Sunset at Glacier National Park

Any fun Thanksgiving Plans for y’all?

I know it’s a US-thing, and we have readers from all over… but y’all have anything fun going on for Thanksgiving?

Daily Photo – Sunset at Glacier National Park

I’m having a nice weekend processing photos. I just completed this one a few hours ago, and it brought back good memories of Glacier National Park. I don’t think I ever really got warm there. Even in the room there was a steady chill. This is a strange memory of that place… I normally don’t mind the cold as there are a few occasions to warm up and reset my system.

Sunset at Glacier National ParkI'm having a nice weekend processing photos.  I just completed this one a few hours ago, and it brought back good memories of Glacier National Park.  I don't think I ever really got warm there.  Even in the room there was a steady chill.  This is a strange memory of that place...  I normally don't mind the cold as there are a few occasions to warm up and reset my system.- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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The Edge of Glacier National Park at Sunrise

New Portfolio is Up – Thanks SmugMug!

I’d like to thank the crew at SmugMug for getting me all set up with an amazing new Stuck In Customs portfolio. Cool eh? Yeah, those guys are good. I’m learning more and more about SmugMug every day… I may leave some people, out, but, I’d like to thank Candice Cunningham, Jason St. Peter, Markham Bennett, and Justin Busa, from Zoho Designs. I know there were even more people involved from SmugMug, and I thank them too.

Enjoyed Speaking Tonight – and Florida Workshop Reminder

We had a great time at the SmugMug event here in Austin too. We were at the AT&T center at UT. There were just over 100 people there, and we talked about everything from the visual spectrum to a quick tutorial. I know there were people on the waiting list that did not get in — sorry about that — I did not set the rules! hehe… but maybe there will be another event in the future some time.

One chance will be the workshop with Scott Bourne in Florida in the middle of January. Pop on over to that page to reserve a spot if you are interested.

Daily Photo – The Edge of Glacier National Park at Sunrise

While the whole family was still asleep in the nearby Many Glaciers Lodge, I woke up early to catch the sunrise. The morning light cast that pretty red glow across mountain… and you can even see the pinkness of the distant snow to the left. It was definitely frigid ice-cold, but that crispness seemed to add to the clarity of it all.

We had a discussion after the event tonight about the nature of sunrises versus sunsets. Personally, I feel like the quality of the air and clouds is very different at both, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe it is the warm air turning cooler at sunset versus the opposite at sunrise. I don’t know, but it is interesting to think about.

The Edge of Glacier National Park at Sunrise

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The Frozen Granite

Lenses I want for Christmas

I have two lenses on my Christmas list this year. They are the Nikon 300mm 2.8 and the 85mm 1.4. Both look like a lot of fun! If anyone has an older one they are selling, let me know. What’s on your list?

I have another discussion thread on this on the FB fan page.

Daily Photo – The Frozen Granite

Getting to this spot in Glacier National Park wasn’t easy. It was even tougher trying to get Ethan and Tina into the exact spot too. Even though this area had all this cool granite around it, there was a bit of a swamp there that we had to traverse first. And, just around the corner was a nice sandy beach!

The Cleaved Granite

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The Granite Cleaves

I’ll be going back to Montana towards the end of the month, so I decided to process this shot from Glacier National Park.

I took my wife and son down to the edge of the lake, and there were these giant granite blocks on the perimeter. The regular freezes and thaws around the lake created these right-angle cuts. It was nice to have them there with me… they got to hear me drone on and on about rocks and whatnot. I used to have a double-major in Geophysics and Computer Science, so I know the sorts of things about rocks that only come in handy when you have a captive audience like a family stuck on one while you are taking photos.

I ended up dropping the Geophysics part of the double-major after an ideological fight with a professor. That’s a longer story.

The Granite Cleaves (by Stuck in Customs)

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A Canyon Oasis

This place is deep inside Glacier National Park. The only bad thing about photography is I can’t show how deafening the sound of the waterfall inside the canyons was! It ricocheted around the rocky walls and seemed to be perfectly acoustic echo chamber. I didn’t get in, but the water seemed super-cold.

It was a nice spot to stop and take a break for a bit. You would think the noise would kind of relaxing, but it was less of the alarm-clock-bubbling-brook and more of the 747-emergency-landing…

A Canyon Oasis

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Erosion at the Continental Divide

This was a pretty cool area of Glacier National Park – the continental divide. For those of you that have never been there, this is the line that runs through the Rocky Mountains and separates the flow of water from one side of the continent to the other. We put Ethan up there and he did his own little part for erosion while I snapped away! :)

Erosion

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A morning swim to the island

I’m embarrassed that I can’t remember the name of that little island out there.  I think it’s called Bird Island… but I am not totally sure!   If I wasn’t so lazy, I’d open up Google Earth to figure it out for sure.  But then I know I have a lot of clever readers who can probably tell me for sure!

This was taken in Glacier National Park.  I woke up around 5 AM to drive out to this lake to capture the little island in the soft morning light.  I really like this area of the Rockies.  They seem very old and ancient to me.  I spent the rest of the morning tromping through the forest, trying to find more interesting vantage points while making enough noise to scare away any grizzlies that might have been looking to get me in an interesting vantage point.

A morning swim to the island (by Stuck in Customs)

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Getting my feet wet for my friends

If my mom or wife or daughters were to see me out in the middle of this thing, they would not have been happy. It’s for these reasons that I do many things while alone against my better judgment, because I have very few filters of reason when I am off in the wild. This was one of those occasions…

I scuttled like a landcrab with 6-legs (including tripod and one hand) out to the top of this waterfall that is fed by glacial runoff. If you think the water is cold sounds cold, just try it around 5:35 AM. It’s the kind of cold that shocks you into feeling like the idiot you are.

Getting my feet wet for my friends (by Stuck in Customs)

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Puzzling Over Beauty

I was captivated by this scene for some reason, and I spent a good deal of time thinking of how best to shoot it. On the final day of my trip there to Glacier National Park, I decided on this treatment.

There are many interesting things to me here, and you can probably be thankful you were not beside me to hear me go off on a theoretic (a new Neal Stephenson word). We enjoy beauty and puzzle over beauty at the same time. In a world of entropy, it is calming to take beauty, break it apart into what makes it so, and then piece it back together again to bring order to the chaos.

But, I could not bring myself to work on the puzzle at all. I just drank in everything I was there to be with for the moment. I thought a little about the nature of wanting to make a puzzle, just to solve it, a notion that is meta-puzzling in itself.

Other guests that come into this view no doubt sit down and work on the puzzle, possibly thinking they could finish it, but also with a sneaking suspicion that they are just putting a few pieces together for the next guest that comes to visit. It seemed to be sort of an altruistic long-term battle against entropy.

So I chose not to mess with the puzzle, and simply to focus on the beauty of things as I held them in my mind’s eye. Puzzles tend to work themselves out on their own, which is a comforting thought, I suppose.

Puzzling Over Beauty (by Stuck in Customs)

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The Hidden Icy Blue Vortex

The sound was deafening in this little canyon a few miles off the main road. I had no idea what to expect before finding this place and was getting worried as soon as I heard the roar of the glacial water. The crashing came in alarming waves just before I started moving my way down into the canyon.

…and then there was the matter of finding a pretty position that showed all the layers and actions of the canyon… and then there was the matter of selecting the right songs for my ipod during the shot to help me figure things out… and then the matter of wondering why I am describing the seemingly OCD analysis.

The Hidden Icy Blue Vortex

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