makes for interesting photos. I shot some nighttime shots a couple of times in December, especially when the leaves were just right on the little gingko tree at the corner of Clay and Washington. It's hard to catch the street cleared of traffic at night, but it can be pretty empty just after sunrise. You don't notice how many cars park along Washington Street in downtown until you try to shoot a picture of it. At night, the lamps make for a nice symmetrical photo. And fog doesn't hurt, either.
Sometimes I think I spend more time in the Vicksburg National Military Park than some of the rangers do. But it is one of the most picturesque places to be. I enjoy the deer that make the park home. It's hard to get them in front of a park icon, such as a cannon, but my patience is rewarded every once in a while. I am spending lots of time in the park as 2009 begins looking for the one that got away. That's him in the last picture. I came around a curve and was able to get this one shot before he scampered away.
I love photographing the rail trestle over the Big Black River in Bovina. Two of these were taken on Dec. 20 when the river was overflowing its banks. The sky changed quickly. It was amazing to watch the sky turn pink just before sunrise and then evolve into blue. It changed in the time it took me to wade through the kudzu from one side to the other. The other photo is from a sunrise this summer. I heard the train in the distance and hoped it would get there in time to make a good photo. It did.
When I walked out of work on Tuesday and saw the cloud formations overhead, I knew the Lord was going to be providing an awesome sunset for the world to see. He didn't disappoint. These photos were taken from the walkway located behind the new parking garage at Ameristar. I chose that spot because it brought the sun closest to the flag and I was able to use the bridge to obscure the electrical tower south of the bridges. The sky changed quickly as the sun settled and I was lucky to have a towboat and barges come by during the wait. I do my best not to get that tower in any of my photos I take of the bridge. But with the sun setting so far down the river, it's a challenge this time of year.