One of the best displays of aspen color in Nevada can be found in Great Basin National Park, Nevada’s only National Park is located very close to the Utah Border in the Snake Range. In the center of this park is Wheeler Peak, I try to arrive during the last week of September when all the aspens that grow above 7,000 feet are at the peak of their autumn color. The best aspen groves are near the end of the road. In the woods I found many very tall groves needing a vertical format. Along the park road are long rows of aspen that fill a horizontal frame. Aspens have relatively short lives of about 100 years. Fires and diseases can damage the trunks. Carving your initials into an aspen opens it to future problems.
At the west end of Cody, Wyoming, Highway 291 leaves the North Fork Highway and heads southwest. For a few miles, the road skirts the suburbs of Cody as it climbs up from the river valley. The South Fork Road climbs slowly to a point fifteen miles south of Cody where horses graze meadows rolling down to the river. On the cold winter day I arrived, a small herd of horses was grazing below a backdrop of snowdrifts and a dramatic sky.
Late in the afternoon, along the road from Moose Junction to Wilson, on the west side of Jackson Hole in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, long shadows of aspens are cast across snow drifts by the low angle of the winter sun. After several days of photographing the grand vistas and wide-angle landscapes through the park, I was looking for some smaller details to photograph. To avoid lens flare when shooting directly into the sun, my camera was positioned in the shade of one of the tree trunks. After several hours of tramping around in snow shoes, this pristine winter wilderness was completely chewed up. I had to move on to find another back road.
One of the most interesting spots for photographers driving the spectacular, winding coastal highway of northern California is also one of the least-known. This beach is not marked on most maps. There are no signs along the road pointing out the trailhead. Unless you arrive at low tide, you would never know what lies just beneath the surf rolling onto this beach. To best photograph Bowling Ball Beach, arrive during a minus tide. You will want the sun setting on the western horizon and will need a late afternoon low tide. There are some very low tides during summer months but only in the early morning. Find the lowest tides that occur during late afternoon. You can find tide table charts on the Internet to help you plan your trip to Bowling Ball Beach.
Notes and images from Bob Hitchman.