Glacier Park Photographer

Glacier Park Photographer
Fall In Glacier National Park ©

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Glacier National Park - Black and White and Uncommon Views

The leaves have fallen. Glacier Park's fall colors came about two weeks early this year. As quickly as they came, they disappeared - it all happened pretty quickly this year. On a scale of one to ten, ten being the best fall colors I've ever seen, I'd say this fall was about a 6 or 7 on the east side.

Black Bear in fall colors, Glacier National Park, Montana. Nikon D4, Nikon 200-400 f4, a-fs VR II. 1/500th @ f5 iso 400.       © 
Generally, fall colors on the west side of Glacier National Park are fantastic - they're also more predictable. You can almost always find good color someplace. On the east side, it's always different from year-to-year and you never really know what you're going to get - it's very unpredictable.

But how important is color? We’ve seen a lot of saturated photographs of Glacier National Park. I’ve created a few colorful photographs of Glacier National Park myself.  I’m sure some of you have also seen black and whites of Glacier too.

When the color goes away, or when I feel a need to put energy into my photography, I create black and white images. They are much harder to create, take more time and a lot more attention. Color can carry the image but black and whites are about shadows, lines, and composition.

Chief Mountain, Black and White - part of Chief Mountain is on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, and part is within the boundaries of Glacier National Park. The leaves have all dropped and winter is on its way in Northwest Montana. Notice that this composition breaks the rules. The subject is in the center. I find that my images are often better (more appealing to me) when I can break at least one rule.  Nikon D810, Nikon 50mm 1.8, 1/125th @f8 iso 100. ©  
I’m often asked, “how many keepers do you get in a day?” It’s a hard question to answer.

Sometimes it’s one, maybe two. Other times none. On this day, I did okay. I think keepers are a matter of taste but I find that I do my best work when I’m stressed but able to remove myself from it and go to places where there’s solitude. This time of year, after all the tourists have left the Park, solitude abounds.  

Two cow moose feed in a small pond in Glacier National Park. Nikon d810, 24-120, f4 af-s, 1/500th @f6.3, iso 100. ©   
While I’m creating images, I’m completely lost in the moment. Somehow I'm able to let the presence of time and the abundance of solitude take over. I create better images when there are fewer modern, mechanical noises. Fewer cars, and no people.

I allow things to flow. I seldom shoot with a tripod for this reason. A tripod limits my creativity. For me, the time it takes to set up a tripod boots me out of my flow. Sadly, I've never learned how to incorporate a tripod into my landscape photographs without disrupting the flow. Most of the time, I just need to shoot and not worry about composition and tripod placement. I allow myself to just see arrangements, lines, darks, and lights, and go, as they say, with the flow.  

A stream leading to Rising Wolf Mountain, Glacier National Park. Nikon d810, Nikon 12-24 af-s 2.8, 1/125 sec @f11, iso 64. © 
Don't get me wrong, I love photographing humans in their element, but sometimes I prefer to craft images when the world around me is calm. I mentioned stress. I find that when my mind is spinning with the news of the day or the stresses of life, when I leave it all behind, for just a morning, I create better photographs.

On this day I discovered that what caught my attention most were the shadows, not the usual bountiful colors we so often experience in such magical places.

Here're a few keepers from today. How many, I did not count them, you can if you like.

Rising Wolf and Sinopah in the distance, Glacier National Park, Montana. Nikon d810, Nikon 24mm f1.4, 1/2500 @ f4, 64. © 

Sinopah Mountain, Glacier National Park, Montana. Nikon d810, Nikon 24mm af-s f1.4, 1/250 @ f8 iso 64. © 

My favorite capture of the day. I particularly like this photograph. It has all of the elements that I look for in a good quality image. Shadows, clouds, a strong subject, and a broken rule - the subject is centered. Nikon d810, Nikon 24-120 af-s f4, 1/640 @ f6.3 iso 200. © 
There's only one thing better than bringing a little bit of glacier home with you, and that's actually being here in the flesh. Click this hyperlinked text for more Glacier National Park Photographs.The link is safe, it will take you to more of my photographs of Glacier National Park.


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