Mad In Pursuit Notebook

jim at lake macdonald

Whitefish MT: Thinking About Photography & Glacier National Park

6.9.2013. I got up today thinking about photography, as we were scheduled for our visit to Glacier NP. I hopped on to the photo site 500px to see what the "best" photographers were up to... how did they do the classic landscapes? The images were gorgeous, dense with color and special effects. Okayyyyy.... So how did the old masters do it? I checked the Commons on Flickr to get a look at many Glacier NP photos uploaded from the National Archives. Ah yes, there's a nice one by Ansel Adams... The old ones are all in black and white, yet they seemed more serene, more beautiful than the overwrought color versions.

It got me thinking about the periods of any artistic genre:

"Baroque" is what I thought as I looked at the "best" on 500px. After all, how do you do better than Ansel Adams on a scene that's been photographed for a hundred years? How do you distinguish yourself as an artist, worthy of a gallery show, or at least a second glance on the trendy photo site?

I don't need to indulge in any of that angst, except to remind myself to try rendering today's photos in black and white... to think about light rather than color for a change.


And so we went off on our tours. A morning cruise on an old wooden boat on the iconic Lake MacDonald. After a leisurely lunch at the classic park lodge, we boarded the classic 1937 open-air bus -- one of the original fleet of buses made for the national parks by White Motors, and refurbished by Ford Motor Company around 2002. And we snapped our photos.

I'd yammer on about this and show more photos, but we didn't get back to our room till well after six. So this page is really a hurry-up-and-get-it-done effort as we chomp on room-service pizza.

(Ok, I like the black and white, but the natural color of Lake MacDonald was also awesome -- see below.)

Glacier National Park

Oh and here is a photo of the buses:

Glacier National Park

Black and white photos at The Commons on Flickr