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Tag Archives: Landscape

Two Saguaros

Two mature saguaros stand tall in this desert landscape.

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Saguaros

Saguaros trip me out.  The variety of sizes and shapes is incredible.  Each is unique.  They are so huge and so…improbable.  And so randomly scattered across the landscape.  You’ll find two growing side by side, and then the next closest one is 50 feet away.  Go figure!

By wandering and finding a pleasing arrangement of the saguaros in your viewfinder, you can add real depth to an image.

Slope Mtn 2

If ever there was a mountain that was aptly named, it has to be Slope Mountain.  Located in Lake Clark National Park, Alaska, its unique profile dominates the landscape…when the top isn’t hidden by clouds, that is.

My primary purpose in visiting this area was to photograph grizzlies, and that I did, but I couldn’t help sneaking in the occasional landscape shot, especially when the weather was so cooperative.

The other time I would turn to landscape photography was when the bears couldn’t be found.  Just because our itinerary had “bear viewing and photography” written on it, sometimes the bears had other plans.  Our guide knew the bears’ habits and where the critters were LIKELY to be at different times of the day, but that was never a guarantee that we would find any.

More often than not we did find bears, grazing, clamming, napping, nursing, bathing, playing and doing all of those cool bear things…but a couple of times we got skunked.

Fortunately the scenery was pretty, with or without bears in it.

Fireweed meadow

If you’ve been to Alaska, and maybe even if you haven’t, you’ll recognize this as a pretty typical landscape:  a meadow filled with fireweed in the foreground, and mountains in the background.

This is not meant to be at all disparaging:  the scenery is lovely, even without any wildlife in the image.

This is a place that feeds the soul and the senses on many different levels simultaneously.

I can’t wait to go back!

The various layers of this landscape beautifully line up from near to far:  cultivated crops, a newly plowed field, grassland and trees, a tall tree-covered butte in the distance, and a blue sky to cap it all off.

Each layer is almost equal in size.  Each is a different color and texture.  The combination shows the loveliness and the variety that is the Palouse.

As I was chasing some lovely late afternoon light around the Palouse looking for something interesting to shoot, I passed a cemetery.  That is to say, I almost passed a cemetery.  I have a strange compulsion to drive into just about every cemetery I pass.  They’re one of my favorite places to shoot, and most of the time I have the place to myself.

This particular day was no exception.  The entire day was dark and rainy until perhaps an hour or two before sundown.  I was driving around trying to find a cool place to shoot sunset, and nothing was jumping out at me.  All the barns in the area were nondescript.  Same with the houses.  Even the hills in this area weren’t really talking to me.  For three full days I’d been waiting for good light, and shooting lovely things in the rain.  Now the light was right and I was stumped for a subject.

So as I was driving around the cemetery, which was on top of a hill, I came upon this view which (pardon the pun) stopped me dead in my tracks.  The evening light was making all the headstones cast wonderful long shadows.  The clouds were doing some post-storm interesting stuff in the sky.  And the way the road split and wrapped around the top of the hill in sensuous curves, almost as if it was embracing the land…

I normally shoot in cemeteries with a 100-200 mm lens, and don’t really think of them as a location for landscape photography, but I took this image with an 18 mm lens and made a mental note to myself to do more landscape photography in cemeteries in the future.

What do you do when you’re out to take landscape images and it’s overcast and raining?  Well, for starters, you leave the sky out of your images!  Or at least minimize it.

I spent an (almost entirely) rainy and very cold week in the Palouse the first week of June.  The weather was NOT was I had expected.  Not by a long shot.

You’ve no doubt heard the saying “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”  I like to think that’s what I did.   The Palouse is all about curves:  the curves of the hillsides, and the curves the plows cut in the hillsides.  And a great way to accentuate those curves is to have them fill the frame.

Tell me this isn’t a sexy landscape…