Photo of the Week – June 6, 2014

I got up early last Saturday morning, hoping to capture some photographs of the Niobrara Valley Preserve in the light of the sunrise.  Unfortunately, the skies were cloudy, and the sun stayed stubbornly behind them as it rose above the distant hills.  The light reflecting from the prairie and adjacent woodlands was dull and muted – not good conditions for photographs.

The only contrast to be found was the reflection of the relatively bright sky off the river as I looked in the direction of the (supposed) sunrise.  I put on a long lens and aimed it toward the river, hoping to find a way to frame it.  As I played with compositions, a couple clouds brightened as the sun hit them obliquely.  The river glowed as it reflected that new light…

The Nature Conservancy's Niobrara Valley Preserve, Nebraska.

The Nature Conservancy’s Niobrara Valley Preserve, Nebraska.


About Chris Helzer

Chris Helzer is the Director of Science for The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska. His main role is to evaluate and capture lessons from the Conservancy’s land management and restoration work and then share those lessons with other landowners – both private and public. In addition, Chris works to raise awareness about the importance of prairies and their conservation through his writing, photography, and presentations to various groups. Chris is also the author of "The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States", published by the University of Iowa Press. He lives in Aurora, Nebraska with his wife Kim and their children.
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9 Responses to Photo of the Week – June 6, 2014

  1. Joanne says:

    Beautiful photo — the lighting in the background and on the Niobrara reminds me of the early oil paintings

  2. Ed May says:

    Great picture Chris! Ed

  3. Teresa says:


  4. Becky says:

    You just never know what the lighting will be until you get out there and stay awhile. It can change in an instant! Well worth the wait!

  5. Pingback: Photo of the Week – June 6, 2014 | Gaia Gazette

  6. Pauline Coston says:

    Beautiful view….. love Nebraska’s pretty scenery!

  7. Jennifer Pospichal says:

    Gosh Chris! This is stunning.

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