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A personal blog of photography and commentary by Andrew McAllister.

Posts from the Northern Landscapes Category

Working on the last post I remembered that I had another shot of a group of horses that I wanted to share on LATW. Taking the scenic route home from Jackson to Cache Valley via Diamondville last fall ended up taking many more hours than expected. With a lot ground to cover, dramatic sky, fall color and a photographer driving it was anything but quick. After a few stops you just have to stop stopping or it will be midnight before you are home.

Fall color near Bondurant, Wyoming.

Fall color near Bondurant, Wyoming.

Horses south on Bondurant, Wyoming

Horses south of Bondurant, Wyoming

The Flat Top, north of La Barge, Wyoming.

The Flat Top, north of La Barge, Wyoming.

 

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This was a year of looking, learning and contemplating. If I had to choose just one image to represent 2013 it would be this image of a mountain goat on Willard Peak in Northern Utah. I took the photo on a drive to Inspiration Point with a photographer friend who shoots pictures of wildlife. Unlike earlier trips when I looked at animals through binoculars, this time we hiked to the mountain goats and saw them at close range. I look forward to doing more of this in 2014. Technical info: Willard Peak via National Forest Road (starts in Mantua) to Inspiration Point. Accessible in warm months by automobiles with high clearance. The last few turns are  at over 9000 feet elevation and exposed. Not for the faint of heart.

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Lone teenager at Delicate Arch in Arches National Park. Any year when you get to visit Moab six times is a good year. The area offers so much to explore and so many photographic possibilities that it boggles the mind. Now that I can go there frequently, I have the luxury of not feeling rushed or compelled to fill the day with a million must-see things.

Hunter Power Plant from Ghost Rock

Ghost Rocks viewpoint looking toward the Hunter Power Plant. This photo was taken on a solo winter trip to photograph the area. It was nice to experience Southern Utah at a slower pace and find new locations like this. The quickest way from Moab to SLC is through Price, but a winter storm made travel over Soldier Summit questionable so I took I-70 across the San Rafael Swell and saw a new part of the state.

Top of the World TrailPhone Home on the Range. Last spring I had the opportunity to travel the Kokopelli Trail on a Cruise Moab pre-run. A friend was writing a review of an off-road trailer so I came along to document the run. This great trip gave me access to some amazing country that is not accessible with my stock 4-wd vehicle and I got to meet a group of off-road travel enthusiasts. The view from here to the East Tavaputs Plateau–the ridge line in the distance–is more than 40 miles.

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In 2012 I wrote about a grain elevator in Preston, Idaho that burned down and how it seemed to have changed the identity of the town. This year I explored this idea and created a series of images documenting grain silos in small towns within a few hours of Cache Valley, Utah. The image above is from Soda Springs, Idaho. More images from the series can be found on my website.

20130317_Ogden_Utah_094-EditThe series on grain elevators led me to industrial areas of towns and other sites like this at American Nutrition in Ogden, Utah. The dramatic light and shadow from the late afternoon sun bring out the structural beauty in this otherwise mundane industrial facility.

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My search for silos took me north to Pocatello, Idaho, where I came across Walts Scrap Metal. It may not speak to everyone, but it interests me because of the play of the flat surfaces depicting western scenes against the actual western landscape. Additionally, the compression of space and the illusions it creates is a kind of puzzle and you have to really look at the photo to pull the different elements apart and try to make sense of the image. Scenes like this make the hours of driving worth it to me.
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On a return trip to Utah from Denver I crossed the continental divide via Rocky Mountain National Park’s Trail Ridge Road. I had just completed a Phase One Capture One training event and was delighted to come upon this dramatic scene.
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As I mentioned, 2013 involved a lot of learning and looking. When not photographing I spend a lot of time looking at the world via Google Earth. Last year I took advantage the opportunity to look down from an airplane window in Iceland: the location is somewhere between Reykjavik and Akureyri.131020_Moab_138 1Shelf road leading out of Spring Canyon. From my sixth and final Moab trip of 2013. I hope you enjoyed this short review of my 2013 photographs and if you have a similar post about your past year’s adventures please share a link in the comments section.

Happy travels and pleasant photography for the coming year!

Wildfire dammageWildfire in Cache Valley August 2013. Millville fire burn line looking North toward Logan. Updated info Here: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3631/

Millville fire 2013Above: Wildfire scars near Blacksmith Fork Canyon.

tree on fireA detail cropped from the above photo shows a tree starting to burn on Millville face.

 

20130321_Cache Valley Utah_007As I write this we have had a few weeks of warm weather and much of the snow in the lower half of the images here has melted and the grass has started to grow. Also as I write this a storm is blowing through bringing new snow to higher elevations. It can try but it wont last! Spring and fall are great times if you love weather. I was really tired of the clear and cold weather of January and February. The seasonal weather patterns mixed with the geography of Northern Utah make for visually spectacular scenery. The images above and below from the same morning a few weeks back (March 2013).

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Below: Storm clearing in Cache Vally April 2013. Described by my friend Woody as looking like a “title wave from hell”. I have seen many cool weather systems move across the valley and by the time you get the camera set up it’s usually not as cool as when I first saw it. This one was different and I rushed to capture it. As I took a dozen images over a few minutes it lost it’s shape and became a less than spectacular blob. This was the second or third frame. This weather was the beginning of what we are going through now in Northern Utah. This storm system has been good to me both with this image and with some images I made the next day when I revisited Downey Idaho.

20130405_Cache Valley_8530Top two images captured with the Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar and the image above with the Nikon 45mm PC-E.

 

Willard Peak in Northern UtahAbove: Dramatic Light and shadow on the base of Willard Peak in Northern Utah. Recently I have expanded my lens set to cover wider and narrower views and so begins the process of learning how these tools effect how I see and how to get the most out of them. The above image form this past weekend was made with the wonderful Zeiss 100 Makro-Planar. I am pleased with the lenses ability at and near infinity, a distance that many of my subjects occupy. Excellent contrast and focus from 1.4 miles distance in the foreground and at 2.23 miles near the top.

Willard Peak

Above: Dramatic light and shadow on the rugged base of Willard Peak in Northern Utah.Willard PeakAbove: Dramatic light and shadow with blue-grey sky and passing cloud cover on the rugged rocky base of Willard Peak in Northern Utah.