Landscape and Nature photography by Shane Srogi

Travel

Happy Birthday to the National Park Service!

 (Shane Srogi)

 

Looking Back on Adventure.  A Photograph of Canyonlands National Park, Island in the Sky District.  The White Rim Trail Road.

I have had many adventures over the years in the National Parks, many solo but they are usually sweeter shared with friends or family.  Few have been in a vehicle as I prefer the backcountry but this is an exception.  Traveling the White Rim Trail Road via 4×4 is a true backcountry adventure.  Amazingly breath taking in more places than I can county it also offer white knuckle tests of ones resolve and driving skill.  I highly recommend it.  It is with many thanks that I offer the people of the National Park Service a happy birthday!


Big Cypress National Preserve

 (Shane Srogi)

 

Big Cypress National Preserve

Big Cypress National Preserve is primal landscape.


International Tiger Day

 (Shane Srogi)

 

Tigers

It’s International Tiger Day.  There are as few as 3200 Tigers left in the Wild.  Tigers can be found in the wild from Malaysia to Bangladesh, India to Far East Russia.  While few in numbers there isn’t a country with wild tigers that doesn’t revere them and that may be the key to their survival in the wild.


Yellowstone on Fire.

 (Shane Srogi)

Yellowstone on Fire

Yellowstone National Park had its birthday this week.  The first National Park in the world.  A place that is uniquely beautiful.  As unique as the idea that the landscape belongs to the people of this nation and the world…..preserved for countless future generations to experience and enjoy.


Happy Fourth of July Weekend from South Beach in Miami Florida

 (Shane Srogi)

Stars and Stripes Life Guard station.  South Beach.

Happy Fourth of July Weekend from South Beach in Miami Florida.


Amphitheatre at Flamingo

 

 (Shane Srogi)

Amphitheatre at Flamingo has been selected for the LONG SHOT 2010 gallery show.


A Rainbow Forming

Happy Earth Day!  No entrance fees this week in the National Parks! 

So as the amazing light is moving rapidly across the land.  It reaches across the canyon and into the sky.  And that’s when I capture a Rainbow forming.  One of the most awesome displays I’ve ever seen.   The wind is gusting so hard it knocks my tripod over.  I make a diving catch worthy of the NFL.  I can’t lose my camera, not now I think.  Shooting and moving trying to get to the location I spotted on the drive in a clear view of the valley and up the Canyon.  Here are the rest of the images from that day.


Rainbow over Island in the Sky


Rainbow in the Canyonlands

 (Shane Srogi)


Canyonlands Dramatic

So we’re in this spring storm and even though we’re down in the canyon and not on top of the mesa we’re in for a rough ride.  A couple of hours of being buffeted around and very glad we’re got the truck.  Reading and playing games only go so far.  Wilderness travel means passing the time waiting for the weather to pass.  No matter how well you think you know someone being stuck in a tent and weathering a storm will be a learning experience.

Always have your gear ready because you never know.

BAMB!

The light changes like that subtle as a truck.  With the wind blowing like it is.  I’m guessing I only have moments to capture it.  I grab my camera and start to run toward a location I had scouted on that mid-day hike.


White Rim Trail Road

On the White Rim Road

Before we get back to the Storm story let me back up a bit and give some background on the White Rim Trail road.  I’ve been fielding some email about the road and hopefully this will speak to those questions.  The White Rim Road is a 100 mile 4×4 dirt road that loops in the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park.  You can either travel the road by either Mountain Bike or 4×4.  It’s not technically difficult as far as mountain biking goes but you do have to be in good condition.  The Park service calls the four wheel drive moderate.  An experience driver is a must this isn’t the place to cut your four by teeth on.  That said it’s quite an adventure.  While other friends go on a vacation you’ll go on an experience and annoy them for month’s afterword with stories.  The peace and solitude of this wilderness is offset by white knuckle driving.  With every flat stretch my companion and I knew there would be something technical to navigate very soon.  I would recommend a narrow truck with good visibility over the hood.  You’ll be climbing with no view of the road in front of you.  Bring an extra cooler!

This trip is wilderness travel.  There is a scene in The Hurt Locker where the main character comes back from deployment and is overwhelmed by the supermarket.  Too much color too much sound and too many people, sensory overload.  I measure my wilderness experiences by this.  My companion had never felt this before and she bailed within thirty seconds of being in the Ranger station, which was a calm place with only a few people.  As I filled out the wildlife report the Ranger, an obvious student of Edward Abbey from his one foot long beard, on duty gave me a knowing look.

I walked outside and said to my friend “you think that was crazy wait till we get to the supermarket in Moab.”

Start planning your trip now!  Go!


Back roads

Rural Roads.

I’m re-watching the Ken Burns documentary on The National Parks.  I’m to the point when car touring takes hold.  I’m sure many of us can remember being introduced to the parks as kids in the backseat of our parent’s vehicle.  For me in as a GMC K5 Jimmy, it was my home for a summer.  We sold the house and set out for places unknown.  The great American road trip.  I made a sign Oregon or bust.  We made it and would build a log cabin in the old growth of the coastal mountains.

To this day I love the road trip because with wilderness travel getting there, or in this case, back is half the story.  Rural highways once the main passages through America have been bypassed by the overpasses of the superhighway.  The Rural highway has more to tell, take the time to travel them.

So as I’m back at the trailhead parking lot and the sun is setting I take this shot of highway 880.  Travel it and you’ll swear you are in the middle of the plains states.  Sugar cane fields for as far as the eye can see.  I take a moment to compose this shot.  I must work quickly because the park gates will close automatically at dusk.  But I’m thinking I’m still okay because they’re still open and well dusk is after dark right.  I make the shot stow my gear in the truck and the gates close.  HA!  Good joke.

I hastily inspect the gates looking for an exit.  No button, all the boxes have padlocks.  Now the Mosquitoes have launched a full out assault.   Florida is nothing if not Mosquito-y.  Frustrated I call the number on the sign, I am not eager to explain my plight.  HA!  Good joke again.  The automated voice says for fun friends press one….great.  The federal government has posted a number for a chat line.  I guess they want to give you something to do till the gates open at dawn.

Not thrilled with having to say the night.  If necessity is the mother then desperation is the father of invention.   It dawns on me that the automatic gate has a swing arm and that swing arm has a pivot point, which is held in place by a nut and bolt.  Bingo.  I undo the arm open the gate and get to spend the night at home.

Freedom.


Gas Works Park

 

 (Shane Srogi)

Storm light.  Seattle and “Sundial”

Gas Works Park in Seattle provides residents an open space often utilized to absorb some much needed summer sun.  The hill overlook is a great place to photograph the cityscape.  One can expect a bevy of kite flyers there as well.  The nearby shop even has colorful and exotic Japanese box kites.  In the foreground is an art piece aptly named “Sundial” created in 1978 by Northwest artist Charles Greening with Kim Lazare assisting.  The Park was designed by Richard Haag.  Haag reclaimed the area from its original purpose as a gas power plant for the city built around 1900.  Some of the structures remain and when the park came into existence in 1975 Eric DeLony of the National Park Service said this “Gas Works Park will not only be a unique first in the United States, if not the world, but will set an important precedent for the future preservation of industrial structure through an imaginative plan for adaptive use.”


Seattle’s Lake Union

 

 (Shane Srogi)

The color of the lake.

In summer the Pacific North West has a long evening of twilight.  Lake Union will sometimes take on this brilliant blue.  Photographed from Gasworks Park, Seattle isn’t just the Emerald City.  Lake Union is many things to the city.  Some of the more interesting are an airport for float planes, a living space for house boats and a place for kayakers and the university crew team to hone their sport.  Lake Union also hosts Seattle’s Fourth of July celebration.