BearHead Photography Landscape Pictures
BearHead Photography has many images to showcase his expansive portfolio on places of North America, and he loves to travel and see the many different landscapes of this continent.
It is hard to describe just how awesome a large tidewater glacier is! In Glacier Bay National Park there are a number of really large glaciers that come all the way down to the water from high in the mountains. This particular glacier has carved out a massive area that has in the last few hundred years filled in with sea water. The expansiveness of the area and the grandeur of the glacier and mountains was quite the site to see!
Observing the northern lights never gets old. Each show is very different from the last, and unpredictable. This night started off very slow, and then all of a sudden this beam appeared and started moving around! Watching it move over the mountains was a memorable experience.
Alaska is an incredible state to see from car, train, boat, and even plane. Seeing glaciers from above gives you a much large appreciation for their size and power. Flying directly up this glacier let me really see exactly how powerful these ice waterfalls are in carving out the mountains.
In the mountains in the morning it is often foggy after a rain storm. The moisture in the air combined with the usually cooler temperature, can create a very heavy fog. As the fog was beginning to burn off, the larger trees began to cast a shadow across the fog and add a neat effect to the look of the forest.
I love experiencing and seeing new things in nature. As I was driving, I faintly saw a streak in the fog. I stopped, and then noticed the faint outline of a rainbow. But there was no rain, so it had to be a fog bow. I parked and began hiking in the fog looking for something to photograph with the fog bow, and found these trees. The heavily hoar frost covered trees really made the fog bow behind them stand out and show off how great it was.
It's not often you get to see a glacier at the sea, and see where it started from in the mountains. They often curve down the mountains and make only half or less of the glacier visible. Being able to see over 10 miles back into the mountains to where the ice I was looking at started hundreds of years ago made me realize just how amazing glaciers really are.
The fall in Denali is my favorite time of the year. I love being in Denali in the fall because the color is spectacular, the animals are moving around a lot, and the weather is better. Catching Denali on a perfect calm day in the backcountry is why I love Denali in the fall!
Going underneath a glacier into a cave that has formed underneath was very surreal. The colors and natural design of the ice cave is indescribable until you have been in one. An ice cave forms by a river that moves underneath the glacier. The natural color and design of the ice was like nothing I had ever seen before.
Glaciers are a large powerful sheet of ice that slowly moves like a frozen waterfall. They tower above the ground, and are very impressive. I loved the jaggedness of the mountains, because they were above where the glaciers ever reached, and how the jagged the ice was as it moved and carved out the mountain.
Finding the Sea
Glaciers start high in the mountains at the highest peaks. As they gather snow, they add wait and start to move downward. As they move, they carve out the landscape and can move very large boulders. Seeing the paths they take to wind through the mountains to the sea is neat.
Until this night, most of my northern lights experiences had been one streak of light in the sky. I had seen some nice lights and very dramatic lights, but none that filled the whole sky. Just standing and being able to look up and see the entire sky alive and dancing was an experience I would like to have again.
When the fireweed grow later in the summer in Alaska it turns the entire state into a much prettier state! There can be field after field of fireweed, and they really liven everything up. When I saw Denali clearing, I knew I wanted to frame the mountain with fireweed and found some along the edge of this pond.
Seeing the northern lights is more likely the further north you go in Alaska. I was very far north on this night, and set up on the river hoping to the see the lights over the river. I had been seeing the lights, and then for just a couple of minutes the lights danced over the river, and even a star shot across the northern lights.
There are some mornings that happen in nature that are hard to explain. On this morning I just sat in one place and watched the clouds come and go around the mountains. Eventually the entire mountain was showing and looked as if it was appearing from no where.
Glaciers in Alaska, and everywhere, are quickly receding. Mendenhall glacier, in southeast Alaska, is no exception to that, and by 2080 they think it could be gone. As it recedes, it drops ice bergs into the lake it has created as it retreats up the valley.
The night before this while hiking in the mountain was fully enclosed in clouds and I had no idea where Denali was. I happened to wake at 4 a.m. and when I looked out my tent the great mountain was clearing from the clouds. I ran back to a marshy area from hiking in and got some amazing clear pictures on a beautiful calm morning.
In the summer in Alaska the sun doesn't set in some places of Alaska. In southeast Alaska it does set, but in the middle of the summer it is not until very late at night. It was worth staying up to see this sunset in Juneau.
This bay in Glacier Bay National Park is large and impressive. The John Hopkins glacier comes down for miles from the mountains to reach the bay. As our earth warms and glaciers retreat, we are left to only pictures and our imagination to how even more grand this scene once was with glaciers coming down from all sides of the mountains to reach the bay.
Glaciers all over the world are melting at an incredible rate. Some glaciers are still very large, but I would have loved to see them even 50 years ago and how much larger they would have been. Being up close to this glacier and seeing the deep blue of the ice made me respect the glaciers even more.
Everything about this picture screams beauty. The night before I had no idea where the mountain even was because of clouds, and the next morning all of a sudden a 20,000 foot mountain appears from nowhere. Walking around in a marsh, I was able to find some calm waters for this reflection picture. Seeing Denali on a clear day is an experience I will not forget, especially since I did not even know what it looked like before that morning.
The Grand Tetons are a beautiful mountain range. They are young and still very jagged. When the first light of the day hits the peaks, the whole valley begins to light up.
Glaciers move and change as they move down valley and carve out the mountain. I was on a long hike up the mountain in Juneau when I got a nice view of Mendenhall Glacier below. I zoomed in on a part of the glacier that looked abstract and beautiful to me.
Alaska has hundred of mountains and glaciers that are impressive. When you see many of them in one view it is just incredible. And seeing all the jagged peaks that have never been underneath a glacier and smoothed over made me realize just how tall these mountains are.
The northern lights is a phenomenon most people want to see in their lives, but many people don't get to. They only occur in the northern most latitudes, and you have to stay up late most of the time to see them. They come in many different colors, and can move very quickly across the sky. This wave of lights was impressive in how fast it changed shape and danced. Trying to place an object in the foreground with northern lights can be tricky because of how much they move.
I love how the way nature looks can change so quickly. This scene was only this beautiful less than 20 seconds as the sun managed to squeeze between the clouds. If you had been there just before or after, you likely would've kept going and not thought this scene as anything special.
Finding a forest full of color is not terribly difficult. The hard part is finding a forest that has no single tree that is distracting from the rest of the trees. The straightness and similarity of these trees struck me as I looked up walking through the forest.
Light From Above
During a short time of the day, around noon, something special happens in this canyon. The opening of the canyon at the top is very small, and only right around noon, when the sun is directly above, will the light make it down into the canyon. The canyon is so dark that the sun beams are visible all the way down and light up the canyon.
Looking over the canyon after a recent storm storm is spectacular. The white snow and orange rock create a great contrast. The storm was still trying to clear out in the morning after snowing 7 inches the day before.
In the fall, the Smokies becomes a colorful land of trees. They turn many different colors, but a bright yellow maple tree is hard to beat. At the peak of its colors, this tree is ignited by the setting sun.
Since most of the tops of the mountains were shrouded in fog, not much sun was reaching the valley floor in Cataloochee. All of a sudden a little light came through and it landed on the only tree in the meadow. As the tree now beamed with light, the area around the tree started to brighten up as well.
In Alaska there are so many great mountains and glaciers. These two glaciers are both large and many hundreds feet deep. When they meet on the other side of the mountain, they both have to squeeze into the valley and start moving down the mountain and carving it out to fit together in the valley.
The endless snow valleys in Yellowstone can create a dramatic scene in the winter. This is not a black and white photograph, it's just nature's colors. With the snow perfect, and the shadows casting off the hill tops, it almost looks like a scene from a different planet. The lonely tree gives the photo life and creates a different feel for the image. Nature has the best imagination!
Fall in Denali
The only way to experience fall in Denali is to be there yourself. Watching literally everything turn red is crazy. The plants that turn red are some of the most dull plants all summer, and then for one week they light up. The fall in Denali is the prettiest fall I have ever seen.
I love seeing glaciers, because everyone is so different that the next. Some glaciers aren't very blue, others are hundreds of feet deep, some are so covered in rock sediment you can't hardly see the glacier, and others look super smooth. I loved how blue this glacier was, in Glacier Bay National Park, and how defined the different layers of the glacier were.
The northern lights are a part of our world that will never get tiring. They come out in the northern latitudes, and are very unpredictable. From night to night they put on a different display, or decide not to show up at all. On a very clear night I was able to have no wind and capture the big dipper reflected in the lake while the northern lights played above the mountains.
Birds Eye View
One of the best places in North America to see glaciers is in Alaska. Many people will see them from a boat or their car, but not as many will take a plane to see them. On a clear day when all the glaciers and mountains are showing in their glory is worth any price to see. It isn't a sight that can be seen elsewhere, and a birds eye view of a glacier is a memory no one forgets.
Only on rare occasions is it as crystal clear as this day was. Not having a single cloud in the sky always makes for a terrific day. When I came across these antlers facing Denali, it was perfect. There are so many antlers across the tundra, but few are as in good of shape. Looking at Denali through the antlers made the mountain feel alive.
On most nights the sun will set behind this mountain and hit the clouds high above the ridge. Because the clouds were lower this night, the light reflected off the clouds and ignited the ridge with orange light.
As I walked along in the river looking for photographic opportunities, this small falls caught my attention. The way it looked as if the water came out of the rocks as it was surrounded by the fall colors in the trees created a beautiful scene.
I had never seen a fogbow until this morning in 2016. It was zero degrees outside, and a thick fog covered the valley. Just on the edge of the fog there was enough light getting in that this beautiful fog bow revealed itself. Hiking through the snow covered valley, I found two hoar frost covered trees and framed them inside the beauty of the fog bow.
The mountains in Glacier seem as if they rise out of nowhere. They are all very large, and around every corner is a different towering mountain. St. Mary's lake adds to the effect and allows one to really see just how straight up the mountains can go.
On my first morning of a workshop with clients in Yellowstone, we headed into the park early in the morning on a snow coach. It was dark, but it's a good time to find wildlife. We started to see some light, and then the clouds illuminated all of a sudden. The vibrant colors only lasted a couple of minutes, but with the light reflecting off the river, it was a memorable start to the trip.
In the middle of a lake, a group of cypress trees grow away from anything else. This group of trees creates a great foreground for the rising sun over the lake.
Seeing Denali in all its glory is rare, but spectacular. The fall is one of the best times because the weather is better and not as many cloudy days. Being in the backcountry on a morning that was cloudless and in the fall was a memory I will not forget.
One of the beautiful things about nature is that it is unpredictable. This rain storm wasn't on top of me yet, but it was covering the mountains. I was trying to find wildlife before the rain came, and then all of a sudden a beautiful rainbow appeared. It got brighter and brighter and was one of the most vibrant rainbows I have ever seen.
In the winter Mount Rainier creates its own storms, and feet of snow fall on the surrounding area. I was very glad to have snow shoes as I walked on top of the snow near the river. It was quite a great scene with all the fresh snow surrounding the river and mountain!
Glaciers are an incredible creation of nature. It is hard to imagine tons and tons of ice moving down a mountain, but that is what happens. A glacier is basically a large frozen waterfall that slowly moves down the mountain and carves the stone away as it moves. The glacier ice is the bluest on cloudy days because of the light refraction with the clouds.
Being in the Smokey Mountains in the fall is a great time of year. The temperatures are perfect, and the colors can be amazing for a few weeks! There are many streams throughout the mountains, and in a calm pool the beautiful colors look like a painting.
On the North Carolina coast, you can see the sun set for a long time over the lakes. The silhouetted trees created a nice veil for the sun, and a duck flew over to get back to its lake before all the light was gone.
Watching the northern lights on a clear night is a sight to be seen. On this night they came and went very fast, and had so much energy. Seeing a green light in the dark night makes everyone stop and watch.
There are numerous incredible scenes in the Yosemite valley. It's hard not to be mesmerized by the glory of it all. As the day was beginning to end at the end of the valley, this beautiful scene presented itself.
The Smokies Range
The rolling mountains of the Smokies look like they are never ending at times. Mountains just seem to keep appearing if it is a real clear day. Hiking along the Appalachian Trail there are some incredible scenic points, and on this clear day I could see for miles and miles.
As winter turns to summer, the lakes in Canada begin to thaw in May. With the reflection is the open area of the lake, its a welcome sign that summer is on its way.
Winter sunrises can create a dramatic contrast with the snow. When it is real cold, the hoar frost adds to the contrast and can create a beautiful sparkle in the trees. The light is just different in the winter than the summer at sunrise.
With a little chill in the air, I woke up to a remarkable scene. The sun was just starting to rise and hit the tops of the mountains. With a low lying cloud bank well below the peaks, I was able to watch the sun rise on a backcountry adventure.
It is hard to imagine how large a redwood tree is if you haven't seen one in person. When walking around a forest full of redwoods I felt as small as an ant. The splendor and size of the trees is hard to explain.
Alaska Range Glow
Not only were there no clouds over Denali, but the entire range that I could see was cloudless. Being fortunate to watch the sunrise while looking at a priceless view is why I love Alaska. Not only was it priceless, but me and a buddy were the only 2 people around for miles.
The coast of Olympic National Park is beautiful and undisturbed. Years and years of waves hitting the coast have created a stunning landscape. With the last light of the day hitting the water, a very calm sense came over me.
A quick glance at this photo and you will see a large glacier and it's blue ice. You would think the ice looks large, but you wouldn't know for sure. A deeper look at the photo and you will see small harbor seals that look like ants, and then the ice would feel massively larger that what you originally thought.
As night falls, everything tends to calm and slow down in nature. Looking at these haystacks as the last light fell was calming to me. I put my camera on a long shutter to slow everything down ever more and create a soothing effect in the water.
The waters around Glacier Bay National Park are so beautiful. Around every corner it seems as if there is another mountain and another glacier. It is often raining in Glacier Bay, so seeing the tops of the mountains was a real treat on this day.
Reaching to the Sea
Seeing a glacier is what most people want to see on a trip to Alaska. Alaska still has some very large glaciers that come all the way to the sea from the mountains. Margerie Glacier sticks out from the mountains and tries to connect with other glaciers coming in from the right, but both have recently retreated and no longer touch. Even though they are retreating, they are still impressive.
Winter in a geyser basin is spectacular on a cold morning! The colors of the pools are brighter and the steam more obvious. This small hot spring made for a great foreground of the rest of the geyser basin.
Half Dome is a terrific mountain. After all other mountains have lost the light, somehow light still finds Half Dome. With the river calm and the mountain glowing, the reflection cast by Half Dome was not soon going to be forgotten.
Former Glacial Valleys
Hiking high into the mountains gives you a very different perspective than from the valley. When I got near the top of the mountain, and above the glacier, I looked back down valley. It was beautiful, but also sad because I knew once upon a time all those valleys had large glaciers in them.
Looking up at the sky at night and seeing lights move across the sky is incredible! On this night, the lights continued to expand and expand and completely covered the sky that I could see.
There is just something special about seeing the first light of the day from a beautiful natural place. The Grand Teton Range is a spectacular young mountain range, and you know the day has begun when the first light hits the Grand.
Catching a beautiful sunset in the desert is harder than you would think. It is not often that clouds are around, so normally there is no special color in the sky. I was able to find a lone cactus to silhouette the colorful sky as the sun went down.
I love being in the mountains because at any given time the weather can change dramatically. On my side of the mountains it was a beautiful clear day. But on the other side it was storming, and slowly the storm crept over the mountains and created this dramatic scene with the clouds taking over the mountains.
In the redwood forest, there are not many avenues for light to squeeze into. Where light can shine through the forest it is often very bright because the rest of the forest is so dark. There is just something beautiful about seeing individual sun rays shining through.
After years and years of the ocean pounding this rock, a hole has opened in the middle. As I was walking back through, it created a beautiful outlook of what it sees every day.
To create a canyon like this it took thousands of years. Washing and eroding hard rock is a very long process. As it eroded, fine sand particles gathered on this ledge and with a little more help was made to look like a never ending sand waterfall.
The Rising Range
Death Valley is a neat park in that there are numerous different types of landscapes. It has very low points in the valleys and very high points in the mountains. The sun was just starting to make it over the mountains when this picture was taken looking back over many different ridges.
Moving to the Sea
Seeing a large glacier is not uncommon in Alaska, but they don't exist in the lower 48. The glaciers stat high in the mountains, and then work there way down valley until they reach the sea.
Yosemite Falls at different times of the year flows very little, or very strong. When I was there in the late winter, the snow was melting and creating a pretty good flow. On a perfect, calm morning, the falls was perfectly reflected by the river below.
Large River Valley
Everything in Alaska is bigger and badder. When you're on the ground you realize just how large everything is when it takes 3-4 times longer than you expected to get where you were hiking. Seeing this valley from the air showed how long and wide most of the river valley's are in Alaska.
Highway 1 is one of the best known highways in America. It travels all along the west coast and provides some incredible views. Views like this one were everywhere, and made the trip very long because I had to keep stopping and photographing.
Geysers still erupt as often in the winter as they do in the summer. In the winter it is much more evident when one is erupting because there is much more steam involved. As I was walking around, Grand Geyser began erupting on this -24 degree morning.