Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Ultimate Polar Plunger

The comical polar plunging otters were entertaining to watch and a rush to photograph.  The North American river otter (lontra canadensis) has two layers of fur. A dense undercoat traps warm air, along with their waterproof topcoat otters are able to swim the frigid waters of winter.  So we have it straight from Mother Nature herself, dressing in layers is a good thing.
North American river otter, lontra canadensis/Elle Pollard 2018

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Simplicity

An impending blizzard shortened my trip. I decided to leave before I was left stranded and waiting for roads to open. Traveling home on the leading edge of the storm the roads were good to me, few significant hazards. Crossing South Dakota the road became a slushy-snow mix east of the Missouri River. Focus entirely on the task of navigating my way safely. Well, almost entirely focused, I could not help but notice the changing light around me. The morning sun was burning through the clouds creating a soft filtered light that illuminated the frost covered farmland making subtle color pop. Every fiber of my being wanted to document this simplistic beauty. Without a second thought, I took the first exit.  A fresh layer of the powder welcomed me to the empty country roads.  Wondered the dirt road, I soaked up the vast open space. While some people may see nothing, I saw an extraordinary grace. I know winters are harsh on the plains. The winds are sharp and unrelenting. However, in the bitter surroundings, I found an unembellished allure of tranquility that was peerless to another I had seen before.

A lone tree stands frosted in farm fields as a blizzard approaches/Elle Pollard 2018 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Instagram Live

I want to thank those who joined me for my Instagram live feed while I took today's sideroad trip through eastern South Dakota farmland.  I hope this image captures the essence of the roads you traveled with me.  If you have missed my live feeds or do not know, let me fill you in.  When I am in the field and service available, I have been logging on to Instagram for live video broadcasts.  Instagram notifies my followers of the live video.  You can type in messages, and if I am wearing my glasses, I can see them. It's fun. I have oodles to learn about the live video still. Join me sometime!

Friday, February 2, 2018

First Friday Photo Friend - Tom Croce

The past 15 months I have called Ohio home.   As stated I ventured out to visit different photography groups and meet people I kept hearing the same thing over and over, "You need to meet Tom Croce."    He has the awards, magazine covers, published a book, selling in art festivals and leads workshops. No wonder why everyone is talking about Tom.  I had, in fact, met this Tom Croce.   He was the first Ohio photographer to reach out to me.  Little did I know that he would become a cornerstone of my Ohio network.  I quickly learned he is everything people said about him and much more. He is unpretentious and approachable; two attributes not often found in a photographer with such fan fair.  He is kind and patient when working with other photographers and with his workshop participants. And his artistic abilities expand far beyond photography.  

Tom finds inspiration in the photographer, Clyde Butcher.  "We both started out as architects before opening a photography business" Tom would go on to explain when Clyde moved to the swamps of Florida he went out and looked for the beauty in the gator-filled waters. That motivated Tom to start looking in his backyard and has become passionate about finding the beauty right here in Ohio. "I strive to show in my pictures the beauty and value of life because I believe pictures can matter beyond their expressive ability they have the ability to affect change. I try to make pictures that are not just a record, but an artistic reminder of the reasons we want to conserve, and if my pictures can help in that efforts it gives meaning to the work", remarked Tom when asked about his work.  Living what he teaches he volunteers with local conservation groups.  Volunteering at the Arc of Appalachia, a non-profit forest and ancient Native American earthworks conservation group.  He also leads a special wildflower photography workshop during their annual Wildflower Pilgrimage.This year's workshop is sold out. If you want to do a workshop with Tom, you will need to sign up fast. 

Over this last year, Tom and I have spent countless hours talking shop, bouncing ideas off each other, discussing industry trends and who inspires us.  Unknowingly this guy played a big part in helping me move through my struggles of transitioning to a new state and culture.  Always introducing me to his circle of friends, tossing my name in the hat to do critiques and talks for the local photo clubs.  He even lets me crash his workshops, one of my favorite things to do if we happen to be working in the same area. I have jokingly said Tom is my brother from another mother but in the joke lies the truth. He is more than a good friend, more than a colleague in the nature photography industry. He is more like family.  I can never thank him enough for his friendship.  
 
 Enjoy Tom's image below that he took during his recent trip to Texas. Click on the links below and follow Tom. He is set up for a fantastic year.  Don't miss it. 

http://www.tomcrocephoto.com/
https://tomcrocephoto.wordpress.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Tom.Croce.Photo/
https://www.instagram.com/tcrocephoto/

Photo by Tom Croce



Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

After the Rain

Lousy weather is my idea of a fun afternoon at work.  I can't get enough of the light that follows a storm. When I was in the Smoky Mountains earlier this month, there was rain, ice, and snow.  The trip started off with rain. Soak to the bone and sporting wilderness hair I was a happy girl, even if it was 34 degrees. Before you think I lost my mind let me explain; when the showers end the magic starts. The rain naturally saturates all the colors. When conditions are right, steam will rise from the fields and roads. Because of the moisture in the air sunsets can become vivid as if the photographer went overboard with the saturation tool.  Sticking around for a rainstorm to clear is almost always worth the wait. The Smokies did not disappoint. The sun filtered through the clouds enough to dance across the raindrops clinging to the trees. The wet indian grass was a fiery amber color.  Then the steam rose from the field, completing the scene.   Don't blink or you may miss this marvelous event in nature for it dissipates as fast as it began.

After the Rain/Elle Pollard (c) 2018