Landscape, Sunbeam Hot Springs, Stanley, Idaho, 2010
I made this image to explore the scale involved in landscape photography. This photographer was shooting the steaming earth on the slope before her. I backed away and photographed her as a miniscule figure in a vast landscape crisscrossed by sweeping diagonals.
Ignoring the weather, Bannack, Montana, 2010
One of my traveling companions ignores a heavy snow shower to make an image in the virtually deserted Bannack ghost town. She wisely chooses to stand under the cover of an old building to keep the snow off her lens.
Shooting light and shade, Bannack, Montana, 2010
We were shooting in the abandoned school at the Bannack ghost town when I found a fellow photographer simultaneously shooting light and shade at the same time. My guess is that he is working on a picture of the knotted cord that once hauled the shade up and down.
Rotting railroad, Nevada City, Montana, 2010
One of my traveling companions climbed into a decaying railroad car near the ghost town of Nevada City to make studies through a broken window. I photographed her hands as they worked behind the shattered glass.
In harm’s way, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, 2010
Tourists are not supposed to get out of their cars to photograph Yellowstone’s wildlife at close range. But some photographers do not follow such instructions, including this pair of tourists who have left the safety of their car to get a closer shot of a bison crossing the road in front of them. I made this image through the front window of our own car, which was stopped in traffic to allow the bison to pass. This couple has just finished photographing the bison and are rapidly retreating to their car. They were fortunate that this bison had other things in mind – such bison can weigh 2,000 pounds and can run at speeds up to 40 miles per hour. They stand within a few feet of the oncoming bison at this moment – a dangerous risk to take for a photograph.
Geyser shooters, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, 2010
I made this wideangle image of my three Yellowstone traveling companions photographing the eruption of Castle Geyser very early in the morning. At this moment, we were the only people present -- the only sounds were those made by the geyser itself and the clicking shutters.
Leading the way, Monument Valley, Arizona, 2009
Tour leader Dave Wyman likes nothing better than to lead by example. He balances on the edge of cliffs, climbs huge boulders, and here explores the essence of a muddy gulch. The light was flat, but the colors around him are emblematic of Monument Valley. I am sure he found what he was looking for.
Shooting under pressure, Moab, Utah, 2009
Some photographers work well under pressure. I caught this expression as one of our tour participants crushed her nose into the back of her camera – she winced, but kept on shooting until the van was ready to depart.
Carrying the gear, Sedona, Arizona, 2009
A heavy backpack full of bodies and lenses, and a cumbersome tripod are child’s play for this sturdy soul. She is walking along a cliff above Wilson Canyon, on her way to another vantage point. (Many nature photographers routinely use tripods, fill flash, and various filters to enhance their work. I prefer to keep things as simple as I can, travel lightly, and avoid subjects and situations that mandate the use of such tools.)
Overlook, Monument Valley, Arizona, 2009
The scene itself looks like a painting out of the Old West, or a set from a John Ford film. This photographer is energetically following the flow of light and shadow as it rolls across the floor of the Valley at dusk.
Intensity, Moab, Utah, 2009
This member of our group was so intensely following her subject at a ranch near Moab that she seems to put everything else out of mind, including the click of my shutter. We can feel the energy she brings to her image – it's there in the eyes and hands.
Hitting the dirt, Airport Mesa, Sedona, Arizona, 2009
To photograph cactus, you often may have to go down where the cactus lives – into the dirt. This member of our group balances himself on the edge of a cliff to get the shot. He embodies the words of Bob Gilka, the former director of photography at National Geographic Magazine, who once said that the only photographers he would hire were those who were “willing to bend.”