Fun Friday: “Got Milk?”

While hiking Logan Pass in August, I came upon two Mountain Goat nannies, one with a kid, along the side of a mountain. They were not very active at the time, so I hung around for a little while. When one of the nannies stood up, her kid quickly moved underneath her to nurse:

Mountain Goat nannies and a kid

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark II body
  • Canon 100-400mm IS lens, shot at 400mm
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/200 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2018, Blog, Fun Friday post, Mammals, National Park, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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The Art of Seeing

When you are out in nature, do you often miss some interesting details in the view in front of you?  It’s easy to do. For some time now, I’ve been working on seeing things a bit differently … trying to identify exactly what caused me to take a double-take … looking for interesting details in what I’m looking at … just trying to “see more”.

As I hiked the St. Mary trail in Glacier NP recently, I came upon a beautiful view of a cascading mountain stream:

An unnamed cascading stream along the St. Mary trail

What did you see? In many ways, this image is “too busy” for me. Did you see the criss-crossing water cascades? The rocks as they angled this way and that way? The downed trees in the stream? What about the start of fall colors in the mountain landscape? There are many things you can see in this one image. Although I often try to capture the entire scene, sometimes it pays off to stop and “smell the roses”, while checking out all the details. And creating a “less busy” image can bring more attention to more notable, specific details and make a more interesting image.

In this case, the red rocks in the foreground captured my interest. So, I moved a bit closer to the red rocks, removing most of the “distractions” in the above image. I absolutely loved the cascading of water over the red rocks. But when I took the time to really study this blown-up view, other things began to appear. What do you see in the following image?

An unnamed cascading stream along the St. Mary trail

Well, several things stood out for me. First, the wonderful coloration of the main red rocks, as well as the supporting rocks around them. Then there are the many cracks in the red rocks, which can make our eyes wander throughout the image as our eyes try to find where the lines are going. Observing how the water flows along “the path of least resistance” is very evident. And the one thing that really captured my interest was the “mini waterfall” created by the water flowing over the lip of the red rock.  Kinda reminded me of the many movies I’ve seen where someone is standing behind the waterfalls, looking out through the falls, while staying dry!

I think this is a good reminder for all photographers to slow down and really take in the scene. You will most likely “see” many more images that you can make.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark III body
  • Canon 28-135mm IS lens, shot at 65mm (both images)
  • Bogen 3221 tripod with ballhead
  • ISO 200 (both)
  • Aperture f/16 (both)
  • Shutter 0.3 sec. (both)

 

 

Posted in 2018, Blog, Landscape Photography, National Park, Nature Photography, Photography Tips, Travel Photography, Waterfalls | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Below the Falls

On one of my many recent hikes in Glacier NP (Montana), I hiked to Virginia Falls. Just a very short distance below the falls, was this peaceful scene, with a single Aster wildflower plant gently blowing in the light breeze, in front of some cascades:

Downstream of Virginia Falls

This is a focus-stacked image, combining two separate images. One image was used for the foreground, to keep the aster in relative focus, and the second image was focused on the cascade. When I shot this scene, I actually shot a total of 5 images to stack. However, when I worked at stacking the images, I found that the gentle movement of the aster swaying back and forth was just too much movement to stack all 5 images. So I went back and stacked only the first and fifth images, which worked out relatively well.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark III body
  • Canon 28-135mm IS lens, shot at 135mm
  • Bogen 3221 tripod with ballhead
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/19
  • Shutter 1/8 sec.
  • Two images were focus-stacked, using Helicon Focus software

 

 

Posted in 2018, Blog, focus stacking, Landscape Photography, National Park, Nature Photography, Travel Photography, Waterfalls, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Why I Love Mountain Hikes

Today’s post features an image I captured along the Hidden Lake trail (no, this is not the Hidden Lake) as I hiked in Logan Pass, Glacier NP recently. How can anyone not fall in love with the mountains after experiencing a breath-taking view like this! This image was captured during one of my two sunrise hikes at this location:

Unnamed Mountain Lake & Stream

Coming up … more Glacier NP landscapes, waterfalls and some wildlife!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark III body
  • Canon 28-135mm IS lens, shot at 135mm
  • Bogen 3221 tripod with ballhead
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/16
  • Shutter 1/60 sec.

 

 

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St. Mary Falls

While in Glacier NP recently, I did a lot of hiking. One morning I decided to hike the trail from St. Mary Lake to both the St. Mary waterfall and the Virginia waterfall. Today’s post features a couple of images I captured at the St. Mary waterfall:

St. Mary Falls

St. Mary Falls

From here, I continued the uphill hike to Virginia waterfall, stopping along the way to photograph several small, unnamed waterfalls and multiple mountain streams as the water raced downstream. I’ll feature some of those images in subsequent posts.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark III body
  • Canon 28-135mm IS lens, shot at 35mm (top image) and 65mm (bottom image)
  • Bogen 3221 tripod with ballhead
  • ISO 200 (both photos)
  • Aperture f/16 (both photos)
  • Shutter 0.7 sec. (top image) and 1/10 sec. (bottom image)

 

 

Posted in 2018, Blog, Landscape Photography, National Park, Nature Photography, Travel Photography, Waterfalls | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Sunrise Hike at Logan Pass

During my recent visit to Glacier NP, I hiked at least one trail about every day. I typically like to start out very early in the morning, when the landscape is just becoming visible to the eye. Why? Several reasons. First, a lot less people out there, so I have nature more to myself! Second, the wildlife is usually more active early. And third, the landscapes can be very colorful as the sun works at rising over the mountains!

Logan Pass is one of my favorite places in the park for hiking. The Hidden Lake Trail is a pretty easy hike, yet still affords a great panoramic view of the surrounding valleys and mountains. I liked this hike so much that I went back a few days later and repeated it!

I photographed a lot of subjects along this trail … Columbian ground squirrels, a bighorn sheep ram, several mountain goats, tons and tons of wildflowers, and some wonderful sunrise captures, like the early morning landscapes I’m featuring in today’s post:

Sunrise over Logan Pass, Glacier NP (Montana)

Sunrise over Logan Pass, Glacier NP (Montana)

Logan Pass in the early morning

In upcoming posts, I’ll feature some of the wildlife along this trail.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark III body
  • Canon 28-135mm IS lens, Canon 100-400mm IS lens, Tamron 17-35mm lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On” (no IS on the Tamron lens)
  • ISO 200 (all photos)
  • Aperture f/8 and f/16
  • Shutter 1/60 sec. to 1/500 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2018, Blog, Landscape Photography, National Park, Nature Photography, Sunrises/Sunsets, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Fun Friday: Looking for Goodies

Today’s post features one of the five bears I observed during my recent trip to Glacier National Park (Montana). This black bear was close to the road and continuously foraged among the rocks and wildflowers on the mountainside:

Black Bear foraging

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark II body
  • Canon 100-400mm, f/4.5-5.6 IS lens, shot at 400mm
  •  Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 6400 (it was rapidly growing dark, so a high ISO was needed)
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/50 sec.

 

 

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Ya Know It’s Gonna Be a Great Day …

… When You Come Across a Beautiful Valley View Like This!

After 3 days of photographing on the west side of Glacier NP, it was time to move to my eastern position for the remainder of the trip. To get there, I drove the wonderful “Going-to-the-Sun Road”. Seemingly high into the clouds, it is easy to figure out how it got it’s name. I took my time driving, stopping at several pullouts along the way. In particular, I enjoyed this view of the mountainside, while Fireweed wildflowers framed the view along the roadside:

View of the valley along Going-to-the-Sun Road

But repositioning myself, by only a few feet, I got an incredible view of the valley below me, covered with Fireweed:

View of the valley along Going-to-the-Sun Road

This was my first trip late in the summer to Glacier NP. I had researched that it was one of the best times for wildflowers … I think I have to agree!

I had traveled to the park to photograph the Perseid meteor shower over the mountain lakes. But due to the nearby wildfires, I had “Zero” luck! And a couple of days after the above images were captured, the Going-to-the-Sun Road was closed due to a fire starting on the west side (where I had been the first 3 days), caused by a lightning strike during a nighttime storm.

But even though I captured no meteors, I hiked a lot of trails and will be featuring some of the wonderful landscapes and waterfalls I encountered in the park … stay tuned!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark III body
  • Canon 28-135mm IS lens, shot at 115mm (top photo) and 135mm (bottom photo)
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 200 (both photos)
  • Aperture f/22 (top photo) and f/16 (bottom photo)
  • Shutter 1/180 sec. (top photo) and 1/250 sec. (bottom photo)

 

 

Posted in 2018, Blog, Landscape Photography, National Park, Nature Photography, Travel Photography, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Hazy Lake McDonald

Today’s post features a couple more images captured from the bank of Lake McDonald, in Glacier NP. With the hazy skies, it was difficult to capture good landscapes, while at the same time, the haze gave a bit of an eerie feeling to the lake:

Hazy Lake McDonald

On the righthand side of the above image is beginning to show some colored skies that were caused by the sunshine trying to shine through the hazy skies (if you missed the sun images, you can find them here: (“Lazy, Crazy, Hazy Days of Summer”)

One of the things that I’ve always been drawn to when visiting this area of the park is the colored rocks that line the bottom of Lake McDonald:

Colored Rocks of Lake McDonald

The crystal clear waters allow the brilliantly colored rocks to add a nice splash of color to the lake.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark III body
  • Canon 28-135mm IS lens, shot at 38mm (top photo) and 135mm (bottom photo)
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 200 (both photos)
  • Aperture f/22 (top photo) and f/16 (bottom photo)
  • Shutter 1/125 sec. (both photos)

 

 

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Fun Friday: Not in Here, BooBoo

“Hey, BooBoo, the pikanik basket’s not in here! Let me know if that pesky ranger shows up!” Those were the words I pictured as I captured this photograph during my recent trip to Glacier NP (northwest Montana).

Today’s “Fun Friday” post features an adult Black Bear that was foraging in some mountainside berry bushes, in the Many Glacier area of Glacier NP. As the sun began to set, I was leaving the Many Glacier Area of the park to head back to my cabin. Looking along the mountainside beside the road, I saw a pair of black bears roaming from berry patch to berry patch.

Just before this image was captured, neither bear was visible as they were buried in the bushes and busy gorging on berries. But when one stood up to look around, I captured this image:

Black Bear seeks berries in a mountainside berry patch

This was my third trip to Glacier NP … and it won’t be my last! This trip was the first time I saw bears, but I saw five … four black bears and one grizzly bear. Gets the old blood pumping to see these large, magnificent animals in the wild!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark II body
  • Canon 100-400mm, f/4.5-5.6 IS lens, shot at 400mm
  •  Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 1600
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/60 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2018, Blog, Fun Friday post, Mammals, National Park, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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