Teton Reflections (Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming) Grand Tetons are just south of Yellowstone National Park. The majestic peaks of the Teton Range stand about 7000 feet above the valley floor. Grand Teton NP is a sunrise park for photographers. On a quiet, peaceful morning, I got up early to catch the sunrise at the Oxbow Bend Turnout. The mist was rising from the clear, calm waters creating the perfect reflection.
Sunset Wheat San Juan Islands National Monument (San Juan Island, Washington) The San Juan Islands are a group of islands north of Seattle between Anacortes and Vancouver Island, BC Canada. The four major islands can be accessed by ferry. I have been spending my summers there for over 28 years. I have photographed many beautiful sunsets on the island. This particular night, the sunset scene was not quite developing the way I had hoped, so I laid down in the grass and focused on the wheat while blurring the sunset at f/2.8 in the background.
Rose Pair (Dallas Farmer’s Market, Texas)While I have always taken pictures, my desire was to become better at the craft. I took a number of Peter’s classes before retiring from corporate America and starting my journey to photograph the National Parks. Peter took my photography to the next level. During one of those all day classes we made a trip to the Dallas Farmers Market. This is where Peter taught me to …”look where people don’t look, see what people don’t see….” That direction has been in my head while taking many of my photos ever since. Peter helped convert this photo to black and white during the editing portion of the class. This one opened my eyes to different perspectives and the possibility of seeing images in a different way, such as black and white.
Waterton-Glacier Sunrise(Waterton-Glacier National Park, Alberta & Montana) Waterton-Glacier is the world’s first International Peace Park and contains over 18,000 square miles. Just down the hill from the Prince of Wales Hotel, I arrived about 45 minutes before sunrise to capture this photograph as the storm rolled in. I had my camera on a tripod out on a dock and waited as the colors developed. I decided to try again the following morning at the same spot and learned a very valuable lesson that second morning: After an hour on the dock two women came running up to me and asked, “Didn’t you see the bear?” I said, “What bear?” They said, “The one that walked six feet behind you…..” I now look around to see the rest of what is happening in my environment, even if I am focused on one particular shot.
Grapes (Columbia River, Washington)One of the side benefits of touring the national parks has been to enjoy wineries all over our country. So far I have visited over 70 wineries in 10 different wine regions. One of the perks is having time to get the know the owners of some of the small wineries, and in many of the regions I have asked permission to park my truck camper in the vineyards overnight to enjoy the sunset and sunrise view of the vines and valleys.
Yosemite – Tunnel View(Yosemite National Park, California)Yosemite is a favorite destination for many travelers and this photograph from the Tunnel View pullout has been taken thousands of times. I myself have visited this spot many times trying to get a different perspective of the valley. Please visit my upcoming exhibit at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History titled “Exploring America: A Photographic Journey”. Details will be available on my website HaresPhotography.com and will be available on my Facebook page “Hares Photography”.
Devils Tower (Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming)I spent the day hiking around Devils Tower, or as the Native Americans call it “Bear Lodge”. Toward the end of the day, a storm rolled in. I found a parking lot up the hill from the tower and parked for the night. I tried multiple long exposures of the tower as the lightning storm rolled in and on thru the night as the storm passed. This shot was in the middle of the night. The tower was lit up by the lighting from the storm and is a 119 second open exposure at ISO 400.
Shenandoah Bear (Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive, Virginia)Sometimes it is about putting yourself in the right place and waiting for the wildlife to come to you. Many times this can be a long wait. Other times, like in Shenandoah National Park, there are “bear jams”, meaning everyone just stops on the road indicating there is wildlife. This particular shot occurred right after one such “bear jam.” As soon as a lady started calling after the bear “hear kitty, kitty…” I shook my head and turned to leave. I drove on down the road and spotted the bear off in the distance, pulled safely off at a turnoff and hiked into the woods to a respectful distance from the bear and began to photograph him.
Snow in the Smokeys (Great Smokey Mountains National Park, Tennessee)This photo was taken on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, which is a 5.5 mile, one way loop just north of Gatlinburg, TN. It’s a narrow and winding road without many guardrails and has many shear drops off the mountain. Part way through the drive, it started snowing hard and the fog rolled in making the road dangerous. We came to a pull off at the old homestead. I rolled down the window of my truck and steadied my camera on the window sill and took this shot. The original photograph was mainly grey tones anyway, so I converted it to black and white in Lightroom and it really brought out the contrast between the falling snow and the rest of the scene.
Olympic Stream(Olympic National Park, Washington)Many of my pictures are taken with long hikes into the parks. I have learned to continue past the viewpoint where most people stop. Sometimes even just 100 yards more down the path gets you the photographs that aren’t often taken. This photograph illustrates the point. The destination of this hike was a waterfall that everyone was rushing to. Along the way my daughter and I found this moss covered stream a couple of miles down one of the trails, and even though I had my tripod and camera out, very few people even stopped to see what I was photographing.
Three Bald EaglesNear San Juan Island National Historic Park (San Juan Island, Washington)Bald eagles migrate through the San Juan Islands during the summer before July 4th. I was fortunate enough to be able to spend an hour or more a day with them for over 120 days over the past few years. They don’t necessarily like me being there, but have learned to “tolerate” me. Photographing eagles is very challenging. Their size (over a 7 ft wingspan) and quickness makes them very difficult to photograph in the air. It took me many days to learn the correct shutter speed, and ISO combinations in order to capture them even partially in focus. I let the camera figure out the F-stop and hoped for the best depth of field possible.
Dad Greeting the Mountain(Mount Rainier National Park, Washington) This picture is my Dad walking towards the Mount Rainier from Sunrise. Dad and I spent 4 days together on the mountain, without any technology; it was just time for us. We figured out that it had been about 32 years since we had been camping together.
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