I’m very excited to announce the upcoming publication of my first photography book entitled “Kansas! Its Hidden Gems.” The book will be approximately 30 pages in length, with dimensions of 7″ X 7″ and will have a hardcover with dust jacket. It features beautiful full-color photos of both well-known and not so well-known scenic locations in Kansas. Tentative publication date is July 30.

Please contact me directly for pricing and other questions at niphotobyangela@aol.com.


Wayne Rhodus, moderator of Central States Nature Photographers (regional chapter of Nature Photographers Network), organized a day-long shooting trip into my favorite area – the Flint Hills. We met south of Manhattan at oh dark thirty and WOW! was it a cold one! A cold front had moved through the night before and the wind was howling about 30 mph with temps in the upper teens, making for brutal wind chills. Members braving the chill were Wayne Rhodus, Scott Bean, Dena Sanders, Merle Cook, Ken Bachman, Rob Graham, Jim Walker and Jim Taylor.

Our trek started on Deep Creek Road and on to Old K-18 Road. We saw lots of beautiful auburn colored, grass covered hills. And LOTS of dust!


Then we headed to Pillsbury Crossing southeast of Manhattan. It had been years since I had been here and didn’t remember how beautiful the spot is. I will definitely be coming back here! The water falling over the rocky ledge creates some very picturesque possibilities.

After Pillsbury, we headed back toward Alma, drove a portion of the Skyline-Mill Creek scenic byway and hit Highway 177 headed south to Cottonwood Falls. An added bonus happened when we saw a bald eagle sitting in a tree at Council Grove Lake. We ate lunch at Emma Chase’s Cafe in downtown Cottonwood Falls and visited and got to know each other a little better.

When our bellies were full and our hands thawed out, we took off for the falls at Chase Co. Fishing Lake just west of town. This is another place I had never visited. A series of small waterfalls cascade the outlet flow down the hillside, creating some wonderful spots for photos. Due to our recent dry conditions, the water was not flowing very fast on this day. Am I coming back here when the water is flowing better? You betcha!!!

My last stop of the day was the Clements Stone Arch Bridge, west on Highway 50. It was completed in 1886 and is a beautiful structure, worthy of preservation. They sure don’t make bridges like this anymore!


By this time, my energy level had drained to nothing (thanks to battling a cold) so I called it a day. Several members headed back to previously scouted locations in the Flint Hills to catch sunset shots, but it didn’t look like the Cloud Gods provided anything fun in the skies.

The entire day was a great adventure and a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to our next NPN adventure (hopefully it will be a little bit warmer)!

After waiting for 19 days with no precip, we finally got another dusting (1″) of snow on the 16th! Because the temperatures overnight didn’t stay that cold and were predicted to rise into the lower 40’s the next day, I knew I had to work fast before the snow melted and the trails turned to a total mud pit, so went back out to MacLennan Park at sunrise on the 17th. I finally got to play a little with my new Canon 10-22 mm lens. At 10 mm there is some distortion, but sometimes that’s a good thing. It lends an interesting effect to tall trees.

Last weekend, I started my lens testing procedure and finished all test shots for the 10-22. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to review all the images but after looking at a few, it was no surprise that the sharpest apertures were in the mid-range and not at the largest or smallest settings.

With this shot, for example, I wanted to capture the starburst so used the smallest aperture at 10mm (F22). When comparing this shot with another shot at F14, it was very evident the sharpness of the lens fell way off. I hope to finish my lens testing the next few weeks and be able to label my lenses with which apertures are the sharpest. I also purchased a hyperfocal chart and hope to use this to improve the sharpness of my images. Through trial and error, I’ve been using different sharpening techniques for images I post to the web. So far, the technique that Marc Adamus (member of Nature Photographers Network) uses seems to work fairly well. I’ll keep working on it! Since I’m a self-taught photographer, I’m used to the trial and error method of learning. There are certainly a lot of resources at my disposal, and membership in NPN has been one of the best things I’ve done to improve my photography skills. NPN has many talented folks who never seem to mind sharing their opinions and techniques. Just viewing the images of these talented photographers has made me look at my own work much more critically and see flaws that I wouldn’t have noticed a couple of years ago, and makes me want to improve my techniques.
This scene is found on the Blue Trail. The stream was totally frozen, creating a great photo opportunity with a nice bend in the stream, the warm sunlight on the right, and the small falls frozen in time. As I was shooting, I noticed the sun coming up and creating a nice starburst. I got off about 4 shots before it moved behind more trees and the starburst was gone. I showed my husband this photo and he knew right where it was at and said “Yeah, I remember it. I had a bad bike wreck there!” Guess he and I will have different feelings about this location 😉
After getting the big scene, I got some more intimate shots of the falls with my 70-300 lens. I’ve never been a big fan of winter, but now that I’ve been out a few times with my camera, I’m starting to develop a different attitude. The snow makes everything look fresh, pure and beautiful. The air is clean and crisp. There is a peacefulness and serenity not present during other seasons. I really enjoyed my 4 mile hike, and I’m hoping for yet more snow SOON! MacLennan Park certainly has some beautiful places to explore.