Thursday, November 15, 2012

In the Beginning

I had just arrived to Glacier National Park in the mid afternoon after two long days of traveling. Coming from Florida, I flew to Spokane, spent the night and drove 7 hours the next day across Montana to the East side of the park. It was an unusually calm day. Most who have visited here remember consistently strong winds over the lakes and Logan Pass area. This day was quite different. Some late afternoon clouds filled the sky, and I was surrounded by a smoky haze from some distant wildfires. As usual at the beginning of my trips, I was full of energy and ready to go, having a hard time waiting to try out my new Nikon D800 that I bought before the trip to replace my Canon 5DII that I had used for the previous three years. I first set out to the banks of St. Mary's Lake. The atmosphere was great for some late afternoon shooting. As the sun became lower in the sky, the low clouds split the light, with rays (aka, "god beams") accentuated by the haze. I shot in this location for just over an hour, and created this monochrome image of the light rays over the lake with a lone tree in the foreground.

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As the sun began to set, the low clouds started to dissipate, but hung around long enough to produce some nice color. I walked about a quarter mile west on the banks of the lake and set up at a relatively popular location to shoot the sunset. Most shots I've seen from this area capture fierce waves crashing on these foreground rocks, but as you can see the lake was totally calm that day. This was a single capture just before the sun dipped below the mountains. I did not add any Orton effect here; the soft glow of the sky was created by the hazy air.

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