Bruneau Canyon Idaho

Bruneau Canyon Idaho

Bruneau River Canyon Sunset Idaho, Bruneau Canyon IdahoBruneau Canyon Sunset  #56320

Another location I visited on my recent photo trip to Idaho was Bruneau Canyon. Located on BLM land in a remote corner of the Snake River Plain in SW Idaho. This canyon is more well known to white water enthusiasts than photographers. I wasn’t even aware of its existence until thumbing through an Idaho tourism brochure I picked up in a rest area. Given the hot sunny and windy conditions coupled with a long drive on a dusty gravel road I wasn’t sure I wanted to include it in my itinerary. However I soldiered on and was glad I did.

Bruneau Canyon is roughly 40 miles long and has been cut through layers of basalt by the Bruneau River, seen from the overlook pictured here it is 800′ deep. Getting here in mid-day the canyon was a bit of a disappointment as the light was washed out, and aside from the big gash in the earth there was absolutely nothing else around but flat plains as far as the eye could see. The only other cause for excitement was a government sign announcing travelers they are entering an Air Force bombing range.

As always in photography light  means everything and as the sun dipped to the horizon things began to pick up. After sunset when alpenglow kicked in there was some nice warm even light on the canyon walls. The next morning look very promising with wispy clouds glowing in beautiful colors before the sun came up. Unfortunately the majority of them weren’t over the canyon, but it turned out well anyway.

If you decide to visit the Bureau Canyon make it part of a trip that includes other nearby spots like Shoshone Falls or the Owyhee Uplands. Make sure you’re ready to be on your own, although there are great spots along the rim to camp in solitude there is no water, cell phone reception or any other facilities. You also might want to bring a helmet for the objects falling from airplanes!

Bruneau River Canyon Overlook IdahoBruneau Canyon Idaho  #56299

Air Force warning sign SW IdahoAir Force Bombing Range Warning Sign  #56332

Snake river Plain IdahoCamping on rim of Bruneau Canyon  #56311

The images appearing in this post are available as Fine Art Prints and for commercial licensing.  Click on an image and then ADD TO CART to purchase.

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Stanley Lake Sawtooth Mountains Idaho

Stanley Lake Sawtooth Mountains Idaho

Stanley Lake Sawtooth Mountains IdahoFull moon over Stanley Lake and McGown Peak, Sawtooth Mountains Idaho #55933

Last month when I was photographing in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho one of my main goals was to come back with some exceptional images of Stanley Lake. This lake, situated on the northern end of the Sawtooth Mountains with McGown Peak in the background, is one of the more classic scenes in an area packed with photo great opportunities. On this trip I was lucky enough to get not one but two instances of exceptional light.

My first night in the area was dedicated to photographing a couple of meadows filled with wildflowers about a mile up the trail from the lake. While at these meadows an evening storm cleared just in time to fill the sky with fabulous tones of yellow orange red and finally purples and pinks. I felt lucky to have been in the right place at the right time to photograph the wildflowers and McGown Peak, but at the same time I knew that the view from the lake must have been awesome too. Unfortunately the lake was too far away to run to it and include photographing it in the same evening session.

While back at my camp that evening I was a bit disappointed to see the night filled with stars, meaning that the morning would most likely be an empty blue sky, not the conditions I had hoped for. I awoke before daybreak to check out the lake anyway and as I expected there was not a cloud in the sky, but the lake was mirror still and a full moon was drifting down from the sky to the right of McGown Peak. As I was setting up my camera as if by magic fog banks began to form over the lake, thinking rats now I wouldn’t even get this basic photo. But the fog started to spread into wisps and concentrate in areas that would enhance the composition.

After the sun began to wash out most of the color in the mountains the fog rolled back in and completely obliterated the seven for the next hour or so. The first photo below is the result. I ended up with about a half dozen variations, with of course a few verticals included for possible cover placements. A very satisfying mornings works.

Stanley Lake Sawtooth Mountains IdahoSunset over Stanley Lake and McGown Peak, Sawtooth Mountains Idaho #56121

A few days later after having more good light and photo sessions in other nearby areas I was satisfied and ready to move on to Redfish Lake, another great location. The sky was hazy all day with threats of approaching showers and it didn’t look like there would be anything worthwhile to photograph in the evening. At the last minute I had a hunch to head back to Stanley Lake since it was so close. The showers never appeared and the haze began to thin out into streamers of high clouds, the kind that would catch colorful rays of light even after the sun had set.

All I had to do was set up in the same spot as before and hope and wait for the sky to start glowing. I wasn’t disappointed and had plenty of time to make me great images, even after the sunset. The second photo in this post is from that evening. As with the evening in the meadows several days earlier I noticed in the opposite direction some incredible cloud formations glowing in orange and reds, taunting me to pack up my camera gear and drive like mad to chase the light happening just down the road. I knew that would be a futile effort, the light was fading and there wouldn’t be enough time to get to a suitable location.

I just stood there and enjoyed the sounds of the Loons  and remaining light.

The images appearing in this post are available as Fine Art Prints and for commercial licensing.  Click on an image and then ADD TO CART to purchase.

 

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Idaho Trip Newfoundland Cancellation

Idaho Trip Newfoundland Cancellation

Sawtooth Mountains Idaho_55860
Well I’m finally back from being on the road for several weeks. No, this image is not from Newfoundland as I had originally planned, it was made in the Owyhee Desert just across the border from Idaho. The Sawtooth Mountains and Snake River Plain of Idaho were my main destinations on this trip.

My much planned and long anticipated trip to Newfoundland was cancelled at literally the last minute. As I attempted to check in at Sea-Tac airport for my flight I suddenly realized that my passport had expired in March, to enter Canada you either need an enhanced drivers license or a passport, I had no choice at that point but to board the shuttle back home to Bellingham. Although I was tremendously disappointed and felt very foolish and humiliated ( I had previously announced my plans to all my clients) I’m sure it was for the best in the end. I always feel that if something like this happens it happens for a good reason and in the end I probably wasn’t meant to go.

Two days later I shrugged off my disappointment and was packing my truck for Idaho. For all the years I’ve been photographing Idaho has been a state I mostly passed through on the way to Montana, Utah or Wyoming. This seemed like a great opportunity to make amends and photograph some long neglected areas. Maybe this was the place I was really meant to visit since I arrived at the height of wildflower season in the mountain valleys. My trip also coincided with a series of rain and thunderstorms which provided some excellent light from time to time. Here are a few samples of what I came back with. I’ll be posting more soon!

Owyhee River Canyon Idaho Trip Newfoundland Disappointment

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