Jackson Bentley: What is it, Major Lawrence, that attracts you personally to the desert? T.E. Lawrence: It’s clean. – Lawrence of Arabia (1962) One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite movies. Anyone who has been in the desert extensively, especially on sand dunes after a rain or windstorm, can understand that statement. There is something so refreshing about looking out over seemingly untouched sand dunes that have been swept clean of any footprints or other human marks. […]
This ancient skewed tree is one of my favorites in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest just east of the Sierra Nevada, in the White Mountains. I affectionately call it the Corkscrew Tree (not it’s actual name) because of it’s twisted tree trunk. These distinctively contorted trees live in one the harshest growing environments, and yet are some of the oldest known living organisms in the world. The oldest being the Methuselah tree which is over 4,800 years old.
One of the unique features of the sand dunes at Great Sand Dunes National Park is you have to cross a creek, Medano Creek, to get to the them. It’s not particularly deep so it’s easy to cross and most vistors to the park rarely take notice of the body of water they’re crossing. But as you can see it creates it’s own visual features. Capturing these images in the pre-dawn hours not only gave these images their blue tones, […]
The summer season in the eastern Sierra Nevada often brings thunder storms to the area which can lead to some rather dramatic clouds as they pass through the mountains. It’s one of my favorite times of year to visit, and explore this incredible mountain range. Last summer was my first time visiting McGee Creek and McGee Mountain, but I am sure it won’t be my last.
Last week I spent some time in Tehachapi and the Cummings Valley where we were treated to a very cold spring storm that gave us some sleet and dusted the surrounding mountains giving us winter look for little over a day. For a town that boast four seasons we were treated to some surprising wintry weather just before Easter. The image above was the day after our sleet storm, as you can see we were still socked in with some […]
Death Valley National Park is a favorite place of mine to visit. And exploring the remote fringes of the park like Eureka Valley is always a highlight. The most notable part of the valley are the Eureka dunes, the biggest dunes in the park. You won’t find much else out there, but on some occasions you might get your own personal air show courtesy of the Naval fighter jets from the nearby China Lake Naval Base.
The ancient bristlecone trees in the White Mountains are a favorite photo subject for me. Their extremely contorted trunks and limbs make for some interesting visual imagery. But I also like to get up close and look at their weather-worn ancient trunks and branches. The high altitude (12,000 feet above sea level) and harsh weather often strips the bark off of at least one side of the tree and can leave some deeply etched scars on the tree. What you […]
Death Valley National Park has been a long favorite place to visit for me. And one of my favorite moments on my trips is anticipating the sunrise. This particular shot is looking at the Panamint Mountains, which is western edge of the valley. Because of the sparse vegetation in Death Valley it’s a place where the colorful geological features can really stand out, and vary in look depending on the placement of the sun.
This week’s image is one my most popular photos I have taken, one of my personal favorites, and has even gotten some recognition on social media. So why am I revisiting this image? Well I thought I’d dig a little deeper and share some of the story of how this photo came to be in the first place, and how it relates to this week in a bittersweet way. Three years ago this month my wife Heidi and I applied […]
Enjoying the Beauties of Nature in the Wintry Cold Last year I got my first experience of Bryce Canyon National Park in the midst of a snow storm. It made for some striking images as the iconic hoodoos were highlighted and accentuated by the frequent dusting of snow as in this image. Winter visits to iconic parks like Bryce can give you a new facet to a familiar place. But experiencing the outdoors during the winter months also comes with […]