Breaking trail along the Continental Divide near Helena, Montana.
Canon 5D markII 24mm 3.5L TS F16 1/500 ISO400
I thought this was definitely worth sharing as these are some fantastic shots of plowing the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park. Here’s the link to Glacier’s Flickr feed. Pretty cool stuff and I’m sure not for the faint of heart to be plowing that sucker!
Labrador Puppy. Canon 5dmkII 70-200 f4IS. ISO400 f4.0 1/1000sec
This is Abbey, our newest edition to the family. Having fun in our backyard with two feet of snow we got the other day.
Here’s a few images from the end of April. This last month has sure been a much colder one than usual and on the last day we had six inches of new snow arrive. Thankfully May has warmed up and things are really starting to green around the state. Lots of great wildlife photography right now, especially bird photography. Here’s to a much warmer spring and lots of good shooting!
Here’s a shot from yesterday along the Continental Divide Trail near Helena, Montana. With the new snow we’ve had, I decided to go snowshoeing and see what I could find along the way. The weather was truly awesome with quick moving snow flurries and short bursts of sunlight. It’s a relief to see some snow again as the heat wave we’ve had the last couple weeks melted just about everything in the valleys.
The Continental Divide Trail near Helena is just part of the 980 miles that run through Montana. The complete trail, the “King of Trails”, stretches from Canada to Mexico at 3,100 miles with over 70% being designated trails and roads. The rest is unmarked. Here’s a link to the official site for the trail if you’re curious to learn more. Continental Divide Trail Alliance
Coyote, Yellowstone N.P. © Jason Savage
Here are a few shots from this weekend down in Yellowstone National Park. I headed down there last Saturday to see what was happening in the park and what the conditions were looking like. Also I wanted to test out a Canon 7d that I recently picked up for use as a backup body and for occasional wildlife use.
There was actually quite a bit of snow going from Gardiner up to Cooke City at the northern boundary of the park and a ton of wildlife out. Conditions this last week in Montana have been sketchy at best and I have been cursing the weatherman more than once. Montana was sitting right on the edge of an arctic front from Canada and it didn’t know if it was coming or going, or I should say the weatherman didn’t know if it was coming or going. It certainly made things hard to predict, but we ended getting a ton of warm weather and high winds, which has wiped out a good portion of the snow we had and really made a mess of things.
But, you sometimes have to roll with the punches and make the best of it. Saturday I managed to get a little bit of shooting in and really got to test out the Canon 7d and surprisingly, it’s a really awesome camera.
I normally use Canon 5dII’s and 1 series bodies, for most of my photography. I use the 1d series for backup and wildlife photography, but really prefer the smaller bodies, especially when trying to travel light, so I normally use the 5dII for a majority of my work. The 7d looked like it might have the potential for a great wildlife body, especially in the much smaller size than the 1 series. It has a great auto focus system and shoots 8 frames per second with close to 18 million pixels on a 1.6 crop sensor. I was a little concerned about the noise issues people have reported, especially with so many pixels on a small sensor, but when doing comparisons, it’s really not bad at all and certainly great image quality for a crop sensor. Not to mention it has some really great focusing customizations not seen on any other Canon camera. I give it an A so far in my book, especially if you’re looking for a great wildlife body and on a budget or if looking for something a little more lighter than a 1 series. It’s also sealed up pretty well, Canon says equivalent to the Canon 1dn(film body), which was one of my favorite 35mm cameras I’ve owned, and that one was sealed pretty good, so the 7d should be able to take some abuse.
With the great wildlife and the always fun of testing out new equipment, it was a nice time in the Park. Soon we will have more snow and more great opportunities for photography in Yellowstone, matter of fact, it’s snowing right now:)
Bison, Yellowston N.P. © Jason Savage
300mmf4+1.4tc, f6.7, 1/1000 ISO 800
Mountain Grouse, Yellowstone N.P. © Jason Savage
300mmf4+1.4tc, f5.6, 1/500 ISO 4000
Bighorn Sheep, Yellowstone N.P. © Jason Savage
300mmf4+1.4tc,f5.6, 1/8 ISO 6400
Skier on Canyon Ferry Lake © Jason Savage
Got back this afternoon from a frigid morning on Canyon Ferry Lake. The wind was whipping across the lake and temps were down well below zero. Not the most ideal for skiing but we persevered, especially cause it was so nice just being out this morning. There was fresh fallen snow on the lake,crisp air, and some hardy soles holed up in their ice houses.
For those of you unfamiliar with Canyon Ferry Lake, it’s a dammed portion of the Missouri River and the third largest body of water in the state, with 76 miles of shoreline. It gets a ton of recreation year round and is great part of the Missouri to check out whether you’re out paddling or drilling a hole in the ice.
Right now it’s froze up solid, enough to be driving on safely and with the upcoming weather it should be good to go for quite a while.
Me taking a quick break on Canyon Ferry.
Hawk looking for a meal. © Jason Savage
Canyon Ferry Lake. © Jason Savage
I finally got out this morning to do some personal photography for myself (which seems to be a rare occasion these days) and nearly got blown off the pass. Winds atop MacDonald Pass were blowing around 45-50 and putting that windchill down to about -30f. Yikes!
Other than some gusty winds in the mountains it looks like we’re mellowing out a little in the valley and will have a heat wave for the rest of the week.
Hopefully I will be getting down to Yellowstone this next month and have some new winter pics for everyone, until then you’ll have to put up with whatever comes my way!
Apple Tree. © Jason Savage
What’s up with the weather lately? It’s supposedly fall, but apparently fall with all of the wonderful attractions of the middle of winter. The last couple days we’ve had snow flurries and tonight’s apparently going to be around 0 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s right, “0”. If we keep going at this rate, I’m afraid to see what Winter has in store!
Fall Cover. © Jason Savage
In any case, I’ve still been sneaking out and keeping tabs on what the colors are doing. Right now we’re just getting going, some leaves have turned and some are being stubborn. We seem a little behind this year and I was surprised earlier in the week when I took a drive up near Lincoln to an aspen stand that I usually photograph, only to find it was still green and no brilliant colors to be found.
Hopefully our blast of Arctic air will give the fall colors a little nudge and get things moving. As always in Montana, this time of year is extremely unpredictable for photography, but also short lived. We probably have another couple weeks and winter will be in full swing, leaving us waiting until next year for more fall photography. If you can get out, now is definitely the time. So good luck, and you might want to bring that parka just in case…
Fall Snow.© Jason Savage
Based in Montana, Jason works as a freelance and commercial photographer, specializing in travel and outdoor photography.
His work has been featured in National Geographic Traveler, Time, Outside, Audubon, Outdoor Photographer,The Nature Conservancy and many others.
His images have also been featured in numerous advertising campaigns, books, and calendars around the world.
Jason Savage Photography
610 N. 1st St. #5-221
Hamilton, MT 59840