Photo Highlights 2016

Photo Highlights 2016

Another year come and gone already, it seems like just yesterday I was writing about the 2015 Photo Highlights. For me, like many others, 2016 had some great highlights that were overshadowed by sadness and uncertainty. So many creative and influential people had passed this year, famous public figures I admired and close family members. It often made me pause and wonder.

On the creative side, 2016 was a year that saw me finally visit and photograph several locations that have been on my list for many years. New Mexico and the Canadian Atlantic Provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, to name a few. Perhaps even more important were a number of events and realizations that had me look back into the roots of my art and photography, resulting in a growing awareness of the direction my photography should take. Several of the images shown below represent the beginnings of this effort.

So without further ado let’s look at some of the Photo Highlights of 2016, and please feel free to vote or comment on your favorites!

Borrego Badlands, California, Photo Highlights 2016Borrego Badlands Cloud  #56801r

My first major trip of the year was a return to the Desert Southwest. Beginning in Anza Borrego Desert State Park of California I met up with my good friend Cyril Albrecht, visiting from Belgium. Although we both had different itineraries we were able to photograph together in a couple of locations, Fonts Point overlooking the Borrego Badlands was one of them. During one evening while waiting for the light I noticed this wonderful cloud formation developing in the opposite direction. I loved the abstract graphic qualities and how the round softness of the cloud contrasted with the harsh desert environment below.

White Sands National Monument, New Mexico Photo Highlights 2016White Sands National Monument #57148

White Sands National Monument in New Mexico was one of the new locations I visited this year. Sand dunes are always fun to photograph, and the white gypsum dunes in the monument added an extra level excitement to my visit. The area is wide open for roaming and exploration. Due to the amount of tracks in the sand created by visitors, it was necessary to hike further out for pristine conditions. Although the area is fairly small it is extremely easy to become disoriented and lose the path back to the trailhead. This image is definitely one of my favorites that I brought back. The cool tones, layers, angles, and ripples in the sand created a pleasing composition.

Bisti Badlands, New Mexico, Photo Highlights 2016Bisti Badlands New Mexico  #57428r

Another new location was the fabled Bisit/De-Na-Zen Wilderness, or simple Bisti Badlands, of northern New Mexico. Badlands and hoodoos are among my favorite subjects to photograph, and Bisti contains some of the best examples of these whimsical eroded rocks. I stayed there for three days and managed to just scratch the surface of creative possibilities. On the second evening I was treated to some of the most dramatic light I’ve seen in years. On that evening, after finishing photographing my prime subjects I hurriedly scrambled around to locate more compositions. This nearby hoodoo exemplified the oddities of Bisti, and post-processing the image to reflect the harsh alien-like environment added to this feeling.

Marching Men Arches National Park, Photo Highlights 2016Arches National Park  #57869

This image from Arches National Park was made in the Klondike Bluffs area. Although I’ve been to Arches several times before, this remote section of the park was new to me. Klondike Bluffs offers several dramatic arches and lots of red rock pinnacles, in addition to lots of solitude. While the main park attractions were swarming with visitors I enjoyed sharing this beautiful area with just a handful of people. Once again, some wonderful clouds glowing in evening light added to the drama, here balancing the composition with red sandstone pinnacles.

North Gardner Mountain, North Cascades, Photo Highlights 2016North Gardner Mountain, North Cascades Washington  #58051

Back home in the North Cascades, my first backpacking trip of the year yielded this image of an approaching storm over Gardner Mountain. A grueling hike, post-holing through snow and downed trees, led to the summit of Driveway Butte. Although my camp near the top had wonderful vistas, it didn’t really offer the compositions I had hoped for. However, as day broke my fortunes changed as the leading edge of  the storm glowed with light and mirrored the angles of the mountain ridges. I made several photos of this event before sitting down to enjoy the show.

Watkins Glen New York, Photo Highlights 2016Watkins Glen State Park New York  #58452

September marked the beginning of a long anticipated trip with my wife Coleen to New England and the Canadian Atlantic Provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The first new location on this trip was a brief stop at Watkins Glen State Park in New York. Situated in the Finger Lakes region, the main attraction in Watkins Glen is a beautifully sculpted narrow gorge. Only about a mile long with moderate elevation gain, the trail passes numerous pools, waterfalls, and hanging gardens. One of the highlights is this view framed by a stone bridge. Unfortunately, I only had a short morning to explore the photographic possibilities of this gem. Oh well, there is always next time.

Peggy's Cove Lighthouse Nova Scotia, Photo Highlights 2016Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse, Nova Scotia  #58903

Nova Scotia was one of the highlights of the trip for me. For many years I’ve wanted to visit and photograph the Atlantic Provinces. The colorful fishing villages and seascapes have a powerful attraction for me. One location was high on my must see list. Peggy’s Cove, is arguably one of the most photographed and visited spots in all of Canada. After spending several days in remote and quiet Cape Bretton Highlands National Park, we were unsettled to be confronted by endless tour busses and crowds of people swarming everywhere! While waiting for evening light and the crowds to thin, we spent a relaxing day picnicking and exploring the nearby granite shoreline.

Photographing sunset at the lighthouse was a bit disappointing due to the lack of clouds. The local weather forecast had predicted rain the next morning adding to our frustration. With a chance the storm may arrive after sunrise we spent an uncomfortable night truck-camping in the parking lot near the lighthouse. The next morning clouds began to move in just at sunrise. Perfect conditions for those extremely rare light shows that starts great and continues to improve over time. I ended up making many images before the clouds finally blocked the sun and everything went grey and rainy.

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, Photo Highlights 2016Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, Maine  #59018

Next on our trip was Acadia National Park. The park, situated on Mount Desert Island, is said to be the most visited national Park east of the Mississippi. We had several instances of good light here, one of these being at Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse. Photographers can’t visit this park without making a photo of this iconic lighthouse. On this evening I was among a sea of tripods. Everyone crowded into a very small space on the edge of the rocks. One photographer told me that it was a low turnout, the previous evening had twice as many photographers!

Cobblestone beach Acadia National Park, Photo Highlights 2016Cobblestone Beach Acadia National Park  #59047

The next morning I planned to make some long exposures at a popular cobblestone beach in the park. Arriving before sunrise, there were several other photographers from the previous evening setup well above the waterline. I, however, wanted to get down to the water’s edge to create a smoky effect of water among the rocks. The wet bowling ball sized boulders were treacherous. Smooth and extremely slippery, I had to carefully plan every step, the effort was worth it though.

Onondaga Falls, Ricketts Glen, Photo Highlights 2016Onondaga Falls, Ricketts Glen, Pennsylvania  #59553

The last new location we photographed in 2016 was Ricketts Glen State Park, Pennsylvania. This park was only a little out of our way as we travelled back home, but it was worth the detour. I’ve seen many wonderful images come from this park, and like Watkins Glen it really needs time for exploring all the hidden gems in all seasons. The northeastern states were experiencing a drought, so the water flow through the glen was low during my visit. I didn’t mind since there still was an abundance of subject matter to work with. In the image above I utilized a long exposure to create a swirling pattern by the motions of the leaves.

With so many new images and locations added to our files in 2016 selecting the top ten was a very difficult task. There were many images from the SW and New England that I very much wanted to add. To see more from this past year please take a few minutes to check out the New Images Galleries. You can also search images by location or keyword.

Thank you so much for visiting this post, and don’t forget to vote for your favorite image and feedback!

Photo Highlights 2016

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Photo Highlights 2015

Photo Highlights 2015

Yes, it’s time once again to look back and reflect on the highs and lows of the past year, and hopefully, see how much we have accomplished and learned.  This past year included several great locations that turned out to be very productive and memorable, most notably my spring trip to the Southwest where my wife Coleen was able to join in the fun.

So let’s check out some of the photo highlights of 2015, and please feel free to vote for your favorite photos in the comment box and share this post with your friends. Also, don’t forget that all of these photos are available for purchase as Fine Art Prints and Commercial Licensing!

Many sincere thanks to all my friends colleagues and loyal clients for making 2015 another successful year. I wish you all a Happy New Year with the best of health and prosperity for you and your families in the coming year!

Joshua Tree National Park Photo Highlights 2015Jumbo Rocks Joshua Tree National Park California #55199

This photo was made at the beginning of my spring southwest trip, with the first stop being Joshua Tree National Park. There is a lot to see and photograph in this park but the Jumbo Rocks have to be among the most interesting. Surrounding a great campsite Jumbo Rocks is a wonderland of whimsical eroded granite rock formations. During our visit, I had a couple instances of good light which really kept me on my toes running around for interesting compositions. It definitely paid off to scout the area earlier in the day!

Teddy Bear Cholla cactus Superstition Mountains sunset, Arizona Photo Highlights 2015 Teddy Bear Cholla Cactus at sunset, Superstition Mountains Arizona #55462

Later on the same trip, we stopped for a few days in Lost Dutchman State Park Arizona, nestled among the foothills of the Superstition Mountains. I was hoping for some dramatic photos of iconic Flatiron Peak and wildflowers but the area was in the middle of an early season heat wave. With clear blue skies, conditions were not the best for landscape photography.  The annual bloom of wildflowers was just past peak with the heat was withering them fast. However I did get some nice photos of one of my favorite desert subjects, the Teddy Bear Cholla Cactus. Illuminated from behind like in this photo they take on a beautiful glow. From a distance and to the uninitiated they look soft and cuddly, but if you even so much as brush lightly against one you will experience excruciating pain. The barbs are very sharp and can penetrate thick clothing and still keep going into your flesh. I was picking barbs from the inside of my shoes for weeks after!

Grand Canyon National Park Photo Highlights 2015Evening storm over North Rim of the Grand Canyon #55558

The last stop major on the Southwest trip was Grand Canyon National Park. A classic location filled with endless photographic possibilities one can spend a lifetime exploring and photographing in the park. The canyon, however, can be very frustrating since everything depends on the right light. Anytime between sunrise and sunset can offer nothing but flat washed out hazy light unless of course there are some storms moving through. Most visitors see the canyon during midday and come home with disappointing images that do not depict the grandeur and immensity of the canyon. During our stay I was lucky to have three evenings and one morning with good light, the image above was made at sunset as a storm was beginning to clear over the North Rim.

Deception Creek North Cascades Washington Photo Highlights 2015Deception Creek North Cascades Washington #55663

May is a wonderful time in the Northwest, everywhere there are vivid shades of greens and rushing creeks filled with snowmelt from the mountains. Deception Creek on the north border of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area is a classic example of a lush cool old growth forest. It has been many years since I hiked this short trail and it was a pleasure just to sit and breath in the cool scented air!

Whitewater rafting Skykomish River, Washington Photo Highlights 2015Whitewater rafting on the Skykomish River Washington #55728

Later on the same trip I decided to spend the afternoon sitting along the banks of the Skykomish River to photograph rafters negotiating the rapids of Boulder Drop. Although the Northwest was already experiencing the initial stages of drought with little winter snowpack to feed the rivers, the Skykomish had enough to keep these folks hooting and hollering all the way down. I had almost as much fun watching and photographing them as they did running the rapids!

Stanley Lake, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho Photo Highlights 2015Moon over Stanley Lake, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho #55933

My next trip in June to the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho was perhaps the most successful of the year. During the length of my stay several rainstorms passed through and began clearing just at the right time, providing some beautiful light for photographing the scenes. One morning I woke up disappointed to be socked in by fog but, fortunately, it began clearing over Stanley Lake just as the sun was coming up. As I finished my work the fog closed in to shut off the view, talk about timing!

Little Redfish Lake, Sawtooth National Recreation Area Idaho Photo Highlights 2015Dawn over Little Red Fish Lake, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho #56197

Above is one of many variations I made of sunrise over Little Redfish Lake in the Sawtooth Mountains.  This was another morning that started out looking like a dud and then really came to life as the sun rose and illuminated the clouds of a passing storm.

Owyhee River Canyon Sunset Oregon Photo Highlights 2015Owyhee Canyon sunset, Oregon #56352

The final stop on this trip was Owyhee Canyon and Uplands of both southwest Idaho and southeast Oregon. One of the most remote areas in the west I’ve ever visited,  you can be assured of solitude just about everywhere. The geology is fascinating, ancient basalt lava flows and ash deposits carved by rivers into dramatic cliffs and spires along with natural hot springs sprinkled throughout. The highlight of this area was an overlook of the canyon at sunset, again a clearing storm provided drama to the scene. I’m definitely coming back again to spend more time exploring and photographing, hopefully, my aging truck will survive the beating!

Pasayten Wilderness in fall, North Cascades Photo Highlights 2015Autumn Storm over Pasayten Wilderness North Cascades, Washington #56447

In the fall I made a trip to Hart’s Pass and Slate Peak in the North Cascades in search of new images of my beloved Subalpine Larch (Larix lyalli). This is another location I used to frequent often in the 90’s.  I haven’t been there for many years and it felt good to be back in my old haunts. The road to Slate Peak and Hart’s Pass is the highest drivable in the state and provides an exceptional view of the east peaks of the North Cascades along with trailheads to numerous destinations including the Pacific Crest Trail. The above photo shows a grove of larches in full color just before an autumn snowstorm closed in.

Nooksack River North Cascades Washington Photo Highlights 2015Nooksack River, North Cascades, Washington #56544

Finally, just a few days ago I made my first winter trip of the season to test out some new ski bindings in the Mount Baker area in preparation for winter photography. What a change from last year, the snow has been piling up for weeks and if it continues we may be headed for a record year. I know it’s too early to say that but I feel optimistic! On the way down the Mount Baker Highway in the late afternoon I was treated to this view of snow covered trees along the Nooksack River.

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2016 CD Nature Calendar

2016 CD Nature Calendar

2016 cd nature calendar

We’re happy to announce that the all new 2016 Desktop Calendar is now ready and available for purchase. For 2016 you have a choice of color or black and white calendars. Both calendars feature images made during the past year, from Canadian Rockies to the deserts and canyons of the Southwest.

These calendars are perfect for offices and other small areas and make great gifts for friends and clients. Call us about customizing them with your company name and or logo and special pricing for quantities. To order yours click here.

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Sierra Club 2017 Engagement Calendar

I’m thrilled to announce that three of my images were selected to appear in the  Sierra Club 2017 Engagement Calendar! The first image of white Valerian blossoms among Corn Lilies has been selected to grace the cover. If you can’t wait to see these images I also have several other photos appearing in the 2016 Sierra Club Calendars, both Engagement and Wilderness Wall.

Prints and Licensing are available by clicking on any image.

Corn Lily and Sitka Valerian Sierra Club 2017 Engagement Calendar

Corn Lily Sitka Valerian #54378

South Coyote Buttes, Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness Arizona Sierra Club 2017 Engagement Calendar

South Coyote Buttes #37634

Mount Baker North Cascades Sierra Club 2017 Engagement Calendar

Mount Baker North cascades #54136

Prints and Licensing are available by clicking on any image.

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Top Eleven Photos 2014

Top Eleven Photos 2014

Once again it is time for all of us to look back on the past year and review our accomplishments and mistakes, in hopes that we will learn from them and experience personal growth in the coming year. 2014 was an exceptional year in which I was fortunate enough to visit some of my favorite truly outstanding locations. The top eleven images (yes other blokes best of lists may go to ten but mine goes one more, up to eleven)  below represent some of the best and most memorable experiences I had behind the camera while on the road and trail in 2014. Many of you that follow me here and on Social Media will recognize some of them, but there are a few that have not been posted anywhere before.

I would appreciate it if you could vote for your favorites in the comment box and share this post with your friends. Thanks to all my friends colleagues and loyal clients for making 2014 a successful year. Happy New Year with the best of health and prosperity for you and your families in 2015!

Mount Baker and Baker LakeMount Baker from Baker Lake #53563 

First in line is this late winter photo of Mount Baker, made on a short overnight backpacking trip along the shore of Baker Lake. One of those wonderful sunrise events where the light gets better every second.

Methow Valley wildflowers, North Cascades Washington

Methow Valley #53744

On a trip to the Methow Valley to discover new locations for Spring wildflowers I came across this beautiful hillside field where I spent several days hunting down compositions in a variety of lighting conditions.

Second Beach, Olympic National Park 2014 Photo HighlightsOlympic National Park #53979

One of the most scenic beaches on the Washington Coast. This photo was made on the summer solstice, behind me the beach was lined with dozens of tents from campers here to enjoy the event.

Sol Duc Falls, Olympic National Park 2014 Photo HighlightsSol Duc Falls #53867

I visit to Olympic National Park wouldn’t be complete without seeing some of the fantastic forests and streams. The short easy hike to Sol Duc Falls is one of the most popular attractions in the northern part of the park.

North Cascades National Park 2014 Photo HighlightsNorth Cascades #54196

The first of several high season backpacking trips into the Rugged North Cascades yielded this awesome sunrise view from Hidden Lake Peak.

Ruth Mountain North Cascades

Ruth Mountain Mount Baker Wilderness #54363

A week or so later further north in the Mount Baker Wilderness comes this view of Ruth Mountain made from wildflower meadows on Hannegan Peak. After spending a few days photographing on the summit I moved lower down to these meadows, where the warm evening alpenglow cast a nice soft light across the scene.

Mount Robson sunrise, Canadian Rockies

Mount Robson #54618

For me the pinnacle of the year came on this morning view of Mount Robson, King of the Canadian Rockies. This was my third trip to Mount Robson Provincial Park and I was hoping to come back with a great shot of the mountain. The first three of the five days I spent there offered only clear blank blue skies, nice for hiking and camping but somewhat dull for photography. On the fourth morning the first clouds of a storm system arrived just at sunrise, casting an exceptional glow everywhere for about twenty minutes. That brief period was my reward, in the afternoon it began to rain and didn’t stop until I reached my truck 15 miles and a day later.

Berg Lake, Mount Robson Provincial Park

Berg Lake #54660

Another image from Mount Robson Provincial Park offers textbook examples of glaciation. The silty delta of the glacially fed Robson River on the left, the glacial flour suspended in the lake giving it it’s turquoise color, and the Berg Glacier with its lateral moraines tumbling into the lake.

The Ramparts Jasper National Park

Tonquin Valley #54753

Another fantastic location in the Canadian Rockies, the Tonquin Valley of Jasper National Park. Although the light wasn’t of the colorful dramatic type I had hoped for, the steel grey sky and cliffs of the Ramparts accentuated the copper colors of the autumn grasses, creating a foreboding feel to the scene.

Floe Lake Kootenay National Park

Floe Lake #54933

Further south in Kootenay National Park is Floe Lake, set at the base of the awesome limestone cliffs of the Rockwall, a stunning scene at dawn when the water is mirror still. This visit coincided with the needles of the Larch trees turning golden in late September

Kananaskis Lake, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park

Kananaskis Lake #55057

Lastly in this years highlights is a view Mount Sarrail reflected in the still waters of Kananaskis Lake. At the end of a trip punctuated by unseasonably warm fall weather an Arctic front moved in to deposit several inches of snow on the Canadian Rockies, giving this September scene a wintry look.

While the above photos comprise my favorites of 2014 there are many more in my library that I wanted to include. Please feel free to browse the galleries and portfolios on this website to see more, and don’t forget that all of my photos are available as fine art prints and for commercial licensing. Thanks for looking and I truly hope you have a happy and prosperous 2015!

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Holiday Poster and CD Calendar Sale

Holiday Poster and CD Calendar Sale

From now until January 2, 2014 you can save 30% on all our 2014 CD Nature Calendars and 40% on all Posters! Click on the images to go to the select and order. Prices are $12.25 for the CD Calendars and $18.00 for Posters.

Both the CD Calendar and Poster make great gifts for friends family and coworkers. Order now in time for Christmas!

2014 CD Desktop Nature Calendars Holiday Poster and CD Calendar Sale

 

Palouse Poster Holiday Poster and CD Calendar Sale

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Newly Published Work

Newly Published Work: Yesterday I received a copy of the 2013 Scenic Washington Visitor’s Guide featuring two of my images. One image is from the Palouse and the other of North Cascades Highway. It’s especially nice to have these images featured in a visitor’s guide of my home state!

On a side note I’ll be returning to photograph the Palouse this June after several long years absence. The Palouse is quite different from the coastal vistas and dramatic peaks and forests on the western half of the state. It is a photographers paradise of rolling wheat fields. In spring the fields carpet the hills in vibrant greens and dot the landscape with wildflowers. Later in summer they turn into amber waves of grain, both versions offering great photo opportunities.

2013_scenic_wa_palouse Newly Published Work

 

2013_scenic_wa_ncascades_highway Newly Published Work

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2013 Montana Visitors Guide

 Missouri River Breaks Sunset Montana4559 2013 Montana Visitors Guide

Sunrise Upper Missouri River Breaks #4559

Today I received in the mail some complimentary copies of the 2013 Montana Visitor’s Guide, which features one of my images. This placement is a little special for me for several reasons. When growing up in Chicago visiting Montana was an obsession for me. In my youth the state represented everything that was wild and exciting in the West, from glacier covered mountains and endless pine forests to cowboys, ranches, mountain men, and vast high plains. To this day Montana still holds many of these visions true for me and I always look forward with anticipation to my next visit.

Another reason this image is special to me is because in 2003, when it was made, it was the 200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Throughout the year I read several books about their journey including the official journals of Meriwether Lewis. On that year’s autumn trip to Montana I made a point of visiting the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument. After driving some dusty back-roads I found a great campsite along the river among a grove of stately old cottonwood trees. After setting up camp I walked along the riverbank and was surprised and thrilled to find a historic marker buried in the weeds stating that this was an official campsite of the Corps of Discovery!

That evening I searched the nearby bluffs to find some compositions that overlooked the river. The landscape had changed very little over the years and with just a little imagination during this tranquil evening I could easily see the Corps paddling up the river. The next morning I scrambled back up the bluff in time to photograph a beautiful autumn sunrise, and felt an intense link to the America’s past and the rich history of our country. Truly one of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had.

2013 Montana Visitors Guide

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