Archive for the ‘Panoramas’ Category

The southern end of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness complex pushes up nearly a vertical mile. This Wilderness Unit shows off a glaciated history that left its rugged mark carving out jagged pinnacles, broad u-shaped valleys and high alpine cirques in the Taylor Hilgard mountain range of Southwest Montana.

We drove up Beaverhead Creek Road to Potamogeton trail head in the Beaverhead National Forest and began our moderate to strenuous journey into the Wilderness Area.

echo peak lee metcalf wilderness

Echo Peak Hilgard Basin Montana

We headed up Sentinel Creek, trail 202 all the way to Expedition Pass  then we turned south on trail 201 and followed it into the basin all the way to Blue Paradise Lake.

There are several sharp summits and ridges etched along the Divide with Hilgard Peak at 11,316 ft., being the highest point in Montana outside of the Beartooth Mountains a hundred miles to the east.  The Basin is a great glaciated relief to investigate and photograph.

Most of the high altitude 70 blue gem-like lakes that are scattered on both sides of the divide in this Wilderness Unit are in Hilgard Basin. Expedition Lake is at 9,600 feet just below the pass. It is easy to get around most of the lakes and mountain creeks which makes’ for better access to light and composition for landscape work.

Depending on where you settle for camp this adventure is a MINIMUM of a 15 to 20 mile backpack trek not counting side trips for photography and exploration.

Expedition Pass into Hilgard Basin

Expedition Pass into Hilgard Basin

Once you are up into the Basin area there are many moderate to much more strenuous side trails and bushwhacking scrambles up numerous ridges and peaks for excellent panoramic views.

Yellowstone National Park and the Tetons are to the south. Lone Mountain, the Sphinx and Helmet are to the northwest.

Among the Madison Range’s awesome landscapes, the Hilgard Basin is an unusual high-altitude, lake-filled basin.  Both early morning and evening light can be inspirational.  

The highlight of this trip was Echo Peak. At 11,214 feet, Echo is the third highest peak in the Madison Range of southwestern Montana and has a doable steady scramble route up its north ridge. It only took a few hours to climb and lunch was on top with outstanding views.

The best hiking is from midsummer into the fall season. This high country usually does not clear of snow until the middle of July. So the trail can get a little busy at times.

Some people can take in this trip as a long day hike but I feel you miss out a lot if you don’t spend at least a night or two exploring the Basin. Setting up a base camp in the main basin is the way to go.

Any time one is fortunate to experience a wilderness setting with a camera is always an opportunity to jump at.  It sharpens your senses and critical focus. The efforts made will come back to you in many ways besides the potential of good images.

For more information on the Lee Metcalf Wilderness contact the Gallatin National Forest at 406-587-2520 or http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/gallatin/

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All photographs used in this entry are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photos, 2009, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction of any kind is prohibited. If you wish reproduction rights please contact: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com

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Not being able to travel as much as I would like to seek out and photograph the big dramatic landscapes of the Rockies, I have begun focusing on more intimate scenes.

Discovering abstract patterns in nature’s details and then capturing that energy flow through the magic of light has become just as powerful and exciting for me.

In spending more garden time instead of mountain -time I’ve learned to be more observant, detailed and to move at a much slower pace. Less ground to cover and an excellent opportunity to watch the movement of light throughout the day.

You still use your vision and consciousness conceiving the image in thought and reacting to details, composition and patterns with emotion, capturing the moment. The process is just on a smaller scale.

Three new garden images are being released through my website gallery.

Bunny Tail grasses, blue forget me not flower

Summer Light

The first which is part of a series of images I am assembling on a decorative grass called Bunny Tails. This photograph came together with the very last warm reflective sun light of a summer’s day.

Summer Light”, has the added touch of a single blue forget me not flower that enhances the background tying both elements together creating depth. These were the only blooming plants in my yard when I set out to make an image.

Throughout the day I walked past the foot tall Bunnies swaying in the wind waiting for the moment of inspiration to grab me. Just before dusk they signaled they were ready. I saw a new composition and exposed for four different views as the sun sank below the horizon.

Beckworth Garden”, is an 8×24 inch panorama.

flower garden panorama yellow Black eyed Susan's

Beckworth Garden Panorama

Three times a growing season this family garden is awash with the radiant colors of thousands of tulips in spring then in summer poppies are blooming everywhere. Late summers’ Black-Eye Susan’s flowers were what brought our cameras out.  We rose before dawn and on location making exposures before any direct light greeted us.

Garden flowers, yellow black eyed susan's blooming

Black eyed Susan's

With “Black Eyed Susan’s” the challenge of making a simple composition was made more difficult with the use of only a wide angle lens. With thousands of blossoms filling the viewfinder directing attention to the scene’s essence was the object.

I previewed a shallow depth of field and used that setting range to explore the semi circle view of the garden we had access to.

The subtleties of morning light and the vibrant color tone of the flowers combined to convey different emotions from the same garden view.

Changing one’s perspective in the way we would normally approach a familiar subject to photograph inspires us with new ideas and refines our studies in light and composition. It gives us new directions for our vision.

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Photographs used in this post are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography, 2010, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any manner is prohibited without the written permission of Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography. My image catalog can be viewed at http://www.rangeofvisionphotos.com. You can contact me through this blog or email at: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com

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