Hill Structure

My trips to this hill last year were constrained by the limitations of gravity; bringing my drone with me this year opened up whole new vistas and geometries. The artificial nature of this water retention area is far more apparent when view from the air.

Hill Structure

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More from the Kentucky Summer

Another multiphoto set, this one from the final days of Kentucky Summer at the Kentucky Horse Park. We’ll start off with Dr. Piper Klemm showing Reuben and looking appropriately happy about it.

Dr. Piper Klemm on Horseback

Team Stonewall Farm is looking pretty gregarious.

Equestrian Laughs

Will, on the other hand, looks surprised—and should probably be wearing a helmet.

Blowing Back Some Hair

This wide, dramatic view of riders in the ring, the gate in, and folks sheltering from the rain outside is made all the more dramatic by the one young woman with no rain gear. Mysterious!

Show Ring Landscape

We’ll finish as we began, with Piper looking excited to be riding Reuben.

Down the Line

Unexpected Finds Around the Kentucky Paddock

A lot happens around the Kentucky cottage when we’re home from a show, but I have to admit that a pair of vultures drying out after a sudden thunderstorm in the top of a tree with a rainbow behind them isn’t what I was expecting…

Vultures and Rainbows

This look from Papaya through the trees was pretty profound but still not really what I was expecting…

A Look from Papaya

Quiet grazing in a sunset-lit paddock is perhaps closer to expectations, but this idyllic, Miyazaki-esque view still surprised me with the sense of warm summer calm.

Snacking at Sunset

Where the Houses Stop/Palm Trees and Sprawl

Like a child’s legos, spilled out onto the floor until they reach the wall of the room, the sprawl of Coachella Valley reaches from one mountain range to the other.

Palm Trees and Sprawl

Of course, when that sprawl does reach the edge, modern California’s land conservation kicks in and a hard barrier appears between homes and desert.

Where the Houses Stop

Trio vs. Trio

I found myself returning to one of my earliest Decaseconds posts (almost exactly 11 years ago) as I updated my Top 32 album on Flickr—the digital portfolio where I display my best (or simply favorite) photographs. Finding “Waves and Rocks Dwarf Man” in that set, I saw both the excellent light and composition that my old Nikon had captured in 2011, as well as all of the places where my choices in processing the original image now left my unsatisfied. Rather than simply reprocessing that original image, I went back to the folder of camera raws from that day and selected an image I took just moments later to tackle. (Always keep save those raw files!) I not only like this composition better than the older one, but I also feel that I have brought something new out here, rather than simply reprocessing something old.

Trio vs. Trio

Kentucky Summer 2023 Day 1: Warm Up

Thumbs up! Let’s get into another mega post! We’re exploring shots from the first day of the Kentucky Summer horse show, which took place at the Kentucky Horse Park back in the end of July.

Day 1 Warm-Up I: Thumbs Up

Piper Klemm talks to her trainer, Emily Elek.

Day 1 Warm-Up II

Then she heads into action in the warm-up ring.

Day 1 Warm-Up III

Emily’s son, Will, was also warming up his horse, Papaya. Across these three shots, you can see him working on finding the correct distance to this jump.

Day 1 Warm-Up IV: Will and Papaya

Day 1 Warm-Up V: Will and Papaya

Day 1 Warm-Up VI: Will and Papaya

Piper seems to always be smiling when she’s on her horse; understandable, really.

Day 1 Warm-Up VII

Beyond the team which whom I arrived, there were a lot of other folks in the warm-up ring, too.

Day 1 Warm-Up VIII: Cross-Rails

Sometimes, my camera locks on a rider because they have such an identifiable style. Here’s yet another case of mirrorshades in Kentucky.

Day 1 Warm-Up IX: Shades

We’ll finish off with the serious face of Jimmy Torano.

Day 1 Warm-Up X: Jimmy Torano

Skyhook Above Key West

The New York Times, ever the Gen Z style-watchers, have decreed 2000s-era point-and-shoot cameras and their attendant nostalgia to be the next big thing. I was inspired to go back to my own point-and-shoot-shot originals from the era, and uncovered some surprisingly good shots that I’d somehow never before considered. Just look at the tower-like cloud in this sunrise from a 2005 trip to Key West; how did I miss this shot?

Skyhook Above Key West

Rain Before Kentucky Summer

The day before July’s Kentucky Summer horse show was a rainy one—but there was still work to be done.

Naturally, though, we’ll start with a picture of Will taking a break from that work.

Rain Before Kentucky Summer I

Piper hangs out with her horse, Reuben, while he has a snack.

Rain Before Kentucky Summer II: Piper and Reuben

Slick the Corgi is just excited to be here.

Rain Before Kentucky Summer III: Slick the Corgi

Piper gears up for a ride in the rain.

Rain Before Kentucky Summer IV: Putting on Boots

Look at that grin! Even in the rain, Piper’s having fun.

Rain Before Kentucky Summer V: Smiling and Riding in the Rain

The deep greens make for some dramatic shots.

Rain Before Kentucky Summer VI

Emily Elek, Piper’s trainer, observes her warm-up from under a tree. The pony with her is working on his social skills.

Rain Before Kentucky Summer VII: Coaching from Beneath a Tree

The rain paused and the wet raincoat could come off; the smile remained.

Rain Before Kentucky Summer VIII: Chin Up

There seems to be an understanding.

Rain Before Kentucky Summer IX: Reaching an Understanding

The trip back to the barn makes some great long perspective shots.

Rain Before Kentucky Summer X

Bird Pilgrim to the Tetrahedron

My final photographic adventure of 2022 felt fittingly fell at dusk and felt like an achievement: flying my drone at the Salton Sea’s Bombay Beach, capturing the unique sculptures and setting.

Seeing that little wading bird approaching this tetrahedral sculpture seems a bit metaphorical for humans approaching our own futures: Coming up to something big and interesting and completely beyond our ability to properly predict/explain. Here’s to 2023!

Bird Pilgrim to the Tetrahedron

Saratoga Horse Show 2022

The quiet moments of winter are the times when I look back on my photographic year and finally finish uploading my favorites. The rhythms of 2022 meant a particularly huge backlog, so here I find myself with far too deep a set of uploads to handle at a pace of one-per-day. As a result, I’ll be spacing some horse show mega-posts among my normal posts.

First in the set is Saratoga Horse Show, back in June 2022.

Saratoga Horse Show 2022 I

Saratoga Horse Show 2022 II

Saratoga Horse Show 2022 III

Saratoga Horse Show 2022 IV

Saratoga Horse Show 2022 V

Saratoga Horse Show 2022 VI

Saratoga Horse Show 2022 VII

Saratoga Horse Show 2022 VIII

Saratoga Horse Show 2022 IX