David Alaniz Photography

Natures turn…….

Tag Archives: Landscape

Cattle Egret

Stopping by in a local park just to check the activity can be pretty good.  This particular park has a small rookery which I like.  I don’t have to deal with a crowd trying to get a close up view or that keep sake photo.  Especially I don’t have to keep swatting those pesky mosquitoes.

Nikon D800, 500mm + 1.4tc, f/5.6, 1/2000’s, ISO 800

Resoft Park_20160520_0224web

In Search Of…

While traveling down a long and lonely back road we came upon a side road that beckoned us.  Before I tell you what we did next let’s rewind to the day before.

Finishing our photo driving tour south of San Antonio we headed up to the hill country in search of more bluebonnets.  Arriving early afternoon at Johnson City we gassed up and bought a few ‘I shouldn’t buys’.  We set out to cover as many locations as we could.  It wasn’t about being at the right time, in the right place and getting beautiful lit shots.  We just wanted to see as much as possible.

First order of business was to get off the highways.  Pick a road, any road and that’s what we did.  We drove the famous Willow City Loop.  From there we headed towards the Union Band Cemetery in Pontotox, Tx.  This was our second visit with the first time being early one morning.  This time the sun was lower in the sky and the light was much better for taking photos.  If you have never been and you are in the area take a few minutes to enjoy the cemetery covered in bluebonnets.

From this point we headed back east.  We stopped a few more times to take some photos but I wanted to get back to Marble Falls before it got dark.  It was a long day and I just wanted to relax and plan the next one. 

It was just about dark when we saw a hotel.  A quick review showed it to be rated a four out of five.  Not sure what was going on but the three hotels were booked up.  Except this one, how lucky could we be?  The clerk said all the rooms were taken, however, she had one left.  The honeymoon suite, but it would cost ten dollars more.  If you could have only seen my face.  What the heck, for ten dollars more, I was game. 

The hotel’s jammed pack parking wasn’t giving me a warm and fussy feeling.  I was the first one to open the door.  I gave out an OMG you’ve got to see this!  It was a cracker box room with a king sized bed.  Wait, there is more.  Next to the bed was a king sized Jacuzzi.  Wait, there is more.  The walls were covered in mirrors.  Yes, a little more….mirrors on the ceiling.  I love humor, we had a good night’s sleep.

This brings us to the morning of the photo.  Starting off with a good breakfast is a priority for Lila.  Me, not so much, but I won’t turn it down.  If you’re ever in Marble Falls check out the Bluebonnet Café.  I had two scramble eggs, hash browns, toast, sausage, bacon with a large glass of orange juice.  Mighty Good!

As we started out for our search of bluebonnets I told Lila my stomach was doing a little rumbling.  Perhaps we should check out some back roads not too far from town.  We picked one and started down that long lonely road with a few more gurgles of my stomach.  That was some breakfast.

We stopped a few times for pictures and moved on.  Gurgle, gurgle.  That’s when we came upon this side road where I couldn’t help but stop.  Just pass the cattle guard looked to be a road not to miss.  We decided to continue and come back to it later.  Gurgle, gurgle.  Stopped and photographed a few more places and moved on.

Past the point of no return.  I told Lila there wasn’t any more gurgle.  It had progressed to gurrrgling.  I stopped to check my iPhone map for any close place I could point the car.  You ever have this sinking feeling?  No way, it was way past the point of no return.  I was now traveling fairly fast down this dirt road in search of where a bear in the woods would go.  I was starting to get cold and clammy with a few beads of sweat on my forehead.  And Lila laughing her head off didn’t help the situation. 

Thanks goodness, there was a vehicle trail leading to nowhere.  I pulled in and quickly got out.  There wasn’t any fresh tracks so that was a good sign.  Let me say right here I never complain what Lila packs.  I like to kid with her about packing the kitchen sink.  She told me where the magic roll of Charmin was located.  I’m sure she was having a good laugh as I walked up the trail and around the bend, quickly.  There it was, the perfect spot.  Kind of below a tree and in the midst of cow paddies.  Just me and the birds.  Along with a nice breeze and the fresh smell of manure.

Lila was smiling as I rounded the corner skipping back to the car.  I never felt so good.  If Lila had been outside the car she would have been ROGLOL.

We headed back to the side road and started down what turned out to be a great drive.  Just beautiful along the road.  Just us enjoying a little of what nature has to offer. 

Nikon D4, 70-200mm, f/5.6, ISO 640


Moab, Utah

Landscape from Moab, Utah.  Certainly a target rich area for taking pictures.  Wish I would have had more hand warmers for my frozen fingers early in the mornings.  Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

Nikon D800, 70-200 @ 70mm, 1/33, f/9, ISO 100



How Big

Most of my photo friends are Canon shooters with less than a handful of Nikon.  Recently read where Canon is coming out with two new 50+ megapixel cameras.  Whoa, how big can they get.  Got to love technology but also wonder how much is enough.

I was recently reviewing and cleaning up files when I came upon a few I thought would be worth a try.  When I completed the one below it was 40.56MB’s.  Several ranged from 40 to a little over 50MB’s.  I use SmugMug and they accepted everything below 50MB’s and rejected 50+ files.  Said file tooooo big.  So that got me thinking is the cart before the horse.

Nikon D800, Nikon 24-70mm, f/16, 1/100’s  View from La Sol Mountains, Utah.


Brazos Bend State Park – Treasure Hunt

Unlike past trips my goal was to hurry and cover other areas of the park that I rarely venture.  Not an easy task with so much to see and photograph.  I simply had to make myself stop and move on.  Just like being on a treasure hunt.

Nikon D800, 105mm, 0.6’s, f/11, Ev +0.67, ISO 200


Nikon D800, 105mm, 0.6’s, f/11, Ev +0.67, ISO 200


Nikon D800, 105mm, 1/60s, f/11, Ev +0.67, ISO 200, flash (I’ve posted this one before – taken that morning)


Nikon D800, 105mm, 1/25’s, f/5.6, Ev +0.67, ISO 200


Nikon D800, 105mm, 1/40’s, f/5.6, Ev +0.67, ISO 200


Nikon D800, 105mm, 1/40’s, f/5.6, Ev +0.67, ISO 200


Nikon D800, 105mm, 1/40’s, f/5.6, Ev +0.67, ISO 200


Dead Horse

It was a cold crisp early morning at Dead Horse Point State Park in Utah.  Less than a handful were there for the sunrise.  In my opinion it is the best time to see the color changes and the shadows give way to light as the sun comes up.  A great place to relax and reflect.  A must see if in the area.

Nikon D800, 1/15’s, f/11, ISO 100, single exposure


Ghost Ranch

During a vacation trip we had the opportunity to stop at the Ghost Ranch located close to the village of Abiquiu in Rio Arriba County in north central New Mexico.  At the entrance sets an old log cabin with a coral close by.  The cabin had a large living area with two bed rooms.  In the living area was a very large stone fireplace.  Looking around it made me wonder what all took place long ago.  If only the walls would talk what a story they would tell.

As I was walking around and taking pictures my wife peered through the broken bedroom window.  I quickly took the picture as a special memory.  Because of the rustic look and great sky with low hanging clouds I decided to convert the photo to B&W.  The photo seemed to come alive as it was converted.  I believe a scene like this took place long ago as a wife looked out from a corner window to see her husband ride off.

Nikon D4, Nikon 14-24mm @ 14mm, f/11, 1/500’s, ISO 200



Your Path

We know where we have been but where are we going. I suspect we all have thought that at one point in our life. Follow the light. Happy Easter.

Nikon D800,  Nikon 24.0-70.0 mm @ 32 mm, f/9, 1/125’s, ISO 100


Another Look

ACT_3830webhIt was getting late in the day as we drove down a stretch of road.  It was a nice drive but didn’t have that gotcha landscape look.  We pulled into a little off road cut.  It offered some high rock formations on both sides of the road.  A railroad ran parallel next to this road offering some interesting possibilities.

As the sun started setting I looked down the cut road.  The colors on the rocks along with the sandy red soil were starting to come alive.  Some were through photographing but I felt there was a good possibility of it getting better.  Instead of putting up my gear I chose along with a few others to prolong leaving.  Shortly, as the sun began to set it brought a warm glow to the surrounding area.  Others who had misjudged hurried to set up and make some captures.  Another look became a photo moment.

Nikon D4, Nikon 14-24mm @ 18.0mm, f/22, ISO 100, 3 shot HDR


Mesa Arch

Recently made a trip to Moab, Utah.  One of the areas we visited was Mesa Arch.  I’ve seen hundreds of pictures of this iconic arch and always wanted to take “my” photo.  I read it was a short walk of 0.6 miles and rated as easy.  This had to have been a review for the younger generation and those who live in high altitudes.  This old boy lives at sea level where breathing is easy.  I huffed and puffed my way all the while hoping to get a good spot for my shot.

When I finally made it I was winded but determined.  Photographers were lined up or lets say they were laying down in position and ready for the sun rise.  I learned the first photographer usually sets the tone.  If he gets close, everyone does.  If he stands, like wise.  Thank goodness he was laying down because I needed to recover and catch my breath.  There is limited room up front for the iconic shot and I got the last one.  The photographer next to me was real nice about letting me squeeze in close.

All ready and waiting for the sun to pop in the distance.  It came out momentarily and then it hid in the clouds.  I just kind of shook my head as I could hear grumbling from others.  It was still nice and photos were taken by many.  After a very short period many had left and only a few remaining.  The clouds split and the sun came through.  I hurried to make a few captures.  I had to keep moving by inches as I tried to get the sun just right for a star burst effect.  It wasn’t perfect but it was “My” photo.  I knew I probably would never return and was one of the last down the trail.  My review, worth it and get there early.

Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24m, 5-Bracket HDR