The Lone Rider

Every morning in at the ranch, the horses would come running in through the pasture with a few cowboys leading the charge. I’d have to be quick to run out there with my camera and get in the right position. Luckily, since it happened each day, I had plenty of mornings to make mistakes until I finally got in the right position.

I remember reading about Degas and his horse paintings. Right at that time (early Impressionist period) is when photography really got started. No one ever really know what a horse looked like when it was running because its legs were too fast. Photography allowed Degas to be one of the first painters to get it right. You can see some of his horse paintings on this Google image search.

I got a question on Facebook about how I made this. It is an HDR, but I also used Lucis Pro. I have a Lucis Pro review here on the site if you want to find out more.

The Lone Rider

A little video for you

I put together this video while in Yellowstone. As I have said before, it’s kind of shaky and lots of bits are out of focus. A whole lotta bits in fact!

If this is the kind of thing you’d like to see more of in the future, let me know.

After you follow the link above, you’ll see that it shows the conditions I was in and a bit of the approach for taking the following photo. Enjoy! :)

Ice Lake in the Summer

A view with my coffee

Thank God McDonalds opened around 5 AM!

I woke up just before to put on my photo-ninja outfit to be sure to get the sunrise in Yellowstone. Once you are in the park, there’s not a lot of food or drink options, and it’s not a good idea to take a bag o’ food out into the wild. But, it was a good idea to stop at McDonalds in West Yellowstone to get a giant coffee.

The rivers in Yellowstone are fed by both rain and geothermal sources, so the water is a bit more warm than you would expect. The cool mornings, even in July, brings fresh steam off the tops. Once the sun finally comes up, it gives everything a golden hue.

I know that many of you have used my World of Textures Tutorial (thanks!) to try some different things with your photography. I still do this a lot too. Obviously, I did it here as well, and used three different textures to achieve this.

Tomorrow, stay tuned for a new video that shot while at another location in Yellowstone. I gave a sneak peak of it to people that got the Newsletter… I tried to set low expectations, and that seemed to work because people liked it! Ah well… let me try to reset low expectations… it’s not that good.

A view with my coffee (by Stuck in Customs)

An Evening Stroll Around the Cabin

I’ve had a wonderful week here in Montana. I’ve been lucky enough to be invited to this private conference here in Yellowstone. We get together and talk about science, art, and Libertarianism… It’s a very cool and interesting collection of people!

A few nights ago, I took a dusk walk around the main cabin. The horses come graze all around the meadow in the evening… I finally convinced one of them to stand still for a bit.

An Evening Stroll Around the Cabin

The Ice Lake in Summer

I made a video! When I took this shot a few days ago in Yellowstone, I had a little video camera to record the process. It’s not the highest quality thing in the world, but at least you guys and gals will be able to see a little bit about how I took the shot in the field. I’ll probably include the video in the next newsletter, which is free and I invite you to subscribe.

This place is called the Ice Lake. I saw it on the map and it sounded like a cool hiking destination. I didn’t expect it to be icy, so I wasn’t disappointed.

Ice Lake in the Summer

The Morning Steam Through the Forest in Yellowstone

I woke up just before 5 AM today so I could get out there and do some sunrise shooting. It was a great morning and I found all kinds of interesting spots. I drove by a bank of trees that had some steam from a nearby river flowing through them… and it looked so cool that I hiked around the forest to find a nice configuration of trees and steamy fog.

I was exhausted after shooting most of the day. I drove over the the Firehole River to have a swim. There was no one else around, and I didn’t have a swimsuit, so I just went in my undies. This seemed like a great idea until my underwear ripped on a rock. This, combined with very sensitive feet that make me look crazy when walking on a rocky shore, made for quite a scene.

The Morning Steam Through the Forest in Yellowstone (by Stuck in Customs)

Cutting the Wheat

I am headed back to Montana tomorrow for a week. I’ll actually be in both Montana and Wyoming in Yellowstone National Park. I think it’s my 5th or 6th trip there! I’m really looking forward to it… This will be my first trip with the D3X, so I look forward to rediscovering some old favorites with the new camera. Also, since it’s Yellowstone, the weather patterns are always unique and unexpected.

This shot is from the northern part of Montana, up where the fields go on forever. These nice crop rows are the ones that get caught in your eyes when you are driving by at super-sonic speeds…but you can still make out single rows like frames in an old movie.

Cutting the Wheat

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)

Fly Fishing Behind the Ranch

There is a perfect stream here on the edge of Montana that backs onto a ranch where I have stayed a few times. At night, you can hear the stream rushing by while you sleep. Sometimes, in the morning, you can see a bit of steam coming off it as the air adjusts. In the middle of the day, the fish are biting and there isn’t another fisherman for miles.

It looks like it might be easy to cross, but, believe me — it isn’t. There’s a few deep pockets in there that you won’t find until you’re one step too late. I’ll never forget the time my chest waders started filling up with cold river water. Once a little bit starts, it’s a slippery slope!

I also ended up doing a bit of tubing down this river too… which I’m sure was completely confusing to the fish underneath.

The River Behind the Ranch

Where Geothermal Steam Covers the Land

Every time I go to Yellowstone, I see something different. There are hundreds of great locations, each one of which should be visited for at least an hour during three different times of the day.

This is a new area I visited on my most recent trip there. I don’t think it is always this steamy, since the air temp has to be a certain delta to the water. I don’t know why, but it’s always fun to sit there and watch the boiling water. I don’t enjoy watching boiling water in my kitchen, but the sight there is always mesmerizing.. There is also the strong smell of sulfur carried through the area. It wasn’t repulsive at all, but it did give me the just-took-off-my-helmet-on-an-away-mission feeling.

Where Geothermal Steam Covers the Land (by Stuck in Customs)

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