Sunday Photo-Drives : Oxley and Tall Grass

The last few Sundays I’ve been trying to go somewhere local to take photos and explore my home state a bit more. Here are some of the fruits of my drives so far.

First is Oxley Nature Center, if you’ve been to my blog before you may have seen a post or two about this place. It is a local park and nature preserve, with hiking trails and visitor center. It is setup as an immersive experience to highlight our local flora and fauna. Here are a few images from Oxley Nature Center.


Second is a drive up to the Tall Grass Prairies Preserve north of Pawhuska, OK. The preserve is a Nature Conservancy conservation preserve, their goal is to restore the native grasses along with bison, birds and other native species. This is one of my favorite places to head to when I’m needing a breather from Tulsa. Here are a few images from the Tall Grass Prairie Preserve.

Update 5-8-2017: I’ve reedited the image “Osage Prairie” to reflect more of a romantic feel that I was wanting to achieve.  I believe I was able to reach that goal.


1st Oil Well in Oklahoma, near Chelsea, OK

I was out driving near Chelsea, OK and came to the site of the 1st Oil Well in Oklahoma. It wasn’t all too impressive, but I thought it was neat just the same. This un-assuming site is a small square notch in a field where cattle graze now. After passing it on my way to the east side of Spencer Creek campgrounds, I thought I would stop when going back by.

We have a winner!

Well we have a winner to the signed print giveaway. I have sent a message to the winner and as soon as that person contacts me back I will announce them. In the meantime I want to present the print that they have won.

Update 2013/7/3: Unfortunately I have yet to hear from the winner of the Signed Print Giveaway. I do want to give the winner ample time to get in contact with me. So I have decided to announce the winner now, in hopes they will see there name and contact me directly.

The winner of the Signed Print Giveaway was Toni Slate of Laugh Talk Radio. I have made attempts to contact you through the contact section on your blog, so if you see this please contact me as soon as possible to receive your Signed Print of “Moonbow over Yosemite.”

I want to thank everybody for their support and encouragement of my photography.

“Moonbow over Yosemite”

This is "Moonbow over Yosemite" I captured this image the night of the full moon in May, 2013.

This is “Moonbow over Yosemite” 11X14 I captured this image the night of the full moon in May, 2013.

I captured this image of the moonbow, on the night of the full moon in May. The alignment of Yosemite Valley east to west and the placement of Yosemite Falls being along the north side of Yosemite Valley, is a near perfect arrangement of elements. The best time to witness moonbows are in the springtime, since the flow of water over the falls is great enough to produce enough mist to catch and then create a moonbow.

There were probably about 100 or so people there trying to get a look at and a good photo of the bow. It brought the experience a bit more into focus for me. Not just the experience of seeing a moonbow but that of Yosemite as a whole. Just saying there are a lot of people there, even in the slow seasons. However without these people we wouldn’t have the national parks at all. We need the participation of everyone but we need to remember to be respectful of nature all that it has and represents. Because without nature we wouldn’t be here either. Well enough of the soap box, if I really got on it at all. So with no further delay the settings and gear I used to capture the image.



  • 32mm Focal Length
  • 40sec Shutter Speed
  • 16 F-Stop
  • 3200 ISO

2013 July Free Wallpaper! It’s early!

Its early this time! I thought I might try to make up for the last few months of being late. So its a couple of days early.

The image I went with for the July Wallpaper, is an image I captured while out exploring Yosemite. This is a view from below Olmsted Point and above Tenaya Canyon and over looks the eastern edge of Yosemite Valley.

Looking West over the upper end of Tenaya Canyon and the Eastern edge of Yosemite Valley. From here you can see Clouds Rest on the left and also the east side of Half Dome.

Looking West over the upper end of Tenaya Canyon and the Eastern edge of Yosemite Valley. From here you can see Clouds Rest on the left and also the east side of Half Dome.

For this shot I used my Nikon D800, 24-70mm f2.8, Circular Polarizor. The wind was whipping around pretty good up there, and the sun was so bright, but I had an amazing day out exploring that day. The clouds were moving pretty fast, and since they were changing so quickly I needed to act fast to get them before they were gone from above Clouds Rest.

Images from Yosemite!

I have uploaded a few more images from my adventure in Yosemite. Here is one that I particularly like. I was hiking down from Glacier Point the second day after it opened for the season. The clouds were socked in around Glacier Point so it provided this great atmosphere to the scene. The misty clouds hung in the trees like a dream, so trying to capture as much as I could. I captured this shot of the forest, its not a postcard view, its a view of a healthy natural forest, just waking up from winter. Hope you enjoy and stay tuned for more to come.

The forest waking up from winter.

The forest waking up from winter.

I was trying to capture the overwhelming presence that this scene had. So I shot it at 24mm with my 24-70mm f/2.8. Unfortunately there was some lens distortion that I fixed in post, however the lines of the trees still are converging in the distance. That is a testament to how large these trees really are, and how naturally grand the forest when protected and left to be the way it wants to be, will be. So click the image above to go and check out more images from Yosemite.

April Free Wallpaper!

Its about DAMN! time. I am very late with April’s free wallpaper due to a lack of broadband wifi, but thanks to a coffee chain I am able to upload the wallpaper.

This scene was along the hike to the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoia in Yosemite National Park.

This scene was along the hike to the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoia in Yosemite National Park.

I was able to capture this image on the way back out from the grove. It had started to sleet and rain, so I got some shelter from a tree and set up my camera and got this photo. Of course these are not giant sequoia, that image is on the way.

Remember to click it, and share it!


Tall Grass or Bust!… Revisited!

On the morning of Feb, 2nd 2013 there was a man with a plan, and that plan was to get up and go photograph in the Tall Grass Prairie Preserve northwest of Pawhuska, Oklahoma, before sunrise. Unfortunately the grip that sleep had on this man was a strong grip, a grip that not much could pry loose. Thankfully this man’s resolve and commitment to seeing the job finished was the one thing that could set him free of the steel like grip that sleep had on him. Blah, Blah, Blah, Thank god for some 5-hour shots and a Odwalla juice smoothly.

Anyways, this is a preview of the shots from that day.  This shot was taken along HW-60 west of Bartlesville, Oklahoma on heading towards Pawhuska. Luckily the struggle with the steel like grip of sleep caused me to run a bit late, otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten this image of the Morning sun of an ice-covered Osage Hills.

The icy sparkle of frozen trees in the Osage Hills.

The icy sparkle of frozen trees in the Osage Hills.

Stay tuned for the rest of the story…

…well what an issue!  The day after I posted the above photo and description. I checked on it, to view it from another computer, work computer, and I was not too happy with the way the image was displaying on the monitor at work. At work we use PC’s and at home I use a Mac. I hadn’t come across this issue for a very long time. None the less I have re-edited the image to compensate for the difference, or at least I think I have.  That is where you come in. Here is the newly edited version of the image.

The morning sun shines on the sparkling ice covered Osage Hills.

The morning sun shines on the sparkling ice-covered Osage Hills.

So if you would please, comment and let me know if you think the newly edited version is an improvement over the previous one.

The main issue I had been the hard transition in the gradient of the upper two corners. I had applied a soft vignette to the image, however when viewed on a PC monitor the transition was none so soft and easy but hard and difficult. Along with modifying the vignette I also fine tuned other elements in the image.

Thanks for you consideration and time.