Category Archives: The Grand Landscape

The overview of the natural landscape.

Practice & Experiment

Second Beach, La Push, WA

I took a special trip to the Washington Coast to experiment and practice long exposure photography. My first day of practice resulted in a disappointing set of images with many, many, pure white and pure black frames.  I am thankful tor digital photography!  I knew the steps I needed to take.  However, my excitement took over and I made multiple mistakes.  Toward the end I started to engrain the process into my sequence of shooting.  The next morning, I slowed down and did much better.  This image is from that morning.  I have a lot more of experimenting and practicing to do.

 

“Beartooth”

Beartooth Peak

The sharp peak is “Beartooth.”  It does look like a sharp tooth. I can imagine the size of the bear that would have this peak as a tooth!

As I observe the wonder of nature that surrounds me, I like to let my imagination run loose. Here, I tried to place myself in the footsteps of our Native Americans and the lore that they created to attempt to explain the life around them.  I could spend hours just sitting, seeing, and letting my mind explore.  When I do so, I tend to drive the people around me a little crazy.  Most of my creative work is done when I am by myself.

Experimenting with Moods

Pilot Peak

I am focusing on trying to create various moods with my black and white images.  This image of Pilot Peak was shot in midday light.  I added contrast along with dodging and burning to get this “late evening” mood.

The image below is processed with a B&W conversion with just a little contrast and brightness adjustment.  It captures more of the detail, but lacks feeling (my perspective).

What is your preference?

Symmetry

Beartooth Lake

One of the most beautiful scenic drives that I have been on is the Beartooth Highway from Cook City, Wyoming to Red Lodge, Montana. On the way up to the summit, I saw a small opening through the trees with a beautiful lake peeking between them.  I found a turnout and walked a short distance to see this beautiful scene.  The lake was smooth as glass, the sky was blue, and the snow beamed out its radiance.  Symmetry of the bluff reflecting in the lake was perfect.  It was mid-day, so the colors were muted.  But is was perfect for black and white.

Someday, I will be back for an early morning or late afternoon shot of the warm sun reflecting off the bluff into the lake.

Mt. St. Helens, Life Renewal

Mt. St. Helens – 27 years after

Nature is magical!  It renews itself.  Out of a devastated landscape, life emerges.  I wish I had taken photographs when Karen and I visited the devastated mountain twenty plus yeas ago.  Everything was grey and brown, mud and ash.  It reminded me of what I thought the moon’s landscape was like.

Now, life is emerging everywhere.  The reds, oranges, yellows, and purples of the wildflowers scattered about breathe life into the landscape.  The greens below are young trees that have sprouted from seeds that have been brought to the surface by the small ground animals that survived the blast underground and from returning birds dropping seeds from above.  Life is a miracle!  My spirits lifted as I looked down over the valley below.  My imagination looked forward to picture a natural forest that will return in the centuries to come.

Looking Up The Throat

Mt. St. Helens – North Face

This is the devastated north face of Mt. St. Helens, 37 years after it exploded on May 18, 1980.  The beautiful white symmetric Mountain cone is gone.  The evolution of our earth continues.  The last time I was up to see the mountain was five years after it erupted.  At that time, we saw the start of life returning.  How much it has changed in the 32 subsequent years.  In my next several posts, I will try to convey the changing life that has transpired.

Iconic Grand Tetons

Grand Tetons – Oxbow Bend

This is one of those “Iconic Views” of the Grand Tetons taken from Oxbow Bend of the Snake River.  I think every photographer who has visited the Tetons has taken an image from here.

In the early morning when I drove by this spot, the mountains were covered with clouds.  I came back in the early afternoon when the landscape was covered with mid day sun,  Even though the lighting was not the best, I saw tonality differences between the trees, river, mountains, and sky.  I thought B&W would work.