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The Battle for Dawn, Mt. Oberlin and Bird Woman Falls, Glacier National Park

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Just back from a trip to Montana which included several days in Glacier. Having returned, all I really want to do is head back for the rest of the year. I was fortunate in that Going to the Sun Road had just opened the week before, but a little unlucky in that fact that two of the shots I was determined to get were still fully engulfed in snow. I’m not sure how much snow was still there, but I do know that the ranger told me they had received 180% of normal snow pack, they were currently losing 8-10 feet of snow per day, and they still had TONS of it. The entire hike to Hidden lake in fact was in/over deep snow and the lake itself was still completely frozen and snowed over. In fact, the Saturday we left, they were expecting six inches of new snow.

Needless to say my photo adventures and their focus were forced to shift upon arrival. I ended up doing a bit more low land photography than I had planned, but before you cry for me Argentina, let me say that Glacier has more than enough to offer at just about every elevation. Having grown up with and travelling to Yellowstone so often, and having been through Yosemite so many times now, Glacier is just gargantuan. It is such an epic, grandiose, and amazing place. I’m not sure, even in Hawaii, if I’ve ever seen so many cascades and waterfalls. Pure magic.

This shot is from a very windy and rainy sunrise. Going to the Sun Road was closed from the west from 9pm-7am, so I went as high as I could, stumbled around until I found a view which in my mind work, and happened to be, in my opinion, very reminiscent of “Tunnel View” in Yosemite. I bracketed my exposures and also used GND filters to handle the dynamic range, and fired away. It was amazing to watch Mt. Oberlin simply refuse to allow the clouds and fog to round its face and also how fiercely the sun and blue sky fought to break through. Both of which happened for fleeting moments. What a wonderful morning to witness.


Having been away, I’ve got some catching up to do, in all aspects of life. I’ll try to get to your latest images ASAP! Cheers, -jared r.


Canon 5DMKII

Canon 16-35mm @ 29mm

ISO 200


.5, 1 and 2 seconds (hand blend in PS)

Singh-Ray 2 stop SE GND

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Taken on July 20, 2011