Glacier Park Photographer

Glacier Park Photographer
Saint Mary Lake and Wild Goose Island, Glacier National Park, Montana

Friday, May 6, 2011

Glacier National Park - East Side Opening's Delayed - chase the light!

The recent news from the National Park Service, Glacier National Park is that most of the camp grounds on the east side wont open until June 10th, which is much later then average, due to snow pack and delays in getting roads open and other facilities operational.  In some places the Park is reporting almost 400% of average snow pack!  Wow . . .

The delays have impacted me and slowed my progress this spring that's for sure. The delays likely will have dramatic impacts on the businesses here in East Glacier Park as well, including my gallery. But with lemons one can decide to make lemonade, right!  What does that mean, it means this is a great opportunity for me to photographs things that have, for one reason or another escaped me.  Here's a list of a few things you can do to turn some bad news into a learning opportunity!

Start by thinking more about what the light is doing NOW, at this time of year, than on where you wish you were. The fact is that the most important aspect of great landscape imagery is LIGHT! Think more about light angles and less about that exact location you were planing, since last fall, to be at in May. Trust me, when you start shooting light and not subject it will open up a whole new world!
  • Try shooting small subjects close to your home, like budding flowers or buzzing bees in your yard.
  • Shoot landscapes when the trees are not fully leafed out (try them back-lit by the sun too), the colors and smaller leaves often allow you to produce interesting images that you've always missed in the past due to being in that "perfect place." 
  • Try shooting water themes. Spring often is the best time to shoot water themes. Try to shoot them under cloudy sky's, you'll be surprise - try a polarizer, use a tripod! 
  • Try shooting migrating waterfowl including shore birds are always available in the spring and not often in mountainous regions like Glacier Park, so look to your local pond or wetland for great waterfowl and bird opportunities.
  • Watch for clouds and shoot rainbows.  Rainbows can be found almost anywhere and spring is often the best time to fine them. The trick to rainbows is to know when they will appear and how to find them. When you have rain and direct sun, you will have a rainbow. Put your back to the sun, look straight out in front of you and you will find the rainbow. Try to get the end of the rain bow landing in something interesting, or balance something right in the center, but under it if it's a full rainbow.  
If you can't alter your travel plans, or you're coming to Glacier no matter what, all of these suggestions can be applied around Glacier National Park as well. There is so much to offer photographically around Glacier that no matter what, you should be able to find interesting subjects under any conditions. In fact, less than "ideal" conditions, and forcing yourself to shoot other subjects is what makes you grow as a photographer.  

Tony
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