12 Favorite Photos from 2013

January Mountain lion kittens sit cautiously behind their mother in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
Mountain lion kittens sit cautiously behind their mother in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

Certainly one of the most exciting moments of the year was when I found myself sharing a trail with cougars. This was not just the first time I had ever seen wild cougars, it was the first time I had ever seen wild cats at all. The excitement I felt in the moment was overwhelming, and equally was the disappointment when they began to run away. Taking ample time to fully immerse myself in the scene, and not just grab a few shots, it became a defining moment that I will not soon forget.

February A coyote quietly sneaks through snow and sagebrush in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
A coyote quietly sneaks through snow and sagebrush in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.

Yellowstone always provides a great getaway during the winter. Plenty of wildlife scours the blanket of snow for traces of food during the harsh winters, much of it unconcerned if a road crosses its path. - Continue reading

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Night Photography Basics Part 2 – Full Moon, Star Trails, and Auroras

Moonlight illuminates Glen Canyon and the Colorado River near Page, Arizona. (Mike Cavaroc, 2008)
Moonlight illuminates Glen Canyon and the Colorado River near Page, Arizona.

In Part 1, I discussed the ideal settings for shooting a dark night sky under a new moon, as well as what all those settings mean. If you’re not comfortable working in Manual Mode (M) on your camera, you should go back and read it to make sure you’re up to speed. This section will assume that you’ve got the basic understanding of M Mode and how it works.

This time around, I’ll be discussing how to alter those settings to account for a full moon, how to capture star trails, and also how to photograph the northern or southern lights, aka the Aurora Borealis or Australis, respectively.

Understanding The Histogram

Before moving further, it’s important to understand the histogram as displayed within the camera. Put simply, the histogram shows you the light that was captured in a given scene. - Continue reading

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The 12 Best Photos from 2011

January Pilgrim Mountain in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming rests under glowing sunset clouds. (Mike Cavaroc)
Pilgrim Mountain in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming rests under glowing sunset clouds.

I found myself rather unproductive in early 2011 in terms of stills. With the recent purchase of a 7D and getting it up to working order, as well as discovering time-lapse photography, my still photography became a bit stagnant. As a result, most of my work was in the form of a time-lapse and before finding a good balance of time-lapse, video and still, I even wondered if I would move entirely into video. Eventually the balance did work itself out and once I had my 7D back and functioning properly the following spring, it was full-steam ahead in every direction!

I discovered this image during that time after forgetting about it. I was looking back through a day in January where I hadn’t shot very much at all, but saw potential in a nice sunset above Pilgrim Mountain. - Continue reading

Categorized: Article, Landscape, Panorama, Video, Wildlife
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Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park

Sunrise lights up the bottom of Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park, Utah. (Mike Cavaroc)
Sunrise lights up the bottom of Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

I’ve spent the last few days here in Moab, Utah, which I like to describe as a Jackson Hole in the desert. It’s a beautiful place with all kinds of outdoor activities, set in dramatically natural, sandstone carvings all over the landscape.

One of the more iconic spots is sunrise on Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park’s, Island in the Sky District. The high altitude of the landscape looking above the valley below is just high enough for the first light of day to illuminate the bottom of the arch, creating a unique glow hard to find in any other location.

Before Moab, I was in Hovenweep National Monument and also in Chaco Culture National Historic Park enjoying much more productivity on the trip. Given the time, I’m going to begin heading down to Phoenix from here to visit some friends and some sites I took for granted while living there. - Continue reading

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A Road Trip Mindset

The ruins at Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Culture National Historic Park, New Mexico lie beneath a sun-lit canyon wall. (Mike Cavaroc)
The ruins at Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Culture National Historic Park, New Mexico lie beneath a sun-lit canyon wall.

Sometimes, if you don’t go into a road trip with the right mindset, it can be just as stressful as staying home and working. Friends and I poke fun at people all the time for taking hurried vacations where we witness them arguing with each other and frantically trying to reach point B as quickly as they can, passing by amazing sights and experiences along the way.

Yet when I left on my trip last week, I was anxious to get to the southwest, so I blew right through western Colorado. Once I made it to southwestern Colorado, I began trying to dodge a snow storm a few days out and found myself jumping from one site to another in a hurried pace to make it farther south to warmer temperatures. - Continue reading

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Wildflowers in the Alaska Basin of the Teton Mountains

Showy daisies, indian paintbrush and yellow arnica sunflowers flourish in the Alaska Basin of the Teton Mountains in Jedediah Smith Wilderness, Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
Showy Daisy wildflowers flourish among other wildflowers in the Alaska Basin of the Teton Mountains.

Earlier this week myself and another hiker headed out into the Alaska Basin for the first time. While still in the Teton Mountains, it’s technically just outside of the National Park located inside the Jedediah Smith Wilderness bordering the western edge of the park. August has been described as the best time to go for the dramatic wildflowers displays.

We hiked into the Alaska Basin via the Static Peak Divide through Grand Teton National Park on August 18th and while the wildflowers were on the decline, they were still out in amazing displays! It was almost as if Jackson Pollock was painting from the sky in purples, reds, blues and yellows on a canvas of green. It’s an incredibly dynamic place with an obvious abundance of wildflowers surrounded by enormous peaks, all pouring water into the basin. - Continue reading

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