Saturday at Woolaroc and Cowboy Action Shooting

  • Visit to Woolaroc museum

I recently took the opportunity to take one of my grandsons to Woolaroc Museum. While on the Woolaroc grounds, we stopped at the SASS (Single Action Shooting Society) Cowboy Action Shoot. This is an annual event where people from all over come to compete This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is SASS-Selected-Images-06.jpg

with period authentic firearms and dress in authentic dress of the old west.

These are some of the nicest people you would ever want to meet. They are willing and anxious to answer questions about their sport and their love for the ‘old ways’. Most have reproduction firearms as the originals are too valuable to shoot; although I did see a few Model 97 shotguns while there.

Irish Kid with rifle, Model 97 shotgun, and dual pistols
  • A Historical Locale

Woolaroc is an interesting place to spend an afternoon. It was the ranch and resort of Frank Phillips of Phillips 66 gasoline fame. In his museum is a wide range of interesting items. From early period pottery and artifacts to artwork to the airplane that won the Dole Air Race to Hawaii in 1927, The Woolaroc,  and much more is available for viewing. On the drive in and out you can also see many exotic animals. Wild Bison (buffalo, to you locals), various species of deer, eland, elk, and many other species of animals can be viewed from the safety of your vehicle.

  • Located in North East Oklahoma

Woolaroc Museum is located a few miles south of Bartlesville, Oklahoma. It is easy to get there and offers the museum, petting zoo, a theatre with films about the history of the area, and picnic grounds that can be rented for large parties. There is also a snack bar on the grounds where you can get Bar-B-Que, burgers, drinks and similar lunch type foods.

If you live in the Northeast Oklahoma area, or plan to travel to the area, plan on a morning or afternoon to visit Woolaroc. You won’t be disappointed. When I go, I normally take a picnic lunch and eat under one of the many shade trees. A walk through the museum can work up quite an appetite. While I have been there many times, I feel I have still not seen all that Woolaroc has to offer.

High School Photography Session: Ashten at Osage Hills Park

High School Senior Photography Session

I had the opportunity to photograph a high school senior at Osage Hills State Park recently. This location had particular fond memories for her and so we put in the extra effort to accommodate her. We had a wonderful time there and got some really nice photographs.

High School Senior Photography
Ashten at Osage Hills Park

It is so much fun working with young people. Their enthusiasm and light hearted spirit is contagious and so nice to be around. I have known Ashten and her mother for a few years and we enjoy the time we can spend together.

There are so many times when a person has a special place and when we are able to make that special place even more special by making memories there, it is something that will encourage them and relive those fun times every time they look at that photograph hanging on the wall.

Print Your Photographs

In our digital society, all too often people will make a digital image and put it on their phone. That is okay, except it will rarely ever be seen again. I read recently that the average person has  over 3000 images on their cell phone. WOW! How often do they get viewed? I believe it is better to have important moments capture and printed

high school senior photography
Ashten at Osage Hills Park

and placed where they can be seen. A child sees their photograph hanging on the wall and it is a constant reminder of their value as a family member. A relative such as a grandparent has their photograph hanging on the wall and it gives opportunity for family members to ask about and learn about the history of the family.

High School Senior Photography
Ashten at Osage Hills Park


Printed pictures are often overlooked as a source of curiosity and knowledge. I have fond memories of looking through photo albums and my mother telling me about people and events I saw there.

Digital Images are Temporary

Statistics show that a staggering 53% of consumers have not printed a photo in more than 12 months, 70% don’t have photo albums, and 42% no longer print photos at all.

The Professional Photographers of America  (PPA) realize that there is value in printed photographs. To see why a printed photograph is important. Watch this short video here.  To book Steve Russell Photography for your high school senior to have a memorable experience, call Steve Russell at 918-760-0402.




Tall Grass Prairie

Jean and I went to the Tall Grass Prairie Preserve near Pawhuska last night. We went as part of the Photographers of Tulsa Oklahoma Group (PHOTOG) and arrived a little early. On the road

Tall grass Prairie as it would have looked over 100 years ago.

in, we saw a small bobcat and several deer. Since I had not gotten my camera out yet, I missed the opportunity to take pictures of them. I stopped alongside the road and got my camera ready.

There were a lot of birds and wildlife there. The only bison we saw were at a distance. At the entrance, we saw small hawks Selections-01called ‘kites‘ flying around. As we leisurely drove the roads toward the preserve headquarters, we stopped for scenic pictures and some flowers. Since the breeze came up  shortly after we drove into the preserve, I was unable to take many macro-photographs of flowers.

Small ant on a milkweed blossom.

















Bucks still in full velvet near the welcome center.



After watching and photographing the birds and deer, we watched the sunset and the night sky.

Cottontail rabbit at the side of a side drive.


Meteorite flashing across the evening sky at sunset.
Meteorite flashing across the evening sky at sunset.




Flash of lightning on the soouthern horizon

The Milky Way was beautiful and we saw some meteorites through the early night. Shortly after midnight, storms rolled in from the north, west, and south simultaneously. We watched as lighting flashed on three sides of us. It was interesting as there was a clear sky directly above us for a while.

I attempted to take pictures of the lightning, but most of the time, my camera was turned the wrong direction when the lightning flashed. I did get a couple, but most were not very good. It is difficult to photograph lightning. Most pictures you see of lightning are taken from video.

Part of the Bison herd at Tall Grass Prairie.
Tall Grass Prairie Preserve.
Cottonwood tree growing on the bank of a small creek
One of the many ponds at the Tall Grass Prairie Preserve. Wildlife come to these ponds for water each morning and evening.
Clouds over the prairie at sunset.

If you have opportunity, it is worth driving to The Tall Grass Prairie Preserve in Northern Oklahoma. You can see a small piece of what once was millions of acres of prairie.  There is a welcome center and information area at the preserve headquarters. The roads are gravel and well maintained. You can travel throughout the preserve and surrounding ranch lands and see some beautiful scenery and a multitude of wildlife.Blog-6

Part of the Bison herd at Tall Grass Prairie

Telling the Story with Portrait Photography

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I recently had opportunity to do a portrait photography session with  a precious three year old. It was a delight to meet her, play with her a while, and then capture her personality through the images.

Children grow so fast; if you don’t capture portraits of them throughout their childhood, you will miss many memories. It is not just major events that are important, but the everyday activities also.

I have fond memories of sitting with a photo album and sharing the memories that each picture brought back to one of us. It is amazing how differently other people will remember the same event. Of course, something that happened 25 years ago may be easy to laugh at now; perhaps it was not as funny at the time.

My Dad took movies of the family when I was young. Movies of Christmases, birthdays, skiing at the lake, and some others. Fortunately, my sister was able to transfer the movies from the 8mm film to VCR tape. Now is time to transfer them to DVD before it is too late. Technology is wonderful, but quickly gets outdated. Do you have digital pictures that you can no longer access because the technology you used to save them is no longer available? The advantage of professionally printed pictures is the printed picture does not get out of date. Barring a tragedy such as fire or flood, they will be available through many generations.

Take the time to preserve your memories. If you need to transfer them to modern digital media, do so now while you are still able. If you have albums, keep them dry and in a conditioned space. (The attic is not a comfortable location for photographs.) If possible, scan the photographs and keep a digital copy also. Most of all, share the joy of your memories with your family and friends by looking through your old photo albums with them.

Woolaroc Museum and Cowboy Shooting

Woolaroc Day Trip

Jean and I took a trip to Woolaroc Museum near Barnsdall this weekend. The Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) was holding a “Cowboy Shoot” on This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is SASS-Selected-Images-06.jpgthe grounds. We stopped for a bit and watched the Cowboy Shooting. These were some of the nicest people you would ever want to meet. Most were dressed in authentic period clothing and shooting period firearms. There are some concessions to safety such as ear plugs and safety glasses; all other items are as you would have found before 1900. (With the exception of shade. Popups and umbrellas were common.)

SASS Cowboy Shooting

The shooters all had ‘character names’ such as Wild Bill, Irish Kid, Burly Bill, and many others. These names are exclusively theirs. They

are used throughout the Indian Territory Single Action

Woolaroc Museum

After watching the shooting match for a while, we went on to the museum. This museum was the ranch retreat of famous oilman Frank Phillips. He and his brother, L.E. Phillips were co-founders of Phillips Petroleum Company in 1917. The museum is loaded with artwork and artifacts including the “Woolaroc“, the plane that won a race from Oakland, California to Honolulu, Hawaii in 1927. In addition, there are paintings, sculptures, and artifacts from around the country and the world.

In June of each year, the museum hosts Kidsfest, an event that combines fun with learning. In addition to face-painting and games, there is a petting zoo and many other activities to keep you little ones happy. You may bring your lunch and picnic under one of the many shade trees, or you can purchase food at the on site concession. Plan to spend the day and enjoy Woolaroc Museum.

Missing Mayfest

Carolina Geranium flower

I had an opportunity to go out to Mayfest and The Blue Dome festival today, but decided to stay around home and do a few things in the house and yard.


Black Medic flower
Black Medic blossom

I took my camera out for a little while and took some pictures of some wildflower growing in the yard.




These tiny flowers  are rarely seen because of their small size.

To see more, click on the macro-photography link under photographs.

New Macro Photographs

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Early morning sunlight highlights the dewdrops on these tiny flowers

While waiting for a training class to start this past weekend, I decided to take my camera to a nearby creek and spend the time shooting pictures. Here are a few of the new shots. You may go to the Macro page to see them all.Tahlequah Published-2






There was a heavy dew that morning, and several pictures show the sunlight that was  just coming over the hill reflecting in the drops.