I just finished a wonderful photography excursion with my friends Bobbie Baird and Ken Fox. Our leader was photographer Frank Comisar from Scenic Aperture and the experience was truly amazing and a gift for the soul. In fact, we were all participants in Frank’s first Photography MASTER CLASS called “Navajo Nation Journey.”
Located just outside of Page, Arizona, Horseshoe Bend overlooks one of the most spectacular views on the Colorado River, 4 miles south of the Glen Canyon Dam. When you reach the edge of Horseshoe Bend you are looking down about 1000 feet of sandstone to the Colorado River as it makes a wide sweep around a sandstone escarpment. Long ago, as the river meandered southward toward the sea, it always chose the steepest downward slope. This downward journey did not always occur in a straight line, and sometimes the river made wide circles and meanders. As the Colorado Plateau uplifted about 5 million years ago, the rivers that meandered across the ancient landscape were trapped in their beds. The rivers cut through the rock, deep and fast, seeking a new natural level. Here at Horseshoe Bend, the Colorado River did just that, and as the river cut down through the layers of sandstone, it created a 270° horseshoe-shaped bend in the canyon.
Adapted from HorseshoeBend.com
This photograph was taken at sunset and the experience of photographing Horseshoe Bend is not for the “faint of heart.” One needs to take time to slowly move closer to the edge of a sandstone cliff and one constantly needs to check the stability of the ground underneath both yourself and your tripod.
I was photographing sunrise in the tundra at the Ute Trail a couple of weeks ago. However, I met “5” bull elk and (needless to say) deferred the trail to them. The intention of my photography changed from a scenic mountain sunrise to the journey of the elk. They started to separate and several happened to wander in front of a shadowed area of the mountain. The dark background of the shadows and the front lighting from the sunrise created a beautiful definition of these amazing creatures. What a journey for both the animals and myself…
This photograph looks beautiful and serene, however, there is an amazing story connected with this image. A few years ago, I was participating in a nature photography course at Glacier National Park in Montana. We were doing a sunrise photography shoot by a river at Many Glacier. We were standing on a bridge photographing the river and it was extremely windy. The gentleman next to me left his tripod and camera for a few seconds to check on something and the wind blew his camera and tripod over the bridge and down toward the river. As it was happening, I had just looked up from my camera and saw his tripod and camera over the bridge and rapidly descending toward the river. I leaped forward (stretching over the bridge) and somehow managed to “catch” the leg of his tripod and save both his camera and tripod while still managing (somehow) to hold my camera and tripod steady in the wind. It was an amazing catch and, of course, Larry was extremely grateful and bought me a beautiful book about Glacier National Park as a thank you. Sometimes the name PeacemakersArt can be deceiving as there may be a lot of excitement, energy and action connected with the experience of creating the images.
This is one of my favorite nature photographs. People are always commenting about the backlit essence of the leaves. Many think that it is frost. However, this photograph was taken early evening during the summer and the setting sun behind the leaves highlighted its tiny hairs. I prefer to call this “Soul Essence” because one can see the true radiance of life that is displayed. You can view a larger image of this photograph in my
fine art prints gallery and my inspirational note card gallery located on my website PeacemakersArt.com.
What was happening when I took this photo?
We each have had humorous or challenging experiences with nature, weather, people or equipment during photographic adventures. PeacemakersArt celebrates and honors the process of photography. The end result of a beautiful photograph can sometimes have a great story. I will start this forum with one of my favorite stories.
I was taking a course in Vermont many years ago. We were doing close-up photography – mushrooms, little flowers, etc. This was when I first started photography. I did not have expensive equipment and was quite amazed with the high level of equipment other participants had with them. Anyway, someone located a rare fungus that everyone wanted to photograph. I had stopped to rest as my eyes felt a little strained from the close-up work. A gentleman from California started to photograph the fungus and had difficulty with his tripod and asked if he could borrow mine. I was so thrilled that anyone would want to use my inexpensive equipment that I rushed to give it to him and stepped on the rare fungus. Of course, everyone was upset and I immediately became depressed. People still wanted to photograph this gemstone and they propped it up and continued to work. Phil, again, asked me for some help and I walked over to help him. However, this time I decided to walk around a big tree to avoid stepping on or interfering in any way with the rare fungus which was now propped up for display. I brushed against a tree with my shoulder and I guess the tree (approximately 25 feet high) was dead and the entire tree came crashing down toward Phil and his expensive camera – and, of course, the rare fungus. There were many cries toward Phil to alert him of the danger as the tree came crashing down and landed right along side him and the camera. Thankfully, he was not hurt. Needless to say, I did not move for the remainder of the excursion. However, Phil and I became great friends and for many years as people would ask how we met, we laughed as we told this story over and over.