American Bison in Yellowstone

American Bison in Yellowstone

An American Bison in Yellowstone National Park with majestic mountains in the background

The American Bison, or the Buffalo as many of us grew up calling them, is probably the most iconic mammal in North America. At one time millions of them roamed North America and then were hunted nearly to extinction. One of the largest herds of American Bison can be found in Yellowstone National Park, and they truly are a magnificent animal in a magnificent park.

According to the Department of Interior website, 15 Facts About Our National Mammal, Yellowstone is the only place in the United States where bison have lived continuously since prehistoric times, this makes them special in that they are pure descendants of early bison and are free of cattle genes.  What I think makes the Yellowstone bison so special is that they are roaming herds of wild beasts living in an expanse of stunning wilderness that we can actually visit.

We saw a lot of bison on our trip to Yellowstone earlier this year, but of all the images I made of bison, this is the one that had the biggest impact on me.  The lone bison in an expansive landscape.

Posted in Photography

Through the Fresnel Lens

Through The Fresnel Lens

Looking through the 3rd order fresnel lens at the Grays Harbor Lighthouse in Westport, WA

It’s no secret that I love visiting the Grays Harbor Lighthouse in Westport, WA.  I have blogged about it multiple times, the most recent being here.  What I haven’t talked a lot about is the actual fresnel lens that is at the heart of every lighthouse.

The fresnel lens in and of itself is not necessarily a work of art, modern ones are typically made out of a single sheet of plastic, but the hand made lenses that used to be the workhorse of all lighthouses are something special, they are hand crafted, one of a kind and are truly works of art.

I have made a number of images of fresnel lenses from various lighthouses over the years, but when I visited the Grays Harbor light recently I really wanted to do something a little different and decided to concentrate on the bulb in the lens as well as the landscape beyond, the result of that is the image above.

While not truly unique, one of the effects of looking through a fresnel lens with a camera is the the world becomes upside down, this image was no different.  If you take some time to really look at this image, you will notice that the lightbulb is actually upside down and the background landscape is normal.  This wasn’t the case when it came out of camera, I had to flip the image as I felt it better to have the landscape right and let the bulb be upside down, which is hardly noticeable anyway.  :-)

I hope you enjoy the image, and as always, please click on the image to see a version that will scale to the size of your monitor or mobile device.

Posted in Photography

Alien Landscapes

Alient Lakefront Property

The IR spectrum makes a peaceful lakefront scent appear to be on an alien planet

Well here I am again, weeks since my last blog post, and I recently said that I was going to do a better job of keeping fresh content coming.  I don’t really have an excuse aside from a work trip and then a bout of the flu, neither of which should have kept me from posting, but it is the best I can come up with.

I actually shared this image on Facebook some time ago but never got around to sharing it here, so I am correcting that now.

Please stay tuned, I promise that more timely updates will be coming.  At least I hope I promise. :-)

Posted in IR photography

Looking Down the Grays Harbor Lighthouse

Looking Down

Looking down the stairs that lead to the top of the Grays Harbor Lighthouse

When the subject of a lighthouse comes up most people think of the large tower type lighthouse, and if you are on the east coast of the United States that would fit the bill perfectly. What most people might not realize is that on the west coast most of the lighthouses are generally much shorter and not always even a tower. I love the tower style lighthouses and even though I live on the west coast I am fortunate to have one of the best within an hour of my house. I am speaking of the Grays Harbor Lighthouse.

The Grays Harbor Lighthouse, which is located in Westport, WA is the tallest lighthouse in the Pacific Northwest, and at 107 feet tall it is the third tallest on the west coast.  It has been in continuous operation since 1898 and the original third order Fresnel Lens was used until 1992 when it was replaced with a more modern and more powerful light.  You might remember a recent image / blog post where I shared an image of original lens being lit, they do it a few times each year.

You probably won’t remember, but back in 2013 I shared an image looking up through the spiral staircase towards the top of the lighthouse.  Today I am sharing an image of the opposite perspective, this is taken from the top of the 135 steps shooting back down towards the ground.

Posted in Photography

Old Faithful

Old Faithful

Tourists enjoying an eruption of the Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park

Summer is officially over, the leaves are just starting to turn and there is a definite chill in the air every morning. Sadly, I still have a lot of images from our early summer vacation to Yellowstone National Park that I haven’t had time to process and share, and this image of Old Faithful is one of them.

We visited the Old Faithful area twice on our trip, the first visit was very early in the vacation and the skies were overcast that day, and while it was still enjoyable to watch the geysers in the basin do their thing, it wasn’t very dramatic looking when you had the water and steam with a gray sky background.  We decided to stop by for one more show on the day we left the park, and were treated to blue skies and a nice eruption.

It’s no wonder that so many people visit Yellowstone, and it is also no wonder that the most visited area in the park is Old Faithful.

Posted in Photography