Woods in transition…Part 1

The woods are in the beginning of transition. Went for a Sunday drive and ended up out at Oxley Nature Center, as I have often, but today there was some drizzle with a high chance of it turning to rain, and it did.


The woods were so still during the rain, it made me stop and just be. If it wasn’t for the sounds of the rain in the woods you would almost think the video was a photo. Just a moment in time in the woods.


I had already decided to head home because of the rain. I packed up my camera and headed towards to the parking lot when I stopped to watch the field and the rain for a second. I decided to get my phone out to grab a snapshot of the field and maybe a video, not wanting to get my camera out of it’s bag. That is when this little guy walked across the trail, I snapped a photo of him then thought I should video him, so this is what I got. After I continued on my way wishing I hadn’t put my main camera up, the moment reminded me of something Jim Richardson said about “not being done until your are done.” In other words, don’t put your gear away until your completely “DONE!


People stood up on August 18th.

On August 18th 2017 there was an Anti-Hate rally in Tulsa, OK. That Friday at 5 in the evening people rallied on the doorstep of City Hall. Some with signs, some with something to say and some to stand, to be present and counted with our brothers and sisters in our community against hate and divisive rhetoric.

There were speakers that spoke about the reason we were there, and why it was so important to stand.

There was a speaker, a teacher, that brought up the basic science, and how there really are no differences between us.
There were speakers that brought up personal accounts of the past, and how its so important not to return there, that we must always move forward towards a better tomorrow.

There were speakers that gave motivations to get involved and how and where to connect yourself with an organization.

After sometime, some speeches and calls to action there was a march across the tracks, not only the proverbial kind but literal as well.

The line of marchers stretched back from Archer all the way up and across the bridge to City Hall.

We marched to Reconciliation Park, we passed people eating at restaurants and attended the game at Drillers Stadium.

Some speaking about more immediate and local issues, like the food desert that North Tulsa has become. “A food desert is an area, especially one with low-income residents, that has limited access to affordable and nutritious food. In contrast, an area with supermarkets is termed a food oasis.”

These are some of the things that happened on the evening of August 18th in Tulsa. People stood and spoke for what they believe, and how they want their, our community to be. How it use to be and that we cannot go back. We all must stand against hate and violence, and doing it together is the only way we can make it a reality.


When I was a kid…..Part 1

Yes, I am that old now. Urgh, I don’t want to be but I’m starting to embrace it, I guess.

Remember the “Don’t Lay That Trash on Oklahoma” anti-littering campaign in the ’80’s? If you are not from Oklahoma you may not, so I guess this post is for all the Okies in the room.

Here is a link to the ODOT commercial spot used during the campaign.

We had a huge problem with littering in this state and to help, this campaign was developed to try and curb the littering. There is an article from Jan 31, 2015 by  Ginnie Graham, click here to read it, in the Tulsa World regarding the ODOT campaign and a few numbers covering cost for the state. When I would travel with my family on the turnpike or any other major highway there always seemed to be trash cans where you could dispose of your trash instead of throwing it out the window or dumping it somewhere. The efforts seemed to help, but with time it was allowed to fade away. I feel we have a growing litter and pollution problem again, I’m not saying the problem went away completely before, but at least the campaign kept attention on the issue. I think its a good idea to have reminders every once in a while to do the right thing. Like the big Oklahoma family I feel we are, we all need to do our parts to keep the house clean. So, “Don’t Lay That Trash on Oklahoma.”

Litter in the main pond at Centennial Park, Tulsa, OK


A Coors beer can floats in the water at the Centennial Park Tulsa, OK.

Anyways, one of the reasons I brought this up is because I’ve restarted an old photo project I began sometime ago. The project is about the watershed here in Tulsa and how interconnected we are as individuals and as a community to it and the rest of the water system. Littering is a big part of the pollution that we put into the water system but it is by far not the only part. The pond at Centennial Park is a part of the storm drainage system, as such it will collect debris and other pollutants from the surrounding area.

Non-Point and Point pollution are huge factors in how water is being polluted.

Non-Point Source Pollution, NPS pollution is caused by rainfall or snow-melt moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and ground waters. This disciption of NPS pollution is a brief breakdown of what it is, on the EPA site there is a more in depth definition.  This illustration from NOAA is a basic visualization of how NPS pollution works.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines point source pollution as “any single identifiable source of pollution from which pollutants are discharged, such as a pipe, ditch, ship or factory smokestack”

To see a current, happening right now, example of how our actions affect the environment all you have to do is look at what is going on in the Gulf Mexico this year. NOAA announced that this year’s dead zone is the biggest one ever measured. It covers 8,776 square miles — an area the size of New Jersey.

To be continued…

For the clients – something different

Creating something a little different to fit what your clients want can be great. I was tasked with creating some head-shots for a client that fit the overall look and feel of their branding. The portraits that I create usually are on the more dramatic side, darker backgrounds with a more classical feel. With this project I was having to switch things up a bit. Not only because I wanted to do something different but also to fit my client’s look and established brand.

I worked out a lighting set up and editing style to create the look desired. Here is what we came up.

A lighter, lower saturated, higher contrast images with a white background shot with a single light. One strobe with a 36″ octo softbox on stand, Nikon D800, 24-70mm, F2.8, edited in LR. Here are a couple diagrams showing a basic layout of the light and subject positioning.

Nothing really complicated or extravagant just a simple setup with some basic post work. But the final look that we got is what we wanted. This is a reminder of the KISS method, keep it simple stupid.



Angel in Black and White

I’ve been wanting to change up my shooting style, if I really have one, to try something new. Wanting to do more black and white portraiture. I was working with a friend the other day and I asked “may I do your portrait?” and of course she said yes, well she chirped back “sure,” so that’s what we did.

The only light I had with me was a SB-600, yes I still have and use it and yes it still kicks out some good light, I have a small 6X9 Impact soft-box for the light modifier, it attaches with Velcro, works great in a pinch just like this one. The stand for the SB-600 I used a tripod, I attached the mount for the speed light to the head’s plate. Positioned the tripod on the table and used the swing-arm on the tripod to position the light right above me and the camera.

I wanted to go with a white back ground so I used a piece of white expanded PVC that we had behind a wall cutter cleaned it and placed it on a cart against the wall.

After getting everything setup and the flash’s power set, it was time to go to work sorta speak. I like to talk and have a conversation with the people that I photograph, it helps to relax and keep a calm setting, even joking around can get you a nice candid shot, a moment out of the norm, or other words the images that people don’t like to show. These are a few of them. I do want to go back and get some with a larger studio light but I still like the way they turned out.

Angel Adams is a creative in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area. You can learn about her here on her site here or @angeladams

Oklahoma Wind Energy

Chisholm View Wind Project, Northeast of Enid, OK ©Billy Sauerland

In 2010 Oklahoma adopted a goal of generating 15% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015. Wind power accounted for 18.4% of the electricity generated in Oklahoma during 2015. At the end of 2015, Oklahoma’s installed wind generation capacity was 5184 MW.


Being centrally located, the western half of Oklahoma is in America’s wind corridor, which stretches from Canada into North Dakota and Montana, south into west Texas, where the vast majority of the country’s best on-shore wind resources are located.  Oklahoma has the potential to install 517,000 MW of wind turbines, capable of generating 1,521,652 GWh each year. This is over one third of all the electricity generated in the United States in 2011.

The Economics

Oklahoma’s wind resources are the eighth best in the United States. The total number of direct and indirect jobs in the state from wind power development is estimated to be between 1,000 and 2,000.

Oklahoma ended the half-cent tax credit for wind by July 2017. All zero-emission rebates were $60 million in the 2014 tax year.

©Billy Sauerland


Some of the wind farms in Oklahoma include:

The $3.5 billion, 800 mile, Plains & Eastern Clean Line transmission line was approved in 2012, which will when completed in 2017 have the capacity to deliver 7,000 MW of wind power. As of April, 2017, Clean Line Energy Partners did not have any binding contracts to provide electricity to an electric utility. The only tentative, nonbinding, agreement Clean Line was able to obtain was for 50 MW of capacity.

In 2010 Oklahoma adopted a goal of generating 15% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015.

Wind power accounted for 18.4% of the electricity generated in Oklahoma during 2015. At the end of 2015, Oklahoma’s installed wind generation capacity was 5184 MW.

(All information for post was obtained from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the US Department of Energy. All of this information and more available for view to the public at their sites.)

Under good leadership at state and local levels and combined with proper incentives Oklahoma could lead the country in wind energy. This is just another reason to get our and vote. Here are links to help you find where your county election boards are and where you can register and where your polling places are Oklahoma State Election Board.


Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge – Oklahoma

West of Tulsa almost 3 hours is the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge. Designated as the “largest such saline flat in the central lowlands of North America,” the 11,200- acre salt flat of Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge is essential to wildlife.

However on this visit I ended up staying the wetland area of the refuge. The refuge consists of approximately 26,232 acres of classified wetlands. Wetlands include things such as lakes, ponds, rivers, creeks, and low level areas that are prone to flooding and have high soil moisture. Wetlands can contain shrubs, trees, grasses and/or wetland specific plants. Wetlands provide homes for many reptiles and amphibians. Wetlands also aide in the decomposition of organic matter and naturally filter water as it passes through.

Here are a few of the photos I was able to capture. I am planning to head back, most likely in the fall.