Spring is (finally) here again! To celebrate, we asked the Dreamscapes bloggers to contribute three of their favorite images of the season. Everyone participated—well, nearly everyone. Mr. Bernabe declined to participate, which is not surprising since he been busy traveling to exotic locations like Patagonia and Oman. His absence from our little troop is sorely missed, but he assures us that “the Dark Knight will rise again”—whatever that means. So kick back, relax, and enjoy our vision of the Earth as it awakens from its long slumber.
“Face of Oneonta” by Kurt Budliger
While exploring this oft-photographed gem of the Columbia River Gorge last spring, Kurt became captivated by the profile of a person’s face in the foreground rock wall. He waited a long time for the persistent breeze to subside long enough to make a sharp exposure of the eyelash-like ferns. Columbia River Gorge, Oregon, United States. Canon 5DIII, EF 16-35 f2.8L II, ISO 100, f/16, 13 seconds.
“Badwater Reflections” by Sarah Marino
Spring rains create unique conditions at the Badwater Salt Flats in Death Valley. We particularly like the reflections in this image and the subtle pastel tones. To see more stunning images of Death Valley’s unworldly scenery, check out Sarah and Ron’s book, Desert Paradise: A Photographer’s Guide to Death Valley National Park ($14.95). Badwater Salt Flats, Death Valley National Park, California, United States. Canon 5D Mark II, 17-40 mm lens @ 17 mm, f/16, 1.6 seconds, polarizer.
“Roaring Fork” by Ron Coscorrosa
Here, a passing cloud provided Ron with a brief opportunity to capture the river and forest under even lighting. Ron tells us that no photograph can really do justice to the Smokies in their full Spring glory—but we think this one comes very close. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, United States. Canon 5D2, 16-35 lens @ 20mm, ISO 320, f/16, 0.6 seconds.
“Dalles Mountain Majesty” by Alex Mody
The sun came out offering a brief respite from a day’s stormy weather. We just love the soft, beautiful light Alex captured in this scene, and how it makes the poppies pop! Columbia Hills, Washington, United States. Nikon D800, 17mm, ISO 200, f/16, 1/5 second, polarizer.
“Sonoran Majesty” by George Stocking
George knows his wildflowers! He took this picture at one of Arizona’s most picturesque reservoirs. He’d been checking on the growth of these flowers for several weeks, and knew that when the clouds gathered overhead at the end of the day, that this would be the place to be. We think he figured it right. Bartlett Lake, Arizona, United States. Canon 5D MarkII, 24-105mm lens, f/16, other data unrecorded.
“Untitled” by Alex Mody
Alex tells us that any time he hikes in the forest, he keeps an eye toward the ground. We wonder how often he falls! But we’re very grateful for that tactic here, since it allowed him to make this image of flowers peeking out of ferns on a drizzly April day. Olympic National Park, Washington, United States. Nikon D800, 160mm, ISO 100, f/16, 5 seconds, polarizer.
“Japanese Painted Ferns” by Ron Coscorossa
These colorful ferns are common in gardens throughout the Pacific Northwest. After several attempts at a composition, Ron made this beauty. Perhaps Alex can give him tips on how to find such scenes: We hear it involves a lot of looking at your feet… Tacoma, Washington, United States. Canon 6D, 100 mm macro lens, ISO 400, f/18, 1/20 seconds.
“Sunrise” by Patrik Larsson
Patrik has captured the first morning rays of sunlight touching the birch at one of the most popular viewpoints in the park. One of Patrik’s favorite trees, he keeps coming back to capture the always-changing light. Sunrise, Söderåsen National Park, Sweden. Nikon D800E, 24-70mm @55mm, ISO 100, f/11, 0.6 seconds.
“Spring Greens” by Sarah Marino
Sarah has also visited the Columbia River Gorge. Here, a small cascade works its way through a lush forest on a wet spring day. Spring is a special time in the Pacific Northwest, as the canyons and streams become almost overwhelmed with the fresh green foliage of spring. If you’d like to know more about how to capture waterfall shots like this one by Sarah, pick up a copy of Justin Reznick’s Advanced Guide to Photographing Waterfalls & Streams ($9.97). Columbia River Gorge, Oregon, United States. Canon 6D, 17-40 mm lens @ 17 mm, f/16, 2 image blend (1/10 sec @ ISO 1600, 0.6 sec @ ISO 200), polarizer.
“First Beech Leaves” by Patrik Larsson
In the end of April the first leaves are breaking on the trees in the gorge in Söderåsen National Park, Patrik’s favorite hangout. He sure likes taking pictures of trees! And we’re glad he does, when intimate beauties such as these are the result. Söderåsen National Park, Sweden. Nikon D3x, 24-70mm @56mm, ISO 100, f/9, 0.3 seconds.
“Boneyard Sunset” by Joe Rossbach
Joe normally shoots South Carolina’s Botany Bay at sunrise. This day, however, he spent an evening shooting at high tide instead while a passing thunderstorm broke up at sunset. Shooting from a low angle and careful timing captured a receding wave that leads the eye to the skeleton trees and accentuates the dramatic sunset colors. If you’d like to try your hand at similar shots, buy a copy of our Mini Guide to Coastal Photography ($4.95). Botany Bay, South Carolina, United States. Nikon D800, 16-35mm, ISO 100, f/11, 1/2 second.
“Botany Bay Sunrise” by Ron Coscorrosa
According to Ron, this shot is the first (and so far, only) time he has ever photographed a beach on the East Coast of the United States. We think he might want to try again (and again), given the clear success of this image! And do you think it’s the same tree that Joe captured above in the evening? Or just a close cousin? Botany Bay, South Carolina, United States.Canon 5D2, 16-35 lens @ 35mm, ISO 50, f/16, 0.5 seconds.
“Smoky Mountains Spring” by Sarah Marino
In early Spring, the trees in the Smoky Mountains are again awash in colors. With pinks, greens, purples, and whites, the fresh buds on the trees have almost as much color variation as do the same trees in the Fall. Sarah shows us all of that color below. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, United States. Canon 6D, 70-200mm lens @ 135mm, ISO 200, f/11, 1/8 sec.
“Untitled” by George Stocking
We love this gem by George (who, by the way, is way to cool to give most of his images titles). It reminds us more of a watercolor painting than a photograph. Just a hint of mixed light really makes the colors pop. Organ Pipe National Monument, Arizona, United States. Camera data and technical specifications unrecorded.
“Above the Clouds” by Joe Rossbach
This image was a once in lifetime opportunity for Joe. (And for Ian too, who was there alongside and got a similar shot—proof that great minds think alike. We hear that both of them are taking credit for the idea). After a full day of taking rainy waterfall photographs in the lower elevations of the park, he made his way up to Clingmans Dome on a hunch that its summit would be above the clouds. It was. And the result is amazing! Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, United States. Nikon D700, 70-200mm, ISO 250, f/8, 30 seconds.
“Triangle Falls” by Joe Rossbach
Ricketts Glen has twenty-two officially-named waterfalls. These small cascades are not one of them, but they are a favorite locale for Joe. And with good reason: the rushing cascades provide a dramatic foreground that contrasts with Spring’s fresh green foliage. Triangle Falls, Ricketts Glen State Park, Pennsylvania, United States. Nikon D800, 14-24mm, Fotodiox CPL, ISO 100, f/14, 1 seconds.
“Light Among Giants” by Kurt Budliger
Kurt remembers his Spring trip to this famed California park several years back very well. For most of his visit, the sky was clear and the weather was calm. And then this morning, the coastal fog rolled in. For three hours, Kurt was alone in the morning fog. This is what he made for us. Redwoods National Park, California, United States. Canon 20D, EF 17-40 f4L, ISO 100, f/16, 0.3 seconds.
“The Dutchman’s Gold” by George Stocking
This was a special moment for George at this famed outcropping among Arizona’s Superstition Mountains. The sky had quickly turned overcast, but yet there remained enough soft light for the poppies to remain open, rather than closing up for the night. We’re glad he was there! Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona, United States. K.B. Canham DLC45 view camera; 90 mm lens, f/22, Velvia.
“Patience and Persistence” by Ian Plant
Ian notes that he was absolutely mesmerized by the flowing grass deep within this forest along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The colors here are truly a treat. And don’t miss the five-leafed plant in the foreground which anchors the composition. Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina, United States. K.B. Canham DLC45 view camera, 90mm lens, polarizer filter, Kodak Ektachrome E100 VS film, f/22, 4 seconds.
“Vernal Flow” by Kurt Budliger
Kurt finds nothing more satisfying than working intimate compositions along New England’s myriad creeks and streams during Spring run off or during Fall foliage season. This little gem of a brook is close to his home, and he regularly visits it in all seasons. Each new image reveals some unique aspect of its personality. Kurt used a polarizer filter to reduce unsightly glare on wet rocks and foliage. Green Mountains, Vermont, United States. Canon 5DIII, EF 16-35 f2.8L II,ISO 125, f/16, o.4 seconds, polarizer.
“Tranquility” by Ian Plant
Life has returned to the volcano-blasted slopes of Mount Saint Helens after its a massive eruption in 1980. A hint of color in the sky during morning twilight was all that he needed to complement the brilliant red and purple Springtime wildflowers. Mount Saint Helens, Washington, United States. Canon 5DII camera, 24mm, ISO 500, f/14, 1.6 seconds.
“Spring in the Gorge” by Patrik Larsson
As you might have already noticed, Patrik’s favorite place to be in Spring is Söderåsen National Park in the southern part of Sweden. He loves walking in the beech forest, searching for his favorite intimate compositions. What do you think of the one he made here? Söderåsen National Park, Sweden. Nikon D3x, 24-70mm @48mm, ISO 100, f/11, 0.8 seconds.
“Standing Ovation” by Ian Plant
Ian took this shot several years ago in the scenic Kofa Mountains of Arizona, and it still remains one of his favorite Spring images. He recalls that it was an amazing year for the desert flowers. The sun rising through the gap in the mountains provided a perfect counterpoint element to the foreground cholla. Kofa Mountains, Arizona, United States. Canon 5DII, 14mm, ISO 100, f/16, 1/90th second.