After spending some time in Utah at Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, just one week later I found myself in Grand Teton National Park spending time shooting one of nature's most beautiful scenes. In this shot, I set up at Schwabacher's Landing, little spot off a gravel road just inside the main highway that cuts along the outer edge of the park. The sun was pretty well up at this point but the light was just good enough before the harsh noon light moved in to get this reflection shot of Grand Teton. In total I spent six days on my trip but three of them were hampered by clouds and a fire that had blocked the south entrance to Yellowstone, preventing me from entering the park and unleashing a smoky haze over the mountains. But, I did have three good days and I was pretty happy to land this photograph of one of the most amazing places on earth.
They say good things come to those who wait, and I'm one of the most impatient people around. I walked the 2-mile hike up to the iconic Delicate Arch in Arches National Park in eastern Utah and much to my chagrin was greeted mainly by overcast skies and the sun quickly dropping in the sky, although at the time it couldn't be seen. I got a quite a few shots with the gray background but just as I was about to call it a day when the clouds broke up in the west and the sky cleared, letting sunlight through and setting the arch aglow with golden light. I couldn't believe my luck and quickly unpacked to take advantage of a few glorious minutes. The shot above, "Golden Arch" is one of the rewards for waiting just a couple of minutes longer and I'm so happy that I did. This place has been photographed a billion times and from any angle imaginable, but I'm pretty happy with this photograph and think it stands tall in a sea of Delicate Arch images.
Oklahoma skies are amazing and so unique. Here are five examples of the beauty that you might see when you look up.
The setting sun can change the landscape in a heartbeat, as in this photo from Central Oklahoma.
It won't take long to find a pot of gold in the Oklahoma panhandle with a rainbow lighting the way.
Bubbly mammatus can make the Western Oklahoma sky seem as if it were a painting.
A Southwest Oklahoma sky that will warm your eyes and your heart.
If you need a little inspiration, just go outside and look up. Oklahoma skies are as good as it gets.
After a day of chasing in Central Kansas I had captured quite a few amazing images, and this one would be the last one I captured that day. I was south of Great Bend and storms had lined out, advancing to the east but still packing quite a punch. Still, you could tell the day was about to wrap up. I spotted this hay bale and caught the light just right, shining in the rest of the field with storm clouds above. Up to this point, I hadn't caught the requisite hay bale shot that most photographers have in their portfolio, but I would have mine after this day. It's turned out to be a best seller, and I haven't been able to top it since. I'm still trying though :)
Spinning Gold is available as a print in the online store.
It's also available as a greeting card, framed print or canvas at Fine Art America.
"The Prairie" was captured on a late spring day on a trip to Northern Kansas. I had spent most of my day near the town of Smith Center watching a beautifully sculpted thunderstorm form and dissipate, but there was other opportunities to the north. All it would take to get to those opportunities would be to drive down a muddy road for about 30 miles, and hope it wouldn't get deep enough to stop you in the middle of nowhere. I got about 10 miles and it became more of a muddy mess, so I decided to turn around and make my way back. I didn't get back very far when I cast my eyes upon this paradise, a glowing landscape that was covered in the evening sunlight, outlined by the silver clouds left behind by the earlier thunderstorms.
"The Prairie" is available as a print in the online store.
It's also available as a framed print, canvas, or greeting card. Also available in a coffee mug or clothing.
"Stay Strong" isn't just your average storm photo. I captured this photo in Northern Kansas and to me it speaks to many different situations in life where storms gather and although at times we may appear to be fragile, we stand up in the face up adversity. The flowers have real character and show both the strength and the worry. The detail of the clouds and the beautiful structure of the storm also contrast well in the backdrop.
Stay Strong is available as a print in the online store.
It is also available as a framed print, canvas, or greeting card, or coffee mug.
There are days when you go out and you expect to see just about anything, and then there are the days where you go out and the expectations aren't so high. This was captured on one of those days on the Kansas prairie, south of Oakley to be exact. A 5% chance of a tornado existed, which meant there was at least a decent chance that something might develop, but instead thunderstorms began to line out which lowered the risk considerably. But, that didn't mean there wasn't a show. This cell started to take shape and actually had a hollowed out center hole which isn't real common, at least from what I've seen. Add to it the blueish green coloring you have a very nice storm photo opportunity.
"Sculpture" is available as a print in the online store.
It's also available as a framed print, canvas or greeting card at Fine Art America.
On May 11th, 2014 there were two areas that gave chasers a shot at a tornado, one being SE Nebraska and the other being Central Kansas. SE Nebraska was the expected hotspot, where the parameters presented the best chance while Kansas was kind of an afterthought, considered a secondary target by most. On my way up I-35 I had reached a point where I had to make a decision on where to chase and went with my gut. This took me to the Great Bend area. Fortunately storms formed quickly near Dodge City, but were moving quickly to the northeast so I traveled west and got to the storms near Burdette. After sticking with this original storm another storm had formed further south near the Oklahoma border and I was actually on the way to that storm another developed just southwest of Kinsley. It developed a nice wall cloud quickly and actually produced a couple of funnels that never quite reached the ground. Once this storm went through the Great Bend area, one final cell developed to the south and produced an awesome shelf cloud with a bubbling top, the one captured above to be the #7 photo of 2014. Personally this is one of my favorite photos of the year because this shelf cloud had a little bit of everything: The orange and pink coloring, bubbling mammatus, and was so massive that it commanded your attention. This day produced a lot of great photos for my catalog and this one was one of the top photos from the day, and #7 of the year.
April 23rd, 2014 brought me to Wellington, TX with an SPC probability of 5% for the day. Storms started to initiate a little further to the west near Memphis and had a bit of rotation in it and a good amount of large hail. I had met the storm about halfway, and at one point there was just enough organization that a wall cloud had developed producing a nice lowering. I ended up on the west side of Wellington, actually deciding to move out of the way before I got slammed in town by the heavy winds and rain. I raced quickly to the south, stopping just a few miles out of town and giving me a nice profile view of the storm to the north. That's where I captured this awesome image. It appeared as if the nose of the storm was reaching down and digging up the dirt and pushing it out. It was really cool to see the outflow pushing forward ahead of the storm all the while providing a nice crisp shot of the moving clouds together with the lines of the field leading directly to the subject of the photo. It was a great chase day that provided lots of photo opportunities, but this one really stuck out and that's why it's my number eight photo of the year.
Sometimes you stumble upon things inadvertently and find a nugget of gold in a stream of river pebbles. This was the case on a day where storms had fired off but didn't really get their act together, leaving mostly a rainy mess. I was traveling north in western Kansas just south of Oakley, getting ready to call it a day and make my way to the hotel in Hays to get ready for the next big day of severe weather. I happened to look to the east and saw such a brilliant rainbow that I had to stop and rush to get setup for the shot. The wheat was still green, not even close to being harvested but it really added a layer of beautiful color to the composition, so I worked my way to the middle of the field and hunkered down and captured this image. It really reminds me more of the spring season than most of my photos taken in the same time period. I've captured many rainbow photos before, but this one really stands out above the rest.
The title of this piece is "Daydream" since it really speaks with a lot of hope, opportunity and inspiration. It is available in print form through the store and available for licensing by contacting me via email.
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