The Heart Land

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Canon 5DMkIII, Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II lens, HDR (3-images blended together), ISO 100
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I grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska and lived there until I turned 18 and joined the military. Nebraska is known for being very, well, flat, and maybe even boring (at least, that’s what I thought growing up). It’s definitely not a “destination” for photographers like some places are.

I fell in love with photography in High School, but didn’t quite yet have the passion for landscapes. In the past few years my style and vision have grown immensely and I’ve been photographing more and more landscape images, and somehow got in my head that the “boring” place I grew up in just might actually be beautiful.

I’ve been wanting to photograph the beauty of my home state of Nebraska for well over a year now, and last week I finally got the chance. I went out to visit family with my man +Brian Matiash and we drove around with our camera on a very fun adventure. Luckily the sky was gorgeous that day and we ran around in search of beautiful compositions … and we found plenty. I think part of the fun was the challenge of searching for something unique and gorgeous to photograph … it wasn’t laid out in front of us.

I can’t wait to go back home and find more like this photograph … which will, very soon, be hanging on my wall. :) This image is my favorite from my trip and was photographed just South of Schuyler, Nebraska.

By | 2016-12-18T17:01:05+00:00 July 12th, 2012|86 Comments

About the Author:

My name is Nicole and I'm a photographer, author, & educator living in Portland, Oregon, USA. When I'm not making photos I'm writing books and tutorials for my online store, Learn more about me and my story here.

86 Comments

  1. Vijay Kondal July 11, 2012 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    nice view

  2. Vijay Kondal July 11, 2012 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    nice view

  3. Cuong Pham Tuan July 11, 2012 at 4:59 pm - Reply

    very nice

  4. Martin Heller July 11, 2012 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    Watercolor skies, cornfields, and a single tree, with the whole greater than the parts. Amazing work, +Nicole S. Young

  5. Martin Heller July 11, 2012 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    Watercolor skies, cornfields, and a single tree, with the whole greater than the parts. Amazing work, +Nicole S. Young

  6. Brian Matiash July 11, 2012 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    One of my favorite days shooting that I can remember. Looking forward to tons more with you, babe!

  7. Brian Matiash July 11, 2012 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    One of my favorite days shooting that I can remember. Looking forward to tons more with you, babe!

  8. Shelly Gunderson July 11, 2012 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    Really nice view!  Makes something rather ordinary look lovely.

  9. Shelly Gunderson July 11, 2012 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    Really nice view!  Makes something rather ordinary look lovely.

  10. Isabel Cristina Reyes Bustamante July 11, 2012 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    Linda foto!

  11. Isabel Cristina Reyes Bustamante July 11, 2012 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    Linda foto!

  12. Steve Sullivan July 11, 2012 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    Wonderful photo.  

  13. Steve Sullivan July 11, 2012 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    Wonderful photo.

  14. Paula Araya July 11, 2012 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    Amazing <3 !

  15. Omar Sangiovanni July 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    love the sky

  16. Omar Sangiovanni July 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    love the sky

  17. Erin Frederick July 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    +Nicole S. Young I grew up in Kansas…I understand flat! But I had yet to find a place where you can get great Thunderstorm clouds without anything in the way till I moved to Southern Arizona 3yrs ago.
    Gorgeous picture!

  18. Erin Frederick July 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    +Nicole S. Young I grew up in Kansas…I understand flat! But I had yet to find a place where you can get great Thunderstorm clouds without anything in the way till I moved to Southern Arizona 3yrs ago.
    Gorgeous picture!

  19. Laura Kurian July 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    Loved it… beautiful!

  20. Laura Kurian July 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    Loved it… beautiful!

  21. nas alpasha July 11, 2012 at 5:10 pm - Reply

    I agree with what you are saying .. it isn't boring, it is so beautiful.

  22. nas alpasha July 11, 2012 at 5:10 pm - Reply

    I agree with what you are saying .. it isn't boring, it is so beautiful.

  23. Helly Belly July 11, 2012 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    Nice

  24. Helly Belly July 11, 2012 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    Nice

  25. Amy Heiden July 11, 2012 at 5:13 pm - Reply

    Gorgeous shot. Nice colors in the sky and I dig the composition. 

  26. Amy Heiden July 11, 2012 at 5:13 pm - Reply

    Gorgeous shot. Nice colors in the sky and I dig the composition.

  27. Jon M July 11, 2012 at 5:13 pm - Reply

    It's looking greener than our corn….I need rain :-)

  28. Jon M July 11, 2012 at 5:13 pm - Reply

    It's looking greener than our corn….I need rain :-)

  29. Conor MacNeill July 11, 2012 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    Subtle and gorgeous!

  30. Conor MacNeill July 11, 2012 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    Subtle and gorgeous!

  31. Jacob Lucas July 11, 2012 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    That's quite beautiful, +Nicole S. Young – you definitely get a very remote and peaceful feeling from that lone tree above the field beneath the colourful sky. I hope you're going to print this one big!

  32. Jacob Lucas July 11, 2012 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    That's quite beautiful, +Nicole S. Young – you definitely get a very remote and peaceful feeling from that lone tree above the field beneath the colourful sky. I hope you're going to print this one big!

  33. Nicole S. Young July 11, 2012 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    +Jacob Lucas I just opened up a bunch of wall space from rearranging my furniture … I'm seriously thinking of going gigantic with it :)

  34. Nicole S. Young July 11, 2012 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    +Jacob Lucas I just opened up a bunch of wall space from rearranging my furniture … I'm seriously thinking of going gigantic with it :)

  35. Jacob Lucas July 11, 2012 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    Awesome! 60"x40"? :)

  36. Jacob Lucas July 11, 2012 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    Awesome! 60"x40"? :)

  37. Corey Gibson July 11, 2012 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    The plains are perfect for photographing thunderstorms. I have family in the panhandle and lived in Chadron, NE for 2 years.

  38. Corey Gibson July 11, 2012 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    The plains are perfect for photographing thunderstorms. I have family in the panhandle and lived in Chadron, NE for 2 years.

  39. Javier Esvall July 11, 2012 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    Nice view!

  40. Javier Esvall July 11, 2012 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    Nice view!

  41. Nicole S. Young July 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    +Jacob Lucas I'm looking at my options now… :)

  42. Nicole S. Young July 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    +Jacob Lucas I'm looking at my options now… :)

  43. isaac schlomsky July 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    I LIKE IT

  44. isaac schlomsky July 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    I LIKE IT

  45. Marshall Cant July 11, 2012 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    Love the "Big Sky". Very similar to where I live.

  46. Marshall Cant July 11, 2012 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    Love the "Big Sky". Very similar to where I live.

  47. Mariane Cordes July 11, 2012 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    This is just awesome, I am glad you found the joy and passion for landscape ;)

  48. Mariane Cordes July 11, 2012 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    This is just awesome, I am glad you found the joy and passion for landscape ;)

  49. magid gg July 11, 2012 at 6:01 pm - Reply

    very beautifull .. but it gave me a feeling of the obscure future.

  50. magid gg July 11, 2012 at 6:01 pm - Reply

    very beautifull .. but it gave me a feeling of the obscure future.

  51. Ruheel Khan July 11, 2012 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    awesome,so deep inside beautiful…

  52. Ruheel Khan July 11, 2012 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    awesome,so deep inside beautiful…

  53. Ashley Gase July 11, 2012 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    This is beautiful! What kind of camera did you use?

  54. Ashley Gase July 11, 2012 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    This is beautiful! What kind of camera did you use?

  55. Sarah Pogorzelski July 11, 2012 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    Funny how our perspectives change.  This is really beautiful, so simple yet the road could lead to an unexpected place.  

  56. Sarah Pogorzelski July 11, 2012 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    Funny how our perspectives change.  This is really beautiful, so simple yet the road could lead to an unexpected place.

  57. bon bon July 11, 2012 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    انها صورة غاية في الجمال . لقد جعلتها خلفية جهاز الكمبيوتر ارجو ان لا تمانعي 

  58. bon bon July 11, 2012 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    انها صورة غاية في الجمال . لقد جعلتها خلفية جهاز الكمبيوتر ارجو ان لا تمانعي

  59. Toni Franičević July 11, 2012 at 10:49 pm - Reply

    Nice photo and beautiful text…

  60. Toni Franičević July 11, 2012 at 10:49 pm - Reply

    Nice photo and beautiful text…

  61. Otilia Savea July 11, 2012 at 11:26 pm - Reply

    love the photo… hope it will still look like that in the future..!!!!

  62. Otilia Savea July 11, 2012 at 11:26 pm - Reply

    love the photo… hope it will still look like that in the future..!!!!

  63. Rod Hoekstra July 12, 2012 at 12:57 am - Reply

    "the "boring" place I grew up in just might actually be beautiful." Yes,  yes,  yes.  Having spent a good chunk of my growing up life in Wisconsin, Iowa and South Dakota,  I concur completely.

  64. Rod Hoekstra July 12, 2012 at 12:57 am - Reply

    "the "boring" place I grew up in just might actually be beautiful." Yes,  yes,  yes.  Having spent a good chunk of my growing up life in Wisconsin, Iowa and South Dakota,  I concur completely.

  65. MICHEAL COFFIE July 12, 2012 at 1:39 am - Reply

    It is very soundy for tour.

  66. MICHEAL COFFIE July 12, 2012 at 1:39 am - Reply

    It is very soundy for tour.

  67. Scott Stuart July 12, 2012 at 2:36 am - Reply

    Remember when they used to say "Knee high by the Fourth of July"? Corn grows a lot faster than it did when I was on the farm.

  68. Scott Stuart July 12, 2012 at 2:36 am - Reply

    Remember when they used to say "Knee high by the Fourth of July"? Corn grows a lot faster than it did when I was on the farm.

  69. Kurt Moore July 12, 2012 at 5:56 am - Reply

    Makes me want to go to Nebraska. Well done. Beautiful.

  70. Kurt Moore July 12, 2012 at 5:56 am - Reply

    Makes me want to go to Nebraska. Well done. Beautiful.

  71. Patricia Davidson July 12, 2012 at 6:10 am - Reply

    Enjoying your photos +Nicole S. Young from your hometown trip!

  72. Patricia Davidson July 12, 2012 at 6:10 am - Reply

    Enjoying your photos +Nicole S. Young from your hometown trip!

  73. عمر سُليمان July 12, 2012 at 11:46 am - Reply

    أعشق تصوير الطبيعة..
    وخاصةً الطُرق الخالية..
    شيء مبدع..

  74. عمر سُليمان July 12, 2012 at 11:46 am - Reply

    أعشق تصوير الطبيعة..
    وخاصةً الطُرق الخالية..
    شيء مبدع..

  75. Rich Barnes July 12, 2012 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    Being from Nebraska, I lOVE this photo. There are so many great photo ops there with all the old farms, never ending skies and all the green.

  76. Rich Barnes July 12, 2012 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    Being from Nebraska, I lOVE this photo. There are so many great photo ops there with all the old farms, never ending skies and all the green.

  77. Chris Lazzery July 13, 2012 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    Excellent. Great color, and loving the sky-heavy comp. This is awesome.

  78. Chris Lazzery July 13, 2012 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    Excellent. Great color, and loving the sky-heavy comp. This is awesome.

  79. Travis Tyler July 20, 2012 at 11:19 am - Reply

    Very NICE!

    I get what you’re saying about the beauty of the Mid-West. I’m also from the Mid-West (western Kansas).
    Now living in Seattle for the past 5yrs, I regret not photographing more of the great wide open landscape, abandoned farm homes, lighting/thunder storms and small town life that a lot of people forget about.

  80. Tom Anderson July 22, 2012 at 8:29 am - Reply

    My favorite of yours… do you know the Springsteen song Nebraska? One of my favorites from him, too :-) 

  81. Tom Anderson July 22, 2012 at 8:29 am - Reply

    My favorite of yours… do you know the Springsteen song Nebraska? One of my favorites from him, too :-)

  82. Gailen Mapes July 29, 2012 at 2:54 am - Reply

    Turns out we were visiting Nebraska at the same time!  See https://plus.google.com/u/0/103752943025677384806/posts/GHfn9NXDsUP  :)

  83. Gailen Mapes July 29, 2012 at 2:54 am - Reply

    Turns out we were visiting Nebraska at the same time!  See https://plus.google.com/u/0/103752943025677384806/posts/GHfn9NXDsUP  :)

  84. Linda Cather Johnson February 28, 2015 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    I knew there was a reason I instantly connected with your work once I discovered you! I am also from Lincoln and I love the natural beauty that is Nebraska. In another blogpost you mentioned a road trip through northern and southern Nebraska. If you haven’t already experienced this, I would suggest you drive while listening to Ted Kooser’s (was NE Poet Laureate, and US Poet Laureate) ‘Local Wonders – Seasons in the Bohemian Alps’. Utterly delightful and insightful! Love your work!

    • Nicole S. Young February 28, 2015 at 5:00 pm - Reply

      Hi Linda! That road-trip you mentioned, I never was able to do it. I ended up moving to Seattle so had to cancel it. I’ll have to revisit that idea and see if I can make the time … I haven’t taken a good road trip in a long while!

  85. Linda Cather Johnson February 28, 2015 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the quick reply!! I can understand how it gets placed on the back burner… looks like you do some amazing traveling. It will come one of these days ;)

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