About the Shot: December

by | Dec 31, 2014 | Stories & Expeditions | 0 comments

Remember the story from the February 2015 shot? Well, this shot was taken exactly 25 minutes later.


December 2015 – Zenith of Winter

Many Glacier Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana

After leaving Lake Josephine, still amazed and chatting about the surprise encounter with the bull moose, we took a different trail back to the parking area, this time along the creek connecting Lake Josephine with Many Glacier Lake. As we approached Many Glacier Lake, I could start to see the mountain peak that so famously characterizes this area rising above the trees on the opposite side of the creek. However, from this angle, the peak had a very different look. From the developed, eastern side of the lake where most pictures are taken, the mountain looked like this:

0088_Many Glacier-Montana-USA_Canon EOS 40D, 17 mm, 1-4 sec at f - 11, ISO 100

But from the southern tip of the lake, the mountain took on almost a chimney shape. When it first came in to view, I took a snapshot of it because I didn’t know if I’d be able to get a better view:

0562_Many Glacier-Montana-USA_Canon EOS 40D, 20 mm, 1-160 sec at f - 6.3, ISO 100

I really didn’t know what to do with composition. The subject was beautiful. The light was beautiful (not necessarily ideal, but it wasn’t bad). So the main thing I had to focus on was the composition. Knowing that I wouldn’t have the time to backtrack, I  snapped a lot of shots as we moved down the trail. Here’s another attempt, trying to use framing to add some visual interest:

0574_Many Glacier-Montana-USA_Canon EOS 40D, 23 mm, 1-160 sec at f - 8.0, ISO 100

None of the angles seemed to work though, until the trail actually started running along the banks of the southernmost tip of the lake. That’s when it started to fit together. There was now a clean foreground, some elements to use for diminishing perspective, and the water was still glassy calm even though it was past nigh noon. But just because all the elements were right didn’t mean any random picture taken would turn out. I experimented with several different compositions and angles not knowing which one I would eventually end up using. Here are two of the ones I tried:

0581_Many Glacier-Montana-USA_Canon EOS 40D, 17 mm, 1-400 sec at f - 8.0, ISO 100

0579_Many Glacier-Montana-USA_Canon EOS 40D, 17 mm, 1-400 sec at f - 8.0, ISO 100

Of all the different compositions I tried, the one below is the one I ended up liking the most. The trees on the left rising progressively higher the closer they get to the camera balances out the towering mountain on the right. This same progression of trees draws the eye from the foreground to the background as they grow smaller in the distance, creating an illusion of depth. I couldn’t make a 50/50 reflection shot work here because the mountain was too close to fit in the frame, and the pieces just didn’t seem to fit together for that. But just because there is a nice reflection doesn’t mean you have to use it.

0587_Many Glacier-Montana-USA_Canon EOS 40D, 17 mm, 1-320 sec at f - 8.0, ISO 100

It’s just the perfect nature scene for the December month in a calendar! Buy one, two or just a few on the Staddonfamily Store for $10 each; or you can get free shipping plus quantity discounts for as low as $5 each on the Lenspiration Store. Thanks for your help in promoting a Creationist worldview in the realm of photography!


Because the extremely high contrast between the sunlight snow and the foreground trees, it needed some slight adjusting in post. In shooting the picture, I exposed for the highlights to retain detail in those areas, then used Lightroom to pull out the detail in the shadows. Grain wasn’t too much of a problem because I had shot at ISO 100. There was no need to edit anything else in or out!


0587_Many Glacier-Montana-USA_Canon EOS 40D, 17 mm, 1-320 sec at f - 8.0, ISO 100-2


0587_Many Glacier-Montana-USA_Canon EOS 40D, 17 mm, 1-320 sec at f - 8.0, ISO 100

So that concludes the stories behind the 12 shots in the 2015 Calendar! Each of these twelve shots are now available to download as desktop backgrounds on the customer-exclusive Wallpapers Page. To receive the password to access this page, make any purchase on the Lenspiration Store (including the calendars!) and the entire collection of over 50 desktop backgrounds will be free for the downloading!

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