Culling the greatest photo hits; Bluffs of Beaver Bend revisited

I spent most of my time adjusting to a new teaching environment this past week, and a short photo trip to Martin County wasn't too productive. It is late August, after all. Southern Indiana natural areas, like the Bluffs of Beaver Bend Nature Preserve we explored on Friday, are hot, muggy, buggy and overgrown. The upshot -- I didn't spend much time processing new photos this week.

Instead, I used what photog time I could steal from the transition to complete a seemingly endless process of reducing more than 3,200 nature images to a couple dozen of the best for my Gallery on our new site -- Indiana Nature Photography - Workshops and Tours. The gallery and site will be works in progress for a while, but go ahead take a look. Here's our mission statement:

"Indiana Nature Photography is an Indiana-based project dedicated to exposing and sharing the region’s extraordinary and unexpected natural beauty through digital photography. A collaborative effort between two of Indiana’s most committed and creative outdoor photographers – GaryMorrison and Steven Higgs – INP offers workshops, blogs and other educational opportunities with nature photographers and other kindred spirits."

Gary designed the site and has been blogging about our adventures so far. I will be getting more productive as I wrap up summer gardening and woodworking projects and get into the school flow.

On first pass, thus far, I've reduced 3,245 images shot between July 2014 and today to 132, which I further culled to fewer than 40 for posting. And I still have six months to work through. Over time, I will create sub-galleries for specific subjects like wildflowers, rivers, critters, etc. I also plan to write more about photography's practical and creative sides. 

Back to the Beaver Bend

I've told anyone who has asked that the Bluffs of Beaver Bend Nature Preserve is among my top two or three favorite natural areas that I discovered through the guidebook project. So when Gary suggested we take a short trip to Martin County on Friday, I was primed.

This was my second August visit -- third overall -- to this cliff-lined bend in the White River East Fork. And this time we explored the preserve's west end, which was too overgrown to offer much opportunity to get close to its sheer, multi-hued, honeycombed and striated sandstone formations. Or perhaps I was less willing to risk exposure to invisible, biting and burrowing critters on my skin.

In either case, I only grabbed a small handful of images that I posted in this Photo Album and a couple vistas at Overlook Park just west of Shoals. Due to heat and other conditions, stops at Jug Rock (too overgrown), Tincher Pond in the Hoosier National Forest (terrain too steep for late August), Williams Dam (no angle) and Williams Bridge (no light) produced no images at all.

Photographs: Top, Bottom: Bluffs of Beaver Bend Nature Preserve.


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