Category Archives: The Intimate Landscape

The small details, shapes, and textures that catch my eye.

Life Emerges from Devastation

Lupine and Mt. St. Helens’ Crater from Johnson Ridge

Mt. St. Helens eruption blasted directly over Johnson Ridge where this photo was taken.  The landscape was devastated,  Nothing was left standing or living.  Now the hill sides are covered with wildflowers and small trees.  This lupine stands defiant in front of the mountain.

 

How Fragile Basalt Can Be

Columnar Basalt Remains – Yellowstone National Park

I think of basalt as a hard, stable volcanic rock created from lava flows.  Columnar basalt is formed when lava cools slowly.  It forms multi-sided vertical columns as it cools.  These columns are characterized by horizontal fractures.  When the columns are exposed to rushing water, the water carves out these fractures and the columns collapse. This image illustrates the vertical basalt columns as well as the collapsed column residuals.

Grand Tetons: Mormon Barn, the Next Day

Grand Tetons –  Mormon Barn (60mm)

I told you, the Tetons were behind the barn.  The next day the clouds lifted revealing the brilliant mountains.  I shot multiple images with different focal lengths and lenses. I did not care for the results with a wide angle because it subjugated the Tetons behind the barn.  I did like the perspective of a larger telephoto which brought the mountains up for a dramatic perspective.

Mormon Barn (100mm)

It is amazing what a different feeling this perspective gives. The barn is now dwarfed by the grandeur of the Tetons.

I enjoy working a subject from different perspectives without being rushed to get to the next scene.  Sometimes it pays of, sometimes it doesn’t.

Yellowstone: Mammoth Hot Springs from Below

Mammoth Hot Springs – View from Below

This image was taken with a 900mm equivalent telephoto lens shooting up at the cascading edge of the upper Mammoth Hot Spring Basin.  What caught my eye were the lines and patterns of the water and mineral deposits.

This image does not capture the grandeur of the basin edge cascading off the cliff.  I went thorough my photos to find an overall image.  I did not find one.  Big Lesson Learned:  Make sure I do not become fixated only with details, I need to capture the overall perspective as well.

Yellowstone: Mammoth Hot Spring Cascades

Upper Mammoth Hot Springs Cascades

This image was taken from an observation point just below that of my previous post.  I liked the contrast of the orange-brown deposits against the white alkaline deposits.  The puffiness of the clouds balanced that of the deposits.

Next post, a view from below …

Yellowstone: The Edge

Upper Mammoth Hot Springs

Mist steamed from the hot spring water even though the ambient temperature was around 90 degrees,  The water flowed over a series of small cascades over the edges of the basin down to the valley below.  The cascades stood out from the mountains across the valley.

I converted this image to black and white to emphasize the water and the edge of the bluff.  It represents the feeling that I had when gazing over the edge.

Yellowstone: Mammoth Hot Springs

Mammoth Hot Springs – Upper Basin

Yellowstone’s Mammoth Hot Springs area is also an area of unbelievable stark beauty.  How can life exist in such a harsh environment of boiling hot mineral springs.  I wonder how long these trees made it.

The day was hot around 90 degrees, we were tired and on our way back to photograph wildlife. We only took a few moments to walk around and take a couple of shots.  My creativity was at a low level, so I feel that I missed some wonderful opportunities to explore.  Well, next time …

Yellowstone: Grand Prismatic Spring – Mist on Rocks

Grand Prismatic Spring – Mist

Hot water from the Prismatic Spring shelf flowed into a “holding” pond before it entered the stream below.  Hot water entering a cooler pool of water generated a steady mist.  When I took this image, I was thinking black and white to express the eerie feeling of the mist.