It’s been a crazy beginning to the summer here at Chuck Haney Photography. The assignment work has been steadily coming in, I completed several workshops and managed a few days devoted to shoot stock in the eastern Montana prairies. I slept in my own bed a total of 5 nights in June. On my recent 17-day journey to the badlands and prairies, I averaged five and a half hours of sleep per night. Despite the sleep deprivation, the long days around the summer solstice gave me an extra boost of energy needed. It was quite a productive month and one that emphasized my belief that bad weather is really good for photography.
Here, in northwestern Montana we are currently experiencing the worst drought in the 25+ years that I have called Whitefish home. Precipitation has been scarce to non-existent since in mid-January. The culprit is El Nino, the warm ocean currents of the Pacific Ocean. The storms are mostly tracking through Colorado and then east through the plains. While traveling, I experienced quite the contrast in the two distinct weather patterns during my back to back weekends of photography workshops. In Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the badlands of western North Dakota we had thunderstorms passing through almost daily making for some spectacular skies. In fact, I would have to say that the evening at Wind Canyon was the best light that I have experienced this year! In contrast, the following weekend at Grand Teton National Park we could scarcely conjure up a single cloud. I know to a non-photographer a clear blue sky may be desirable, but to landscape photographers it is the kiss of death.
I am really hoping for a change in the weather locally as I would like to begin shooting in my beloved Glacier National Park in July and August. I fear that smoky skies and flames across our forest will be the norm until autumn brings cooler air and precipitation. This could be an epic fire season!
New images from Teddy Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota
New images from Montana, Michigan and Wyoming
2015: The autumn aspen class in Colorado is now officially “sold out”. The UP of Michigan workshop has been moved to mid-October in 2016 to take advantage of the stunning fall colors that should be prime during that time period.
I should have my 2016 workshop schedule officially up on my website by the end of August. It takes a lot of research to get the best possible combination of lodging and photo opportunities together. A few changes for 2016 classes include:
- A limit of 8 students for any class, except Glacier National Park where I can enlist the assistance of a talented local photographer, if needed.
- Prices will increase to $995.00 for a 4-dayclass. If you have taken 3+ classes with in the past, then you will qualify a “loyalty” 15% discount to use during one of my 2016 classes.
March 3-7, 2016– Saguaro and Organ Pipe based in Tucson, Arizona. Desert wildflowers will be in bloom with amazing cactus landscapes. We will begin in Saguaro National Park near Tucson and then spend two nights in the quaint community of Ajo where we will explore the fascinating desert environment of Organ Pipe National Monument.
April 4-8, 2016 – We’ll meet in Seattle for an evening night-time shooting the city skyline. I have the perfect location or two for a stunning skyline. Then a morning of downtown Seattle with Pike’s Market being the centerpiece before heading north to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. Vast colorful fields of tulips and daffodils flowers will await our lenses. We will shoot mid-week to avoid the big weekend crowds.
May 26-30, 2016– The Rocky Mountain Front Range in Montana. Always a favorite. From our base in charming Choteau, Montana it is hard to beat the amazing backdrops and scenery here, especially in mornings. Some years, the wildflowers can be simply amazing and there will be ample wildlife, birds and old granaries to set our sights on. Everyone who has taken this class has loved it.
June 9-13, 2016 – The Black Hills and Badlands National Park of South Dakota. We will meet in Rapid City and explore the nearby scenic Black Hills, including Mount Rushmore and possibly Devils Tower. The last two evenings will find us in one of my favorite prairie parks, Badlands. Much like, Teddy Roosevelt in North Dakota, the badlands here come alive with the good light of early morning or late evenings. You don’t want to miss this one!
July 7-11. 2016 Glacier National Park, Montana. I do this special class every two years. I know the park extremely well from years of hiking and photographing its wonders. We will base out of small town of St Mary on the park’s more scenic eastern side. We have so many great options including wildflowers, waterfalls and wildlife. We also visit the North American Indian Days celebration in nearby Browning on Saturday evening where we will take in a rodeo (with great shooting access) and the colorful dancing contests and ceremonies. Book early, not only for lodging, but my last class sold out by February.
October 13-17, 2016– UP of Michigan. We will meet in the cool town of Marquette right on the shores of mighty Lake Superior for some of the best fall color anywhere in the country. Then we will spend two days exploring Pictured Rock National Lakeshore with its dramatic cliffs, sand dunes, beaches and waterfalls. We can even arrange for sunset cruise out on the lake to get a unique perspective of the fascinating shoreline. If conditions are good, we could also make a side trip to the scenic Bond Falls, always a favorite.
October 21-25, 2016 Whitefish, Montana. My hometown! The peak time to shoot as the hills and mountains are filled with golden larch trees. We will go to Glacier National Park’s western side. The crowds are all gone and vistas like Bowman Lake will inspire. In addition to the field shoots, we will concentrate on Photoshop classroom time and printing your images from the shoots. I will reserve a room with a big screen and room for my printer at Grouse Mountain Lodge. If you are in need of digital image processing and printing skills this will be the class for you.