When I think of landscape photography in Oklahoma I see a picture that's mostly sky and a little bit of landscape. Finding beautiful untouched spots in Oklahoma is a challenge and you have to be really resourceful and have a good eye to frame things in ways that look totally natural (if that's what you're going after, which I am). One of my favorite places to visit and photograph is the Wichita Wildlife Refuge located just west of Lawton. It's a pretty large preserve that has abundant animal life including buffalo and longhorns, and the occasional elk that I have yet to see myself. It has several places to stop and check out the history of the place, and it also has some scenery where the plains rise and give way to low level granite mountains.
I spent an evening there in the fall and I was fortunate enough to capture a couple of scenes that I thought turned out out pretty well. I ended up using one of the small lakes as somewhat of a mirror of the incredible sky (see, I told you) but kept the focus on the landscape and the scenery of the area.
Here are two shots from the evening. I think they do Oklahoma proud and I can't wait to spend some more time down there (it's to the south of me, so it's down) and see what the area has in store.
Both of these photos are available for purchase as prints or canvas in the store.
I was pretty much like everyone else in the world. Wake up, TV goes on and the news begins blaring immediately. Get home, turn on the TV, watch the evening news and sit in my chair and watch some shows in the evening. Go to bed, turn the tv off. Rinse and repeat.
But, along the way things started bugging me. I began seeing news stories in the media specifically worded to sound the alarms, create some kind of concern and started picking up on the meaningless information being passed along, sometimes lazily being picked up from social media. TV shows in the evening were starting to become predictable and more annoying than ever. I don't think anything changed in how things were being presented. News and tv shows have a formula that has worked for ages. No, I think that somewhere along the way I changed. I started feeling like the relentless media presentation was more noise than anything. I didn't want to hear teasers anymore, I didn't want to be sold to. I wanted some quiet.
I remembered a time when I was much younger, sometime around 19 years old when I didn't have a television, much less cable. And I remember more about life in that time than I ever had at any other time. I needed to get back to this, back to where I wasn't worried about what the world was doing, but more worried about what I was doing. I knew it wouldn't be easy because we now live in a world where media is everywhere. Every minute, every second there is news or advertisements or something being thrown at you due to cable and the internet.
But, I broke away.
About a year ago I turned off the cable and it got quiet in a hurry. I picked up Netflix and Hulu for a total of $15 and watched them sparingly along the way. My evenings all of a sudden started lasting longer, conversations became a little more in depth. The relaxation factor increased tremendously. No longer did I have to worry about something that happened 5000 miles away, no longer did I have the loud voice car guy yelling at me to buy a new car. Was I disconnected from the world? Yes, I was. Did I miss it? Nope. I didn't feel bad about not joining in on the Facebook conversations about the latest uproar, and I didn't feel bad about things I couldn't control that were being delivered directly into my living room. Being a big sports fan I was concerned about missing the big events, but that was easy to address. I just hopped in the car and went to my local restaurant and met some good people and cheered alongside others.
I do live in Oklahoma though and because I chase storms I know the importance of weather, so I ended up picking up an antenna so we could pick up the local stations when the weather got bad so when I'm out the family has a way to keep an eye on the weather. Today when I turned on the antenna the national news was on. Twenty five minutes of roller coaster accidents, floods, fires, presidential politics and a mass stabbing. It reminded me of what I'm not missing, and it also reminded me that silence is golden. I don't miss the noise.
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