Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2011 Firsts and Favorites

My top twelve (13) of 2011
Linda Lantzy~Idaho Scenic Images

Firsts and Favorites
Every year many photographers do a post on their top images from the previous year.
It's fun to look back on what you've done in the year,
but incredibly hard to narrow down your images to just a few.  These may not be my best images, but as usual, I seem to like the ones that I have a personal connection to.

Photography to me, is very much about exploring new places and having new experiences.
It is mainly those experiences that will elevate an image to make my top list of the year, and so as I've traveled this year, many of my favorites are not just from Idaho locations.

In January, a trip to Bellingham, Washington where I would leave my son to embark on the next stage of his life. Not really knowing what lie ahead, this predawn shot of the Bellingham pier reflects the transition and reflective mood I was feeling at the time.

My first visit to Rowena Dell in Oregon, and even though the flowers were dancing in the wind, I really like this scene.

Representing my favorite season, this autumn trail in Zion National Park was a very slow walk for me, as I had to stop and photograph each new bend in the trail.

Taken the day of the eathquake in Japan, a world away on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille, ID. I was thinking a lot about what was going on in Japan. I titled this image "Hope" and donated profits from the sale of this print to The Red Cross relief efforts.

A perfect spring evening that me and my dog sat amongst the lupine on Steptoe Butte,
waiting for Sunset on the Palouse.

 Arriving mid day at this popular photo spot in Grand Teton National Park,
I didn't expect to photograph at all. A steady stream of photographers were leaving as the rain started coming down. I decided to walk out to the ponds anyway, and after a short wait under a tree, it stopped raining and I had the place all to myself.

Standing amongst thousands of daisies in the pink morning light as the sun and mist rose above the Snake River in Island Park, Idaho. An amazingly beautiful place to start a day.

I love places like this. These rain water pools on the Arizona Strip could have entertained me for hours...even though I'd never seen the Grand Canyon only minutes away.

Silver Creek in the Central Cascades of Washington state slides through lush green forests and represents my love of the creeks and trees of the Pacific Northwest.

First time I've attended a balloon festival. Something that has long been on my to do list. Prosser Balloon Rally.

The first time I ever camped by myself. Pre dawn light over a pond on the Red Rock Lakes Wildlife Preserve in Southwest Montana.
I listened to coyotes howl and discovered my own independence.

Frozen frost covered trees along the Pend Oreille River in northeast Washington.
An atmospheric scene of calm and cold.

 A Sandstone puzzle on the rim of the Grand Canyon.
My first visit with some great memories created.

OMGosh that was hard!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chasing the Light

I need to stop chasing the light.
"Chasing the Light" a popular phrase in landscape photography, has become too literal to me.

No I'm not giving up photography.
It is in the interest of bettering my photography, that I say this.
No more, leaving the house after the light looks good.
No more driving around like a mad woman hoping the stoplight doesn't change red before I get through it.
No more searching out subject matter that "will do".
No more adjusting my camera settings while I drive.
No waiting for whoever thinks they're going with me.
No jumping from the vehicle, struggling with my tripod, as the sun dips below the horizon.
No more racing up a mountain, trying to be faster than the sun setting behind a different one.
 There will be no more chasing the light.

I will already be there. I will know where "there" is, in advance. I will go by myself. 
I will drive safer. I will be at peace. I will enjoy the experience. 
I WILL be a better photographer.

From this day forward, whenever possible,
I will "Wait for the Light".

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Top 12 of 2010

Many photographers post a yearly top ten list, usually around the first of a new year. I've always meant to participate, but never have. I know I'm late to the game this year, but still thought I'd go ahead and post my favorites. I don't know if there are any rules to this...I've seen top 10 posts on everything from best selling to most popular based on facebook feedback.
I'm just going with personal preferences, but most all of them I feel deeply connected to based on the experience of being in that particular place and time.
I stopped myself at 12.

I had an October morning at Mt. Shuksan for a couple of hours all to myself. There had been a light overnight snowfall, huckleberries were ripe, views were amazing, atmosphere was spectacular and silence was grand. An easy favorite.

On the same autumn weekend, a walk along Whatcom Creek in the lush green of Whatcom Falls Park, Bellingham.
I was blown away by the  beauty of this place. This moss covered tree clinging to life on the creek bank, with its roots visable above and below water and the
contrasting red of the fallen leaves is very intriguing to me.

 My first visit to Teton National Park where I was actually there for photography. While the experience of shooting elbow to elbow with other photographers is nothing I'm excited to do again, there is no denying the majesty of this place.
I took this shot after the masses left,
but the morning sun had not yet reached the trees or river.
 The color layers on this shot of the Purcell Mountains in North Idaho is what I love about it. I took this on my birthday,
along with the next two. A very nice day of photography.

This is the Bull River Valley in Western Montana. I had fun here watching the sun set several times, just by repositioning myself. I loved that beam of light hitting the gold patch of western larch. I don't think it's an exceptional shot but knowing I took it at the end of a truly great day is why it makes my list.
Finding this patch of planted trees with perfect repetitious spacing to create a seemingly endless view was thrilling. I've been looking for such a location for a long time.  
Photographed millions of times from this vantage point, St. Marys Lake in Glacier National Park makes my list for the unforgettable memory of a close encounter with a black bear within moments of taking this shot, and the beam of light that emerged from the clouds after enduring drenching rains and howling winds,
which made it all worthwile.

I caught a glimpse of the green forest floor from the road in the Coeur d'Alene Mountains, and stopped to investigate. It was raining, and everything was wet. I liked this composition, but when for just a brief moment, the sun broke through and created these beams of light, it truly was magical.
I love the mood of this shot of the old pilings in Wolf Lodge Bay. Shooting when the sunlight is so naturally filtered can be amazing. Sloshing around in the mud, can make you feel 30 years younger.

 I love getting a good sunstar without the accompanying lens flare. This one in the golden aspens of Teton National Park is one of my favorites.

Water is one of my favorite subjects, and this springtime shot of Beauty Creek makes my list just because of the time I spent there listening to the stream, enjoying the coolness and waiting for the sunlight to soften on the water. I could have stayed for hours.

This image I am trying to decipher as I type this.There is something contradicting about the calm mood of the water under a sky in turmoil. I think the blue is full of emotion and the flower wisps represent a bit of hope. Maybe that was all a little sappy, but it speaks to me. A well know spot in my town, a yet it could be anywhere, and few recognize it. I like those type of shots.

So there they are. Not my best, most popular or most sold. I guess that's why they are personal favorites.