The Great American Outdoors

It has been some time since last I posted any content on this website. I warned that this would happen, but it does not make me fell any less bad about it. This is by the by, however. What matters is that I am, for at least a brief while, back to share my photos with you.

I have picked up my camera only a few times since last I posted, but I still have accrued quite a backlog of things about which I intend to post.

I will start, however, with my most recent activity, because it is by far the most exciting, and involves shooting in a style that I am utterly unfamiliar with (which means that many of the photos suck, sorry about that).

Emily Graslie of The Brain Scoop at the National Bison Range in Montana

Emily Graslie of The Brain Scoop at the National Bison Range in Montana

I flew at short notice across the world to visit Emily Graslie, noted youtuber and museum fiend. If you have not yet seen her show, The Brain Scoop, make sure to check it out at your soonest convenience (by clicking the link). It is fascinating educational content, put out in a funny and easy-to-understand way. Emily is changing the future of museums by bringing their function and behind-the-scenes life to the forefront of the public mind. It is easy to understand why one of the world’s largest and best-respected museums has decided to acquire her.

This was the first time I have visited in America in four years – the first time as an adult – and I had a fantastic time. Emily took me around to see some parts of America that I have only ever seen in movies and read about in books – the parts that it is easy to forget as an expat living overseas, growing up removed and immersed in stereotype.

Some of the landscapes were just incredible. This road up the National Bison Range is one of the most scenic routes I have ever seen. And this comes from someone who lives in Switzerland!

Some of the landscapes were just incredible. This road up the National Bison Range is one of the most scenic routes I have ever seen. And this comes from someone who lives in Switzerland!

I tried to work some landscapes, first with no foreground interest, and then with some added.

I tried to work some landscapes, first with no foreground interest, and then with some added.

I think the foreground interest gives a much better balance to the shot.

I think the foreground interest gives a much better balance to the shot.

This gnarly pine tree grows near the top of the mountain around which the National Bison Range lies.

This gnarly pine tree grows near the top of the mountain around which the National Bison Range lies.

Quite spectacular views.

Quite spectacular views.

More flowers for foreground interest.

More flowers for foreground interest.

A beautifully bleak view. Emily wanted to paint it, and I can understand why. The drama is just wonderful. This is the kind of scene you just don't see in Europe.

A beautifully bleak view. Emily wanted to paint it, and I can understand why. The drama is just wonderful. This is a kind of scene you just don’t see in Europe.

The landscapes were just wonderful to work with. Unfortunately I found myself woefully out of practice. But some of these are alright.
The wildlife in the National Bison Range is incredible. I haven’t seen large mammals up close since last I was in mainland Africa seven years ago, and never have I had a chance to photograph them properly.

Emily took me up to the National Bison Range, where we saw... Bison.

We went to the Bison range and we saw… Bison. Shock shock.

A pronghorn in the National Bison Range

Not just bison though – we saw pronghorns too!

A grazing pronghorn

This particular fellow was grazing right by the road. Which is good, because, as you may remember, my long lens was stolen last year, and the longest I have now is just a 105. And I forgot my teleconverter, because I’m an idiot apparently.

Bighorn sheep resting by the road.

Bighorn sheep resting by the road.

These Bighorns lined themselves up quite nicely for a well-balanced shot.

These Bighorns lined themselves up quite nicely for a well-balanced shot.

The National Bison Range was awesome, and Emily was just a fountain of facts, talking about its founding, and the diorama of taxidermied Bison that was set up by William Temple Hornaday to alert America and the rest of the world to their plight, and finally wound up in the Phillip L. Wright Zoological Museum at the University of Montana, where Emily has volunteered for the last two years.

A few days later we drove up to the border with Idaho. This was beautiful country full of more beautiful landscapes.

A logging path through awesome pine forest.

A logging path through awesome pine forest.

An enormous meadow in the middle of the pine forest.

An enormous meadow in the middle of the pine forest.

In the middle of the meadow, a massive rock.

In the middle of the meadow, a massive rock.

Some more experimentation with foreground interest.

Some more experimentation with foreground interest.

And finally, an adorable ground squirrel.

A ground squirrel

I have two more posts to follow this one: one on the awesome thing we found whilst hiking through the forest, and one on the museum. So stay tuned – I hope to have the first of those up by the end of the week.

~ M

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One comment on “The Great American Outdoors

  1. Michele Herron says:

    These are great pictures Mark! I’m very impressed. I would love to visit Montana some day. Looks like you had a fun trip.

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