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The sun sets over Quanah Parker Lake in the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge while covered in lily pads

If ever you’re given the opportunity to watch a sunset or exercise your landscape photography skills from the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge, north of Lawton, please take it. Some of the best landscapes and sunsets in Oklahoma are visible from the roughly 59,000 acres of protected lands. Whether viewing from the summit of Mount Scott or the banks of one of the many bodies of water within its borders, the refuge will likely provide you with a memorable experience. I personally reside within a short drive’s distance of the refuge so I get to shoot the expanses more often than not. The unfortunate aspect of the refuge is the public visitation hours, which are variable throughout the year based on sunrise and sunset. Don’t get caught after hours. Dealing with federal law enforcement isn’t what I would label as enjoyable.

 

Crepuscular rays loom over Lost Lake in the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge
Sunset captured from Lost Lake

The last light falls off behind the horizon in the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge
Sunset over Caddo Lake

A surprise explosion of color ignites as the sun sets for the day
Sunset from Mount Scott

The sun sets over Quanah Parker Lake in the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge while covered in lily pads
One of a few shots I snagged of lily pads on Quanah Parker Lake

The sun sets over Quanah Parker Lake in the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge while covered in lily pads

The sun sets over Quanah Parker Lake in the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge while covered in lily pads

The sun sets over Quanah Parker Lake in the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge while covered in lily pads

A flourish of last minute color kisses the sky as sun sets in the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge
The number of lonely trees in the refuge is very conducive to snagging a great shot.

One of many great shots from a senior portrait shoot in Southwest Oklahoma
The sun sets over a Southwest Oklahoma Cotton Field

 

I had been looking for this shot for a while. There are several hundred miles of back roads in SW Oklahoma begging me to leave Lawton on an exploratory excursion. Quite often I’ll find a scene similar to this but the environment contains a fatal flaw that will be a nightmare to remove in post; power poles, fences, random equipment, etc.. This was one of those moments where everything seemed to click. I anticipated a great sunset. I left with more than enough time to get the shot and found a scene with none of the aforementioned obstacles in my way. To passers by I create quite the scene while standing on top of my SUV with a tripod mounted camera intently focused on the horizon in front of me. This is the type of photography that I do just for me. It’s my sanctuary.

 

Iconic Chicago Apartment Towers

Oh Chicago. You beautifully windy city. I love visiting you, even with your atrociously high crime rates. Your skyline in unmistakable and your visuals are unmissable. I went a few days in Chi-town for the Story 2014 conference in early October. I got up earlier than normal and stayed out later than usual to get some of these shots. I ended up in locations that didn’t feel all that safe but were probably complete innocuous. I captured more of my surroundings on film than digital during this trip. I’m not sure what inspired that decision but it was a blast to see what developed a couple of weeks after my return.

Cloud Gate at Millennium Park Pano

Cloud Gate

Cloud Gate at Millennium Park Pano

Downtown Chicago from the Gold Coast

CBOT Library from LaSalle LaSalle and Randolph

Washington Block Washington and Wells

VanBuren and Financial Place Cloud Gate at Millennium Park

Marina City

Japanese Maple in Portland, Oregon's Japanese Garden

Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, California as seen from Four Mile Trail

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