Prelude to the Afternoon of a Bear
North fork of the St. Vrain River
Wild Basin Area
Rocky Mountain National Park
Update July 16. 2007.. my Bear made the news:
One of my favorite places to photograph flowing water is the Wild Basin area of the park. The North St. Vrain river cascades through thick dark woods along the trail side .. sometimes wide .. sometimes narrow .. over several waterfalls. A truly wonderful place.
I had a day off yesterday .. my wife and daughters are in California seeing family .. Andrew was in school .. So after I got Andrew off to school I headed up to Wild Basin .. figuring the thick woods and cloudy skies would have some potential even for mid day images.
Whenever I solo hike I try to stick to busy and popular trail systems ... Wild Basin fits the bill. I had a hard time finding a place in the large parking lot. The trail was busy until the afternoon thunderclouds rolled in.
This was one of my last images of the day .. a nice spot along the river about a half mile from the trail head. I then continued down the trail and ate my lunch sitting atop Upper Copeland Falls
From there it is just a third of a mile (around 500 meters) back to the trail head. I had loitered too long at the falls and it was now getting to be time I had to hurry back to my van to get home before Andrew's bus returned from school. So I hurried down the trail (unfortunately camera in bag).
I was rounding a corner very close to where I took this image and standing (on all fours) in the trail in front of me (maybe 30 meters) was the largest black bear I have ever seen. A very long second passed where we stared at each other ..
I did a bad thing and took a step back .. luckily he was more scared of me than I was of him .. and as soon as I moved he took off running into the woods ...
I hurried back up the trail ... reported my experience to the ranger at the trail head .. The rangers acted quickly ... I had driven the few miles up the gravel road to the highway ... when I met a group of Rangers towing a bear trap (large cylindrical cage with a door) .. down to the trail .. apparently to trap my new friend and relocate him farther into the back country.
Critiques | Translate
Sanderson-Brown (6) 2007-07-12 9:41
Wonderful shot with a great note to go with it! Excellent timing, i can nearly hear the river from the photo!
Thanks for sharing
saylan-cb (12738) 2007-07-12 9:56
I like this photo...
carper (96) 2007-07-12 10:12
I like the effect of the fast water John,
good speed shot, fine details and nice to look at, very good photojob here, well done.
blow (672) 2007-07-12 10:21
Voici une photo qui mérite que l'on s'y attarde, dans tout les sens du termes... félicitation et bonne continuation...
dlevy23 (2018) 2007-07-12 10:24
Great photo, nice smooth effect in the water. Good exposure.
Silke (3027) 2007-07-12 12:38
Quite a story to go with that lovely image -- the water looks rather gentler than the bear in this instance- very soft and milky, thanks to your slow shutter speed
xavshot (69835) 2007-07-12 13:45
la longue pose est bien vue pour donner cette texture à l'eau. J'apprécie l'ambiance de cette composition. Belle photo.
balatrek (7455) 2007-07-12 14:15
This image has a great dynamic effect, the slow speed of exposure has created this interesting effect in the water, the composition is correct, you have created a different and mysterious atmosphere, thanks to share.
Greetings from Madrid
Standa (1877) 2007-07-12 14:21
this "prelude" remindes me the Vltava river from Smetana. It is my lovely piece and your shot is like this music: fresh, dreamy,sparkling...
Exposure time is well choosed and the atmosphere you photographed is marvelous.
twofun (1480) 2007-07-12 15:18
very cool shot.
and i want to take like this photo in this summer.
because i love smooth of water.
Angelillo (9374) 2007-07-12 15:38
The soft water is here quite impressive, very well managed the exposure. The rocks seems almos alive, as if they try to jump to escape! It has a strong expressivity! Thanks.
evanrizo (456) 2007-07-12 21:10
Hi John, the running water is writen like a flow of fog or like silk this is I like.
The water gives an effect of softness over and through the stones, also very good to include the green in the photo.
Very good done.
Manamo (3710) 2007-07-12 21:35
I love those kind of shots!! I never succeeded having a decent one... I love the silky texture you get with this shot. There are beautiful details in the rocks too. Many people say that it's hard to get a moody landscape picture. For me, this kind of shot always bring a good mood. One of the good I've seen.
And the story about the bear...Very interesting!!Why was it a bad thing to step back? There are many bears here. Basically, the belief is that a good reaction would be to make some clear noise to make sure the bear saw you (in your case, you already knew that) and slowly move back ensuring that you leave him a path to run away freely and never never turn your back to him:D
bakes888 (18499) 2007-07-13 0:46
Hi John. Nice photo. The effect you have created here is wonderful and compliments the scene well. Well composed with good POV. Thanks for sharing.
orme (7219) 2007-07-13 8:41
Another incredible capture, John - with a great story to match.
You really have captured the 'raging power' of the river in this shot.
And maybe it's because it is late here, but the rock in the middle look like an old turtle resting on a rock.
elihesamian (26149) 2007-07-13 11:25
A beautiful work,with a great feeling of the softness and flowing of the river,this is like a frame of some our night dream !
well captured and timing is great and very well composed,great,nicely done.
japiey (10163) 2007-07-14 0:30
As soft like the shining silk...the waters pour out to your frame....
I love this shot, it has the rich text of imagination blended with an artistic sense..
Enjoying such fabulous images is a blessing.
FASCINATING IMAGE AGAIN FROM YOU, DEAR JOHN..
kensimage (8565) 2007-07-14 0:38
Nicely done with the 3-second exposure, John--all is silky and soft. It gives the image an almost trance-like feel. It would be nice to have more rocks showing through above the water, to vary the texture, but it's a nice composition with what's there. Regards, Ken.
capthaddock (28790) 2007-07-14 0:51
Hi John - dreamy combination of sharp and smooth, and excellent story, I wonder if 2 seconds instead of 3 would have been better, the blur of the water is almost total, maybe that was the idea, making it more unusual and creative. (I've also had bear encounters, with small ones, but those are the ones to be afraid of, in case mommy is nearby!)
Henryk_Bilor (20799) 2007-07-14 0:55
Nice trip :). Great capture of this stream. Lovely composition of smooth water and rocks.
thea0211 (1365) 2007-07-14 8:07
well this is a perfect example of long exposure and usefulness of a tripod - very well presented flowing water - nice and smooth texture - i bet it is also a very pleasant spot to walk around!
jaywalker (16101) 2007-07-14 10:33
Hi John, What a beautiful effect, the water looks like cotton wool, a very well composed photo with excellent exposure time, the sharp focus is superb & the light is wonderful, a brilliant shot, kind regards Wilson.
captainsgirl (3448) 2007-07-14 16:12
Great shot of the motion of falling water...looks like it was rushing pretty good from the spring thaw...beautiful shot. TFS
jrj (34843) 2007-07-15 6:33
Nice close up of the little creek, made interesting not least duw to the slow shutter and soft impression of the running water. Good work John.
KellEy (1237) 2007-07-15 7:49
It's like looking at clouds in the rocks. Very peaceful affect you've acheived with this slow shutter speed.
happypoppeye (4819) 2007-07-17 17:58
I don't know John. I really don't like these "all water shots" (as great photos I will always remember - not that a photo needs to be "something I will always remember"). They are nice looking and the water looks great with the long exposures but there is just no focal point. In my opinion just too much "smooth" water with nothing for the eye to really focus on. I would like to see just something of interest, maybe in the stream, or next to it.
Now, again, that is definitely just my opinion, as the reaction you get to these shows that most people really like them so don't take it too bad. And I know, I seem to have some "fascination" with a strong focal point and most of my landscapes either have a 14000 ft mountain or something like that as the focal point...and I also do know that this is one of the toughest types of photography to master. The small details of nature / landscape type that is. So, keep working at it and one day someone will be saying that someone else's photos really remind them of John McLaird, and not Galen Rowell...
...and I am by no means a great or even good photographer so take all that with a grain of salt - if you know what I mean.
The note is good, as always though.
Still, a nice soothing shot.
Angshu (56760) 2007-07-17 20:59
A different & creative way to capture a cascade. Here your use of slow shutter speed is very good as the water appears like a homogenous white creamy mass, running over the sharply focused rocks. Well done!
mesutilgim (95800) 2007-07-18 23:00
I like allways, how you are mastering the movement of the water ! it's not a secret (that one needs to choose a slow shutter speed) but how to manage it, this is simply what we call "mastery" !
TFS and best regards
rigoletto (34279) 2007-07-28 2:06
Prelude a l'Apres midi d'un Bear :)))
Great title and dedication to Debussy. The long exposure and the silky result are just wonderful. I like it a lot.
Cheers John, have a nice weekend :)
Hellas (6955) 2007-07-30 2:35
very interesting meeting and wonderful picture. I can imagine the fear and the amazement. Your photo is excellent. Thank you very much for sharing the story anf the photo.
Take care my friend.
jeanguy (686) 2007-08-20 4:06
I like this spot and the fuzzy effect you did on water.
Well, walks around your place can be a bit scary!...
gunbud (34066) 2007-08-24 19:39
Wonderfu slow exposure photo of the milky water cascading over the ancient boulders all seen in clear colors and excellent details. Very exciting note.
Anuvrat (28) 2009-07-19 7:00
great shot nice experiance
- Copyright: John McLaird (jmcl) (14535)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2007-07-11
- Categories: Nature
- Camera: Olympus E 300, B&W 58mm 1.8 ND
- Exposure: f/22, 3 seconds
- Details: Tripod: Yes
- Map: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): Rivers & Streams, Wild Basin, Rocky Mountain National Park [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2007-07-12 9:38