Stephen Kirkpatrick

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Longest Day

June 20, 2012 - 14 hours and 18 minutes
Madison, Mississippi

Sunrise 5:53 a.m. 
Sunset 8:11 p.m. 

First Photo - 5:16 am
Alligator at Dawn

Last Photo - 8:32 pm
White-tailed Deer at Dusk

June 20, 2012 was the longest day of the year. I’ve set out to capture the longest day several times over the past 30 years, but something has always happened to derail my plans. One year it rained all day, other years I had conflicts that didn’t allow me to shoot from sun up ‘til sunset, and one year I abandoned the project midday when I realized I hadn’t done the morning justice. In general it takes a lot of physical, mental, and emotional energy to shoot all day, but mostly it is the drain on creative energy that kills you. 

I determined that yesterday was not going to be that way. I was going to push myself to the end. And it finally worked. I was blessed with an active day of light, subject matter, and a variety of settings that all worked. Even the moving sunset that I had hoped and prayed for came to fruition.

 I captured these shots with my new Nikon D800. I also brought along my 
On A Roll camera in case I saw something worthy. While several things certainly had potential, I passed on all. (This prompted thoughts about what a difficult project On a Roll really has turned out to be, which I’ll discuss in an upcoming blog.)

When I arrived home at the end of the day, I was sweaty, dirty, and exhausted, but elated. By the time I showered and relaxed with a glass of wine and a chicken pot pie, it was 9:30 p.m. I said to my wife, Marlo, “This has been the longest day,” an old cliché that had taken on a new meaning.

Below are a few shots from that longest day (I took 880 photos.) I hope you won’t think I’m bragging when I say that my sense of accomplishment was more  than I had imagined possible.

5:53 am
Great Blue Heron at Dawn

6:27 am

 6:55 am
Shed Spider Skin

7:14 am
Buckeye and Dew

8:22 am
River Cooter in Cypress Swamp

8:36 am
Green Treefrog

9:46 am
Lotus Flower

9:53 am

10:38 am
Swallowtail on Button Bush

10:59 am
Squirrel in Swamp Light

12:26 pm
Trumpet Creeper

 12:47 am
Golden Silk Spider

1:29 pm
Black-eyed Susans

2:39 pm
Young Toad and Mushroom

3:37 pm

3:44 pm

4:55 pm
Red-winged Blackbird

5:17 pm
Red-winged Blackbird Young

5:24 pm
Short-tailed Vole

5:31 pm
Purple Gallinule

5:34 pm
Purple Gallinule Young

6:10 pm
Canada Geese

6:57 pm
 Rosy Apple Aphids

7:47 pm
Red-winged Blackbird Calling

7:57 pm
Wood Duck Pair

8:27 pm
Sunset over Lake

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