Tim Cool

The Photo / Camping Trip

A Visit to Fort Griffin

A Super Blood Moon and an 800mm lens. That was the catalyst for a great trip.

An official Longhorn

An Official Longhorn Poses.

I had requested two loaner lenses from Canon Professional Services-a great way to figure out if you want to purchase a lens. I chose the 16-35mm f/2.8 and the 800mm f/5.6. I ended up getting version II of the 16-35mm, but I was not really evaluating the 800. It's about $12k, much too rich for an EA (enthusiastic amateur.) What I really wanted was a picture of me using it.

Well it just so happened that the Super Blood Moon fell on the very weekend I had that beast of a lens! My wife and I have been talking about going on a spur of the moment camping trip, so I proposed we use this opportunity to get away from the city and take some pictures. We packed up and headed off to a "dark sky" spot a few hours away. Fort Griffin is a great place to camp. We chose a site with water and electricity, set up our tent and settled in.

If you want to get away, Fort Griffin is a great place to do that! Peaceful setting with great sites, showers are free and some of the cleanest facilities I've seen for camping. The night was not as peaceful as we anticipated. Not sure if it was crickets, frogs or some other creature, but they were in the trees and made a racket that was less than soothing! At a lower decibel level it might have been. We slept a few hours, but when the couple inhabiting the only structure looked like they were leaving, we called the desk and placed our reservation. It was an excellent choice. We were able to move our setup in about an hour and set up our air mattress inside the block building. That night we slept much better!

One reason we liked camping is we could take our little dog with us. Mona is a Mini Pinscher mix, and loves to be outside. She hunted grasshoppers and ate Mesquite pods and ran around in the volleyball court sand like it was the beach!

Our Little Dog, Mona

Our Little Dog, Mona.

I scouted the location for shooting the moon (pun not intended), and the ruins of Fort Griffin were perfect. There was at least one resident that was more interested in the grasshoppers than the moon.


Yellow Garden Spider

The next evening I was able to take some great shots of the ruins themselves using the 16-35mm lens. I appreciated being able to get close and get the whole structure in view.


Ruins of Fort Griffin

There were a few other photographers there, and they stayed much longer than I did. I got the shot I wanted and headed back to the camp site.


Blood Moon

The next day I wanted to get some shots of the official Texas longhorn herd. A good number of them were hiding from the sun in a stand of trees. I parked and walked toward them, and they watched me as I approached. I was able to get a few shots there. Later when they started grazing toward the road I moved around to get some nicely framed 'portraits!'


Looks menacing, but the lead steer actually likes his head scratched!


I Love the green of the grass, so I moved around this one until it worked.


This one had really interesting coloring, but was shy. Had to move slow and shoot quick!


Longest horns of the herd. Also shy, so had to stay further away and use a 70-200.


"I see you."

List of Photo Stories

Copyright © Tim Cool -2015.