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?

Keep Your Eyes Open

Observer”

I was at an overlook on the Beartooth Highway engulfed observing a panoramic view of the Absaroka Range.  I had my camera on my tripod set for a panoramic shot sequence.  I happened to look down and saw this little critter looking back at me.  I slowly left my camera, walked back to my car, picked up my “wildlife configured camera” and quickly grabbed a shot of this little guy before he ducked away.

When I am photographing wildlife and landscapes together, I usually carry two cameras configured with different lenses.  Changing lenses in the field takes me too long.  It really payed off this time.

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.

Renewal

Wildflowers on Johnson Ridge (Mt. St. Helens)

This image was taken on Johnson Ridge with Mt. St. Helens at my back. It shows the path of the destruction caused by the hot gases from the eruption.  Trees were blasted down for miles.  The little toothpicks on the far ridges were once towering firs.  Wildflowers and grasses have rejuvenated life in the area.  The contrasts between devastation and renewed life are beautiful and uplifting to my spirit.

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.

 

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.