Clouds over late spring snow on Mt Rainier between Panorama Point and Paradise.
Rainier, Snow, Trees, and Clouds, Mt Rainier National Park, WA (12″x18″)
Rainier, Snow, Rock, and Clouds, Mt Rainier National Park, WA (12″x18″)
Clouds over late spring snow on Mt Rainier between Panorama Point and Paradise.
Rainier, Spring Snow, and Clouds (Pano #4, Color), Mt Rainier NP, WA (16″x36″)
Rainier, Spring Snow, and Clouds (Pano #10, BW), Mt Rainier NP, WA (16″x49″)
After a quick hike from the White River camping area to Sunrise on Mt. Rainier, I used a Neutral Density filter to take a bulb exposure panorama of the grey meltwater of the White River on my way out of the park.
White River Panorama (#2), Mount Rainier National Park, WA
In early June, I took a quick hike from the White River camping area to Sunrise on Mt. Rainier. A lenticular cloud was draped over the summit of the mountain, and the air smelled of pine and melting snow. This was my first visit to the park, and I was amazed at how large the mountain appears when hiking on its flanks.
Lenticular Cloud over Rainier, Mount Rainier National Park, WA
Meltwater Stream in the Forest, Mount Rainier National Park, WA (12″x16″)
A few weeks ago, I hiked past Bluebird Lake (along the Wild Basin trail in Rocky Mountain National Park), scrambled up a scree field, and made my way along an old cirque above tree line just below Isolation Peak. The towering cliffs and exposed rocks are stunning when viewed up close. Looking down valley, I seemed to be standing above the clouds.
Unnamed Ridge, Cliffs, and Clouds, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO (16″x42″)
My first weekend in Boulder, I drove to the southeastern corner of Rocky Mountain National Park and hiked up to the back of Isolation Peak. On the way back down, I stopped at Ouzel Falls and Calypso Cascades to take a few long-exposure/bulb photographs of the flowing water.
Ouzel Falls and Stump, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO (16″x28″)
Calypso Cascades and Logs, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO (16″x27″)
When I arrived at Great Sand Dunes, the campgrounds were full, so I decided to camp in BLM land for the night. I got up early and took a quick hike to Zapata Falls (chilly!) then headed over to photograph the dunes before continuing on my drive to New Mexico. I was concerned that I had missed the early morning glowing light and that the dunes were too crowded (the tracks erase the rippling patterns), but I was pretty happy with the big, sweeping crests and clouds once I got up on the taller shifting sand.
Sweeping Dune Crest and Mountains, Great Sand Dunes National Park, CO (16″x69″)
Advancing Dunes Retreating Clouds, Great Sand Dunes National Park, CO (16″x39″)
After photographing a passing summer storm near Hooper, CO (see last week’s post), I stopped near the entrance to Great Sand Dunes National Park to shoot a panorama of the same storm as it lumbered over the Preserve and the mountains in the background. I shot this scene using HDR to get a more even exposure in the clouds and shadows on the ground, then made the image partially black and white to emphasize the drama of the scene.
Lone Tree, Dunes, Mountains, Clouds, Great Sand Dunes NP, CO (16″x54″)
On my way to Great Sand Dunes, I stopped along the highway to photograph this abandoned house in a field as a summer thunderstorm passed overhead. If you read my photography blog, you know that I love to photograph clouds (and would have stopped to shoot them anyway), but it was even better to have a dramatic foreground element. Additionally, the Dunes hug the foothills of the mountains in the background.
Farm House and Summer Storm, near Hooper, CO (16″x62″)
Over the summer, I drove through southwestern Colorado after a few weeks of research in Boulder. I passed by Great Sand Dunes National Park as a rainstorm rolled through the region. After camping nearby, I walked around the dunes in the morning to photograph the line of clouds advancing across the deep blue sky. The clouds projected moving pools of shadows across the mounds of shifting sand.
Sweeping Dune and Advancing Clouds, Great Sand Dunes National Park, CO (16″x34″)
Last month, I walked up the King Canyon trail in Saguaro National Park West (Tucson Mountain District). On the saddle below Wasson Peak, I stopped to photograph a few of the small cacti and the high, wispy cirrus clouds. Here is a vertical panorama of a baby saguaro and the surrounding prickly pear cacti.
Cholla cacti skeletons are scattered across the landscape in Organ Pipe Cactus National Park.
This tree hangs over the cliff next to the trail that winds up the steep rock face to Observation Point in Zion National Park.
A vertical panorama from a June trip through the Narrows in Zion National Park.
There tends to be a break from southern Utah rainfall in mid-May to June, and this is the perfect time for canyoneering in Zion and hiking The Narrows. The spring snows have mostly melted, and the water is more tolerable without a wet suit. This June I spent a day in the Echo Canyon area, then I took an overnight trip down the Narrows from Chamberlains Ranch. Here is one of my favorite panoramas from one of the thinner sections in the Narrows.
Here are a few more panoramas of the rock faces and Joshua trees in Joshua Tree National Park.
I took a quick climbing trip to Joshua Tree National Park in early February with a few friends. I brought my camera along to shoot a few panoramas while the others were climbing; here are a few photographs of the Joshua trees, which are a member of the Yucca/agave family.
While driving through Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in January, I stopped for a quick post-lunch hike in Alamo Canyon. About a mile from the parking area, the brick walls and old fence posts from an abandoned ranch still poke up from the desert floor. Here is a panorama of the corral and a single-frame photo of the window in the ranch house.
While scouting Mesa Arch in the evening, I took a panorama of the rock formation near the upper end of the Arch (see my post from 2 weeks ago). I decided to re-shoot a similar panorama at sunrise with better lighting because I liked the way the Arch seemed to dive away from the camera.
I slept in the back of my Subaru to save time in the morning. When my alarm went off, I deflated my sleeping pad, hopped into the driver seat, and rubbed the sleep out of my eyes as I turned on the defroster and headed to Mesa Arch. Sunrise was gorgeous, but the crowd of photographers that showed up a few minutes after I arrived made me want to hang back and wait for a clear view of the arch and mountains. After most of the other photographers rushed off to their next tour stop, an incredible glow developed under the arch when the sun started to reflect off the sandstone cliffs below the overlook.
While in Canyonlands National Park this spring, I wanted to visit and photograph Mesa Arch. I guarantee you recognize pictures of this location taken at sunrise with golden light shining over the mountains through the arch. I decided to stop by and scout the location around sunset so I would know where to set up my tripod the following morning; I took along my camera to take a few “non-traditional” panoramas of the arch as long as I had nice evening clouds and the arch wasn’t packed with excited sunrise photographers.
This sandstone formation watches over the Willow Flat campground in Canyonlands National Park. I noticed the dramatic clouds over the rocks, and I decided to take both a short-exposure and a long-exposure panorama of the scene. Notice the clouds streaking/streaming in the second panorama. Side note: I had trouble stitching together the second panorama: the ND filter vignettes each individual frame, so there is slight streaking between frames that I couldn’t eliminate in the stitching process. After a few hours of dodging/burning work in Photoshop, I had to just give up and go with it (which really bothers me).
The mile walk out to Grand View Point provides great views to the south of the Canyonlands. This mesa/butte dominates the landscape at the the Point at the end of the trail.
Here is another perspective on the gnarled juniper tree that I posted lasted week. I liked the small stacks of rocks that someone had built and how the cliff edge formed a line framing the eroded canyon tiers in the background.