When I go on trips to Montana and Idaho it is primarily about finding and photographing birds but the places I visit are so beautiful that I feel I have to photograph the scenic views too.
The location I camped at this last trip was on top of a hill on the mountain with an unobstructed 360° view. When the sky was clear I could look south east and see the west side of the Tetons from a distance, a side of those mountains that isn’t photographed as much as the east side. In this image I am zoomed all the way in to 200mm in the predawn light because I wanted the trees in the lower part of the frame.
This photo was taken the same minute but I zoomed back to 20mm and moved the lens so the Tetons are on the left side of the frame way off in the distance while closer up there are conifers and sagebrush. I loved the view.
This was taken the same morning as the images that show the Tetons but I faced northeast to capture the clouds that were turning colors as the sun started to rise. What a view.
One of the view I love the most though is seen after climbing up Monida Hill in Montana where there is a grand and sweeping view of the entire length of the Centennial Valley when looking east, most days any how. On the 16th of September though the entire Centennial Valley was filled with fog and I couldn’t see much of anything below where I stood on the top Monida Pass. Looking north I could only see the mountains on the other side of the valley.
And this was my view looking east. The fog had filled the valley and had crept up to the edge of the road on Monida Pass. I have seen fog in the Centennial Valley before but this was my first time seeing it as foggy as it was that day. With the light looking better elsewhere for bird photography, I said goodbye to the valley that morning and headed back down Monida Hill to find birds.
That same morning I saw some pretty wonderful views of the Targhee National Forest in Idaho east of Stoddard Creek. The aspen leaves have turned golden and the willows along the creeks has just started to put on their fall colors.
The next day I was able to see across the entire length and width of the Centennial Valley and stopped to photograph this view of an old barn, the valley floor, the mountains to the north and the Big Sky of Montana.
I’m enjoying using the Nikon D810 for landscapes but I need to get a lens that works on it when using FX mode so I can take advantage of using the full frame.
The images that I took of the rising Harvest Moon didn’t turn out well at all because I didn’t haul out my tripod to stabilize my lens but when the moon was setting the next morning I took images of it when my lens resting on my photo noodle and they turned out well.
I love being a bird photographer because birds are my passion and because of that passion I get to see incredibly stunning views of our public lands.
Life is good.