The sun was rising quickly and I was facing north concentrating on a landscape shot near Big Timber, MT. My colleagues were behind me taking turns shooting east on the railroad tracks as the sun rose perfectly centered between the tracks. When I turned around, I could see that I was missing the shot, and further realized that there was only room on the railroad track for one shooter. I was just a little late and I thought I was out of luck. When everyone else walked away, I took a shot anyway, knowing that the sun was no longer centered over the tracks. It wasn’t THE shot but I liked the scene. Lucky for me, that afternoon, we had a Digital Darkroom session, and Moose came to the rescue. He showed me how to use the clone stamp in Photoshop to nudge the sun back to dead center of the railroad tracks.
If you saw this blog yesterday, you might have noticed that I posted the identical photograph that I’m posting today. Well, it has been pointed out to me that the photograph I posted yesterday and claimed to be a sundown photograph is really a sunrise photograph. I took this photograph at 6:00 AM, MDT on July 10, 2019. I am actually facing north with the rising sun to my right. So, to set the record straight, I am reposting the same photograph with a correct title.
A hidden gem near Bozeman, Montana is Hyalite Lake. It is uncrowded and pungent with the smell of pine. While we were there late in the afternoon of our last day in Montana, the glass-like surface of the lake reflected the nearby mountains. Then, a brief rain storm rippled the water’s surface, and a double rainbow appeared. As the storm passed, the clouds began to lighten and the blue sky appeared again. The drama came and went in less than 30 minutes.
A visit to Nevada City, Montana, one of the main centers of commerce during Montana’s placer gold rush in the late 1800’s, was a delightful step back into an old western town, complete with barber shop, saddle shop, opium den, sheriff’s office, and house of ill repute. The town was was reconstructed between 1945 and 1978 but the buildings were brought there from other places in Montana. The wooden buildings are weathered and worn, with wooden sidewalks and what’s left of wooden awnings. Curtains hang in some of the windows and the store is stocked with contemporary goods. This iron triangle dinner bell caught my attention. It hung from a post in front of the blacksmith shop as if waiting for a chuckwagon cook to buy it so he could summon cow hands or miners to dinner.
Nikon D850, Nikkor 105mm
I have developed a reputation among my photography pals for being attracted to idiosyncratic, quirky, often obscure subjects to photograph that under most circumstances no one else would notice. I guess I have done this often enough that my friends can now point out things to me that they think I would want to photograph. These have become known as “Carol Photos.” I took a new favorite “Carol Photo” last week in Nevada City, Montana after Moose summoned me to an area of the property that didn’t look too promising. As I walked around the corner of a dilapitated building, I knew instantly that Moose had indeed found a “Carol Photo.” The roofless building was filled with thriving wild mustard plants and one clump was perfectly framed by the white window.
One of the many charming characteristics of Black-tailed Prairie Dogs is the way they communicate in their Prairie Dog Towns. One of the more fascinating aspects of their communication system is what is often compared to The Wave as seen in sports stadiums around the world. It is contagious in the town and as one jumps up and flings its head back, others around the town follow suit. This is one of the Black-tailed Prairie Dogs at the Grey Cliff Prairie Dog State Park in Montana at the apex of his wave.
Nikon D5, Nikkor 500mm PF, 1.4 Teleconverter.
The lush green valleys in and around Bozeman, Montana are home to many white barns but I was particularly taken with this one with its weathered white paint and charming metal cupola with weather vane and lightning rod. White barns here really stand out from their green surroundings and the distant mountain peaks hint to their location.
Nikon D850, Nikkor 105mm f/1.4 Lens.
We spent Wednesday morning at the Grey Cliff Prairie Dog State Park near Big Timber, Montana. The Prairie Dog Town meadow was covered with wild flowers including huge swaths of bright Sweet Yellow Clover. Black-tailed Prairie Dogs poked their heads up here and there but besides a few sentinels and pups, we saw very few Prairie Dogs and we wondered why there were so few. This trio of pups ventured out of their burrow but stayed near the entrance hole in the meadow.
Nikon D5, Nikkor 500mm PF.
While photographing the Gallatin River from the concrete arch bridge over the Gallatin River on Squaw Creek Road in Gallatin County Montana on Monday, we noticed a couple of Cedar Waxwings flying back and forth across the river gathering bugs. Occasionally they would perch over the water near the bridge so I got my Nikon D5 and 500mm PF lens and waited for one of them to perch near me. I didn’t have to wait long. My tripod was in use with my NIkon D850 using slow shutter speeds to blur the river’s flow under the bridge so I handheld the D5/500mm PF combination. I love that I can handhold this lens.