The Salmon Flies Are Back!

This is absolutely one of the most fun times of the year as these giant bugs come back through the state of Montana and are feasted upon by the fish that inhabit the rivers. Big or small, everyone comes up to the surface for a taste. While the Salmonfly look like giant dangerous bugs they are actually quite harmless. Due to their size and color, they make for great photo subjects and the fish seem to enjoy them too.

 

Clouds like Fire

 

Low hanging clouds can make for some pretty amazing photo opportunities. In the Gallatin Valley the weather systems always come in from the West and hang in the valley before exiting out over the mountains to the east. Since the Gallatin valley only sits at 4200ft in elevation those storms often are too high overhead to do much of interest, but down towards West Yellowstone at the Hebgen Lake where the elevation is 6500ft, the storms that move through can be pretty impressive.

I looked behind me on Saturday to this massive cloud bank move through the Pines. It was a thermal hole that had opened up enough for a brief moment in the rainstorm to allow a little light to make those clouds sing. When I saw it, it was like a storm of flames dancing on the other side of the trees. With the D5 and 24-70 AF-S, I took a couple of clicks and finished in Silver Efex Pro.

 

What to do with a Bald Sky?

I spent a lot of time looking at the trees, the banks, the colors and I was having a heck of a time trying to find a photo on the water this day. It just wasn’t coming to me. Maybe that’s because I haven’t been shooting a lot lately, maybe it was just the day. But I took a couple of pictures regardless to try and get over that mental block. In the computer I could see a little clearly that the bald skies that were dogging me, were actually kind of nice. The photo is less about the scenery and more just pure color. That works for me. For now.

Images captured with Nikon D5, 24-70f2.8, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Them Colors

Well it isn’t a fall brown but it certainly was one beautiful Rainbow. He hammered the white streamer during the afternoon bite and was kind enough to pose for a couple of shots. The one key I’ve found to this arena is to use flash. There are so many people who hate using flash but at the end of the day it is a great tool to know how to use. Flash is what made that color pop and without it would have been bland.

Images captured with Nikon D5, 24-70 f/2.8 on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

How Much Color Do You Need?

This may seem like an odd title given that the definition of a black and white photo and a non-black and white photo is the additive of color, but there is a point to be made of how much is needed? We’ve all seen those amazing sunsets or sunrises where the color is amazing. Well, there are plenty of times where it looks like this. There’s just a faint amount of color in the sky but not really enough to get excited about. Nothing grand happened, just enough before the sun went down. Is more needed? Depends on what you are trying to communicate in your story. In this case, it’s just another Fall day.

Image Captured with Nikon D5, 24-70 AF-S f/2.8, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Summer Storms Coming to an End

The year has gone by fast yet again and already the fall storms seem to be rolling through the valley. Nights in the forties are already starting to become normal which for August is pretty abnormal. Last night we had one heck of a storm blow through, very much like the ones we would have in the spring. Unfortunately, I was nowhere near a good spot to stop for it but it reminded me of this encounter in a previous year.

Image Captured with Nikon D5, 24-70 AF-S, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Portraits and Closeups

I’ve really been enjoying fishing photography lately because it allows me to explore the relationship between subjects more thoroughly. You have this contrast between wanting to take a good photo of the person so that they have that memory and then you have the “really cool” fish photo of just that fish. If you were to ask the fisherman, they would say just photograph the fish, it’s more important. Both are key elements of the story, but the story isn’t complete without the other. Combine this with the urgency to take the photo fast for safety purposes and it makes for some interesting photography.

Images Captured with Nikon D750, 24-70 AF-S, SB-5000 on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Fishing in Ice Shelves

Spring in Montana is never the same from one year to another and this spring is shaping up to be another one for the books. After the record cold temps in February and March, the ice packs and snowstorms haven’t melted away yet. As a result of this many rivers still, have shelf ice on them. Fishing them can be dangerous as a wrong step can lead to you plummeting down into the unknown but photographically they can be quite rewarding. It comes down to the contrast of having that cold element with a sport that is typically thought of as being warm. Not mention that having a three-foot-tall ice chunk by you is just impressive.

Image Captured with Nikon D5, 24-70 AF-S, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Spring Fishing is Almost Here!

That’s right it is almost time for those great spring fishing days with the amazing colors and vibrant patterns of the various fish species that come from those days. The cold temps are finally starting to rescind which means the ice flows will begin to break up and the rivers will once again be more suitable for fishing. In the meantime it’s still prep time with studying the fisheries, looking at snow packs and getting those flies ready.

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