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Congaree National Park, etc.

Yesterday’s goal was to come up with a photo for the contest sponsored by “Parade” Magazine which is included with our local Sunday newspaper. The theme was “Celebrate America’s Beauty” and the deadline was today. I just found the contest a week ago and didn’t really have any photos ready, so I went searching.

I decided to go to the Congaree National Park, just south of Columbia, SC, USA. I knew there would be beaty there. the challenge was to capture it faithfully. The lighting was good. I had a great sunny day with a few puffy clouds. I got there in mid-afternoon, so the light would be coming at an angle. All that was fine. But finding that “one perfect image” became difficult. The wildlife hid from me, with the exception of some spiders and the turtles in the lake. A few squirrels and a nice-looking striped lizard all ran and hid before I could capture them. The swamp is currently pretty dry due to the drought we are having this summer.

Although God’s beauty was all around me, pictures of trees are “busy” and distracting for the viewer. So my goal was to find things that stood out. I think I got a few nice photos, but probably not anything that will win that contest. I entered the shot labeled in my portfolio as “Weston Lake”. At least it was good practice.

I also took a few shots to practice and learn about HDR. “The Sentinel” is one of those. I will need to practice that some more. While driving around the countryside, I also took “Straight and Narrow” as a HDR practice shot. That was nowhere near the park.

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