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.
North Absaroka Range from Beartooth Pass Summit
This view of the Absaroka Mountains is looking west from the summit of Beartooth Pass, elevation 10,947 feet. The air is thin. I felt like I was almost on the top of the world. I was definitely light headed.
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?
Pilot Peak and North Absarokas
This view is of the North Absaroka Wilderness area looking west from the Beartooth Highway. Like I noted in a previous post, The Beartooth Highway is a beautiful scenic drive. It is a must if you are in the northeast Yellowstone area.
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.
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.
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.
Grand Tetons and Snake River
Ansel Adams shot one of his great photographs from this spot. His image showed much more of the Snake River. The trees have grown significantly to block part of the view that Ansel witnessed.
I shot this in mid-afternoon in hard sunlight. The colors in the scene were all washed out. Bus loads of people were wandering all about taking snapshots. I had to wait until the busses loaded up to get to a good vantage point. I was in no hurry I knew that I could still get a good black and white image, so I took my time. I shot multiple exposures focusing on the sky, mountains, and foreground trees. I blended the different exposures together to get this image. I am no Ansel, but I bet he did similar dodging and burning to create his image.
For reference, below is Ansel’s original print.
ANSEL ADAMS (1902-1984)
Grand Tetons and the Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, 1942
gelatin silver print, printed 1960s, flush-mounted on wood
30 5/8 x 45 1/8in. (77.8 x 114.5cm.)
According to current research, this is one of nine mural prints of this image in existence and one of only six in this size, with print dates ranging from 1952 to 1973. This magnificent, extraordinarily rare example was probably printed in the early 1960s. In 2010, this photograph realized $338,500 in a Christie’s auction.
Fuji X-T1, XF10-24mm @24mm. f/22. 1/13 sec, ISO 1600
The sky was very dark and covered with clouds. The landscape was very dark and covered with shadows. Then for a few seconds the sun popped out in a small gap in the clouds. The landscape opened up its arms for me to enjoy. The three hour drive starting at 3:00 AM to catch the sunrise was worth it!
Fuji X-T1, EF 18-135mm @ 31mm, f/16, 1/110 sec, ISO 800
I walked down into the basin of the Badlands and looked up to see the towering, eroded hills behind me. I processed this image to separate the foreground from the background by adding a touch of NIK’s Color EFEX Pro graduated fog to the background. I should have shot this image at a wider aperture to produce a natural effect. Lesson Learned: Take my time, work the image from different settings and exposures to create the effects that bring out specific elements of the subject.