Somewhere in the Ozark Mountains


I often prefer the big city, the ancient structure, the regal palace…its easy. Places like Sequoia National Forest or the Eiffel Tower are hard not to love. The most celebrated treasures of the world should be adored, but there are things closer to home, things we see every day which we too often ignore in our hustle and bustle world. The wonders of our own backyards should never be forgotten. I thought of this on a drive home from Eureka Springs Arkansas when I took this photo at a random scenic overlook. The treasure of others sparkle so brightly while we often ignore the glory and beauty of what we ourselves possess. Be thankful for your blessings. Be thankful to be where you are today…tomorrow it maybe gone.

HDR Photography
Somewhere in the Ozark Mountains by W. Brian Duncan

The Hidden Church

Where Are We?

Pamela and I went for a day-trip to Eureka Springs Arkansas just to mill around, shop and take photos. While visiting the Historic Crescent Hotel we noticed this little building behind the hotel. What in the world is that building? As it turns out, there is a small Catholic church nestled behind the old hotel dedicated to St. Elizabeth. Its a beautiful little stop if you happen to be in Eureka Springs. The grounds are fantastically manacured and the church, though less exciting when you compare it to some of the Gothic masterpieces like Notre Dame, is none-the-less beautiful.


This is a 9 exposure bracket (-4, -3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4) shot directly at the sun on a tripod. The bracket was combined on photomatix exported and cleaned up in Photoshop. Tonal contract and sharpening were applied with the Nik Suite. Final adjustments were done in Lightroom.

Big Crosses


While visiting Bentonville, Arkansas and one of the cooler American History Museums in the country Crystal Bridges we went down to eat pizza at this crazy place that had a mirrored ’70’s VW bug rotating on the ceiling like a disco ball (yes full sized). On the way we spotted this church with these CRAZY big crosses. They are much taller than the church. This was a photo meant to be taken. I am much more inclined to photograph Gothic and very old Roman Catholic Cathedrals, simply because I find them beautiful. I usually pay less attention to the things we build in the states, but they too are an interesting statement about the faith of people. Enjoy.


This is a one shot photo edited entirely in Lightroom 4.

Crystal Bridges

Art in Arkansas

Sometimes people and places can surprise you. The recently opened Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville Arkansas is one of those. It is a sprawling complex with immaculate landscaping and some amazing architecture. We started roaming around the grounds just after dawn and spent all morning walking the trails and touring the museum.

Photographer’s Troubles

I initially had a bit of trouble convincing the security guards that I should be there. The kept trying to shoo me away. The grounds are open from sunrise to sunset, but I found with security personal this can be somewhat open to interpretation. We arrived Saturday night around 6:45 and were told the grounds were closed. Once the sun is below those trees, I close up for the night, one guard told us. I should have issued a challenge (but but but my pictures look better at sunset), but we decided to come back at dawn. This time I argued, nicely of course as these guys are just doing their job. After a short discussion we were allowed on the grounds early Sunday morning.

So Much to See

I will probably be processing several of these shots from the exterior of the museum over the next few months. I have a good number of photos from the trip that could use some work. The new tripod has made a HUGE difference to my workflow. No more aligning brackets, everything is seamless. Further rock solid stability of my Really Right Stuff tripod means I can shoot at ISO 100 making noise less prevalent.

HDR Photography
Crystal Bridges by W. Brian Duncan