Supporting Ukraine

Skylum Software, created by Ukrainians, is a great tool to use when processing landscape photography. Having used Luminar by Skylum for years, I was happy to support their recent fund raising effort for fellow Ukrainians now suffering terrible hardships during the Russian assault on their homeland.

This landscape photo from the Heber Valley in Utah was processed by Luminar AI, made by Skylum.

Ukraine, Heber Valley, horse, snow, mountains, landscape, skylum,luminar
A golden brown horse accents this landscape of the Heber Valley and the snowy Utah mountains on a sunny morning.

The Obvious Choice: X

Standing on the bluff overlooking ice fishermen on the frozen lake and a wide vista of snowy Utah mountains, I did not at first recognize the most dramatic composition — the one that included the X on the ground. “X” marked the landing pad for a rescue helicopter. Yes, the X attracts the eye and tells a story about a dramatic rescue that took place here.

Aren’t the best photographs, the ones that tell a story? Maybe not the most obvious story, but stories that happened in the past that we can only imagine?

Utah, winter, mountains, ice, lake
One tragic day a school bus careened over this cliff, and a rescue helicopter landed here. “X” marks the spot on this frigid day in the Utah winter.

Frozen lake’s sights and sounds

My eye followed the leading lines in this frozen lake across to the Wasatch Mountain Range. While the mountains were lacking in fresh snow, the temperatures were very cold, in the single digits and teens on this February day. Nearby, a well-bundled man was ice-fishing.

Wasatch mountains, lake, Utah
Frozen lake at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains, Utah.

While I was taking in this vista, I noticed the interesting sounds the ice was making. Have you ever listened to the sounds of a frozen lake?

Attention Horse Lovers

Have you ever seen such a furry horse? The thick coat on this horse makes him look almost like part bear! Surely this blanket of fur helps this horse stay warm in the frigid Utah winter, when temperatures often lurk near zero (Fahrenheit).

horse
A thick winter coat helps to keep this Heber Valley, Utah, horse warm on cold winter days.

If any of you horse experts want to chime in, I’m happy to hear your thoughts on what type of horse this is. I’m not sure if the legs are stocky, or the overgrown hair obscures slim legs. I have never seen a horse with this appearance.

Longhorn Bull Up Close

As an East Coast girl, I’ve never seen longhorn cattle before, but this trip to Utah gave me the chance. Two bulls were feeding and spending time outside on a bitter cold February morning. I enjoyed getting a close look and taking some photos. Both bulls were friendly; one of them came to the fence for a scratch on the forehead.

longhorn cattle, Utah, nature
Looking at those horns on this longhorn bull in Heber Valley, Utah as he drinks from the creek.

Daybreak in the Wasatch Mountains

Before the rising sun can light Squaw Peak, it has to clear some pretty tall mountains to the East. Here is the first morning light on Squaw Peak.

Wasatch, Heber Valley
First light makes the Wasatch Mountains look like a giant sculpture, rising from the Heber Valley, Utah.

I’m exploring the mountains around Park City, Utah for the first time. It’s fun for a Floridian to experience a bit of Winter, even if the temperatures are frigid. A good pair of gloves and hand warmers are a must!

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) ┬áimages (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.

Snow in the Forecast

Winter storm Benji is blanketing the Northeast of the United States with fresh snow today. Thoughts of fresh snow on the landscape remind me of a very cold morning in Bryce Canyon National Park.

#snow, #bryce, #brycecanyon, #nationalpark, #winter, #landscape, #landscapephotography, #cold, #windchill
The wind chill was super freezing here on Sunset Point (at sunrise), but the snow made Bryce Canyon National Park even more beautiful.

After that morning shoot, I went shopping for a second layer of gloves. I am not a Morning Person!