Mount Rainier and Olympic National Park

I finally got back out to do some landscape photography in August after staying home since February due to the Coronavirus. I used the time at home re-processing images and making big improvements to the website, which are still ongoing.

For this trip, I teamed up with my good friend Jess Lee, www.jessleephotos.com. We work really well together and it’s infinitely better than being out there alone talking to yourself. I’ve always appreciated how he gives me the push to be a better photographer.

I have tried twice before to be at Mount Rainer when the flowers were blooming. The first time they bloomed early before I got there. The second time they bloomed late and I missed them. That’s one of the disadvantages of having to fly somewhere and make advance reservations. You have to make your best guess on the timing of things based on past history and it’s not always right.

The third time’s the charm, they say. I was there this time during the peak of the bloom and was rewarded with several very nice photographs. First up was some images of Mount Rainer from the Paradise area. From here there are some stunning views of the mountain and of the Tatoosh Range to the South.

Washington, Mount Rainier, flower, bloom, Paradise
Mountain Bloom : Prints Available

Washington, Rainier, Mount Rainier, Stream, Skyline Trail, Flowers
Mountain Stream : Prints Available

Washington, Mount Rainier, National Park, Mountain, Flowers, Christmas, Fine Art, Landscape, Photograph
Rainier Christmas : Prints Available

Washington, Rainier, Mount Rainier, flowers, Tatoosh, Range, Mountains, National Park
Another Direction : Prints Available

Another area with a great view of the mountain is from Little Tipsoo Lake. The purple lupines were in full bloom.

Washington, Mount Rainier, National Park, Flowers, Summer, Tipsoo, Lake, Lupines, Fine Art, Landscape, Photograph
Tipsoo Summer : Prints Available

After some successful days at Mount Rainier, we headed to Forks, Washington to photograph in the Hoh Rain Forest and on the Washington coast. I have limited success in the Rain Forest before, but I approached it this time with some different goals in mind. Sometimes you have to fail before you can succeed.

I came across this small scene of water with the sun lighting up the two large trees in the back. It was odd, as I know I had been down that path in previous trips, but just never saw it. I loved the scene and it may be my favorite forest photograph of those I have taken.

Washington, Hoh, Rain, Forest, Olympic, National Park, Forest, Tree, Stream, Fine Art, Landscape, Photograph
The Rain Forest : Prints Available

As I walked further through the forest, I noticed this extremely odd root formation at the bottom of a large tree. The roots went out to one side and the whole thing just looked like a big foot. So, I named it “Bigfoot”. A little silly, but I couldn’t resist.

Washington, Hoh, Rain Forest, Olympic, National Park, Tree, Fine Art, Landscape, Photograph
Bigfoot : Prints Available

I had also attempted to photograph Sol Duc Falls on previous trips, but without the results I wanted. This time I managed to get it right. This image truly captures the feeling of being there. The lush greenery that surrounds you in the Pacific Northwest is just amazing. It is a different feeling being in the rainforest than it is in other forests.

Washington, waterfall, Sol Duc, Falls, Rainforest, Olympic, National Park, Quileute
Sparkling Waters : Prints Available

Before we wrapped up this expedition, we spent an evening on the coast at Ruby Beach to shoot the sunset. I was particularly taken by this one sea stack that reminded me of a large Shark’s Tooth, so that’s what I named it. It was a pretty cool sunset and the sun setting off to the right lit up the sea stack nicely.

Washington, Coast, Ruby Beach, Olympic, National Park, Pacific, Shark, sunset, Fine Art, Landscape, Photograph, Northwest
Shark's Tooth : Prints Available

I will be teaming up with Jess again for shooting the Colorado Fall Color in Southwest Colorado in the coming weeks. I’ve been there before and I do love it there. You never know what to expect from the weather and the hope is always for an early snowfall.

Thanks for looking and feel free to share. You can also follow the journey on Facebook or Instagram for more current photographs that may not be on the blog. We appreciate all those that follow us. https://www.facebook.com/JosephFilerPhotography and https://www.instagram.com/josephfiler

Italian Dolomites in Winter

For quite a few years I have wanted to experience and photograph the mountains in Italy, known as the Dolomites. I love snow covered mountains, so it just made sense to make this trip during the winter.

After a night’s rest in Venice, we made our way north to Misurina. The drive along the way was stunning and confirmed why I was there. The next morning, we were taken in sleds behind snowmobiles to the top of a nearby mountain. When we got there, the wind was gusting to 50 mph. While this created some really nice blowing snow and atmosphere on the mountains, it was just impossible to stay out in it with the wind chill factor.

After 10 minutes, we retreated to a safe and warm “winter room” at a nearby structure. I had managed to capture the following image and was surprised that the conditions did not ruin the focus. I thought I was going to lose a few fingers to exposure. After a short time in the “winter room”, we called it a day and had the snowmobiles take us back down the mountain.

Italy, Dolomites, Mountains, Snowstorm, Winds, Snow
Mountain Snowstorm : Prints Available

The next morning, we headed to an area called Pratto Piazza and stayed in a remote, but wonderful, Hotel Gaisl. The views from this area were some of the best I have ever seen. We only had time to be there one night, which was unfortunate, as there is so much there. The wind was still howling that afternoon, as captured in the first image.

Italy, Dolomites, Mountains, Snow, Winds
Italian Winds : Prints Available

By the following morning, the winds were gone and we were treated to an amazing sunrise. It was still super cold, and I struggled with fingers that did not want to stay warm. I was happy to have been able to stay out long enough to capture the full color of sunrise.

Italy, Dolomites, Mountains, Sunrise, Sheppard, Huts
Sunrise for the Sheppard : Prints Available

After sunrise, we made our way to Cinque Torri, where we stayed in dormitories at the top of a ski resort. I had never experienced getting on a chair lift with a duffel bag and a camera bag. I managed, but really don’t want to do it again.

We were able to shoot both sunset and sunrise from this location before heading back down on the chairlifts. The rock formations here are simply awesome.

Italy, Cinque, Torri, Cinque Torri, Sunrise, Dolomite, Mountains, Snow, Winter, Snow, Venus Belt
Cinque Sunrise : Prints Available

Italy, Dolomites, Mountains, Sunrise
Mountain Sunstar : Prints Available
Italy, Dolomites, Mountains,
Pastel Glow : Prints Available
Italy, Mountains, Dolomites, Sunrise, Rock, Formations
Sunrise Curves : Prints Available
Italy, Dolomite, Mountains, Sunrise, Snow, Sandstone
Early Colors : Prints Available

After another day, where we didn’t have much success, we finished our expedition by photographing the mountains near San Martino di Castrozza. We had been without clouds for a few days, but they moved back in just in time for the late light. The natural “bowl” of this particular mountain helped to result in a beautiful, winter mountain image.

Italy, Dolomites, Mountains,
Mountain Bowl : Prints Available

Thanks for looking and feel free to share. You can also follow the journey on Facebook or Instagram for more current photographs that may not be on the blog. We appreciate all those that follow us. https://www.facebook.com/JosephFilerPhotography and https://www.instagram.com/josephfiler

Fall in Yellowstone & The Tetons

Although I have photographed in both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks before, I had not been there in the Fall. I have been spending the fall season shooting in Utah and Colorado in the past, but it was time for a change.

We spent the first part of the trip in Yellowstone, and while there are not Aspens or other trees that turn color there in the Fall, there is so much else there.

The hot springs at the Geyser Basins, Grand Prismatic in particular, offer a wonderful opportunity to capture some great colors with the rising steam.

Prismatic Gold : Prints Available

Wyoming, Yellowstone, National Park, Thermal, Basin, Spring
Into The Sunset : Prints Available

The massive waterfall in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, never ceases to amaze me. It was suggested that the landscape around it formed the shape of a heart. I didn’t see it before, but I do now.

Wyoming, Yellowstone, National Park, Grand Canyon, Waterfall
Canyon Falls : Prints Available

I have previously passed on shooting Gibbon Falls, but it occurred to me that maybe a close-up of the lower part of the falls would work. The light was hitting the rocks in the upper right and it worked beautifully. Sometimes you just have to give some locations some extra thought.

Wyoming, Yellowstone, National Park, Gibbon, Falls
Gibbon Falls : Prints Available

After Yellowstone, it was on to the Grand Tetons. We were excited by the opportunity presented to us with an unexpected snowstorm covering the mountains. It is so rare to have an early season snowfall. While we waited for the skies to clear, we spent a few days tracking down some really nice fall color scenes.

Wyoming, Grand Teton, National Park, Fall Color, Aspen, Tree
Fall Mix : Prints Available

Wyoming, Grand Teton, National Park, Aspen, Trees
Aspen Angles : Prints Available
Wyoming, Grand Teton, National Park, Fall, Leaves
Red Moment : Prints Available

I even delayed my flight out to be able to be there when the weather improved and the mountains were visible. It was two incredible days. On the third day, as I headed to the airport, the snow moved back in and the mountains were gone, once again. I didn’t mind. I had been given photographic opportunities that were previously only in my wildest imagination.

Wyoming, Grand Teton, National Park, Oxbow, Bend, Moran, Snake River, Reflection
Rare Reflection : Prints Available

Wyoming, Grand Teton, National Park, Storm, Mountains
Peak Storm : Prints Available
Wyoming, Grand Teton, National Park, Snake River, Fall Color
Snake River Colors : Prints Available
Wyoming, Grand Tetons, National Park, Mormon Row, Barn, Clouds
North View : Prints Available
Wyoming, Grand Teton, National Park, Snake River, Fall, Winter
Seasonal Mix : Prints Available
Wyoming, Grand Teton, National Park, Fall, Color, Snowstorm, Mountains, Oxbow Bend, Snake River
Soft Morning : Prints Available

Next up will be an exploratory trip to Utah to locations that I have not been to before, some quite remote. Of course, I’ll be searching for fall color.

Thanks for looking and feel free to share. You can also follow the journey on Facebook or Instagram for more current photographs that may not be on the blog. We appreciate all those that follow us. https://www.facebook.com/JosephFilerPhotography and https://www.instagram.com/josephfiler

Oregon, Once Again!

We first headed to the coast at Cannon Beach to photograph Haystack Rock at sunset. It turned out to be heavy overcast and covered in fog, so we hoped for the morning. At first, it wasn’t looking too good then either, but as the sun came up behind us the clouds began to absorb and reflect some really nice color. This turned out to be one of the most dramatic skies I have ever photographed.

Oregon, Cannon, Beach, Sunrise, Pacific, Coast
Haystack Drama : Prints Available

Next up was the coast down south at Waldport. The beach there is flat and seems to go out forever at low tide, but once you get way out there, the photographic opportunities seem endless. The sunrise was once again lighting up the clouds offshore, and while not as dramatic as Cannon Beach, pretty darn nice.
Oregon, Waldport, Beach, Sunrise
Unexpected Burst : Prints Available

We headed back north to Pacific City to make an effort at Cape Kiwanda. Two previous trips there did not yield an acceptable image. We hiked up the tall sand dunes and out to the end of the Cape to be able to shoot back at the orange sandstone formations that the Cape is known for. We even got the cooperation of the Pacific Ocean with some nice waves. So, the third time here was the charm.
Oregon, Cape, Kiwanda, Storm, Wave
Kiwanda Storm : Prints Available

Next we went inland to the area around Bend, Oregon to shoot sunset at Smith Rock State Park and sunrise at Sparks Lake. I have to say that both worked out extremely well.
Oregon, Smith, Rock, Sunset
The Rock : Prints Available

Oregon, Smith, Rock, Sunset, River
Smith Rock Sunset : Prints Available

Oregon, Sparks, Lake, Sunrise, Reflection
Morning Calm : Prints Available

Our next location was Trillium Lake up near Government Camp, but it was just too windy to get any good reflections so no sunset image that day. We left there at 3:45 am the next morning to get up to the north side of Mount Hood before the sunrise would begin to light it up. The plan worked to perfection and it turned out the setting moon was in exactly the right place at the right time. I wish I could say I planned it out that way.
Oregon, Mount, Hood, Sunrise, Moon, Mountain
Sunrise Moon : Prints Available

We concluded our trip up at the Columbia River Gorge, where we were able to get a nice shot overlooking the Columbia River and the Vista House. Added to this were some images at Gorton Creek, Horsetail Falls and Ponytail Falls. The hike uphill to Ponytail was serious, but it was well worth it. The lush greenery in the Gorge is unlike anywhere else in the U.S.
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Bridge To Somewhere : Prints Available

Oregon, Ponytail, Waterfalls, Columbia, River, Gorge
The Horsetail : Prints Available

Oregon, Columbia, River, Gorge, Ponytail, Falls, Creek
The Ponytail : Prints Available

Next up will be an expedition to Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. I’m hoping for some summer storms to complement the landscape.

Thanks for looking and feel free to share. You can also follow the journey on Facebook for more current photographs that may not be on the blog. https://www.facebook.com/JosephFilerPhotography

South Dakota and Wyoming

South Dakota is home to Badlands National Park, which contains some of the most unique rock formations that I have ever seen. Also nearby are areas like Custer State Park and Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Wyoming is home to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. I had previously been unsuccessful in getting the image of the Tetons in the Spring that I wanted, so a return trip was warranted.

We drive 3000 miles on this trip, beginning our expedition in South Dakota. The Needles Highway runs through this amazing section of rock formations known as The Needles. We were on the move on this expedition and were only going to have one sunrise there. They were covered in heavy fog the day before and we couldn’t find them before it got dark. The next morning we had to scurry around to find them and then figure out the best location to shoot from. I found the spot just as the clouds were lighting up, got several shots and then the clouds came down and covered them up for the rest of the day. I am rarely this lucky, but you won’t hear me complaining.

South Dakota, Custer, Sunrise, Needles, Needles Highway, Rock, Formations
The Needles : Prints Available

Before heading to Wyoming, we couldn’t resist going over to Devil’s Tower. Ever since Close Encounters of the Third Kind many years ago, I wanted to go by there. We had the good fortune of some dark stormy clouds, which really set the scene. I could just imagine an alien spacecraft coming through them and landing. It was really fun to have had the opportunity. Now I just need to go back when there is a lightning storm!
Wyoming, Devils Tower, Badlands, National Park, Stormy, Clouds
Pending Encounter : Prints Available

We crossed Wyoming to get to Grand Teton National Park. My previous efforts here did not result in some nice clouds over the mountains in the morning. We only had three days there, but on the second day, we got the clouds we had hoped for. After that we got some really stormy looking clouds that made for some nice images of the peaks.
Wyoming, Teton, Grand Teton, Mountains, Sunlight, Schwabachers, Landing
Magnifiicent Mountains : Prints Available

Wyoming, Grand Teton, National Park, Mountains, Sunrise
Morning Storm : Prints Available

Wyoming, Grand Teton, National Park, Mountain, Storm, Clouds
Storm Coming : Prints Available

We were leaving Grand Teton National Park and headed back to South Dakota and had to go through Togwotee Pass on our way there. To our surprise, there was a late season snowstorm resulting in some beautiful winter scenes near the Pass. It wasn’t really winter, but it sure felt and looked like it.
Wyoming, Winter, Grand Teton, Togwotee, Pass, Snowstorm, Spring
Surprise Snow : Prints Available

I had photographed in Badlands National Park some years ago, but were mostly chasing wildlife at the time and not doing much Landscape work. I had always thought there were some real nice opportunities there. It always seems to be a challenge to get some good clouds, especially in the morning. I couldn’t be more pleased with the results.
South Dakota, Badlands, National Park, Sunrise, Rock, Formations
The Badlands : Prints Available

South Dakota, Badlands, National Park, Sunrise, Rock, Formation, Norbeck, Pass, Light
Soft Rock : Prints Available
South Dakota, Badlands, National Park, Rock, Formations, Sunrise
Planet Badlands : Prints Available
South Dakota, Badlands, National Park, Sunrise, Norbeck, Pass, Rock, Formation
Twin Peaks : Prints Available
South Dakota, Badlands, Sunrise, Norbeck, Pass, Rock, Formation
Points Of The Pass : Prints Available

Next up is a return trip to Oregon in June. We will be working a large area from the coast to inland areas including the Columbia River Gorge.

Thanks for looking and feel free to share. You can also follow the journey on Facebook for more current photographs that may not be on the blog. https://www.facebook.com/JosephFilerPhotography