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Unexpected vistas

Location matters a lot in photography.

“If you want to take more interesting pictures, stand in front of more interesting stuff
” – Joe McNally

That’s why I constantly strive to be standing in front of wildlife. But a funny thing happens along the way – I occasionally end up distracted by beautiful vistas. Most of the time I make photos … and usually regret the rest.

Maybe one year I will try for landscapes and get distracted by wildlife! I’m betting it wouldn’t work since I would be secretly hoping for bears to sneak into the scene. Despite my persistent bias, I posted enough non-wildlife photos in 2014 to find 10 shots I liked for this post.

Now I could set up another reader poll, but maybe it’s time to try something else. I have put the photos in order of my preference, ending with my favourite (recognizing that there is no accounting for my taste).

My question for you is which photo(s) would you move up to a higher ranking? Here we go, starting with the last of the best …

10. Regular temper tantrum

It’s hard to believe that a geyser can blow off steam so regularly. Does that remind you of anyone? I especially like the white on white as the wind carries away the steam. Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park

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9. Rock pour

Do I cheer for the incessant current or the rocks holding firm? It’s not an easy choice. I especially like the coloured, layered rocks tilted at a ridiculous angle. Jasper National Park

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8. Frozen falls

Winter is reluctantly giving way to summer. I especially like the massive chunks of ice and snow – cracked but still holding on. That sounds like me some days. Yellowstone National Park

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7. Sunny bath

Sometimes a scene where I’m standing gets bathed in the colours of sunset. I especially like the colour frame at the top and bottom of the photo. Oxbow Bend, Grand Teton National Park

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6. Mount Krahn

Glue rock and ice together and chances are pretty good it’s a remarkable scenes. I especially like the texture of the rock and ice disappearing into a mysterious fog. Angel Glacier at Jasper National Park (most would call it Mount Edith Cavell)

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5. Touched by the sun

This incredible light show lasted only a few minutes and stopped my truck in its tracks. I especially like the red-capped mountain (I enjoy red in a nature photo). Banff National Park

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4. Icy creek

Water pouring through ice crystals is a scene soon lost to winter. I especially like the diamonds in the water flow. Jasper National Park

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3. Fire light

Fire from a controlled burn casts an eerie shadow on a mountain forest. I especially like the layered red light (there’s that red thing again). Banff National Park

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2. Hot sculptures

This layered sculpting on a hillside kept pulling me back and begging to be photographed. I especially like the castle – better than any I made as a kid. Yellowstone National Park

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1. My kind of moon

Perhaps I snuck in a bit of a wildlife shot but, in my defence, the sandhill cranes are tiny. I especially like the mood set by the colours. Near my home in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

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Latest Comments

  1. MJF Images says:

    I’d move the icy creek up higher for sure. That’s quite the artistic take. I’d forgotten about that quote from McNally. Hope you don’t mind if I re-use it on a post I just did on the subject of subjects.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      The artistic side sneaks out once in a while! Glad you liked it.

      By all means use the quote – it’s not mine to hoard! And here I thot you were going to quote me!!

      Like

  2. Scott Marshall says:

    Firstly I would prefer you stick to wildlife on the basis after seeing these I have decided to pursue a career in Chess.

    However if you require my balanced view 🙂 Fire Light (no debate no discussion) and Touched by the Sun are the outstanding shots form far too many outstanding shots.

    Like

  3. Gunta says:

    Personally, I’d move “sunny bath” to #1 or #2 position. That one just touches something in my soul much like your moon shot. Now, I’ll go read the other comments to see what everyone else had to say….

    Like

  4. whichwaynow101 says:

    Here I am again. I keep coming back – like a bad penny. So . . . I think all 10 are spectacular. You do stand in front of some interesting stuff, but my favs are 3, 5 and 7. Could it be the hot colours? I’m glad I viewed them on my laptop. The silly little phone screen doesn’t do your photography justice.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Colours make a huge difference so that could well be it. I am always fascinated why people like different photos – glad you found some favs in the bunch. I agree with you that photography is generally worth a bigger screen to see the full effect. Phones have their limitations. I appreciate your input.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. whichwaynow101 says:

    Ah! Think I’ve cracked it. I was operator error. I was so entranced with your photos that I stayed onto your full site and out of the app. To be continued . . . .

    Like

  6. Phil Lanoue says:

    Stunners all! But I would put 5 or 7 before 2.

    Like

  7. Nancy says:

    I just found your blog through Carol from Which Way Now 101…
    Can I just say… I am so glad you did not listen to Carol when she said No Men Read Her Blog Post Today.
    I am enjoying your gorgeous photos. I need to cook dinner but will be back… ~Nancy

    Like

  8. The Sicilian Housewife says:

    For me, “sunny bath” and “touched by the sun” would take the top two places. I like red in nature photos like you, but perhaps I like all interesting lighting situations – generally the ones that don’t last to long.
    But really they are all so lovely, it is hard to choose….

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Glad you enjoyed them. I think you hit on one of the main reasons I like photography – stopping time during those fleeting moments. It really makes them special.

      Like

  9. hannele says:

    Sunny bath and Mount Krahn would go up a bit if I made the list – I’d perhaps swap Mount Krahn with Hot sculptures and make Sunny bath #4. Complicated, I know, but you asked!

    Thanks for sharing, and may 2015 bring you many more adventures and experiences!

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      I asked and I followed you! Opinions are good and interesting. Thanks for sharing.

      I wish you the same adventures and excitement – with the photos to prove it.

      Like

  10. toughlittlebirds says:

    I’d swap #3 and #2 – the fire is just so cool. But the moon photo just blows me away. It could be an abstract painting, with the obscured circle and dotted lines – and then it’s made even better by the fact that it isn’t, it was a real, fleeting thing that you captured.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      I really like your observations. I have noted that I am interested in paintings that look like photos and photos that look like paintings. I’m not sure what says about me!

      Like

  11. Steve Gingold says:

    You’ve a very nice collection of not wildlife pictures here, Lyle. As a big fan of Alpenglow, I’d vote “Sunny Bath” up a fair piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Mike Powell says:

    What makes a photo interesting? Do you need to travel thousands of miles to capture magnificent shots of mountain vistas that are so well known that other will know immediately that you have been to a specific location? Your #1 image is also my kind of moon and I couldn’t help but note that it was taken close to home. Beauty and interest can be found almost anywhere, I would argue, though I admit that you may have to search harder to find beauty in the ordinary. I think that’s why I like “icy Creek” so much too. As someone who doesn’t have to deal with snow and ice too much, I am fascinated by ice and the interesting way that it forms and how it is eroded by moving water, so I really like your images with ice.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      I’m not surprised that you raised the same observations I had while putting together the post. I liked the idea of mixing the quote with my best photo being close to home after travelling to some amazing places. Finding beauty is sometimes a lot more complicated and a lot more simple than we think.

      Like

  13. niasunset says:

    So beautiful. Thank you, Happy New Year, love, nia

    Like

  14. The Earth Beneath My Feet says:

    “Sunny bath” is my absolute favourite.

    Like

  15. Birder's Journey says:

    I think I find it impossible to choose any of these over the others because they are all so remarkable – Fantastic work!

    Like

  16. My Heartsong says:

    Love the photos Lyle. A good review. Love the texture of the rocks and glacier at Angel glacier.Finally a sunny day, I am going outdoors, even if it is COLD.All the best in the new year .

    Like

  17. Jocelyne says:

    They are all superb ! That’s a tough question… I would move fire light as second, it’s an amazing photo !

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      I have always been fascinated with fire so the chance to create a different type of photo was appealing. Glad you liked it. Thanks for responding to my question.

      Like

  18. cconifer says:

    They are all marvelous places & such huge things are difficult to capture in a photo. You do wonderfully at it. I think I would move up the sunrise one because of the sharp color and light, and i love the fire one as well and would move it up but then that rushing water with the diamonds catches my eye and i love the texture in your krahn mountain photo…. so, hard to choose just one to be #1 ! you certainly avail yourself of beautiful scenery. that jasper park is really something!

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      I appreciate your choices and thots. I completely agree that large mountains can be difficult to capture. Quite often an amazing scene gets reduced to ordinary in my photos and that’s definitely not my goal! Then again being in wonderful places like Jasper provides so many wonderful and varied opportunities. It’s just me trying to stand in front of interesting stuff.

      Like

  19. Tuxedo Sophisticated Cat says:

    Absolutely stunning photos.

    Like

  20. Jeff | Planet Bell says:

    Beautiful photos! I’d move Sunny Bath to No. 2. That is a beautiful sunset and evokes a sense of drama. I like your choice for #1 though. That is a really cool shot of the moon with the birds.

    Every now and then when I’m waiting for a landscape to get just right, a squirrel or marmot will get comfortable with me standing there and check me out. So maybe landscape watching can lead to wildlife shots for you.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Thanks for picking. That sense of drama is a worthy goal and so nice to convey.

      I have heard of others who have had wildlife come to them while waiting for landscapes to unfold so I know it’s possible. I’ve just never had it happen to me. It might be a patience issue:)

      Like

  21. westerner54 says:

    The moon and cranes is number one, no question about it! I’d move the firelight to number two – then your list would be perfect. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      A perfect list would be quite something! Glad you enjoyed my batch from last year. I’m still pretty fond of that moon shot. I miss the sandhills around here.

      Like

  22. judysbirds says:

    I’d move Sunny Bath and Touched By the Sun up to the top three. Just love the soft hues of the sunset colors against the sharp, angular cuts of the mountains. Wonderful pictures all, I must add!

    Like

  23. Sue says:

    Definitely the Sunny Bath to number 1. These are marvelous, I would love to see the next 10 in your rankings.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Sunny bath seems to be a popular one. Interestingly I don’t have another 10 non-wildlife photos that I posted this year. I was actually serious when I said the landscapes were a distraction from my wildlife focus. At one time I was completely focused on landscape so I guess this is a long phase. I appreciate the comment.

      Like

  24. Seenorway says:

    What a fabulous collection of pictures, Lyle. Thank you! I think I favoured ‘Oxbow bend’, but I can live with the rest as well 🙂

    Like

  25. Patrizia M. says:

    Fantastiche. Una più bella dell’altra.

    Like

  26. bruce thomas witzel says:

    Sunny Bath to # 1 – lovely Lyle

    Like

  27. rachel bar says:

    Touched by the sun is my number 1. Again, a chance clicking on your site, as I don’t blog anymore, and how glad I am for looking at the pictures. You are getting better and better Lyle.

    Like

  28. Garden Walk Garden Talk says:

    I think I like Fire Light because that would be so foreign to me and like Joe said, that is interesting stuff. All are beautiful though. Being in a great place with all those mountains… such a wonderful experience.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      That’s an excellent point. I return to the mountains every year and despite many experiences and photos, I still seem to forget the shock and awe of actually being there.

      The inverse of what Joe said is that it’s hard to find the beauty in the usual things around home. But that’s another story.

      Like

  29. Honie Briggs says:

    Sunny Bath is my fave. All of the landscapes are wonderful. Happy New Year, may a bear sneak into a shot when you least expect it.

    Like

  30. Mandy says:

    Now you are just showing off 🙂 Frozen Falls grabs my attention – I would bump it up the list.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Ha! You made me laugh with that first comment. I suppose I shouldn’t tell you that after looking at so many other amazing 2014 landscape shots, I was doubting mine. Such is life!

      Glad you liked those falls. It was quite chilly taking those shots.

      Like

  31. Lavinia Ross says:

    Your polls are getting harder and harder, Lyle! They are all beautiful, and different. If I have to pick one, I’ll go for Sunny Bath.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      I’m pleased they are getting harder though oddly it was easy for me but then I was there. The funny thing about the photo you chose was that it was getting dark so we were already in the town of Banff when I looked back and caught that sight. Then I had to try to find a spot between light poles and buildings to get a clear view.

      Like

  32. dda53 says:

    Well done on all of them. My favorite top three (not in any particular order) are 7, 5 and 1. Seven because it’s my birthday, five for my birthday month and one because you do some mighty fine work!

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Thanks for that. Great use of numbers to back a bias which seems to lean to reddish hues (or maybe I’m swinging at the wind). In any case – an early happy birthday!

      Like

  33. Vicki says:

    #4 is a favourite of mine as I love the shade of blue and blend of blur and sharp water focus – almost an abstract.
    I like #8 and #6 too.
    Your sunsets are excellent, but since everyone takes these colourful sunsets, I tend to go for the lesser photographed scenes of water, ice & rocks. I like images of rough terrain as they draw me in more and give me the illusion of being in the middle of the mountains. Since I don’t have the health (or $$) to travel, I prefer landscapes that take me on a journey.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Like usual, your choices are interesting and the reasons insightful. You described my thots on sunsets so well. And yet I keep coming back to them since they really are beautiful.

      I am honoured to take you places you can’t go and will remember to keep that as inspiration to keep blogging.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Dalo 2013 says:

    Beautiful shots ~ the Banff National Park photos ignite my interest the most because I have yet to visit ~ incredible.

    Like

  35. Victor Rakmil says:

    Hard call. They are all excellent.

    Like

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