Landscapes and Peacefulness

It's been awhile since I have posted something and I realized that I rarely post anything photography wise that is outside of working with my clients. I would like to do my best at keeping this blog photography related in some fashion, but I figure it wouldn't hurt for my readers (you're out there right?) to learn just a little more about me and show off some work when I am photographing for art or for just the plain pleasure and enjoyment of it (that is why I started photography in the first place - because it is fun.)
Well, I have always felt like I have lacked a little in the area of landscape photography. I have always enjoyed looking at others landscapes and love hanging them as art in my home, but I don't always get out there and shoot when I should, like at peak lighting times (like the morning when the light is awesome but my bed is warm and cozy) or take the time to drive way out where beauty and peacefulness really lies. I realized that those are exactly the reasons that I should try some landscapes.

#1.) I want to be a better photographer and keeping growing my skills.
#2.) I want to see a sunrise and step outside of my everyday routine and see the things I am missing.
#3.) I need a little peacefulness and calm. It does my soul good when I feel like I'm going a mile a minute and need a break. I have to take the time to slow down and relax or I just simply won't.

So, I decided it was high time to get out there and step out of my box. I spent an entire afternoon at Starved Rock State Park. My mother's most favorite place in the entire world. Her cherished wonderland hidden in the flat lands of Illinois. Starved Rock is full of beauty with its long hiking trails through the woods, deep moss covered canyons, and overflowing and towering waterfalls, and most importantly all of the calm and peacefulness I needed. It was a long day hiking, but I enjoyed every second of it. I made some mistakes for my first real "landscape adventure" like

#1.) Carrying a 20lb backpack full of photography gear.
#2.) Hiking for 6 hours with said backpack and very little exercise of late.
#3.) Putting said backpack down on an uneven sandy area near a waterfall and pool of water where it is unstable enough to gain speed while rolling toward its watery grave. (Yes I caught bag just in time, but not without some bruises, wet feet, muddy legs, and almost a heart attack).

I did manage to do a few things right. So if you are wanting to go hiking yourself for some landscapes, I recommend hiking boots for trekking through the mud, layers of clothes (a moister-wicking under layer and a fleece pullover were my choice - think light-weight and packable), and without a doubt, a tripod. Don't take more gear than you really need and be sure to take water and some food. I was grateful I had enough foresight to bring my nalgene bottle and some granola bars. I was pretty wiped with carrying that unnecessary 20 extra pounds on my back.

All in all, I feel like I had some success. You can see my whole collection on my flickr page or just by clicking the link at the top of this blog, called Latest Work.
Here are a few of my favorites from the day.

I thought I should also mention the loss of funding for many Illinois Sate parks and the possible closure of several Southern Illinois parks. If our parks are important to you (and remember Starved Rock featured here is one) then please visit: