Fire Watch by RyanBuchanan

+View on black+ Walking back from Hidden Lake in the dark, we were greeted with a huge full moon rising from behind the mountains. To the naked eye, you could see the faint smoke plume over St. Mary’s from the forest fires we had been dealing with all week. After setting up a couple quick test shots, I realized that a full 30-second exposure revealed this incredible red glow from fires illuminating the smoke.

Not exactly an ideal composition, but also not your everyday kind of scene, so I set up to where I could use the nice moonlight reflections that accentuated the flowing stream as my foreground. The smokey haze created a warmer moonlight than usual. This is one, 30-second exposure that I was able to pull a ton of detail out of the darkness and another exposure for the moon detail.

This was a fitting conclusion to our fire-filled week and left me with a unique memory of our adventures here.

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Battle Born by RyanBuchanan

+better view on black+ Logan Pass has always been a battleground. Over thousands of years, glaciers have carved out some of the most magnificent mountain peaks in North America. With relentless winters that allow for only a small window for life, survival here is tough. And this year even more so—drought conditions, forest fires, a nearly non-existent water flow, even the flowers were, for the most part, long gone all due to the lack of snowfall this past winter. Even in such harsh conditions, it’s amazing how life still perseveres.

This evening, on our second trip up to Logan Pass, we were rewarded with interesting cloud cover mixed with a smokey haze from the fires—resulting in some interesting light. I’ve always wanted to capture Clements Mountain with it’s unique, castle-like appearance and this was my chance! My daunting search to find a foreground began… I finally came across this lonely patch of flowers that was somehow still in full bloom.

My goal was to create depth in the scene by getting extremely close to the flowers, making them appear as large as possible. I positioned the angle of the camera to where the flowers would lead the eye up through the mid-ground to the mountain. So, with a few passers-by wondering what the hell I was doing with my face and camera buried in this cluster, I took a few series of shots of the foreground at 7 different focal points which I was able to blend in photoshop for sharpness throughout. The light was more intense at this point, allowing me to keep the shutter fast enough to freeze any flower movement. Then I waited a little longer for the right sky light to set in. The clouds made for some great patterns coming out from behind the mountain as the hazy glow intensified. The lens distortion at the top of the frame helped lengthen the mountain and cloud lines.

Thanks for looking and I appreciate your comments.

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