Monday, March 30, 2009

Now That is a Trail!

This trail is absolutely not handicapped accessible! One of the trails of Ha Ha Tonka State Park near the big spring that climbs up the cliffs. I took some of my distance shots of the "castle" from here. Click on the picture and look closely at all the levels. You go up then down and then up again. The engineer that designed this thing had a torturous streak in his or her genes.

If you want a workout, going up and down this beast should burn a days worth of calories.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Many Faces of Ha Ha Tonka State Park

A couple of months ago Teresa and I went to Ha Ha Tonka State Park and I realized I had not finished going through the pictures of this fascinating place. The ruins you see above are all that remains of a luxury hotel that was built here and later burned. There is much more to Ha Ha Tonka State Park than the castle. You saw in an earlier post the natural bridge. Above you see some of the vistas and wildlife you can see from the Lake of the Ozarks portion of the park. I enjoyed visiting the park in the winter as you could get some interesting shots without the leaves on the trees and the rapidly changing weather was a plus too!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I Have Returned!

Well after a few days in soggy New Orleans I have returned to the Ozarks. I tell you there is no place like home. New Orleans, at least in my humble opinion, is recovering well post Katrina. It is now far better than I thought it would be at this stage. The only problem I had was that it was almost tropical down there and it rained and thundered every night for most of the night. I did not sleep well.

We went down to visit Teresa's Mom who is back home after having a bout in the hospital down there. She had a fall and hit her head so we wanted to go down and decide for ourselves if she is doing OK. She was in good spirits and seems to be doing well. We will be able to tell a little better when her sister, Irma, leaves and she starts functioning on her own again.

I did manage to take a few pictures while I was down there, but as Teresa kept telling me it was not a "fun" trip.

I am not going to post a picture today, instead recovering from my lack of sleep and planning my blog make over.

One of the new features I am planning is "Front Porch Fridays" I hope to capitalize on one of the favorite features of Ozark Photos, at least according to my search statistics, and do my bit to revive the front porch.

I will probably do fewer features involving people, since this seems to be the least favorite features of the blog, instead moving that to Ozark Faces. My portrait photography will then move to a new blog named appropriately "Young Photography" which will feature work by both Teresa and I.

Thinking out loud...let me know what you think of the tentative plans...if anyone is still reading after my week long absence.

Have a great Sunday!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Good Singing, Good Friends and Good Coffee...An Evening at Big Momma's


Lee Ellen and Elizabeth

Lee Ellen

Ok, I have to admit that I have been up to Commercial Street more in the last couple of months than in the last two or three years. It was open mic night at Big Momma's Coffee Shop again last night and Teresa and I just had to go hear Lee Ellen Starks and her friend Elizabeth Losson sing.

Of course I just couldn't go in and listen. I tried a latte and it was really good. I was a little hyper late into the evening but that goes with the territory. There were several of us there listening from Riverbluff Church and I enjoyed getting to know them a little better.
You can watch for Lee Ellen's appearance schedule here

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Welcome Spring!

One of the sure signs of Spring. Get out and enjoy the warming weather when you get a chance!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bloggers are the Nicest Bunch of People

Master of Ceremonies Larry Litle
Some of our many local bloggers (Photo by Teresa Young and yes I am in the picture)

Tonight Teresa and I attended our first Springfield Local Bloggers Association meeting to hear the result of the Blogaronis, which are awards for various blogs in many varied categories. This loose association of local bloggers is the brain child of local blogger Larry Litle whose blog can be found at this link. Larry works hard to bring local bloggers together and I have to admit I have been slow on the uptake. Last year I actually found out about winning after the awards ceremony and I didn't find out about this years until very late.

It was a great pleasure to meet some of the other people from across the Ozarks who blog. In my upcoming revision of Ozarks Photos I plan to feature a section of these varied local blogs so you can enjoy the wit and wisdom of this great part of the country.

A couple of shots to celebrate the evening. The first is Larry Litle reading the results of Blogaroni voting and the second a group shot. You know how hard it is to get everyone's eyes open at the same time!

I am also pleased to announce that Ozark Photos was selected for the second year in a row as the Best Photography Blog. Thank you to everyone who voted for this site. I was very impressed with the other sites in the running so I will have to stay on top of things for next years competition!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Is Passion Dead?

First off, there is no picture for today. I have been busy doing work around the house all weekend and did not even come close to taking a single picture.

The Pastor at the Church we have been attending made the statement in his lesson today that the term "passion" was dead. He talked about how all buzzwords are dead or dying. He also mentioned that passion as a descriptive term was probably misused anyway as it is actually a word that means "suffering".

I have thought a lot about his message, as I always do. He is probably right. I think in these difficult times we are tired of buzz words put out by those who greedily took our money and came up with hundreds of ways for us to give them more. Where did that statement come from? Gee, I am a capitalist too. I believe in the free market system, but boy did it run a muck. I am glad we chose the path we did. We took care of our debts and only then did we really start investing. As a result, today when and if we choose to retire we don't need to worry about making enough income to make payments. We will still go on investing in retirement plans with the hope that our system gets back in sync, but we have a lot less worry than most.

But back to passion, what is the real word I am looking for. I have a passion for photography. It sounds right. I have a love for photography and photographing the people and places of Mid-America. Is that a better description?

My photographic passion has been waning of late, it seems I will never be as good as others I know. The organizations I have been a part of have become more political and less helpful. I long for the days of simplicity when we didn't have a lot of rules, and when we did simple things as a group for the fun of being and learning together. I have a feeling there are a lot of those in the same organization as me who love the new ways and would fervently disagree with me. Perhaps others would agree. That is fine and proper. If an organization begins to not fit with you there are always others which will.

In the meantime I will go on trying to find my place in the world. Trying to say something with my photography. Looking to develop my art. I will think less about trying to be as good as others and just be good enough for me. Perhaps in that way I will reach my destination.

Thank you all for sharing this journey with me. There are not many of you left from our original numbers. I am not sure what happened. It seems that interest in blogging and the web in general has died with the economy. I am working on changes to Ozark Photos. I hope it will be a better and more interesting place to come visit in the future.

In the meantime good shooting. I can't wait to get out and take some pictures.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Men of the Third Missouri Cavalry (Dismounted)

Here is another shot I took of the Third Missouri this past weekend. I am showing individual portraits over at I hope you enjoy them.

I am going to make some significant changes in Ozark Photos over the next few days. It seems that the blogging community is fading away in favor of Facebook type sites. What do you think? Even some of the major photography blogs seem to be slowing down. Perhaps blogging has run its course, I don't know.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Third Missouri

Today Teresa and I had the opportunity to photograph members of the 3rd Missouri Calvary. The guys were patient enough to let me try some new lighting techniques and we had some fun. I shot a remote flash off underneath and slightly to the left of me.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Flying South...

Saturday I went to Pittsburg, Kansas to the 8th Annual Perspectives of Photography Seminar which was put on by the Student Association of Photographers at Pittsburg State University. It is a well done seminar and always a pleasure to attend.

On the way I was able to capture a couple of images of fast moving southbound Kansas City Southern freight. It was comforting to know by nightfall this train would have reached a relatively warm Shreveport, Louisiana. How nice it would be to have been able to go with it as I stood in the gusty frigid wind blowing in from Kansas.