Remembering this trip to Grand Tetons NP and finding an image like this one from that trip takes me back there and is why I decided to post Monday Mountain images in the first place. My way of staying connected with mountainous landscapes as I waited out my solitude. This may be the last Monday Mountain post but I hope you come back from time to time as I continue to gather, process and post images. It has been fun for me and my thanks to you for looking.
Following a quick stop along the road east of Adel – due to about 100 head of cattle being herded down the road – I drove into the beginnings of the Basin and Range country. As the name describes you travel over some steep ridges with names like Buzzard Gap @ 6,122 ft and Dorothy Rim at 6, 240 ft. and then drop down into almost flat basins. The image below is from one of the basins. You know you are in big country when a 14mm prime wide angle lens just seems to be not wide enough. The road joins Hwy 205 at Denio Junction, Nevada and it was there that I turned north and headed toward the Alvord Desert. It is always a treat for me to stop and visit with John Simpkins at Andrews. We were both careful to do our social distancing and to keep the visit short.
I think the Alvord Desert is one of the most interesting places in Oregon if not the whole interior west. The Playa in late Spring and throughout summer is bone white and very hard. Going mid-week was a good idea as those I chatted with said that the Memorial Day weekend was very crowded and noisy. Not something that appeals to me. I wandered for a couple of hours on the Playa – the reflection of the sun made what was a relatively hot day even hotter. I love the vastness of this place. The photographic gurus tell me that one should never split an image down the middle but this just seems to work for me. Again please click on the image for a larger view.
I have more to post – intimate views of the tiles on the Playa and fields of wildflowers in bloom but will wait a day or two. Comments always welcome.
Grand Tetons National Park, Mt. Moran from the Oxbow on the Snake River.
This image brings back memories of a great fall trip with my sister, brother-in-law and friends. Hope to find my way back there this autumn. (This was the morning when I had a little Oriental woman in a baby blue velour jumpsuit yell at me “You in my frame!” Memorable!!
I received notification this morning that the image below was selected for the Autumn Photography Exhibition, 2016 at the Emerald Art Center. The image was taken last September in Yellowstone National Park. I shot it early in the morning in the Firehole River Canyon and converted it to Black and White using Photoshop CC and NIK software. I do not expect to win as I am sure there are many wonderful images – this is a national juried show. I will let you know when the reception is but the show will be up most of September. I am a happy camper!!
Just a few more images from the trip to Yellowstone NP and Grand Teton NP. One of the big treats for me on this trip was getting to spend time with my Grand Niece, Suki, both us with cameras in hand.
The one below was taken in early morning light — the Upper Canyon of the Firehole River.
Sunset from the Mormon Barn area – Tetons in the background.
A finally a shot I took on the drive home – early morning light on the High Desert of Central Oregon about 70 miles east of Bend.
I think many photographers anticipate and plan an autumn trip to the Color Hot Spots around the country. Certainly true for me. This year was a trip to Yellowstone National Park to meet up with family and then down to the Tetons and Jackson Hole, Wyoming and then back thru Oregon looking for color in the Cascades.
I got to West Yellowstone early in the afternoon and since I knew I could not check into my motel for an hour or so so I headed up into the Park looking locations for a morning shoot. I came upon a serious traffic jam and a parking lot full of photographers pointing long lenses at a herd of elk wandering around in a meadow but it really did not interest me much and I moved on. I did come across a herd of buffalo along the road and this one guy was looking at me hard. So magnificent.
The town of West Yellowstone was a bit of disappointment as it seems these days to be little more that a series of tacky T-shirt shops, motels and restaurants overrun with loud and rude Chinese tourists. However by leaving early in the morning I was able to have so much wonderful alone time to compose and shoot.
First an early morning shot of the Upper Madison River with a morning star. Then an image that was taken at the mouth of the Canyon of the Firehole River with morning light just coming onto the cliff faces. I then moved up to Firehole Falls – the steam – river warmer than the surrounding air. Breakfast was calling which meant a drive back to town to meet up with family – what a treat to spend time with them. On the way I crossed the Gibbon River and the morning light was filling up a meadow. As I set up for this shot the elk started bugling – made my morning.
Thanks for looking and as always comments are more than welcome. If you click on an image you can get a larger view.
It was 24 degrees when I left my motel room on the first morning after my arrival in Stanley and my intent was to return to Little Redfish Lake for a sunrise shot of the Sawtooth Mountains. Unfortunately fog covered a lot of the town, river and lake. There had been rain the day before and moist conditions combined with clearing sky and cold produced a heavy fog. Too bad because there was a full moon. I periodically caught glimpses of the moon over the mountains but never was able to get a shot. I went to the lake shore and did manage to get one relatively interesting image albeit not what I had hoped for. (As I was reminded by my friend Dave – all of these images look better if you click on them and enlarge them on your screen)
Rather disappointed I retreated to a warm car and headed back toward town when I noticed the fog along the Salmon River. Photographically fog can be a real asset or in some cases block great views. This morning I chose to believe that it could enhance the shots. I wandered along the river bank and found a shot that I think tells the story of the cold Salmon river and the enveloping fog.
Ever since I saw a copy of Johsel Namkumg retrospective book http://johselnamkung.net/ I have been looking for patterns in nature and was struck with those I found in the frozen grass along the channel. Probably not to everyone’s taste – maybe to no ones taste but mine. Oh Well.
After an hour or so I bee-lined it for town – hot coffee, a mediocre breakfast and a shower. Following that I headed out to explore the surrounding country and got much assistance from the staff at the Sawtooth National Recreation Area Ranger Station run by the U.S. Forest Service. I had heard about two abandoned mining towns that were accessible and with great directions from the SNRA folks I headed out. The two towns, Bonanza and Custer City, are at the head of Yankee Fork Creek a stream that was dredged for gold and only now after 60 years since the last operation, is starting to come back. I drove slowly and one place in particular caught my attention. A slice of a recovering stream.
Custer City is somewhat refurbished and touristy which was a bit of a disappointment – instructional signs on all the buildings forced met to frame shots around them. I spent time looking with the lens in the windows of the old buildings. It felt almost invasive and certainly intimate. These three shots are from the Custer City area. Bonanza is much smaller and less restored but also really falling apart. The first one seems to say “Out of Business” to me – just left the merchandize on the rack and walked out. When was the last time you saw a LOOK magazine on the shelves?
I was walking down a gravel road when I noticed the reflection of the trees in the windows of an old building – the windows framing the reflection. May be my favorite shot from the day. (Can you figure out where I was standing?)
By this time the sun was up and it was warm enough to be out in just a jacket but blue sky and mid-day sunshine are not the friends of landscape photographers so I headed back toward Stanley to explore the town a bit. I went out again in the evening and got nothing I like so that was the end of Day 2. Thanks for sticking with me.
I have many more images to go thru but just thought I would write a bit about my recent trip to the Sawtooth Mountains in central Idaho and put up a few images of what is known as the grand view.
This first image was taken as I was driving into Stanley in the late afternoon light and it for me it just captured my idea of a western landscape. I converted it to B&W and I like even better that way than in color. It is a tough land.
My base of operations was in the tiny town of Stanley. Population 63 and it sits at an elevation of 6,253 feet. I quickly checked into my motel and got a bit of gear unloaded before heading out for the evening to Little Redfish Lake. I had seen images on-line of this place and it sure called to me. I was not quite prepared for how cold it was even that first evening and as I waited for the light to come on I could feel the cold sinking in. Shooting the Sawtooths from this side is a bit tricky for a sunset shot as the mountains face east thus the sun sets behind them and if you are not careful you can lose the detail in the peaks. A sunrise shot would have been better but more about that in a later post.
Finally the sky came alive and the wind on the lake dropped and I got this shot. 15 minutes later it was over and I was back in my warm car headed to Stanley. Note no dinner in there!! Hee Hee (If you click on the images you can get a larger view)
Stanley is a cute little town made up mostly of rafting and Kayaking companies for trips down the Salmon River and what full time residents there are are mountain folk who are there because they want to be there. There are a number of motels and rather ‘challenged’ eateries except for the Stanley Bakery where I had a great bowl of organic chilly for lunch. To me the pleasant surprise was finding a lovely photographic gallery – Gerheim Gallery – http://www.thadgerheim.com Spent part of a rather sunny and warm afternoon looking at his large print images and just chatting with a fellow photographer. It was a nice treat.
It was 24 degrees the next morning when I left my room and I found Little Redfish lake and the Salmon river covered with fog. I have yet to work up those images but there were no grand views for sure. The fog allowed me to get what I think are more intimate views so if you will stick with me I will have more to post in the days to come. Thanks for looking and I welcome your comments.