Free National Park Week Spring 2016 - Cramer Imaging - Quality Fine Art Photography
Cramer Imaging

Landscape Photography | Nature Photography | Fine Art Photography


Cramer Imaging

Free National Park Week Spring 2016

Free National Park Week Spring 2016
So, this past week was Free National Park week where anyone who wants to can gain entrance into many US national parks for no entrance fee.  I didn't want to miss out on this opportunity this year.  It was a chance for some amazing landscape photography.  I had several options but had a reason for the location I chose.

I'd been out to Craters of the Moon National Monument before.  I even drug my along in hopes of landscapes of desolation.  I got the landscapes but the photographs didn't work out as hoped.  While that happens, it can discourage me from trying again for a while.  This was my chance to redeem myself.

Cramer Imaging's professional quality nature photograph of a sun-bleached stump in weeds in Craters of the Moon National Monument

I had wanted to check out some of the other national parks which would be considered local.  Yellowstone, one of the most renowned and highly traveled to parks, is practically on our front step.  I wanted a shot at the famous waterfall.  A couple of days before, we checked the weather forecast as anyone living around snow knows to do.  We discovered that the mountain pass we would travel through for both Yellowstone and Teton National Park was full of snow.  It was too dangerous to go that way.

We tried for parks in many of the surrounding states looking for something which was reasonably close for a day trip.  No luck there.  We checked on Craters of the Moon to see if they were planning on participating in the free entrance (national monument instead of park had us questioning that) and sure enough, they were.  Our destination was set.

For those who don't know, Craters of the Moon is a lava plain with a few small dormant cones: the source of the lava.  Much of the lava is being reclaimed by local flora such as sagebrush and pine trees but there are still large areas of complete desolation.  I was hoping for the area to be flowering but it was still too early in the year for the wildflowers.

I wanted a wide open landscape shot.  That was what I was seeking on this trip.  I planned for other chance photos but I wanted something sweeping.  We took a couple of hikes on trails looking for the right scenery to shoot at sunset.  When we found it, we still had lots of time so there was plenty of other exploration to be done.

Cramer Imaging's professional quality nature photograph of black bird animal perched on tree in Craters of the Moon National Monument

I climbed up to the top of one of the dormant lava cones in order to check out the area.  I also managed to find a black bird perched on a dead tree.  The bird was remarkably tame as I got really close to it with my camera.  It only flew away when other people came into range.

When sunset was eminent, we returned to our planned shot and got set up.  We took shot after shot in hopes of getting something worthy of a gallery.  Sadly, we were disappointed yet again.  That's the way of landscape photography sometimes.

Cramer Imaging's professional quality landscape photograph of a dead tree in weeds on a lava plain at Craters of the Moon National Monument

We did, however, walk away with the shots you see here.  The dead trees and the bleak light were perfect together.  I even managed to nail a shot which reminds me of walking into the desolation of the forbidden land of Mordor.  This is a sight you can only get in certain places of the world.

Free National Park week ended up working out for us this year.  We captured some amazing shots while enjoying nationally protected lands.  We look forward to what we can get next year.