Claude Monet was a French Impressionist perhaps most widely recognized today for his paintings of water lilies. He said about the paintings he made of his gardens with its distinctive water features, “These landscapes of water and reflection have become an obsession.” Yesterday morning in the White Mountains of New Hampshire as the peak of fall color is here in all its glory, we visited a spot along the Saco River at Willey House hoping to capture some spectacular reflections in the water, that is until the wind whipped up. That turned out to be our good fortune because what we saw reflected in the water was precisely reminiscent of Monet, the genius of his brushstrokes, and his spectacular paintings of reflections and water. A few years ago, I was fortunate to visit the permanent exhibit of Monet’s final series of water lilies installed in 1927 in Paris at the Musée de l’Orangerie, a year after he died. What I photographed in New Hampshire was alive with color and movement and excitement and took me back to Paris and Monet and Impressionism.
Late afternoon Saturday at The Ranch, I sat down on a railroad tie to absorb the last daylight views I would have of this paradise for a while. Under my leg was a single dandelion. I changed the image area on my Z6II to square, changed the Picture Control to #18 Graphite, made sure the stem of the dandelion was not visible and shaded the puff with my leg. The aperture was f/3.5 on the Nikkor ZMC 105 mm lens so it was perfect to capture the center sharp and leave the fringes all around the edges fuzzy.
Saturday was my last day at The Ranch in Montana. I spent the afternoon absorbing the magic here, swinging on Sharon’s delightful garden swing, basking in the sun near the water feature, swinging on the old fashioned rope swing hanging from a branch on one of the Ponderosa Pines on the property, listening to the birds. It was such a delightful way to spend a lazy afternoon. I was surrounded by pine cones and was determined to get a shot of one of them. Sharon found a cone still attached to a small branch surrounded by a bed of needles, the perfect candidate for my efforts and my macro lens.
Montana seems to be growing on me. Friday afternoon found me napping in the hammock but when Sharon called to me I awoke to enjoy the perfect Friday afternoon treat…chocolate chip cookies and local Irish Death Stout. Indeed, life is good. I took this shot with my new iPhone 13 Pro but I don’t know the intricacies of using the three lenses or other advanced features so this is just a snapshot. I can’t recommend this culinary combo highly enough. Yum!
It is impossible to resist that irresistible face. I am in love with Maggie. And, I think she likes me, too. She greets me enthusiastically each morning, and for that matter, each time I enter the room after an absence of five minutes or more. She sits on my lap contentedly observing the world around her. She’ll curl up at my side and chew on her rope toy. She is a joy. Of course, I’m third in line after Moose and Sharon. In this shot, she sat on Sharon’s lap while I took shot after shot waiting for the expression to perfectly depict Maggie.
Maggie is one year old today! I have watched Moose and Sharon’s Beagle, Maggie, grow up from afar in photographs but yesterday, I arrived in Montana to visit and finally met Miss Maggie in person. She is absolutely adorable, rambunctious, and oh, so smart. Happy Birthday, Maggie!
There’s nothing quite like Bryce Canyon National Park. It is an amazing place, especially in the morning when the rising sun sets the red rocks on fire. The spires look almost like flames.
A couple of years ago I visited the Great Basin area in Nevada to photograph Bighorn Sheep. I was expecting to see Bighorn Sheep. I wasn’t expecting to see spectacular skies like the Sierra Wave we saw one evening when we visited Walker Lake. The Sierra Wave occurs when westerly winds flow over the Sierra Nevada Range in California and winds had picked up that evening. We were on the lee side of the mountains and the Sierra Wave is known as a lee wave and is considered one of the most spectacular of this phenomenon. We watched for a couple of hours as the cloud formations filled the skies and constantly changed at the whim of the winds. When I took the photograph I published two years ago (click on link above) the sun was setting and the clouds were a deep rose color. When I took this photograph, at least an hour before that shot, the sun had not set and the clouds were mostly white so I took this shot as a black and white image. What was so incredible is that an hour before this, there were no clouds in the sky.
The stark and beautiful landscape that I enjoyed every morning from my room at The View Hotel in Monument Valley, AZ continues to captivate me weeks after returning home. Each morning we had different cloud formations or sometimes cloudless skies. That didn’t matter. The view remained stunning and gorgeous. On this morning, as the sun passed behind East Mitten Butte, its rays spilled across the clouds and the front of the butte. And, it cast off god beams behind the clouds. What a glorious sight to to wake up to each morning.
The WAAAM Fly-in weekend before last in Hood River, OR gave me an opportunity to try some aviation photography. It’s a skill I definitely need to practice. It was exciting to be right next to some of these beautiful antique airplanes. Almost 300 airplane flew in for the event Friday evening and Saturday morning. On Sunday about midday, they began to leave and that’s when I had my first real opportunity to photograph them in flight. One of the airplanes I kept admiring was parked next to our home base on the edge of the grass. I never saw its pilot or anyone associated with the airplane while we were nearby. Then, as we watched the planes take off, suddenly the bright red 1933 Waco I’d been admiring taxied away and flew right over our heads.