The Beginning:

Every year or so I wander aimlessly through the back country, camera in hand, headed for far-away exotic places in hopes of finding a few special images to welcome to my body of work. Iím normally pretty much a desert rat, living and working out of my home in Phoenix, Arizona. The Sonoran desert, Grand Canyon, and proximity to Utah and California parks has been good to me over the years, providing an abundance of wonderful images for both commercial and private uses. Although this particular story is about my adventures from late last year, it would probably be a good idea to include a few images from my library as an introduction to my work.

Havasu Falls.jpg - Richard Strange

Mather Pt - Richard Strange

Mesa Arch UT - Richard Strange

Arizona - Richard Strange

In 2010 my photographic venture was intended to be a rather loosely planned loop thru the Pacific Northwest and then a visit to some my favorite parks, Glacier, Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Bryce and the Grand Canyon as I worked my way south through the autumn colors. This part of our country contains some of the jewels in our National Parks system. My sojourn through the western states lasted nearly two and half months. Itís probably not entirely accurate to describe my trip as wandering aimlessly, but my poor van logged over 13,000 miles by the time all was said and done. It began with a few maps and some primary destinations and a few simple photographic goals. The objectives were rather simple. First, I wanted a Black & White suitable for my living room wall from the Tunnel Overlook in Yosemite. Second, I had researched the covered bridges remaining in the western coastal States and wanted to photograph some of these remarkable structures for a project I have been working on. Third, I wanted to spend some time at Rainier which I consider the most beautiful mountain in America. And fourth, I wanted to follow the autumn colors from Glacier down through the western parks on my return trip home to Arizona. With all that said, the unexpected highlighted what was to be the most incredible wildlife adventure I have ever experienced. Yellowstone was particularly bountiful and the Grand Tetons were nothing more than magnificent. It seemed wildlife was everywhere and each day produced a different adventure. And the autumn in the Tetons seemed to be warm, calm, pleasant and for a duration like Iíve never experienced before...

To be continued next week!

Just a friendly reminder that this article is Copyright 2011 and may not, in part or in whole, be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author (Richard Strange) and James Morrissey. The images in this article are the property of Richard Strange and have been licensed to James Morrissey and the NWP Photo Forum for the purpose of this article.