Time for another story! Here’s what was going on behind the scenes in the February picture in the 2015 Lenspiration calendar. Only God can plan incredible occurrences.

2015_Lenspiration 2Feb

February 2015 – Successful Crossing

Glacier National Park, Montana

I would have to say that that morning in Glacier National Park was the most picturesque I have ever experienced. It was just a family vacation, but we had planned it out ahead of time so that Mom and Dad and anyone else who didn’t feel like enduring the single-digit temperatures at a camp site inside the park could stay in a cozy hotel in Browning, the closest town outside the park. Naturally, I opted to endure the cold, and so did most of my brothers. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and camping on-location would allow us to see the sunrise and have the time for a morning short-hike.

0309_Many Glacier-Montana-USA_Canon EOS 40D, 28 mm, 1-80 sec at f - 4.5, ISO 100

That short-hike, as it was decided after watching a quiet and cloudless sunrise over Many Glacier Lake, turned out to be a 2-mile trek out to Lake Josephine. The views along the way were incredible, it’s natural beauty amplified by the deep and clinging snow of two days previous and the mist that filled the valleys.

0336_Many Glacier-Montana-USA_Canon EOS 40D, 17 mm, 1-200 sec at f - 8.0, ISO 100

We had a very short amount of time to spend on this hike, so we actually ran part of the way to the lake. When we arrived, the vista was breathtaking. I had done no research whatsoever ahead of time. We just decided to hike to another lake. And wow, we were shocked. I had seen pictures of the lake, but not from this perspective, nor under these unusually serene conditions.

0464_Many Glacier-Montana-USA_Canon EOS 40D, 17 mm, 1-40 sec at f - 11, ISO 100

We stood on the shore for a long time awing over God’s amazing handiwork. There are no words to describe what it was like to be there. We knew we had get back to meet up with the family, but reality seemed far, far away. But that reality returned quickly when Daniel said he heard something in the forest across the channel. We had seen both a black bear and a grizzly bear the day previous, and we suddenly felt it was time to go. However, before we could act on our intentions, a bull moose appeared out of nowhere and started along the shore.

0472_Many Glacier-Montana-USA_Canon EOS 40D, 55 mm, 1-40 sec at f - 11, ISO 100

In a way, we were relieved, and I began to quickly unpack my 70-200mm lens, the longest one I had. But our relief was short lived. The moose turned our direction and stepped into the water.

0478_Many Glacier-Montana-USA_Canon EOS 40D, 160 mm, 1-40 sec at f - 11, ISO 100

We gathered together and I suggested we head out. But Michael started picking up the camera gear laying at my and told me “James, keep shooting.” So I did.

0482_Many Glacier-Montana-USA_Canon EOS 40D, 70 mm, 1-60 sec at f - 4.5, ISO 100

I shot as the moose crossed over the channel. I shot as it emerged on our side.

0506_Many Glacier-Montana-USA_Canon EOS 40D, 70 mm, 1-60 sec at f - 4.5, ISO 100

I shot as it turned directly toward us. I kept shooting even though my knees were shaking now. Surely, it was because of the cold; the moose was still a safe distance away and it wasn’t acting abnormal, was it? I kept shooting.

0511_Many Glacier-Montana-USA_Canon EOS 40D, 200 mm, 1-50 sec at f - 4.0, ISO 100

All this happened in about 2 minutes. Once it got about 50 yards from us, it abruptly turned into the forest and disappeared. All in all I had taken 61 shots in the time between it’s appearance and disappearance. I hoped against hope that at least one of the pictures had turned out. I wasn’t confident because the light was so low and I was using a fairly long lens, not to mention I wasn’t thinking much about what settings to use. But I distinctly remember reminding myself over and over again to hold the camera steady and keep at a shutter speed that would capture the movement. In retrospect, I probably should have immediately switched over to Shutter Priority Mode (Tv) and set the shutter speed to at least 1/100th second and bumped my ISO to between 400 and 800. That would have helped more of my pictures to turn out.

I don’t think I will ever forget that extraordinary opportunity that God gave us that morning at Lake Josephone. Everything seemed to fit together in a miraculous way. God has a way of transforming normal vacations into spectacular moments that bring glory to Him. The timing was just right, and He had protected us too. However, I must say that it felt good to be back in a car shooting the big game of the park later that day.

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I often wonder if other calendars are filled with stories like this what we will never know. At any rate, you know the stories behind this one. Buy one, two or just a few on the Staddonfamily Store for $10 each; or you can get free shipping plus quantity discounts as low as $5 each on the Lenspiration Store. Thanks for your help in promoting a Creationist worldview in the realm of photography!

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