Gooseberry Creek Badlands

After being stuck doing taxes last week and fighting through a bad computer virus this past weekend I’ve been chomping at the bit to get out and do some photography.  We’ve also been having unusually cool, wet and gloomy weather here in the Bighorn Basin which is normally sunny and dry which has also kept me inside.   Yesterday afternoon the weather was looking better than it has in a while so I decided to visit the Gooseberry Creek Badlands which are about an hour from the house.  One of my goals this spring is to capture some fresh and dramatic landscape imagery from my area including nighttime starscape photography.   These badlands are in a very remote area with no light pollution making it ideal for night photography.  I wanted to explore a new section of the badlands that I had located with Google Earth.

I was very happy to find that the area has a great number of interesting hoodoos, striated rock outcrops and colorful sedimentary layers.   The hoodoos will make great foreground elements for star trail and static star field imagery.  All in all it is a very interesting location worth more exploration.

I really didn’t have a lot of time to photography before my good  light was going to disappear behind a clould bank over the rugged Absaroka Mountains west of my location.  I had to move quickly. All the images were taken handheld with my EF24-105mm F4 L IS and my Eos 5d mkII.  In the image above I used the rocks to add forground interest and give the viewer a good perception of depth.

The skies quickly clouded up and I didn’t have any dramatic color in the sky after sunset to work with and that pretty much killed any chance of star trail photography so I headed home.  I’m anxious to return to the area when conditions are better to do some serious photography.

Today I had an image featured on Earthshots Image of the Day Contest..   Check it out here.  I photographed this firewheel last year during the Images for Conservation Pro Tour of Nature Photography in South Texas.  Using an 800mm lens for wildflower photography seems a bit unusual but I was really trying to isolate the bloom in a yellow blur.

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