Get out and Enjoy the Parks

This week marked the 99th Anniversary of the National Park Service. 292 million people visited National Parks in 2014. What will the numbers be like this year? I don’t know. But I can tell you that I will be among those people this year. Will you? National Parks, Monuments, Historic Sights, and Memorials are some of the most inspiring and educational places in the United States to visit. I have spent a lot of time growing up in only a handful of the 408 National Parks in the U.S. and I can honestly say that every one of them is special.

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From the red rocks of Bryce Canyon.

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The valley floor looking up at El Capitan of Yosemite.

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The geysers of Yellowstone.

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The peaks of Glacier, everyone of these places holds a different story and a different photographic challenge. For some of these places I have still yet to capture that one image that symbolizes what that place has to offer but it is that challenge that keeps me shooting and hopefully, you as well.

Bringing out that foreground

We’ve all been there before. a great spot with a beautiful view and clouds! But flat light. It sucks but hey it could be worse. What do you do? Well the answer is you keep on shooting. I took this years ago up at Glacier National Park, one of my utmost favorite places to go, on a stormy June morning. This is s typical Spring with snow still on the ground.

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It was a great morning, albeit cold, just not a lot of pop.

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This is where ACR came in handy yet again. With a little bit of painting in the foreground bringing the exposure down on the grass but keeping the flowers bright, and just a little bit of work on the mountainside to highlight the one beam of light coming through onto the hillside, creates the needed drama .

Two Medicine

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What better way to start the day then with a lovely drive over to a beautiful lake surrounded by gorgeous mountains covered in fresh snow? O yea, did i mention we had to leave at 4am! It sure seems like every great shoot is always the one that we have to not only drive too but also are bloody tired at. Thankfully i wasn’t driving, always a plus with those early days. But i did get to enjoy the light show that present.

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The light was great all morning, but wouldn’t u know the clouds didn’t move into until later in the morning after initial sunrise.  It was one of those mornings with a great reflection, no wind making a wonderful stillness. I couldn’t decide if i wanted to go close up with the 70-300VR AF-S or wide with the 24-70 zoom. I was tempted to go close with some of the peaks but kept wide to try and get more reflection. Only thing is i didn’t like the reflection that was being reflected. Wasn’t interesting enough i guess. Anywho, it was  a good morning with a promising afternoon so keep ur fingers crossed.

Images captured with D3, 24-70 zoom, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Another day another Base Camp

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It’s been a couple of weeks since the last Base Camp and man time just flies. Dad and me have been down in Texas for a week, then home for a week and now we’re up in Montana, with Mom and the kiddies . Glacier National Park, a truly beautiful place with some great critters and even better scenery. We took advantage of the greatness yesterday. The weather was very uncooperative, with snow flurries and rain most of the day. The wildlife were not at all considerate of us photographers and decided to show up when we really could not do anything about it. O well it happens.

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This particular pullout was a great chance to tryout the 24-70 zoom that i borrowed from the goodie locker back home. I gotta say its really fast, very sharp and so far I’m liking it. The mountains of the park greatly makeup for any missed photo opps with the critters. We stayed at one pullout for a couple hours yesterday for sunset and man the clouds just kept performing. Thankfully the snow stopped right before we went out otherwise we would not have gone. It was a good end to the first day of the week, can only hope the rest of the week is just as good.

Images captured with D3, 24-7o zoom, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

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