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Taken 7-Jul-18
Visitors 42

64 of 190 photos
Categories & Keywords

Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:Black, Butte, Gravelly, Mountain, Range, Red, Sunset
Photo Info

Dimensions6000 x 4000
Original file size11.5 MB
Image typeJPEG
Color spacesRGB
Date taken7-Jul-18 21:05
Date modified22-Jan-22 16:59
Shooting Conditions

Camera modelNIKON D7100
Focal length11 mm
Focal length (35mm)16 mm
Max lens aperturef/2.8
Exposure20s at f/11
FlashNot fired, compulsory mode
Exposure bias0 EV
Exposure modeManual
Exposure prog.Manual
ISO speedISO 100
Metering modePattern
Digital zoom1x
A Day in the Life of a Photographer

A Day in the Life of a Photographer

A Day in the Life of a Photographer

All day long the clouds paraded from west to the east. I started the day photographing flowers like Spiny Phlox and Prairie Smoke covered in frost. In Montana’s high country, even a stunning July day like this can start below freezing. Then we packed up and prepared to move to a new campsite on the other side of the range. We stopped when we came to a vast meadow of flowers with iconic cotton ball clouds building in the valleys below us. Innumerable purple/blue flowers called Sky Pilot danced in the accompanying breeze. The sun had warmed the soil by now and its delightful fragrance added to the beauty of the scene.

As we drove down the sometimes smooth, sometimes rocky, always winding dirt road, we moved through various terrain that changed the flora. Towering stands of Fir Trees created proud islands in a sea of green grass punctuated by countless flowers. Then, as we climbed, the Firs gave way to White Bark Pine Trees. It is a tough time to be a White Bark Pine Tree. Many had succumbed to insect infestations brought on by heat stress. The thing I love about these trees though is that even after they’ve given up their lives, they continue to stand tall and proud, adding stunning beauty to the landscape. I stopped to photograph one such tree whose outstretched branches mimicked the cirrus clouds that now stretched out like gigantic feathers across the sky.

As we approached our next campsite, a towering monolith of volcanic origin greeted us just to the west. Like a lot of things in the natural world, a violent event eons ago, has left us with unimaginable beauty in the present. We set up camp and just sat there for a while in awe of the natural beauty that would be home for a few more days. We were surrounded by just about every flower that you might expect to find in the wilds of Montana. The same Sky Pilot and Prairie Smoke were joined by Forget-Me-Nots (don’t you worry, I never will!), Green Gentian (the taller stalks in this photo), Old Man on the Mountain, Paintbrush, Shooting Stars, and several more that I had to look up but have since forgotten!

As the afternoon slipped into evening, with its warming golden light, it was time to quit daydreaming and grab the camera for sunset. There were just enough clouds to make for a lovely show. A time-lapse of me that evening would look like a squirrel wandering around looking for where he left his stash. I moved from clumps of flowers, to a nearby pond, to a ridge top, and back to the meadow like it might be the last sunset I would ever see! I did have plans to get up at midnight to shoot the stars, so we went to bed early. The problem is, the window in our little teardrop camper had a stunning view of Black Butte. I looked out that way after a little while and was stunned to see the show was not over. I think you’ll agree that there was no way I could not get back up and capture this moment! I used a 20 second exposure which gave movement to the clouds and captured enough light to show off the stunning foreground too. I did get up at midnight and then got back up at 5 for the sunrise. The great thing about camping is you can easily recover lost sleep by napping all day, which is exactly what I did!