Glacier Park Photographer

Glacier Park Photographer
Chief Mountain, Fall Colors - © tonybynum.com

Monday, January 25, 2010

Winter and Snow Return to Glacier National Park!

Old man winter returned to Glacier Nation Park after about two weeks of above average temperatures. Today I woke to 8 inches of fresh powder snow and the mercury hovering around 10 degrees. How fantastic and refreshing!

Today my daughter and I went sledding. If you’re familiar with the area, there is a popular sledding hill adjacent to the upper Two Medicine Bridge west of East Glacier Park along highway 49. Most of the local kids grow up sledding this hill. It’s common to find a half dozen kids riding the slope on everything from card board box’s to some elaborate tricycle looking thing with skis instead of wheels.

We use one of a dozen sleds I’ve picked up over the years. I’m a sled junkie. I have to try out the new designs. It seems that nothing can improve upon the old tried and true steel runner flexible fliers of yesterday, or can they?
I think all the new plastic sleds look great but most of them don’t really work all that well, especially in deep, fluffy “powder” snow. Here’s a sled that might be worth a try, if only it were not $300 bucks! I think I’m going to start saving my pennies to eventually buy one (I’ve read that the price drops at REI to about $200 bucks at the end of January). They look like they would be a lot of fun! And if nothing else maybe I can turn it into a cart for hauling gear to back country shoots.



This brings me to my photographic comment of the day. Being able to predict conditions is an important skill to have for a nature photographer. Learning some basic geography can help, but nothing is more helpful than paying attention and keeping notes. I keep a small journal for recording my observations; I find that I can not remember everything about every day and particularly specific things about certain days. Usually I'm reviewing my journals regularly to find out the specifics about a certain day in the past.  This helps me plan and better prepare for shooting.  

I record as many of the basic facts as I can as well as what time I need to be in that location on that day, or that time of year. In other words, I’ll write down things like “make sure to be in X location by 7am” and I will even add what time I should leave the house.  Things like road conditions are critical in this part of the country and knowing how they can change your drive time will have you make adjustments if the road conditions are different.

Then, when I couple that information with the data i recorded on temperature, snow, wind, clouds, etc., I get a better picture of how I need to prep and plan my trip. Making notes about the weather and the conditions on a regular basis will also help improve your ability to predict the conditions of the next day or two. . .

Your exif data is also a great place to look for time and date information, but you must make sure you’ve set it correctly and this brings me to my final point. If you have not done so, change your copyright stamp in your camera to 2010 and if you’re not stamping your images in your camera, at the time they are taken you need to start!

Cheers,

Tony
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