Behind The Lens: Wild Goose Island


I recently spent a week in Glacier National Park under a dome of bright blue, cloudless skies. When there wasn’t a blue sky and scorching white-hot sun, the atmosphere was a smoky haze from a nearby forest fire when the wind blew in from the wrong direction. I tried to make the best of it and beat a few landscape scenes into submission but I just wasn’t feeling very inspired. I certainly wasn’t getting any sympathy from the tourists with whom I made contact. They would notice my camera and tripod, point upwards toward the blue sky and sun and exclaim, “Beautiful day for picture-takin’ eh?” 

“Oh, it’s awesome,” I would reply without a hint of sarcasm or irony.

When I awoke on my last full day in Glacier, the sky was one hundred percent overcast. Feast or famine it was going to be for this trip. I did a couple waterfall hikes and planned an early dinner since sunset was a certain lost cause. But by late afternoon, a few cracks opened up in the clouds so I made a run for this grand overlook of Saint Mary Lake. The scene is best known for the tiny dark speck in the lake’s center, Wild Goose Island. The sunset was pedestrian at best but 15 minutes afterward the sky exploded with various shades of crimson, pink, and magenta. I used a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR and Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens @ 30mm for this composition. No filter, as the kids like to say on Instagram.

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