Friday, July 29, 2011

Yellowstone, Part 3


Our National Parks system is both wonderful and important, in that the parks both preserve wilderness and yet make it available to see and use in a controlled fashion. Yellowstone National Park was the very first park created under the system, and it is spectacular, as is Grand Tetons National Park, immediately adjacent to it to the south. Both parks have been heavily photographed, and in the middle of summer are quite crowded. In fact, the picture above, of a creek running through a meadow in Yellowstone, was taken from my car, while sitting for over an hour in a traffic jam in the park. Below is the view forward at the exact same time:


As a photographer, the real challenge of Yellowstone and Grand Tetons is to find something new to photograph, or an interesting angle on what's there. The Grand Tetons are hopeless in this regard. Their beauty and majesty is obvious and awesome, and every photo of them tends to look like a postcard. I took many cliche photos, like the one I posted last week, that I'm still quite proud of as photos, but to shake off the "same old" problem, I ended up reaching for my infrared camera. Here is an infrared view of Grand Teton, rendered in black and white:


Yellowstone is in many ways less dramatic, but also more varied. It is famous for its geothermal activity, and the park abounds with geysers and fumeroles. I didn't get to see Old Faithful, because both times I tried to the parking lots were so jammed that there was no place to stop and get out of the car, but I did get pictures of other geothermal activity.


Finally, giving in to the cliche, here is a panorama of the Grand Tetons. I'm not sure how well it will display on this blog; the original is over 5 feet wide. Click on it for a bigger version.


On Monday I will post pictures from the trip home.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Yellowstone, Part 2


I planned my trip to Yellowstone so that I could see as much of the Colorado Rockies as possible. After spending the night in Colorado Springs, I looped north through the mountains to Boulder, then the next day crossed through Rocky Mountain National Park before heading north into Wyoming.

The picture above is of part of the Collegiate Range, taken on the west side of the South Park Valley, just south of Beuna Vista. As you can see, the clouds were nice and dramatic for this part of the trip.

Below, an abandoned farmstead sits surrounded by the splendor of the South Park Valley.


When I first had my Canon G-9 modified to take infrared pictures, I thought I was doing it for the effect it has on foliage. In fact, I have found that the infrared effect on the sky and clouds is much more dramatic. The picture below is a good example. It was taken on Magnolia road, just southwest of Boulder, and shows a mountain meadow and part of the front range.


Finally, moving north, we have a scene from north of Rawlins, in south-central Wyoming.


On Friday, pictures from Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Yellowstone, Part 1

No, that's not Wyoming in the picture above, but it was taken on my recent trip to Wyoming and Montana. A cousin of mine was getting married in Pray Montana, just north of Yellowstone National Park, so I threw my cameras in the car and headed out. As always when traveling west, the first two days were used just getting across the plains. The photos in today's post are from that part of the trip.

The picture above is of the Kansas countryside near St. Marys, on US 24 between Topeka and Manhattan. Below is an old Sinclair gas station, still in use, in Salisbury, Missouri. The photo was taken with my infrared camera, and rendered in black and white.


Next up are two pictures from the little eastern Colorado town of Simla, which is 75 miles southeast of Denver. The first is a picture of the rolling range land that dominates the eastern part of the state. The view is to the northwest, and were it not for the clouds, the Rockies would be plainly visible.


And then finally, a picture of the old grain elevator in Simla rendered, appropriately, I think, in black and white.


On Wednesday, I'll post pictures from the Colorado Rockies and Wyoming.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Grand Teton


I'm just back from a two week trip to Wyoming and Montana, which presented my first-ever chance to see Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. Next week I will post various pictures from the trip.  For today, here is a view of Grand Teton Mountain, at the center of the Grand Tetons Range, in Grand Tetons National Park (it's a bit redundant, I know). Click on the photo for a larger view.

It was a great trip, and I have some nice pictures to share, not just from Wyoming and Montana, but also from Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and Nebraska. Check back next week.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer 10


It's summer, and to celebrate I have looked through my files and picked out 20 photos that best embody the feelings I experience in summer. Over the last few weeks I've been posting them, two at a time, as a way to celebrate the summer season. Some of these have appeared on this blog before. Click on any picture to see a larger version.

I've saved two of my very favorite summer photos for this, the last installment in my summer top 20 series. Above is the beach at Cavalaire-Sur-Mer at just about sunset in June of 2006. Cavalaire-Sur-Mer is in Provence, on the south Coast of France, a few miles east of St. Tropez. To me, everything about this picture, from the people leaving the beach, to the calm of the waves, to the fading glow of the sun, contributes to the feeling that this was the end of a perfect day--the kind of day that only happens in the summer.

Below is yet another black and white photo of North Dakota countryside. The clouds are beautiful, and the beginning of the rain from the cloud in the center give the whole photo a certain dynamism. It's one of my very favorites.


I hope you've enjoyed seeing my favorite summer pictures. I've certainly enjoyed blogging about them.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer 9


It's summer, and to celebrate I have looked through my files and picked out 20 photos that best embody the feelings I experience in summer. Over the last few weeks I've been posting them, two at a time, as a way to celebrate the summer season. Some of these have appeared on this blog before. Click on any picture to see a larger version.

The photo above is one of my very favorite summer photos. I love the contrasting yellow and green, and the blue of the sky. This picture always puts me in a tranquil mood. The photo was taken in June of 2008 near Gibson City, Illinois.

Below is another black and white countryside photo. This is the North Loup River, just east of Brownlee Nebraska. Photo taken in June of 2009.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Summer 8



It's summer, and to celebrate I have looked through my files and picked out 20 photos that best embody the feelings I experience in summer. Over the next few weeks I'm going to post them, two at a time, as a way to celebrate the summer season. Some of these have appeared on this blog before. Click on any picture to see a larger version.

The picture above, from June of 2009, captures a misty morning in northwestern North Dakota. Coming from a rural part of the country that nonetheless has evidence of human habitation everywhere, I found the vast emptiness of the Dakotas to be fascinating.

Our next summer photo is really a spring photo, as you can tell from the corn shoots in the field.  This photo, from May of this year, was shot in infrared and processed into black and white. The scene is just north of Urbana, Illinois.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer 7


It's summer, and to celebrate I have looked through my files and picked out 20 photos that best embody the feelings I experience in summer. Over the next few weeks I'm going to post them, two at a time, as a way to celebrate the summer season. Some of these have appeared on this blog before. Click on any picture to see a larger version.

I've noticed that clouds are a big theme in my summer pictures, and why not? The sky is beautiful in the summer. In the case of the picture above, the clouds are hanging over Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The Picture was taken in late May of 2010.

The picture below was taken on the Mediterranean, just off the coast of the Provence region of France in June of 2006.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer 6


It's summer, and to celebrate I have looked through my files and picked out 20 photos that best embody the feelings I experience in summer. Over the next few weeks I'm going to post them, two at a time, as a way to celebrate the summer season. Some of these have appeared on this blog before. Click on any picture to see a larger version.

Above is a moody view of the Wasatch Range of the Colorado Rockies, just a bit north of the San Luis Valley. The picture was taken in July of 1985.

The next photo is from Japan, and is the view out the door of a farm house near Koriyama taken in June of 1988. I love the the cat lounging in the doorway, and the general quiet summer afternoon feel it gives.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Summer 5


It's summer, and to celebrate I have looked through my files and picked out 20 photos that best embody the feelings I experience in summer. Over the next few weeks I'm going to post them, two at a time, as a way to celebrate the summer season. Some of these have appeared on this blog before. Click on any picture to see a larger version.

As we reach the midpoint of my top 20 summer photos we have a black and white study of the countryside in northern South Dakota, with a thunderstorm burgeoning in the background. The picture is from June of 2009.

Next, a night shot of State Street in Madison, Wisconsin, from August of 1993. The view is toward the state capitol from the edge of the University of Wisconsin campus. The original photo was on film, and is here rendered as a painting.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summer 4


It's summer, and to celebrate I have looked through my files and picked out 20 photos that best embody the feelings I experience in summer. Over the next few weeks I'm going to post them, two at a time, as a way to celebrate the summer season. Some of these have appeared on this blog before. Click on any picture to see a larger version.

The picture above is from the Minnesota State Fair, one of America's great state fairs. Taken in 1997, it is a time exposure of the Ferris Wheel on the midway, and the moon. In Minnesota the state fair, which ends each year on labor day, is the official closing event of summer.

Below, we have St. Tropez in late June of 2006, at the beginning of the high summer season. As you can see, the harbor is already crammed with multi-million dollar yachts. In fact, two weeks after this picture was taken, Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson showed up here to get married. And we all know how that turned out.

Monday, July 4, 2011

In Honor of Independence Day


I'm taking a break from posting my top twenty summer photos to mark Independence Day with this photo of the Washington monument in Washington DC. The photo was taken way back in the summer of 1981, and is presented here rendered as a painting.

Enjoy the holiday!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Summer 3


It's summer, and to celebrate I have looked through my files and picked out 20 photos that best embody the feelings I experience in summer. Over the next few weeks I'm going to post them, two at a time, as a way to celebrate the summer season. Some of these have appeared on this blog before. Click on any picture to see a larger version.

For the third installment, we start in Copenhagen, in June of 1990. The scene is the famous Tivoli Gardens amusement park. Summer is short in Denmark, but quite lovely.

Next we go back to Japan, to Koriyama, for one of my favorite flower photos. Unfortunately, I don't know the name of the flowers. The photo is from June of 1988. Koriyama was affected slightly by the earthquake last March, but is also the city closest to the Daiichi nuclear power plant that is causing so much trouble for Japan.