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~~~ Please press 'L' to see this on BLACK~~~

 

I recently returned from a month in and around Glacier National Park. All I can say is that place is beyond beautiful! Truly one of the great places to photograph all that the mountain environment has to offer: meadows, creeks, cascades, wildlife, and, of course, peak after glorious peak. We’re already planning on spending another month there next summer (hopefully with a lot less high elevation snow)!

 

This image was taken on one of my last mornings in the park. My usual early morning peak out of the tent revealed some really promising conditions to the east. Not having a chance to scout out this location the day before, I hoofed it up the ridge, scouring for one of the many dead trees to incorporate into the composition. I came across this little guy and hurriedly set up my gear. Soon the light and color took full control and it required immense restraint not to stop shooting and just stare gape-mouthed at the unfolding beauty. Easily one of the most beautiful mornings I’ve seen all year. Combined with sustained strong winds and a hyper vigilance for grizzlies verging on paranoia (a mom and three cubs had been spotted in the area the previous day), this morning has become my most memorable from the trip. That’s one thing I do appreciate about being in grizzly country. Since you’re no longer high man on the totem pole, you’re become much more aware of your surroundings. All of the senses become acutely sensitive to the slightest sound or movement. The result of this, for me at least, is to deepen the experience, acting to firmly ground me in each passing moment. Not much thinking, just watching, listening, breathing, doing. These fleeting moments of pure experience are what initially drew me to the outdoors and what continue to lure me back again and again. Enough with the philosophical musings… One last thing-- as nice as conditions were this morning they were even better the next day because the light, well, it kind of got ridiculous… So stay tuned!

 

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Tech notes: Blend of two exposures at f/11 (one for sky and one for land). Local dodge/ burning, a bump in contrast, and slight color balance and vibrance/ saturation tweeks. That’s it. It’s presented dark on purpose to accurately reflect the amount of available light in the field that morning, so again please press L--- it's definitely better on black!

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Taken on August 1, 2011