“A perfect day for winter landscape photography.”

Yes, I acknowledge that winter is behind us, personally, I love all the seasons, coming from where I am from, you have a dry season and a wet season. Having four seasons is pretty extraordinary, for those who have only one season, I can certainly empathize.

For this particular adventure, I woke up at 2:15am, I had the intention of getting caught up on editing images from a recent trip. My plans all changed when I messaged Bill on Facebook. He was getting packed for a landscape trip, down to the Ozark region of Missouri -Madison County, MO. This area is part of Amidon Conservation Area, a large tract of public land that also includes the former sites of two mills (Hahns Mill and Mill Shoals Mill) and part of the old road between Jackson and Fredericktown. The Castor River Shut-Ins is Missouri’s only known pink granite shut-ins, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation. This picturesque pinkish granite is from the Breadtray formation, an igneous rock formation that is 1.5 billion years old. Most of the exposed igneous rocks of the St. Francois Mountains region are rhyolite rather than granite. Castor River flows through the area with pools, riffles, the shut-in, and small waterfalls.

What on earth is a “Shut-in” – A shut-in is a rock formation that carves through a mountain range system, causing a complex of pools, rivulets, rapids and plunge pools. They are found in streams in the Ozarks. Shut-ins are inherently confined to a narrow valley or canyon, with the river valley widening out both above and below the formation.

The sky was cloudy at best, the blues were muted and there wasn’t much contrast present, so I tried my hand at “Bracketing” – bracketing is a technique where I take a series of exposures (under, just right and over) of the same scene using different camera settings. The end results give me multiple variations of the same image, which I blend in Photoshop, then merge to produce a High Dynamic Range Image – captured by cameras allow differentiation only within a certain range of luminosity.

Sometimes you can be so hyperfocused on a scene, you may miss what is going on around you. In this case, I missed when Bill, his camera and tripod took a spill on the icy surface. It could have been bad because of the angle of the rocks and how he fell. Like a cat, Bill must have called in and used one of his nine lives or he is really the G.O.A.T, a Billygoat. Really glad a major crisis was averted.

This view is heading a little downstream and looking back up into the gentle cascade.

“Carving a Path:” “Water can carve its way through stone. And when trapped, water makes a new path.” This quote, found in Memoirs of a Geisha, describes what I see in this image, which is just how powerful, and at the same time flexible, water can teach us to be.

Until the next adventure. If you would like to be updated when I post new blogs articles, please sign up for my email list @ my blog.

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