Backroads, Pottawattamie County, Iowa. Few things are more relaxing than exploring the backroads of rural Iowa, where antiquity, nature, and modernity all mingle in a slow-paced reverie. There doesn’t have to be any particular start point or end point. Wherever you are, at any given moment, is the destination, and that’s the greatest part. One mile of backroads and one hundred miles cover the same distance. The discovery, the renewal, the awakening, it’s just waiting there, all day long. You’re just along for the ride.
Winter is my favorite time of the year for photography. I was starting to worry that we’d never get any snow this winter, so the snowfall over the past week has been an awesome surprise. This is one of my favorite corn cribs along the backroads east of Council Bluffs. Thanks for all the support in 2015. Have a very Happy New Year!
To me, one of the coolest things about social media (Facebook/Instagram in particular) is the collaborative sharing of pictures, particularly within a locality, showing various viewpoints of weather and celestial events. Supermoon? Check. Beautiful sunset? Check. Stormclouds, flooding, foot-high snow accumulation? Check, check, check. Spectacular sunrise on an otherwise mundane Tuesday in November? Thirty, maybe forty, photos in our newsfeeds from all over eastern Nebraska and western Iowa oohing and aahing over the sunrise this morning. What a fascinating time to be alive! Here's mine, tardy as usual.
South of Council Bluffs, a majestic hilltop barn sits beneath the Milky Way. A tiny meteor is streaking through the upper-right corner. In the past month, I’ve done more night photography than I ever have. First, my brother and I spent mid-July in the Badlands and Black Hills photographing the inky clear skies of South Dakota. And then the Perseids meteor shower coincided with the new moon this past week, so I joined some local photographer friends on a couple of night outings, reveling in the eerie midnight stillness of rural western Iowa.
In other exciting news, mutual admiration has resulted in a mini-exhibit of my prints at Tussey’s Casual Grill in Omaha: four large landscape prints and six floral portraits. Go take a look and try their Thai chicken pasta. It is amazingly good.
Of all the old barns in and around Council Bluffs, this is my favorite. I was lucky enough to drive by just as the predawn glow burst into flames overhead. Speaking of, do you have any suggestions of photogenic barns around here, particularly those that aren't necessarily visible from the road? I'm working on a series of local barns/abandoned homes/farm structures, and I could use some help.
Along a gravel backroad on the eastern edge of Council Bluffs. This is one of my favorite roadside barns, and I visit it often during my sunrise roadtrips of local discovery, just to see how first light is treating it. This particular photo was taken a few weeks ago, on a cold clear morning a couple of days after our most recent heavy snowfall, as the rising sun and morning fog quietly battled amid the otherwise amazing peacefulness of cropland in winter.
This one is dedicated to my good friends Rob and Maggie Schlautman, who tied the knot last Friday. I took this photo with Rob last month just east of Council Bluffs while waiting for the no-show Northern Lights. The only light was from the rising moon and the glow of the building midnight fog.
This photo was taken a few mornings ago at the Vorthmann farm, near Treynor. They have been kind enough to let me wander around on their farm for sunrise photographs. This scene embodies so much of the western Iowa I’ve come to love. Enormous sky meets enormous farmland, hinged gracefully by a Loess hill on the horizon, the top of which would undoubtedly offer another grand vista to the east, and so on and so on.
I’ve encountered some very generous people lately who have let me sneak on to their land here and there for a few photos. If you’re one of them, thanks so much.
I found this scene in the predawn glow a few morning ago on my way out to Avoca to deliver some prints--one of those peaceful scenes that I love to stumble upon before the rest of the world has awoken.
Storm clouds gather over barns near Mineola, Iowa. These might be the beginnings or remnants of mammatus clouds. I'm not sure which.
This one was taken at sunrise east of Council Bluffs, near Treynor, Iowa.