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Articles highlighting my photographic style, images, and techniques, photo opportunities at selected locations, with a few tips for photographers on the road.

Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks

Colter Bay

Colter Bay

In June 2007, I visited Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park, both located in Wyoming (actually small parts of Yellowstone are in Idaho and Montana.) Yellowstone was the country’s first National Park, established in 1872 and is probably best known for its hydrothermal features, such as Old Faithful geyser and Mammoth Hot Springs, but there are many other opportunities for nature photographers including wildlife, landscape, and macro photography.

A double rainbow over Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Lower Falls as viewed from Uncle Tom’s Trail (Yellowstone National Park)

Multi-color patterns in the Yellowstone River (Yellowstone National Park)

Grand Teton National Park evolved over a number of decades to its current boundaries, finalized in 1950. The park is located in Wyoming south of Yellowstone National Park. One of the attractions of Grand Teton National Park is the many different opportunities for landscape photography, particularly those with the Teton Range as a backdrop.

The first light of sunrise projects a warm glow on Mount Moran and the still surface of Jackson Lake and Colter Bay, full of sleeping boats and canoes (Grand Teton National Park)

Contrary to what I read before going, I did not find either park to be too crowded at that time of year (Yellowstone National Park draws many more visitors than Grand Teton National Park). The crowds begin to grow once all schools are out (after the beginning of July.)

An excellent resource for any photographer visiting these parks is the Photographer’s Guide to Yellowstone and the Tetons, by Joseph K. Lange.

Your can click on the photos above for more information, or click here to see more Yellowstone National Park images or Grand Teton National Park images.

All images © Clarence Holmes

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Grand Canyon National Park in Winter

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

In February of this year, I visited the south rim of the Grand Canyon in Grand Canyon National Park for landscape photography. February, being in the Winter, is not the most popular time to visit this national park. For me it was an excellent time to visit since visitation is low and thus the prime viewing spots were not crowded and were easily accessible.

For the first few days that I was there, I would say that conditions were good, but not great, for nice landscapes. However, later in the week, the bad weather started to roll in! There was a heavy snowfall of 8-10 inches which provided great opportunities to capture the canyon blanketed in snow.

Grand Canyon view from Mather Point after a heavy winter snowfall

The heavy snow that covered the park made getting around a challenge as the park staff had their hands full in clearing the roads. After a few days the roads were passable, and I ventured out to Desert View, which is approximately 26 miles east of Canyon Village where I was staying. The image below was captured at Lipan Point on the way to Desert View.

Winter view of the Colorado river in the Grand Canyon from Lipan Point

One afternoon after deciding to visit Hopi Point, I was fortunate to be able to witness another winter storm front rolling in. The temperature was in the teens, with winds gusting 30-40 miles per hour. Although I was dressed for the conditions, it was challenging to keep the tripod mounted camera steady to capture the shots. I should also add that the viewpoint was very icy and I witnessed a few falls by some of the other (few) brave souls who happened to be there. In any event, I captured some dramatic images like the one below.

Approaching winter storm over the Grand Canyon in late afternoon light from Hopi Point

If you are able to go, I would highly recommend the Winter months as a great time to visit the Grand Canyon.

Your can click on the photos above for more information, or click here to see the entire gallery of Grand Canyon images

All images © Clarence Holmes

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Brooklyn Waterfront Parks

East River Bridges

East River Bridges

During July, I spent a few evenings down in the city focusing on the lower east river bridges and South Street Seaport. One of the places known to photographers is along the Brooklyn waterfront just north of the Brooklyn bridge. There are two small adjacent parks, the southern most being the Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park, and the other Brooklyn Bridge Park (sometimes known as the Main Street section). Brooklyn Bridge Park is a city park open until 1am (at least in the summer).

The Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park closes at dusk except on Thursdays during July and August when it is open until 11pm to accommodate the showing of outdoor movies (Movies with a View). The movie shown the Thursday that I was there was Hitchcock’s “To Catch a Thief”, starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. If you are looking for something unique to do, while also capturing some nice images of the city, you might want to check this out. Construction is currently underway to greatly expand the park space south of the Brooklyn Bridge to become a new Brooklyn Bridge Park.

There are excellent views of the East River, the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, South Street Seaport, and the lower Manhattan skyline from these parks. It is also a nice walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to South Street Seaport, which provides additional photo ops.

The Brooklyn Bridge, East River, South Street Seaport, and lower Manhattan skyline at dusk, as seen from Brooklyn Bridge Park (Brooklyn, New York)

The Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg bridges span the East River at night from South Street Seaport (Manhattan, New York)

Click on the photos above for more information, or click here to see my gallery of New York City photos.

All images © Clarence Holmes

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2009 Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks

Macys Fireworks

Macy's Fireworks

I visited Weehawken, New Jersey on July 4 to photograph the annual Macy’s fireworks display. The fireworks were moved from the East River to the Hudson River for 2009 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s exploration of the river which was later named for him.

The images shown here and other images from the 2009 Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks show were taken from the shore of the Hudson River in front of the Sheraton Lincoln Harbor.

The Macy’s fireworks extravaganza lights the sky over the Hudson river (Weehawken, New Jersey)

FDNY fire boat Marine 9 “Fire Fighter” puts on a water show on the Hudson river, with the Empire State Building and Manhattan skyline in the background (Weehawken, New Jersey)

Click on the photos above for more information, or click here to see all of the images from the 2009 Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks show.

All images © Clarence Holmes

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Burrowing Owls of Cape Coral

Burrowing Owls

Burrowing Owls

In late April, I once again visited a few locations in Florida to photograph Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia). I visited both Marco Island and Cape Coral, but found the greatest success in Cape Coral.

Burrowing Owls certainly can be found in other areas as well, but Cape Coral and Marco Island have a fairly high concentration of actives nests which are accessible, and the community supports the protection of this species.

Sites that I found with active nests include:

Three Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) fledglings standing near the entrance to their burrow (Koza-Saladino Park, Cape Coral, Florida)

Burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) standing on a T-perch (Cape Coral, Florida)

These sites are public areas where photographing the owls can be accomplished without disturbing neighboring residents. A long lens of at least 600mm allows photographing from a distance which does not disturb the birds.

Click on the photos above for more information, or click here to see all stock photos of Burrowing Owls. To see more images of birds, visit my gallery of stock photos of birds.

Please leave a comment to let me know if you find this information useful or if you have experience photographing the Burrowing Owls of Cape Coral.

All images © Clarence Holmes

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