Sunday, February 25, 2018

Alpenglow at Red Rock Canyon


 Sunrise warms a frosty desert landscape


Early one frosty February morning I ventured out to try and catch the sunrise at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area near Las Vegas Nevada. 

My plan was to set up on a hiking trail in the desert near the entrance to Red Rock Canyon’s 13 mile loop.

I arrived just before dawn and it was cold!  The desert floor was covered in frost which made the cold even more penetrating. 

As the sky began to lighten, I feared the cloud cover was too thick and therefore the sun’s rays would not break through. 

I waited, moving my hands and legs to try and generate body heat.  Just before I was ready to pack up I noticed the slightest hints of pink starting to peek through the thinner clouds. 

Getting excited, I made my camera adjustments and focused my Nikon 24mm 2.8 lens to catch as much of the desert landscape, mountains and sky as possible.  

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And as I watched, the optical phenomenon Alpenglow began to turn the snow accented mountains a fiery red.   Alpenglow occurs when the solar disk is just below the horizon, therefore illuminating the opposite horizon with a reddish glow. 

The thrill of the moment quickly warmed my cold body and I was allowed just 2 clicks of the shutter before the sun was obscured behind a thick layer of clouds. 

Alpenglow at Red Rock was printed as a limited edition on Ilford Colordeluxe archival paper and became one of my best selling Red Rock Canyon images.    


What an exciting and interesting photo-adventure this day has been.  I love it when I am drawn to an area and not knowing what to expect I get treated to new experiences.


Sign up and follow my blog to see where my next photo-adventure will be!


Photography places me in the moment where I can share that moment in time. It becomes a life story as represented by my interaction with the scene. The happiness and beauty or the sorrow and strife; how I focus leaves a lasting impression that might touch the viewer on a spiritual level.


 "Reflecting Nature's Artistry" 


Many of these images are available on my website:

 http://www.bonnierannald.com/ 


For custom matted and framed images:
Off The Wall


No images on this blog are within Public Domain or are available for free download. 


 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald.


For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.







Saturday, February 10, 2018

Buffington Pockets, Out of This World Terrain!



An extra-terrestrial landscape in a hidden desert pocket!



After watching the exciting Falcon Heavy Test launch I realized that one of the aspects that fascinated me so much while exploring in the Southwestern Desert, was it sometimes looks as if I’m on a different planet. Unusual rock formations, strange shape of trees and multicolored desert floors and can definitely give an out of this world appearance. 

One of my favorite areas with extra-terrestrial features is Buffington Pockets in Southern Nevada. Buffington Pockets is just off Interstate 15, in the Muddy Mountain Wilderness Area of Nevada and not too far from Valley of Fire State Park. 

As I approach Buffington Pockets, I begin to see colorful outcroppings of rounded boulders in light orange hues that appear to have been carefully stacked on top of each other.  I begin to wonder is this an American type of Stonehenge?  




A curve in the road and almost hidden out of sight I spot a towering eagle shape in the sandstone rock. Could it be a sentinel watching over to protect this wondrous area? 




One of the most striking outcroppings is a vast prominence of orange and white layered domes that appear to be laid out like a bakers’ tray of cinnamon rolls.  The dark gray Muddy Mountains can be seen towering in the distance to the right.  




On a mild day in February, I specifically made a return visit to this area of Buffington Pockets to catch the moon in its early phase over this grouping of rocks. 




Over the eons, nature’s creativity with complex uplifting and faulting, followed by extensive erosion, developed this unworldly landscape.   However, it is fun to just imagine that I could be off exploring on one our neighboring planets.  We are blessed with such a diverse and wondrous home on our planet, Earth.







What an exciting and interesting photo-adventure this day has been.  I love it when I am drawn to an area and not knowing what to expect I get treated to new experiences.


Sign up and follow my blog to see where my next photo-adventure will be!


Photography places me in the moment where I can share that moment in time. It becomes a life story as represented by my interaction with the scene. The happiness and beauty or the sorrow and strife; how I focus leaves a lasting impression that might touch the viewer on a spiritual level.


 "Reflecting Nature's Artistry" 


Many of these images are available on my website:

 http://www.bonnierannald.com/ 


For custom matted and framed images:
Off The Wall


No images on this blog are within Public Domain or are available for free download. 


 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald.


For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.




Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Walker River, a Carving Force of Nature



Photo observations: water the interconnection  


The element water can be an awesome force of nature as it cuts through desert floors and carves out canyon walls.  On a mild winter day I stopped to check out one of my favorite wildlife retreats at Weber Reservoir.  While I was appreciating the nice blue color reflected in the water of the Walker River, I glanced at the deep edges of the bank that was highlighted in the afternoon sunlight.  


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How much water and how long did it have to flow to excavate these deep walls, I pondered?   And I thought, if only walls could talk! 


I started to approach the cliff that was obtrusively sticking out on the opposite side of the bank only to see a crack in the dirt just a few feet from its edge.  Logic marred my photo quest and I realized that if it gave way while I was standing there, I would fall 30 feet down to the water with a ton of dirt covering me.   We do have earthquakes in this region.


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Looking across the river to the sculpted hills, I just imagined the forces of water that made these impressions.  I then became aware that at this moment my photos were actually documenting scenery which will not remain unchanged.  The Walker River is fed predominately from snow melt as it originates from the Sierra Crest. As the waters flow and the rains come, what is here today may not look the same with the passage of time.  A feeling of nostalgia crept over me.


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Walking along a tree lined bank, I felt so in touch with this natural environment.  It was quiet on this day and the area was void of humans.  What a feeling of serenity and being in the moment. 


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Just then a big dark bird flew off from the bank right across from where I was standing.  As it became airborne and in focus, to my surprise I realized it was a golden eagle.  What a rare treat and a species of bird with which I hold a deep emotional bond.


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Water, the element of nature provides the interconnection with all the habitats in this thriving wildlife retreat.  Through its driving force water has carved the byways, allowing its flow to nourish and sustain this natural environment.   As the sun was dropping low, I started my departure still wondering how long this unique landscape would remain as it was on this nice winter day.


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What an exciting and interesting photo-adventure this day has been.  I love it when I am drawn to an area and not knowing what to expect I get treated to new experiences. 

Sign up and follow my blog to see where my next photo-adventure will be!


Photography places me in the moment where I can share that moment in time. It becomes a life story as represented by my interaction with the scene. The happiness and beauty or the sorrow and strife; how I focus leaves a lasting impression that might touch the viewer on a spiritual level.


 "Reflecting Nature's Artistry"



Many of these images are available on my website:

For custom matted and framed images:
Off The Wall


No images on this blog are within Public Domain or are available for free download. 

 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.



Thursday, February 1, 2018

Blue Moon, Blood Moon, Supermoon January's Triple Finale



Photographing the Lunar Eclipse at Walker Lake, Nevada



Being noted as a photographer who loves chasing full moons, I was excited to try and catch rare triple lunar event of January 31, 2018.  Because the eclipse was starting at the early morning hours, around 02:51 PST, I set up for the photos in my backyard with a full view of the western sky.

On the evening prior to the eclipse I had my ski pants, a hoodie and warm jacket ready for when the alarm sounded at 02:30.  Earlier that day, I selected my photography gear: camera with charged battery, extra SD card, 80-200m 2.8 lens, remote cable release and flashlight.  When the moon first appeared I pre-focused on its bright face and did a camera test to make sure everything was working properly. 


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The eclipse officially begins when the moon enters the Earth’s pale outer shadow, the penumbra.  During the first 40 minutes any changes are so faint and hard to notice. I waited to begin my photo shoot and took the first exposure at 04:22 PST.  My shutter speed was 1/2000; I selected a 200 ISO and f/8 aperture. 


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The penumbra appeared as a dark smudge on the moon’s upper left surface and this was just before the moon entered the Earth’s dark umbral shadow.


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After the penumbra has reached approximately 70% the Earth’s shadow starts to deepen. 


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The moon crossed into the Earth’s dark central shadow, the umbra.  The dark shadow deepened on the moon’s left-hand eastern limb.   The partial phases of the eclipse begin.


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Less than 5 minutes to totality the contrast between the remaining silvery light of the moon’s surface and the reddish brown color over the disk may produce a beautiful phenomenon—the Japanese Lantern Effect


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The total eclipse began at 06:27 when the last portion of the moon entered the Earth’s umbra.  The moon may appear differently with each lunar eclipse and this coincides with the amount of sunlight that is scattered and refracted around the edge of the Earth by the atmosphere. 


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The moon’s shine was so much dimmer during the eclipse that I slowed my shutter speed down to 10 seconds.  The moon was moving to the south of the Earth’s umbra and the upper portion of its disk appeared darkest with hues of dark red.  Its lower portion was brighter with more of an orange and soft bluish hue.  Unfortunately, I was unable to catch the ending of the eclipse due to the moon setting behind the Wassuk Mountains, around 06:30 PST.


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The Walker Lake, Nevada area this late in January was blessed with a pleasant night of mild weather, calm wind and slightly overcast skies.  I have attempted to photograph other lunar eclipses where the wind was blowing so hard that I could not prevent the camera from almost shaking off the tripod.  For me, the best part of the night was the mild 36°f temperature which normally is much below freezing. 


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Photography places me in the moment where I can share that moment in time. It becomes a life story as represented by my interaction with the scene. The happiness and beauty or the sorrow and strife; how I focus leaves a lasting impression that might touch the viewer on a spiritual level. 




What an exciting and interesting photo-adventure this day has been.  I love it when I am drawn to an area and not knowing what to expect I get treated to new experiences. 

Sign up and follow my blog to see where my next photo-adventure will be!


Photography places me in the moment where I can share that moment in time. It becomes a life story as represented by my interaction with the scene. The happiness and beauty or the sorrow and strife; how I focus leaves a lasting impression that might touch the viewer on a spiritual level.


 "Reflecting Nature's Artistry" 




Many of these images are available on my website:

 http://www.bonnierannald.com/ 

For custom matted and framed images:
Off The Wall


No images on this blog are within Public Domain or are available for free download. 

 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.














Monday, January 22, 2018

Convict Lake, June Lake Loop on a Winter Photo Retreat



No snow but the lakes are showing their winter majesty!


Hoping to catch some snow on the mountains at Convict Lake, I took a drive over  in late December. With the temperatures being so mild after the last cold spell, there was no snow on the ground at the higher elevation of 7,850 ft (2,393 m). Just a faint dusting accented the rugged terrain at Laurel Mountain which rises in the foreground at Convict Lake.  


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On this mild afternoon, the lake was just beginning to freeze on the north side.


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Since the day was still young, I decided to go back and follow the June Lake Loop that is usually closed during the winter months.  Passing through the village which was also bare of snow, I came upon someone descending from a climb on an icefall.  A stop for a quick photo and I began to feel like the day was going to get more interesting. 


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Following the scenic road, my next photo stop was at Silver Lake.  By this time the sun had dropped behind the Sierra Nevada Mountains but the lighting on the freezing lake was looking pretty awesome.  


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The photographic Carson Peak rises 10,909’ (3,325m) in the background of Silver Lake.  During the summer months this area is alive with activity but on this late winter afternoon, it seems that I am alone with the serenity that only nature can provide. 


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Continuing on along the Loop, the long rays of sunlight create interesting reflections of the rugged hillside in the mirror smooth areas of the lake.  


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The last photo stop before departing the Loop was the 3 mile long 1,100 acre Grant Lake.  The setting sun warms its banks as layers of ice start to form in the shadowy, still side of the lake. 


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I leave wondering at what point will these high altitude lakes continue to freeze and will there be adequate moisture during the remaining winter to cover their banks with snow.  

What a pleasure this day has been.  I am always filled with amazement when I follow my hunch  and it takes me to unexpected  adventures that I could never plan for or anticipate. 


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Photography places me in the moment where I can share that moment in time. It becomes a life story as represented by my interaction with the scene. The happiness and beauty or the sorrow and strife; how I focus leaves a lasting impression that might touch the viewer on a spiritual level. 




What an exciting and interesting photo-adventure this day has been.  I love it when I am drawn to an area and not knowing what to expect I get treated to new experiences. 

Sign up and follow my blog to see where my next photo-adventure will be!


Photography places me in the moment where I can share that moment in time. It becomes a life story as represented by my interaction with the scene. The happiness and beauty or the sorrow and strife; how I focus leaves a lasting impression that might touch the viewer on a spiritual level.


 "Reflecting Nature's Artistry" 




Many of these images are available on my website:

 http://www.bonnierannald.com/ 

For custom matted and framed images:
Off The Wall


No images on this blog are within Public Domain or are available for free download. 

 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.














Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Winter Retreat at Weber Reservoir




Egret, Night Heron and Sun Dogs all on an afternoon photo-adventure!


An interesting winter afternoon at Weber Reservoir finds the water level down from its all time summer high.  


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Even with the water level lower, there is still a tremendous amount rushing through the spillway. 


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The water that is fed in to Weber Reservoir comes from the Walker River which drains from the Sierra Nevada     and eventually terminates at Walker Lake. 


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As my eyes wander across the flooded drainage basin a patch of white catches my attention.  



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Moving in for a closer look and I realize this is a snowy-white egret.  



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Then a different bird came in to focus on the same tree with the egret.  Later, I came to identify this bird as a Black-crowned night heron.  This heron is stockier than the long-limbed Grey heron.  Most active at night or dusk, this bird spends its daylight time on limbs near the water’s edge.


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Two empty oriole nests hang overhead from the branches of a cottonwood tree.  By the warm days of summer, a mated pair will be busy raising their young in one of these nests.    


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I look along the mud eroded cliffs encompassing the lake.  On closer observation, I see the nesting holes that are home for birds.  I’m thinking that a return visit in spring might be interesting to see what birds are using these recesses. 


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The afternoon light begins to fade and I make my departure from this winter retreat.  Suddenly as I am turning on the highway the setting sun shines straight ahead. To my surprise I see that Sun Dogs have formed on either side.  I hurry to catch this rare weather phenomenon before it fades away.  



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As I look up in the sky overhead I also see a halo has also formed from the ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere.      


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Photography places me in the moment where I can share that moment in time. It becomes a life story as represented by my interaction with the scene. The happiness and beauty or the sorrow and strife; how I focus leaves a lasting impression that might touch the viewer on a spiritual level. 




What an exciting and interesting photo-adventure this day has been.  I love it when I am drawn to an area and not knowing what to expect I get treated to new experiences. 

Sign up and follow my blog to see where my next photo-adventure will be!


Photography places me in the moment where I can share that moment in time. It becomes a life story as represented by my interaction with the scene. The happiness and beauty or the sorrow and strife; how I focus leaves a lasting impression that might touch the viewer on a spiritual level.


 "Reflecting Nature's Artistry" 




Many of these images are available on my website:

 http://www.bonnierannald.com/ 

For custom matted and framed images:
Off The Wall


No images on this blog are within Public Domain or are available for free download. 

 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.














Thursday, December 7, 2017

Photo-exploring the Walker River



A day of discovery, getting in focus with the spirit rocks


Taking advantage of the record breaking warm temperatures in the autumn of 2017, on the first day of December I traveled up to the higher elevations in Mono County, California. Turning on Highway 395 North, I ended up in Bridgeport which is a quaint town that welcomes the adventure minded, out-door enthusiast and has some of the best trout fishing too!


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The Bridgeport Reservoir is just past the town and to the north.  Its deep blue water holds plenty of brown and rainbow trout. The snow capped peaks of Yosemite National Park and eastern Sierra Mountains accent the sky in the background. 


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Seven miles further to the north on Highway 182, the East Fork of the Walker River flows under the road.  On its 95 mile run the Walker River cuts through mountains, canyons and valleys to finally terminate in the high desert of Walker Lake, Nevada.


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In many areas along its banks are wetlands and riparian habitat that provide ideal conditions for much wildlife including the brown and rainbow trout. 


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Following a dirt turn-off from Highway 182, I noticed a most intriguing out-cropping of boulders.   


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A closer view revealed rocks that were lying askew in various layers.  I began to marvel at the artistry of nature and felt a preview back in geological time with signs of glacial activity, volcanism and fault movements. 


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Some of rocks were topped with tall, pointed pinnacles.


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Other boulders had been eroded to form hoodoos.  Hoodoos or “fairy chimneys” are sediment pillars of rock that are created from weathering and erosion in desert climates.   As I stood and quietly observed, various forms began to materialize on the hoodoos.  A tall hoodoo at first seemed to have a mushroom shape.  But then with longer observation it took on a human facial silhouette with the hair tied back.    To the left, a hoodoo resembling a dog was watching the humanoid form.


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Looking further to the right and the statue of a warrior caught my attention as it appeared to be screaming out a warning not to deface any of these natural monuments. 


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My imagination was running wild while I was so caught up in the moment.  There is a belief that the spirits of ancestors dwell in rock formations like these at the Walker River. 


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 What an inspirational and peaceful day this had become.  So many times I have a yearning to go to an area in hopes of get interesting photos.  What I sometimes receive is a sensory journey back in time and become caught up in that moment.  I am left with an even deeper appreciation of the magical awareness of being there and focusing on the image through my camera.  It is in the stillness and solitude that I become one with the environment as I focus on the wonders of nature.  


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Photography places me in the moment where I can share that moment in time. It becomes a life story as represented by my interaction with the scene. The happiness and beauty or the sorrow and strife; how I focus leaves a lasting impression that might touch the viewer on a spiritual level. 
Follow me as I continue on more of my photo-explorations and see where the next adventure is! 

http://www.bonnierannald.com



Photography places me in the moment where I can share that moment in time. It becomes a life story as represented by my interaction with the scene. The happiness and beauty or the sorrow and strife; how I focus leaves a lasting impression that might touch the viewer on a spiritual level. 




What an exciting and interesting photo-adventure this day has been.  I love it when I am drawn to an area and not knowing what to expect I get treated to new experiences. 

Sign up and follow my blog to see where my next photo-adventure will be!


Photography places me in the moment where I can share that moment in time. It becomes a life story as represented by my interaction with the scene. The happiness and beauty or the sorrow and strife; how I focus leaves a lasting impression that might touch the viewer on a spiritual level.


 "Reflecting Nature's Artistry" 




Many of these images are available on my website:

 http://www.bonnierannald.com/ 

For custom matted and framed images:
Off The Wall


No images on this blog are within Public Domain or are available for free download. 

 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.