I did a post called – Looking Back – My 12 Favorite Bird Photographs From The Last Decade. It seemed to resonate and some of you asked to see different kinds of shots. It’s been a while since I put much effort into landscape photography so I went back further. Here are my 12 favorite landscape pictures from the last 20 years. As with the last post, I am not saying these are the best shots or that they are the best-sellers, they are just my personal favorites.
In no particular order…(All photos by Scott Bourne – Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons) (Click on the photos to make them a little bigger.)
One of my favorite landscape spots is Mt. Rainier National Park. Since it was only two and half hours from my home in Gig Harbor. I made regular trips there and this shot of Paradise Falls (which I don’t think you can get anymore due to the roads washing out) is indeed a best seller but also one of the first black and white landscape shots I made using the Zone system. Everything came out as I planned which helps me like it even more.
One of the most underphotographed and underappreciated parts of the country is the Palouse country in eastern Washington state. This shot of a silo from Steptoe Butte is one of my favorites because it was bathed in a beautiful, natural golden light that I’ve never seen there since.
Also on Mt. Rainier, but not as famous as it’s cousin Reflection Lake is Tipsoo Lake. It’s not been done to death as they say and if you go in winter you get this amazing landscape. In the summer it looks like a different place. I was lucky that the roads were open that day for a special event so driving to my favorite spot was easy.
No place I’ve been had the impact that the Lower Antelope Corkscrew Slot Canyon had on me. This is a spiritual place. I went back in the days when it was hard to get to the bottom – just nine days before the flood that killed several German tourists. This image ws shot on film and scanned. It’s one of the few places on the planet when you want to shoot at Noon.
Grand Teton National Park in the fall is an awe-inspiring place. This pano doesn’t look spectacular on this screen but in a 60 inch print on my wall, it’s amazing. The power of this place is inescapable. During the trip when I made this shot I was with close friends. Apple sponsored the trip and it brings back some of my best memories.
Zion National Park in winter is about as photogenic a place as you can find. This shot is not one you’ll see every day. My friend Ara and I drove around the back of the park and found this scene. It remains a great memory and a great moment for me. I like the play of light and shadow, the ominous sky and the snow on the red peaks.
I love this shot of the Grand Canyon for several reasons. There was an odd green cast to the ground that I’d never seen before and I made this with a pre-production Nikon P7000 that I was testing for Nikon at the time. It went into production a few weeks later at $499. I’ve licensed the heck out of this image which goes to show you that you don’t need a fancy camera to make a fancy image.
Olympic National Park is home to many waterfalls, but Sol Duc Falls is one of my favorites. You have to hike a little under a mile to get there but it’s well worth it. I’ve shot it from every angle including this one hanging off the side of the cliff on a rope.
Water always has a calming effect on me and this Fall shot at Sedona, AZ of the Oak Creek Canyon creek is one of my favorites because I ate breakfast at this spot every morning. The rush of water over the rocks made breakfast taste just that much better.
Here’s another panoramic I wish you could see on my wall. It’s hard to appreciate it as a digital file on a blog, but at 60 inches it’s a mind-blower. This is from the Homer spit in Alaska. I liked the fact that the boat motored into the scene at the last minute.
This is an image I made in Maui from a helicopter. My friend Stacy Pearsall and her husband were with me. It was the first time we met and I have very sentimental feelings about this shot and that event because I’ve grown to think of Stacy as a close friend and a special person. If you haven’t ordered her new book SHOOTER by all means go do it now. It’s one of the most moving photo essay’s I’ve ever seen. Her hand was on my shoulder when I made this image. This place looks like it could have been the background for LOST.
Last but not least is a place you have to really want to get to in order to visit. Shiprock, New Mexico is an important place for native Americans. The Navajo name for the peak, Tsé Bitʼaʼí, “rock with wings” or “winged rock”, refers to the legend of the great bird that brought the Navajo from the north to their present lands. This is what is called a called “minette” – a volcanic pipe if you will that formed underground and was later exposed via erosion. I love the Four-Corners section of the southwest and have been to this place many times. I like every picture of it I have but this particular angle is one of my favorites because of the road leading the eye to the rock.
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