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.