Statement Tree in Grand Teton NP

You have heard of a “statement dress”? Well, in my mind this would be a statement tree. She stands apart, makes a bold statement and pulls the whole scene together. I’m proud to share her.

#fallcolor, #grandtetons, #jacksonhole, #trees, #nationalparks, #grandtetonnationalpark, #september, #golden, #yellow, #seasons, #landscape, #photography, #sony
How would you describe this pair of Cottonwoods in golden splendor, standing tall in Grand Teton National Park?

It’s All About the Sky

A truly great sunset photo requires a good foreground. You know, the parking lot or the neighbor’s house won’t do. Many of us head for the mountains or the sea to watch the sunset and capture the fleeting natural beauty in a photograph.

But the second ingredient in a great sunset photos is the sky. The texture and the reflections of the golden light in the clouds separates the good sunsets from the great ones.

Both the foreground and the amazing clouds came together along the banks of the Snake River on this magical evening in Grand Teton National Park. Mount Moran and the Grand Teton mountain range, although backlit, made a pretty majestic foreground. For scale, notice the tiny boats on the left side.

What can I say about the clouds? As wispy as cotton candy and as vivid as a flame?

#sky, #grandteton, #nationalpark, #mountmoran, #sunset, #clouds, #backlit, #aurorahdr, #sony, #gtnp, #landscape
Mount Moran is backlit by the sunset in Grand Teton National Park. This image is all about the sky.

 

Back to the American West

This week I will pack for a new adventure to Grand Teton National Park in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This time next week, I’ll be rising before the sun to photograph those majestic peaks and the leading lines of the Snake River, and working sunset as well.

I will take part in my fourth photography workshop with the great landscape photographers Don Smith and Gary Hart. I began studying with them in 2013 in Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park, and went on to work and enjoy two more workshops in Kauai and Maui.

That first workshop experience in Bryce Canyon was stressful. I wasn’t used to getting up in the dark before dawn (around 4 am) with frigid temperatures, wind chill and high altitude (close to 9,000 feet) and to keep functioning at my best as I became more and more tired each day. While I produced some respectable (okay, beautiful)  images (see below), I managed to break my Nikon D700 camera (putting the memory card backwards and bending the pins) and had to order a new Nikon D800 midweek, with rush shipping. Fortunately, I had a backup Fuji S5 to use for a few days.

#brycecanyon, #dawn, #sunrise, #hoodoos, #light, #landscapephotography, #nationalparks, #queensgarden, #victoria, #USA
The earliest rays of morning light illuminate the hoodoo that resembles a stature of Queen Victoria in London in a section of Bryce Canyon known as the Queen’s Garden.

While the embarrassment and frustration of breaking my camera remains a very bad memory, I propelled myself forward by continuing to learn important principles of landscape photography and making friends with several very talented photographers who supported my journey then and still do today. We have kept in touch.

I also discovered the beauty and majesty of the American West and its National Parks, and I have made my journey of discovery, learning and growth continue into the future. I hope you will subscribe to this blog (type your email into the form on the right to receive an email when a new post is published) and share my new images coming up next week from Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

I welcome your feedback in comments and your efforts to expand our community with your friends who will also be interested in landscape photography and future journeys of discovery, learning and growth. If you like this blog, please recommend it to a friend.

Monterey Bay in Watercolor

Just one year ago, I stood on Hurricane Point looking north into Monterey Bay, admiring the white Cumulous clouds and the boulders offshore. I shot a wide angle landscape photo, so I could remember the beautiful scene.

#montereybay, #hurricanepoint, #route1, #california, #iconic, #cost, #seascape, #clearday, #september
From Hurricane Point on this clear day, the offshore boulders form leading lines to the most prominent boulder.

A year later, I processed the same image in a new way to simplify the shapes and colors with a watercolor effect. What do you think?

#topazlabs, #simplify, #processing, #montereybay, #bigsur, #routeone, #route1, #seascape, #california, #westcoast, #hurricanepoint
I gave the image a dynamic boost and simplified the details to create a watercolor effect with Topaz Simplify.

 

Around Lindisfarne Castle

The lower castle walls studded with wildflowers and the sheep in the meadow give the Holy Island of Lindisfarne a colorful and lively surrounding.

#castle, #wildflowers, #lindisfarne, #colorful, #pink, #pinkandgreen, #clouds, #northsea, #walls
In rain or shine, low tide or high, this castle wall on Lindisfarne Island would not be easy to scale.
#sheep, #castle, #lindisfarne, #wildflowers, #northsea, #holy island, #colorful, #pinkandgreen, #pond, #pasture, #grass
Sheep grazing at the foot of LIndisfarne Castle. They don’t mind the scaffolding for the restoration.

Iceland’s Fire and Ice

I’m busy today making prints for a July 6 exhibition: the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Gallery  Crawl. It’s a fun evening, and you can find some cool photography by ASMP* photographers at 803 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA.

I have decided to feature some of the amazing landscapes and birds I saw in Iceland last summer. Whoever said that Iceland is the land of “Fire and Ice” is right! Volcanoes have created some rugged landforms and interesting vistas. On Heimeay Island, one can just imagine how frightened the residents felt when a massive eruption woke them in the middle of the night in January 1973. (All residents fled via fishing boats in the harbor, and the eruption continued for two years.)

Then you can experience “Ice” even in mid-July,  as you bundle up in a parka, hat and gloves and strap spikes to your boots for a hike on an icy, albeit melting, glacier. This glacier was atop an extinct volcano on the Snaefellsness Peninsula.

#iceland, #glacier, #melting, #volcanic, #fireandice, #landscapephotography, #travelphotography, #sony, #ice
You might be gone for good if you fall into this crevice on this Iceland glacier.

Please come to the Pittsburgh Gallery Crawl on Friday evening July 6. It’s free.

*American Society of Media Photographers: ASMP.org.

Great Ball of Fire

The last few minutes before the sunset pass so quickly and quietly. In Rookery Bay surrounded by water and mangrove, it is especially peaceful. While peaceful, the moment is also filled with drama — the brilliance of the sun, the vibrant color of the sky and the quickening darkness. Nature gave us a magnificent show.

#orange, #sunset, #rookerybay, #florida, #swflorida, #kayak, #dayisdone, #nature, #landscape, #humanelement
Sunset from Rookery Bay, south of Naples Florida.

Painted Sunset

The orange hue of sunset is woven into countless blue waves lapping the shore this evening. Colors separate into horizontal lines and appear painted in this unique image.

#sunset, #orange, #orangeandblue, #gulfofmexico, #gulf, #florida, #gulfcoast, #ICM, #sony, #abstract, #warmandcool
The warm and the cool are woven together in this image.

 

Can you hear the tiny waves? Feel the warmth of the sun, offset by the breeze? Does the water reach your toes?

Interested in a print of this image? Please visit my website www.cathykellyphotography.com and look in the Gallery: Photo Illustration.

The Break of Dawn

High in the sky we see the sunlight break the darkness,  turning night into day, while fog lingers under the canopy of these trees, protecting the cool ground with a soft blanket of dampness and shadow.

#fog, #dawn, #golfcourse, #rpgolf, #rpgolfclub, #royalpoinciana, #naples, #florida, #sky. #silhouette
For a few brief moments we can savor the contrast between the brightening sky and the soft low lying fog.

Let’s Do Sunset

It’s fun to meet a friend for sunset on the beach. It’s always a great time to relax, sip some wine and have a good conversation. Of course, this works if you live on the West Coast of Anywhere — Florida, California, Hawaii or any location in the world.

But sunset is extra special when the sun paints the clouds vivid shades of orange, pink, peach, mauve, and grey. It’s even nicer when the beach is quiet and a small egret walks along the sparkling shore.

#sunset, #egret, #clouds, #waterscape, #reflection, #gulf, #florida, #naples
Brilliant sunset on a quiet Naples beach, shared with a snowy egret.