A closer look at Yellowstone National Park

An earlier post I wrote about the road to Yellowstone, I shared the stop at the Crazy Horse Memorial.  Here I have selected a portion of the hot springs, geysers and a waterfall that captured my photographic eyes at Yellowstone. 

The colors are amazing.  I did enhance the waterfall to bring out the colors.  The other images were so vibrant and colorful, I could hardly believe my eyes. 

With tons of people in these parks, it’s also a wonder, I can capture these images without many of them near me. 

When I did stop to carefully compose a photograph with my tripod, I attracted other photographers and people with their phone cameras who positioned their cameras above me, next to me and around me. Ha.

One photographer and I laughed, yet we didn’t share a common language. He followed me around and he stopped whenever I stopped to set up my tripod as he captured his photo alongside me.

“With photography, there doesn’t have to be a similar language to enjoy the beauty of what comes out of the camera and the craft of the creations.” ML

“Geysers are hot springs that intermittently spout a column of hot water and steam into the air. This action is caused by the water in deep conduits beneath a geyserapproaching or reaching the boiling point. At 300 metres (about 1,000 feet) below the surface, the boiling point of water increases to approximately 230 °C (450 °F) because of the increased pressure of the overlying water. As bubbles of steam or dissolved gas begin to form, rise, and expand, hot water spills from the geyser’s vent, lowering the pressure on the water column below. ” Quoted from:


Yellowstone is amazing place to visit, even with barren forests from past fires.

Waiting for Old Faithful to erupt or waiting for Bison to cross your path, it is all worth seeing. It’s a park my mom visited before my time and the visit I longed for remains a special memory in my heart.



Waterfall on hike


Colorful hot spring


Hot spring along a lake

Earth tones of Yellowstone


Skeleton remains from fires past


A look into the hot spring

Natures's majesty

Reflections into crystal clear hot spring

Hot Springs at Yellowstone

Waiting to be photographed


Bison at Old Faithful


The most iconic site of all the Geyers


Excelsior Geyser


Excelsior Geyser Crater


Closer look at the scenic Geyser


Fascinating wonders


Hot Springs of steam


Nature’s scenic wonders 

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Winter’s Wonders

As the temperatures begin to warm up here in Illinois and the snow begins to melt, our paths and roads become filled with the excess water from the surrounding piles of shoveled snow.

It’s always a pleasure to venture in the Morton Arboretum at any time of the season.

Here is look at today’s hiking adventure with the meeting of the well trained squirrel who knows how to sit and wait for a treat from anyone who had one.

A river runs through it acting as a reflecting pond.
Views of a frozen pond entirely covered in snow.
The well trained squirrel waits and sits very still for those who pass by.
The contrasting sun-burst stands out among the dark blue sky.
The beautiful shape of The shell of the milkweed pod once contained seeds for this year’s harvest.
A stream begins to thaw as it moves along its path.

Walking along the trails can take more effort with the heavy snow underfoot. Some people use snow shoes. You can choose to stay along the paved roads which are not as exciting of an adventure to spot living creatures, unique plants and interesting patterns of trees.

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Snowflake designs worth Seeing!

Getting up close and personal with a uniquely beautiful speck of a snowflake. These Photographs taken with the Nikon Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 shows just how intricately detailed each one is.

There is an art & a science to capturing these delicate ice structures on film.
Finding the right light is key
Timing is everything
Quickly fades away
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Freedom of (speech) photography

If anyone decides to post their opinion about anything, they are sure to find someone who is in agreement and someone who is in opposition. The intensity will vary.

If a photographer posts a photograph without any words, then the viewer makes their own interpretation worth a thousand words.

There are times when we photographers like to explain our image whether that be the location details, the description of the scene or the reasons for shooting it in the first place.

When a viewer can recognize or relate to the subject in the image, then the opinions appear to be stronger about what is shown and they become subjective in nature.

When a photographer can connect with their audience through their art, then they share something in common without knowing anything about each other.

Posting an image without words will lead to the viewers interpretation which can reveal more about the thought process of the viewing audience that the photographer.

Posting words alongside an image provides an influential narrative that is subject to interpretation by anyone who sees it.

Freedom of speech is freedom of photography which can often speak for itself without any words at all.

For example take the image below:

How would you describe this scene?

The photograph above can be:

1) a distant fire

2) sun rise

3) sun set

4) lights from a car

It’s all a matter of personal interpretation.

Leave your answer below and I will correct it.

What have you posted without words that has been misinterpreted?

Happy Shooting!

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How to Take Great Pictures – The Art of Seeing

Welcome back…

This post represents the first part of the presentation which was prepared for elementary students over remote learning: https://studio67.blog/2021/01/27/where-do-aspiring-photographers-start/

The focus here is to utilize simple compositional elements when framing photographs with the goal of seeing different. The repetition of practice will train the eye in the art of seeing like a photographer.

All material and photographs are copyrighted by the author (c) Martina Landolt

There are several types of cameras used to capture images, this presentation focuses on the creative compositions that can be captured using any D/SLR, point and shoot, mirrorless, digital, 35mm or handheld camera, along with a smart phone, tablet, etc.
By discussing the definition of photography we can understand what we are actually trying to accomplish by taking better pictures.
To begin your photographic journey it’s easy to remember the 3 S’s. Start with a subject in mind, imagine what story you want to convey and where that scene will take place, such as outside or inside, day or night.
Below you will see one composition idea per slide with examples from my photography database.
When you frame the subject, think of changing your vantage point so that an element surrounds the subject like a frame. Taking a photograph with a frame around it looks more interesting and adds dimension the image. The buildings in these two examples would look different if the foreground trees were not captured in these photos. As you begin to isolate your subject in a viewfinder you are choosing what to show and what not to show.

As you begin to look through your viewfinder to capture your images in the rectangular space, you are choosing what to show and what not to show. These compositional ideas will help you think about your photograph before you click the shutter. Over time, they will become second nature and you will be training your eyes to see different. Single composition “rules” can be used to achieve an outcome or several can be combined together.

Start with focusing on one compositional element at a time for practice.

This presentation will be continued with additional ideas.

Happy Shooting!

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Where do aspiring photographers start?

I was asked to provide a teaching lesson on photography for elementary students via remote learning.

My presentation addresses the question how to take great pictures. It has since continued to grow in scope. The biggest thought was where to start?

Basically ideas kept flowing as I continued to expand this initial half hour session for remote learners.

I thought I’d share some of these ideas with my audience.

The first part which is the entire first lesson breaks down the idea of using compositional guidelines to trains the eye to frame the images in the rectangular viewfinder or LCD.

Using only my original photographs from my collection, I illustrate each concept of composition along with various creative ideas. I’ve kept it simple for the targeted audience.

When each student is potentially using a different type of camera or smart phone, the technical aspects are left out while focusing on making great images.

More to come on this….

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Beautiful Bunch

There is always a reason….
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Fall is among us

This season in the Americas North is my favorite time of the year. The weather can be sunny, mild, windy, cold, rainy or snowy. Overall the lower temperatures makes for a trip outside more pleasant.

Here is a closer look at the encounters at the new fall garden at the Morton Arboretum. Not as colorful as the summer garden. With camera in hand, the battery decided to take a holiday so the rest of the walk was for my eyes only. I shall be back.

All photos shot with a Nikkor 105mm Macro lens. It just happens that I switched my lens when the geese were flying overhead and could only view part of this spectacular formation.

Enjoy the weather wherever you may be in the seasons…

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Autumnal Equinox 2020

Such lovely temperatures, in the low 80s, to take a walk at the Morton Arboretum here in Lisle, IL

There are plenty of reasons to visit the Arboretum. The founder is Joy Morton who also owned the Morton Salt company. He used to head out to this suburb after working in Chicago to plant his trees.

This huge outdoor garden is a living tree museum founded in 1922 with 16 miles of hiking trails and over 200,000 plants. There is a library, a herbarium and a program in tree research along with the center for tree science.

The arboretum encourages the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener and more beautiful world. The trees living at the Arboretum represent diversity from different parts of the world thus from different scientific plant groups.

Today marks the first day of the Autumn Equinox, so I headed to the arboretum to get a last look at the gorgeous flowers that are planted there. Those flowers were being uprooted as the staff began replacing them with fall flowers and foliage. They are right on time with the autumn equinox falling today.

Here is what I saw in front of the garden entrance:

Workers swapping out the garden of flowers
Truckloads of new plants for fall

Here is what used to be planted in the garden:

An oasis of plants attracting the bees in the summer garden.

Below are the images from todays walk along the trails:

Black Walnut
Starlight through the leaves
Rocky Bardur by Thomas Dambo
Rocky Bardur
Sneaky Socks Alexa

These troll sculptures were built by an artist named Thomas Dambo who constructed the head, the hands and the feet in his Copenhagen workshop before building the final stages on location.

Golden Spiderwort
Autumn Crocus
Roxanne Geranium

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Lost in Helsinki

Meet me here!

Here is where “you are here”

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He walked into my scene: Abu Dhabi Mosque

“Perfectly Timed”
Sheikh Zayed Mosque
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