David Barthel - North Shore Images PhotographyDavid Barthel North Shore Images Photography
David Barthel

Photo Journal & News

Sunday, April 10, 2016

More New Photographs

It's been quite a productive winter this year in getting new work ready for the upcoming art fair season. I intend to have well over two dozen new photographs available by the beginning of June. About half of them are from Lake Superior's North Shore region, with the other half from several locations in the American West.

Here are the eight most recent of these photographs:

"Sol Duc Serenity" – Olympic National Park, Washington, USA

Snowmelt from the high elevations of the Olympic Mountains cascades down the Sol Duc River as it makes its way toward the Pacific Ocean. The temperate rainforests in this area receive around 150 inches of precipitation each year, which contributes to all of the mosses and ferns and other lush vegetation that thrive here.

A little note: Normally, I like to keep stray branches and such outside of the frame of my composition, as they tend to distract from the main subject. Here, there was no way to avoid it (without falling off a ledge and into the river), so I made an exception. I still like the overall mood of the image.

"Quiet Cove" – Temperance River State Park, Minnesota, USA

This is an image from a few autumns ago along Lake Superior that I haven't shown before. This is a location I've photographed before, but each time I go back, the light is a little different.

Every time I visit such quiet and beautiful locations, I feel grateful to the visionary leaders of the past century for preserving these unique parcels of land along Lake Superior and elsewhere for all of us to enjoy.


"Virgin Oasis" – Zion National Park, Utah, USA

This is an often photographed view in Zion National Park...and for good reason! The relatively plentiful rainfall in Zion Canyon, for a desert region, keeps the Virgin River flowing and the surrounding plant life thriving. It is like an oasis in the middle of the desert!

Of course, I would have loved to have had dramatic sunset light on the clouds above the Watchman peaks for this image, but I actually kind of like the deep blue of the rain clouds that were slowly moving into the area. The blue color was reflected by the Virgin River's surface, contributing to the feeling of springtime lushness in the valley. Indeed, within a couple of hours after capturing this image, a spring storm moved in and it started raining!

"Rock!" – Olympic National Park, Washington, USA

Here's something a little different from me. I made this image along Washington's Pacific Coast at Rialto Beach during a spring evening with a fantastic cloud display over the ocean. I love the beaches on the Olympic Peninsula and look forward to visiting them again this month!

Yes, this is different than my usual style. I think my "fine art" brain cells must have been firing a little harder that evening! Although the clouds appear more ominous than the atmosphere really was at the time, there is a sort of visual metaphor here with the lone rock facing an incoming storm from the ocean.

"Golden Dawn" – Tettegouche State Park, Minnesota, USA

How about a little sunshine for your Sunday (or whatever day you read this)!

I was digging really deep into my archives this winter and found this gem from way back in 2010! The detail-oriented observers may notice the still-intact arch at the end of the rock outcropping just left of center. Just a few weeks after I made this photograph, the span of the arch collapsed into Lake Superior, changing this landscape forever.

"Shamrock's Nest" – Hoh Rainforest, Washington, USA

If you've ever tried to photograph in a rainforest, you know how chaotic the scenes can be with plant life seemingly growing everywhere! Sometimes luck strikes, and you find some order among all of the randomness!

I made this image in the Hoh Rainforest area of Olympic National Park in northwestern Washington. As one of the nation's finest temperate rainforests, over 150 inches of precipitation falls here in a typical year.

"Heart of the Earth Falls" – Superior National Forest, Minnesota, USA

Tucked deep within the Kadunce River Gorge, northeast of Grand Marais, MN, are several waterfalls that require an upriver hike/climb/wade to experience in person. Possibly the most beautiful of them, pictured here, can be accessed by either the aforementioned upriver hike or by scrambling down a steep rocky slope after walking the trail above the river canyon. Neither approach is for the faint of heart and requires extra caution.

For the adventurous waterfall (and slot canyon) enthusiast, this is a river worth exploring!

"Liquid Gold" – Death Valley National Park, California, USA

The sand dunes in Death Valley are some of the most beautiful in the world, and despite frequent windy conditions, the sand stays in the same general area and is not blown away.

I was at the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes on a spring evening and witnessed the last glow of sunlight on the dunes. Due to the sun's low angle at that time of day, large shadows were cast and gave the dunes a dreamy, ribbon-like appearance. To top it all off, a big, somewhat stormy-looking cloud positioned itself right above the dune peaks! Also, do you see the dust devil in the upper-right?

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