I’ve been to a lot of national parks in the U.S. and Canada, and one thing is always present. Lots and lots of people. Everywhere. So this makes is more and more important to find some out of the way places to get some really genuine photos.
Don’t get me wrong, I like getting shots of the really recognizable sites in some of these parks. But sometimes it helps to get out of the limelight and focus on something smaller. Something that will mean more to you and your visit, than standing with the crowds taking the same shot as everyone else.
So I found this great little place in Glacier national park. No path or trail, just following a stream until I found an area that opened up a bit. And definitely no people to worry about 😉
Just a quick word about some of the shots I like to take in these sorts of places. Most of the nature shots I take are HDR images, even if it doesn’t show, there’s usually a hint of it in there. HDR stands for high dynamic range. For those not familiar, it’s a great way to capture more ranges of light than would be possible with a single shot. The short version, taking multiple shots of a single scene, than blend the images. The result can be quite, illuminating… ha ha… More on that later 🙂
Throughout the Glacier national park in Montana, you are treated to some of the most amazing views on the planet. The only problem with lots of mountains is the lack of sun during the morning. The great sunrises of the prairies are not what you can expect in the mountains.
What you can see more often than not is the great fog that starts to float around when the temp starts to rise. In this photo in particular I really wanted to highlight the shear volume of fog that you can see rising from the valleys. It’s amazing to me that all that moisture wouldn’t even make up one tablespoon of water!
Even though this is pretty early in the morning, and the light was very even, I still felt it would benefit from the HDR treatment. I really like to do HDR’s of landscapes because of the shadow detail that you get on the trees. They seem to have a clay model type feel I really dig.
When I head out on my random road trips, I seem to always end up in the mountains. I guess it’s the prairie in me that strives for something higher than… well anything higher than a tree I guess. One of the great places I like to find myself is Glacier National Park in Montana. It really does seems to have it all. And every time I go I try and find new little corners I haven’t been before. One such corner is the St. Mary’s Falls trail.
I knew I wanted to see it early in the morning as the light might be a little more even, considering it is pretty tree covered. As well as getting to see such a quiet place without all the Summer crowds that come along with such great parks. The only concern I had with all of this is, of course, the bears. If you know me at all, you will know (or will get to know) I am afraid of bears. Most people are afraid of smaller things like bugs and snakes. But a bear will EAT you. That’s not cool…
That morning I found myself walking down the trail talking to myself very loudly about anything I could think of. After a while I just started talking to the bear, I was sure was out there listening. Before running into my first sign of life. A really nice couple from New Zealand who were in the park with their daughter that was about to get married to a guy from Montana. Crazy world we live in.
After we reached the falls I picked up another straggler that was also afraid of the furry threats lurking in the forest, and decided to tag along with me for the remainder of my journey. I was happy about this because he was better equipped to handle the danger than I was.
Once we were done with our shooting, and patted each other on the back for not getting eaten, we made our way back to the road. Well, what they say about getting turned around in the woods is a real thing. And the trail we thought would take us back to our cars, was not the one we were on. needless to say we had to hike it back another 40 minutes to the parking lot, laughing about how stupid we are the whole way. If there’s a better way to make friends, I’d like to hear it!