Mark Kiver Photography: Blog http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) Mark Kiver Photography mkiver9@gmail.com (Mark Kiver Photography) Mon, 11 Sep 2017 13:23:00 GMT Mon, 11 Sep 2017 13:23:00 GMT http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-5/u715091780-o222187089-50.jpg Mark Kiver Photography: Blog http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog 94 120 Top images of 2016 - My Favorite http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/top-images-of-2016---my-favorite Here it is, my favorite image of 2016. As I had mentioned in part 1, I wasn’t able to go on any of my long trips that I typically do. I still found time to get out locally and was able to capture a fare amount of quality images including some new places I haven’t been to before. So I consider that to be a successful year.

 

My favorite image wasn’t my most popular even though it was up there. It wasn’t my most unique or breathtaking. There isn’t even a lot of special meaning behind the moment when I captured it. For me, it was just captivating and it pulled me in every time I saw it, which is the same goal I have for people viewing my work.

 

This year I was fortunate enough to live a few minutes from several canola fields (rapeseed). Canola is a crop that I have wanted to photograph for a while. The bright yellow flower is a great contrast for blue skies, sunsets, barns and is so different than most of the other crops on the Palouse. The first day I decided to head out and photograph the canola, my intentions were to explore and find some good compositions. This frame of mind is good for me because I can get tunnel vision sometimes when I have a specific shot in mind. When I arrived at the first field I didn’t have a lot of high expectations because it was next to highway and in the middle of a rural residential area. I still decided to drive around to see if there were any potential shots. I pulled off the highway and drove up the side road when about 100 yards in front of me a young buck walked across the road into the canola field. I stopped the car and quickly put my telephoto lens on my camera and double checked to make sure my settings for ready for wildlife. Then, I slowly drove up the road looking for the deer, which I had lost sight of. At this point I was starting to get excited about the potential for this shot.  I was visualizing this buck just surrounded by canola. But I didn’t want to get ahead of myself because I needed to find the deer first. As I approached the spot where he crossed the road I started scanning the canola for him. I didn’t see any sign of him at first. Then, I saw this head pop up from the canola and he looked right at me. The Canola was so tall that when the deer put his head down to eat he disappeared. Now, I found him but I needed to get to a spot that I could pull over. Luckily, there was an intersection with a large area to the right where I could pull off  the road and in front of the canola. I did my best to quietly park the car without spooking him. I carefully got out of the car and hid behind it using it as a blind. I was assuming this deer spent enough time in the area where it saw enough cars and new those they weren’t a danger to them as long as they kept some distance. As I began to photograph him I realized the canola was so tall I couldn’t get a clear shot of him. I opened the car door and used it as a step stool while resting my camera on the roof to stabilize it. This was just enough height to get a clear shot of the deer. The only issue now was the awkward way I was standing put a lot of stress on my back, which I have ongoing issues with, and was creating intense pain. There was no way I was going to miss this shot so I did my best to stay focused and suck it up. As I worked, the buck kept a close eye on me. He knew where I was and made sure to keep his distance while enjoying his dinner. Every now and then I had to switch doors to stand in and even move the car to get a better angle all the while the deer was getting his fill and working the camera like a runway model. After I felt I got what I wanted I did visit several other fields to look for shots but I was more focused on getting home to see my results. I followed up that day with several more trips to the fields. While I was looking for many different compositions, I was always hoping to see my friendly deer, snacking on the canola. On some of my trips I specifically went by the same field and waited to see if he or any of his friends would make an appearance but they never did. I look back and realize how fortunate I was to be in the right place at the right time with very cooperative wildlife.

 

This image has been on my bucket list for awhile. Every time I look at this photo I get caught up in it. Not sure if it’s because of the pure simplicity, the bright canola, the deer or everything, but it just makes me smile and I like when and image evokes that type of emotion in me. I hope you enjoyed it as well.

 

Buck in CanolaBuck in CanolaFound this young buck enjoying the rapeseed. The plants were so tall that at times he disappeared. Every so often he would stick his head up to see what was going on but wasn't to worried. In late may into June the rapeseed fields, aka canola start to bloom. They create a beautiful contrast and are common for landscape photographers to see out. This trip I got a pleasant surprise by something else that was also looking for the Canola.

I offer a variety of landscape, nature and wildlife images and fine art digital paintings. I also have many agricultural, farming and countryside images as well. Most of my work is from around the Pacific Northwest, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, British Columbia, and Alberta. Please look through my galleries or visit my website to view my full portfolio.

All of my work is original and copyrighted. The watermarks will not be on your final print. Thank you for looking and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

 

Please feel free to leave comments. I also encourage you to join my email list and visit and follow me on Facebook and Twitter where I post my latest work. All of my images are available for purchase on this site and at Fine Art America.

 

 

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mkiver9@gmail.com (Mark Kiver Photography) Buck Canola Crop Deer Fine Art Landscape Mark Kiver Nature Pacific Northwest Palouse Photography Rapeseed Spokane Spring Washington State Wildlife http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/top-images-of-2016---my-favorite Sun, 08 Jan 2017 18:35:05 GMT
Top images of 2016 - Part 5 http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/top-images-of-2016---part-5 This is part 5 of my best photos of 2016 and the last one before I reveal my favorite of 2016 which may surprise some of you.

This selection of my top photos of 2016 is one of my most recent ones. I haven’t photographed many winter scenes and it is on my list to do more. The past couple of years really limited me because of the lack of snow and ice but I don’t have much of an excuse this year. This image I have a pre-visualization of what I was wanting to capture. With the air temperatures in the single digits I was hoping to capture the water vapor coming off the river along with the sun back lighting it. I was fortunate enough to have the perfect conditions including the cooperation of the sun. There was little wind but it was cold enough next to the river. This spot is along the Spokane river at the bowl and pitcher in Riverside State Park. The sun and water vapor combine to create a wonderful atmospheric picture and represent the conditions at the time.

Frosty RiversideFrosty RiversideWith snow and cold conditions, there can be opportunities to find beauty. I knew with temperatures close to zero, there would be steam coming off the river. That coupled with the sunshine made for the potential for some unique images. As I arrived the temperature was about 9 degrees. The clouds were filtering the sun so it wasn't so harsh and there was a lot of steam coming off the river. This location, Bowl and Pitcher, is in Riverside state Park which is a short drive from Spokane.

I offer a variety of landscape, nature and wildlife images and fine art digital paintings. I also have many agricultural, farming and countryside images as well. Most of my work is from around the Pacific Northwest, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, British Columbia, and Alberta. Please look through my galleries or visit my website to view my full portfolio.

All of my work is original and copyrighted. The watermarks will not be on your final print. Thank you for looking and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

 

Please feel free to leave comments. I also encourage you to join my email list and visit and follow me on Facebook and Twitter where I post my latest work. All of my images are available for purchase on this site and at Fine Art America.

 

 

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mkiver9@gmail.com (Mark Kiver Photography) Bowl and Pitcher Fine Art Ice Landscape Mark Kiver Nature Pacific Northwest Photography River Riverside State Park Snow Spokane Spokane River Sun Washington State Winter http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/top-images-of-2016---part-5 Fri, 06 Jan 2017 15:18:31 GMT
Top images of 2016 - Part 4 http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/top-images-of-2016---part-4 The next photo in my top images of 2015 is really two. I guess you could call it a tie but since they aren’t ranked then it really doesn’t matter. They are close to the same image but one is in portrait and the other is in Landscape format. The compositions are slightly different as well. Why I chose them is more from the approach aspect.

These images are a favorite for several reasons. First they are unique. This is something I am always striving for. They are also abstract in a way that makes you think, what are you looking at and what perspective is the camera shooting from. Then there is the sheer beauty of maple trees in fall. These images also got some of the most positive reactions out of any images I took this year.

On the day I took this images I was looking for some fall color. I hadn’t had much luck so far. I decided to go to the Japanese gardens in Spokane. The one problem this poses to photographers is there are no tripods allowed. For me that is huge since I shoot 85-90% of my images on a tripod. After shooting for a while I noticed several maple trees in peek color. I was trying to figure out how to get a different perspective. I wanted to shoot low, but without my tripod it was hard to stabilize my camera. After taking a few shots I noticed at the base of the trees, several trunks of the tree branched out creating a little spot where I could set my camera facing up. I quickly got to work. I would take a shot, review it, then change the settings and do it over again. It took many shots but I felt good about what I had captured. So good in fact that I wanted to come straight home and work them up. This kind of feeling has only happened a few times. After I went through what I had captured there were a couple images that turned out well and these are the results. The trunks of the trees reaching towards the sky with the leaves in full autumn color definitely made for one of my more creative images of the year.

 

Nishinomiya Japanese Garden - Autumn TreesNishinomiya Japanese Garden - Autumn TreesNothing like getting a squirls POV. This garden, Nishinomiya Japanese Garden, doesn't allow tripoids so I was trying to be creative while respecting the rules and other visitors. For this shot I gently placed my camera in the center of the trunck of a tree that had several branches/trunks growing upwards. This is the perspective that I got. I love the contrast of the dark branches with the bright red and orange leaves.

I offer a variety of landscape, nature and wildlife images and fine art digital paintings. I also have many agricultural, farming and countryside images as well. Most of my work is from around the Pacific Northwest, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, British Columbia, and Alberta. Please look through my galleries or visit my website to view my full portfolio.

All of my work is original and copyrighted. The watermarks will not be on your final print. Thank you for looking and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Nishinomiya Japanese Garden - Autumn Trees 2Nishinomiya Japanese Garden - Autumn Trees 2This perspective is really unlike most you will see. And it is enhanced with the vivid colors of autumn. This garden, Nishinomiya Japanese Garden, doesn't allow tripods so I was trying to be creative while respecting the rules and other visitors. For this shot I gently placed my camera in the center of the trunk of a tree that had several branches/trunks growing upwards. This is the perspective that I got. I love the contrast of the dark branches with the bright red and orange leaves.

I offer a variety of landscape, nature and wildlife images and fine art digital paintings. I also have many agricultural, farming and countryside images as well. Most of my work is from around the Pacific Northwest, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, British Columbia, and Alberta. Please look through my galleries or visit my website to view my full portfolio.

All of my work is original and copyrighted. The watermarks will not be on your final print. Thank you for looking and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

 

Please feel free to leave comments. I also encourage you to join my email list and visit and follow me on Facebook and Twitter where I post my latest work. All of my images are available for purchase on this site and at Fine Art America.

 

 

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mkiver9@gmail.com (Mark Kiver Photography) Abstract Autumn Colorful Fall Fine Art Japanese Gardens Landscape Mable Mark Kiver Nature Pacific Northwest Photography Spokane Trees Washington State http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/top-images-of-2016---part-4 Wed, 04 Jan 2017 15:21:15 GMT
Top images of 2016 - Part 3 http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/top-images-of-2016---part-3 To catch you up if you haven’t read the previous posts, this is the third post about my favorite images of 2016. There is no order or rank except I did save my very favorite for last.

This next favorite image from 2016 was taken in the spring from Steptoe Butte in the Palouse. It was a great overall year to photograph the Palouse with the early spring and great weather. What I have been specifically waiting for the when the storms roll in. I am not fond of the wind and up on Steptoe it can be especially bad but there is potential for some beautiful dramatic atmospheric images with unique cloud formations, great light and vivid sunsets.

 On this day I was looking at the weather forecast and there were storms moving through the area so I headed out. I traveled through some rain and grey skies but wasn’t discouraged because at any minute it could clear up. As these small storms move through, the sun can pop out behind them and create some breathtaking rainbows. So, as I am driving I am always looking for a potential spot where I can compose a shot if the clouds move through and a rainbow shows up. As I drove up Steptoe Butte the rain slowed down and the sun was coming out. As I came around the east side there was a beautiful rainbow just hovering over the patterned fields of the Palouse. I quickly found a place to pull over and snapped away. The rainbow quickly faded but I knew this was a good sign for the start to my day. I slowly worked my way around the butte looking for shots. I really wanted to get some of the wildflowers but the wind was not letting it happen. As sunset was approaching I found myself at the top of Steptoe. Another large dark cloud was moving in and looking to smother the sun. I was a little disappointed because there probably wouldn’t be a very colorful sunset. While there were many photographers lined up waiting for it, I just didn’t have much faith anything would materialize. I decided to start driving down and if things changed I could find place to capture the sunset. As I got close to the bottom, the sun started to peek between the dark clouds and the horizon. While it wasn’t earth shaking I figure I should stop and try to get a few shots. I found a fence and some wildflowers that would work for subject matter and clicked away. The sunset was just good enough that I wanted to find another view point and get a couple more shots. As I grabbed my camera/tripod and turned to walk back to the car, I saw it. There was no way I could miss it. The clouds to the east were catching the last light of the day and turned vivid shades of pink and purple. I thought to myself, this is it. This is why I came out here today. I didn’t want to drive anywhere for fear of missing the colorful sky so I scrambled to find a composition in the spot I was in. This old section of a fence surrounded by wildflowers was it. I worked as fast as I could, capturing all angles. The wind slowed down enough that it was manageable. There were a couple of other compositions I managed to photograph as well but I don’t think they captured the bright colors in the clouds as well as this one did.

While the color sky was amazing, there was one other thing that made this image special. This was the day after Prince had passed away. Like many others, I listened to his music growing up and his death was a big shock to me. In this moment, I felt like Mother Nature was celebrating Prince with some purple skies. So, this image was a tribute to the great rock star Prince.  The title of the image, A world of Never Ending Happiness, is a lyric from his song “Let’s go Crazy”. I thought it was a good representation of the image.  So, here it is, “A World of Never Ending Happiness”.

 

A world of Never Ending HappinessA world of Never Ending HappinessSo with a forecast of scattered storms I figured I would venture down to Steptoe Butte and see what I could get. It is usually hit and miss. The storms can wash all the light out and create a lot of wind or they can produce some one of a kind dramatic scenes. I of course was hoping for the later. It is also wildflower season so I was hoping to work a few shots of them into the foreground. When I first arrived, the wind was crazy and there was a cell blowing through. I would lucky enough to catch a partial rainbow but it wasn't as dramatic as I hoped. As the evening continued there were some spots of good light but nothing "out of this world". The bigger issue was the wind wasn't dying down wo the chance of capturing the wildflowers was pretty much zero. As it got closer to sunset the sun was sliding behind several dark banks of clouds with only a small sliver open near the horizon. This coupled with the wind I decided to pack up and start making my home with the chance I might find something on the way that I might be able to photograph. There were several other photographers that were taking the chance there might be some type of sunset and were staying put. I didn't have the same faith that they did. So as I was traveling down the hill, I realized I was so focused on the sunset that I forgot about the dramatic clouds and storm cells behind the mountain, which were not visible from our location. As I was driving around a corner towards the Northeast the sun just started coming out into that small sliver but nothing that dramatic. Then I turned and was slapped in the face by this amazing scene. I frantically looked for some good spots to capture this this. Parking the car and jumping out running through rain drenched prickly shrubs, mud, and even and ant hill trying to grab a shot. The wind was still back so I had to try to work some magic to make sure the foreground wasn't blurry. After I worked as fast as I could possibly go get some images before the color left. I

Please feel free to leave comments. I also encourage you to join my email list and visit and follow me on Facebook and Twitter where I post my latest work. All of my images are available for purchase on this site and at Fine Art America.

 

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mkiver9@gmail.com (Mark Kiver Photography) Fine Art Landscape Mark Kiver Nature Pacific Northwest Palouse Photography Prince Purple Sky Spring Steptoe Butte Sunset Washington State Wildflowers http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/top-images-of-2016---part-3 Mon, 02 Jan 2017 01:47:21 GMT
Top images of 2016 - Part 2 http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/12/top-images-of-2016---part-2 This is part 2 of my best of images for 2016. To recap, I am doing each image individually. The images aren’t necessarily my best or most popular, just favorites of mine or ones that have special meaning.

The next photo I choose is also a product of the warm and wet spring we had. I tried to get out and shoot as much as possible, from the wildflowers to all the local parks and gardens. This image comes from Manito Park in Spokane. It is an image of a magnolia tree in full bloom that is back lit from the setting sun. At first glance the image just looks like a typical shot of a tree. On closer inspection you will see how I tried to get as close as I could to the flowers. I used a wide angle lens to not only capture the blooming flowers but also get as much of the tree in the composition. This wasn’t easy. I had my tripod raised up as high as it could go and I was standing on my tippy toes to look through the view finder to make sure I was getting the image I wanted. This is what I came up with in the end. These beautiful trees are growing on me as a spring favorite.

 

 

Manito Magnolia in BloomManito Magnolia in BloomWith some great early spring weather I got out and wondered around to try an capture some of the beautiful flowering trees around Spokane. I ended up in Manito Park on the South Hill. So many trees were in bloom including the Magnolia Trees. Their huge flowers make them so impressive. My thought was to try to get a wide angle close up view to really capture all the beauty of these flowering trees. The tree was backlit adding even more dramatic lighting to the scene.

I offer a variety of landscape, nature and wildlife images and fine art digital paintings. I also have many agricultural, farming and countryside images as well. Most of my work is from around the Pacfic Northwest, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, British Columbia, and Alberta. Please look through my galleries or visit my website to view my full portfolio.

All of my work is origiinal and copywrited. The watermarks will not be on your final print. Thank you for looking and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

 

Please feel free to leave comments. I also encourage you to join my email list and visit and follow me on Facebook and Twitter where I post my latest work. All of my images are available for purchase on this site and at Fine Art America.

 

 

 

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mkiver9@gmail.com (Mark Kiver Photography) arrowleaf art balsamroot best bloom favorite fine flower images kiver landscape magnolia mark nature northwest pacific photography spokane spring state sunshine tree washington http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/12/top-images-of-2016---part-2 Fri, 30 Dec 2016 15:16:40 GMT
Top images of 2016 - Part 1 http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/12/top-images-of-2016---part-1 In the Past I have done a list of my top images of the year. I am going to change things up just a little. I am still going to pick what I think are my top images of the year but I am giving each image their very own blog.

 

I didn’t take any big trips this year, not that I didn’t want to. Sometimes life happens and your priorities change. Because of this I had to stay local.  In a way that was a good thing because it really made me work on finding new places to shoot and look for different views of popular places. These images aren’t ranked in any particular order except for the last one, which is my personal favorite.

 

The first image is one that shows off the incredible spring that we had. It was warmer than usual starting in January but we also got a fair amount of rain. This was a perfect combination for an early and abundant wildflower season. One of the flowers that took full advantage of the unusually warm spring was the arrowleaf balsamroot, the flower that looks like a small bouquet of sunflowers. They were everywhere. In this particular image I wanted to capture the flowers with the spring light from a low perspective giving an up close and personal feel to the image. I took this picture in Hamblen Park, in Spokane to also show how people don’t have to go too far to enjoy all the wildflowers. The balsamroot were so thick it looked like a yellow carpet in the forest. They are one of my favorite spring flowers and this year was the first where I was able to capture some images that really highlighted this beautiful wildflower. It will be quite some time before we have another spring that will produce a bumper crop of wildflowers like it did this year so I hope you were able to get out and enjoy them.

Hamblen Park SunshineHamblen Park SunshineThis spring has been spectacular so far for wildflowers. Right now the arrowleaf balsamroot are blooming in full force in Spokane. This particular picture is from a city park right in Spokane. It is smaller more underdeveloped giving you the feeling that you are in an outlying area not in the City.

I offer a variety of landscape, nature and wildlife images and fine art digital paintings. I also have many agricultural, farming and countryside images as well. Most of my work is from around the Pacific Northwest, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, British Columbia, and Alberta. Please look through my galleries or visit my website to view my full portfolio.

All of my work is original and copyrighted. The watermarks will not be on your final print. Thank you for looking and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

 

 

Please feel free to leave comments. I also encourage you to join my email list and visit and follow me on Facebook and Twitter where I post my latest work. All of my images are available for purchase on this site and at Fine Art America.

 

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mkiver9@gmail.com (Mark Kiver Photography) arrowleaf art balsamroot best favorite fine flower images kiver landscape mark nature northwest pacific photography spokane spring state sunshine washington wildflower http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/12/top-images-of-2016---part-1 Thu, 29 Dec 2016 00:53:09 GMT
Custom Tote Bags, A Holiday Savior http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/custom-tote-bags-a-holiday-savior So, you and your husband were invited to a Christmas party but you have to travel separately because you are going straight from work. He is off earlier than you and will be bringing the kids. You also ask him to stop by the store and pick something up because it has been “one of those weeks” and you didn’t get around to making your famous Christmas treats. Upon showing up you check in o n your family and double check to see if he picked up some goodies. sunflowerssunflowers With a responding smile and look of “I did good”, he points to the table of carefully arranged Christmas snacks. In the middle you see a plastic grocery bag that is semi camouflaging a plastic bakery container. Then you think to yourself, “at least he got the kids here”.

We have all been there. Christmas is a busy time and we never have enough time to do everything we want. But when we do end up scrambling, at least we want to make it look like we put some effort into it. Now if your husband had a nice, decorative tote bag to hide the store bought food in, it would be a lot less embarrassing. Sunflower weekender ToteSunflower weekender Tote A simple fix until you get there to pull out the treats and present them in a way that doesn’t make them look like they are straight from the store.

This is just one of the many uses for the artistic tote bags I offer for sale. Yes they are more expensive than typical reusable bags but these feature unique art on them. They are stylish and washable. They come in several different sizes and styles. And they are so irresistible but practical you will want several.

These bags are extremely practical for any family. They can be used for groceries. They are perfect to take your workout clothes to the gym. No more will your child have to use a plastic grocery bag to carry things when they go to a friend’s house (I know I wasn’t the only kid that did this). Kitten Tote BagKitten Tote Bag  They are also great for a carry on for plane flights or taking what you need to the park or beach. Now you can have one that has an image of a favorite vacation spot or a scene of your home town.

Not only are they something for you and your family but there are many uses for them as a gift. If someone doesn’t have room on their wall for a print of their favorite place but you know that would make a special and personal gift. Well, get that image on a tote bag and they can take that memory everywhere they go. The tote bags also work well as a gift bag that the recipient can use well after they open the gifts in the bag. Buy a few tote bags and keep a couple for back up gifts. Maybe you have a work party and need something for a gift exchange but forgot. Get a bottle of wine and some Christmas sweets and you will have a gift that everyone will want to steal.

Outside of prints, this is the one product that I have purchased several for gifts and myself. The colors are true to what you see on your screen (if your monitor is calibrated) and the quality is really great. Everyone that I have given a tote bag too has been really impressed with it.

So, if you are looking for that hard to shop for person or you just need to some for yourself, these classy high quality tote bags are a great choice for the upcoming holiday season that can be used all year long. Now is the time to plan and order to avoid the rush.

  Beach SunsetBeach Sunset Bull Elk ToteBull Elk Tote Duncan Gardens Tote BagDuncan Gardens Tote Bag Maple Trees in AutumnMaple Trees in Autumn Tulips Tote BagTulips Tote Bag Palouse Rainbow Tote BagPalouse Rainbow Tote Bag Multnomah Falls Tote BagMultnomah Falls Tote Bag

To check out any of these tote bags or the hundreds more I have on my site please click on any image or follow this link, Tote Bags and Weekender Tote Bags . Please contact me if you have any questions.

 

 

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mkiver9@gmail.com (Mark Kiver Photography) Bags Christmas Custom Fine Gift Gifts Holiday Kiver Landscape Mark Nature Photography Shop Shopping Small Tote Totes art bags bags. custom gift ideas printed reusable shopping suggestions tote http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/custom-tote-bags-a-holiday-savior Fri, 18 Nov 2016 20:03:38 GMT
Use Sleeklens to improve your image editing workflow http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/use-sleeklens-to-improve-your-image-editing-workflow

 

Today, in the world of photography it takes a lot of work to make it. Many of us still work other jobs just so we can finance our photography business. Throw family into the mix and we wonder how we are going to find time to succeed with our photography. From taking pictures, editing, marketing and everything in between, the precious minutes are few and far between.

One of the more time consuming parts of photography is the whole editing workflow process. Photographers, more than ever, need to be very knowledgeable of industry leading editing software.  Yes, getting everything right in camera is so critical but there is always going to be some final touches needed. To stand out in this competitive business, being good at editing is important.  Sometimes no matter how efficient you are at editing, it still takes a lot of time. Because of this I am always on the lookout for ways to create a more effective workflow while still having control throughout the process. At the same time I don't want to sacrifice quality for a "quick fix".  There is one company I have found  that gives me a solution for what I am looking for in my editing workflow.

Sleeklens has developed products for both Lightroom and Photoshop to help all types of photographers streamline their editing workflow with presets, brushes and actions. For me I prefer to do most of my editing in Lightroom so I use the presets and brushes workflow from Sleeklens.  Being a landscape photographer the “Through the Woods”  workflow collection has great tools with 51 presets and 30 brushes to make my workflow more efficient.

Why I like working with Sleeklens is how easy it was to integrate into my workflow. Software can be intimidating and frustrating at times. The installations instructions make is so simple. Unlike other plug-ins I have installed in the past, there is no stumbling around my computer files wondering if I did it right. They also offer great customer service to help guide you through your instillation.

No sooner than installing it, you can get right to work using it. In the Develop module you can choose a variety of presets from an “all in” one preset that makes all your adjustments at one time to a base preset and some fine tuning presets. There are also brushes that go along with the presets. Simply pull up the adjustment brush and choose from the drop down menu at the top. All the brushes are conveniently labeled as to what they will do and help me turn my image into exactly what I want. Then, like with all presets and brushes, I can adjust the settings to my liking.

 I wasn’t looking for something to speed up my editing; I wanted to make the process more efficient. Sleeklens does that and more. With just a couple clicks and a few slider changes, I have my image looking exactly like I envisioned. I have a before and after image of some sunflowers where I used the Through The Woods workflow preset “extending DR – Crisp and sharp”. It really made the image “pop”, especially the center sunflower where I want the most of the attention focused on. Click on the images to see a larger version of how the preset enhanced the photo.

Sunflowers 1Sunflowers "Before" Sunflowers 2Sunflowers "After"

If you are looking for something to help improve your editing workflow, I would highly encourage you to check out Sleeklens and the quality products they offer. The Staff is comprised of experienced photographers and designers that have worked in the industry for many years and understand the passion photographers feel towards creating a top quality images.  To specifically check out the landscape workflow that I use you can go here.  Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned professional, Sleeklens workflow solutions will help you with your image editing and maybe get some of the invaluable time back that we all need in our lives.

 

 

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mkiver9@gmail.com (Mark Kiver Photography) Editing Fine Art Landscape Lightroom Mark Kiver Nature Nature Photographer Photography Photography Editing Workflow Photography Software Review Sleeklens http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/use-sleeklens-to-improve-your-image-editing-workflow Tue, 06 Sep 2016 20:12:11 GMT
Making Photos Into Wine http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/making-photos-into-wine

I have had my images printed in various formats to hang on walls, printed on tote bags, cell phone covers, printed in books and enlarged into murals. No matter how it is printed I get the same excitement every time. My image in one way or another has evoked some type of emotional response that resonated with the buyer and I feel that connection. But one of the latest uses of one of my images got me a little more excited than usual. A winemaker from Walla Walla chose and image of mine to be on the label of her chardonnay wine this year. But for me it is more than just my image on a bottle of wine.

4The Bottling Process The bottling process takes place in a semi truck. It starts on the right of the image where the bottles are placed on the conveyor and then get cleaned/sanitized, filled and labeled. It wraps around and ends on the left side of the photo where Ashley(in the blue jacket) boxes the bottles. Winemaker Ashley Trout has started a new winery called March Cellars. You can read more about her past experience on the website. She is not only passionate about wine and her new label but has a specific vision for her new winery.The name, March Cellars, comes from the last month that a party in the 1800’s could head out west and make it alive. March Cellars pays tribute to those that have ventured west in that era, into the virtual unknown to start a new life.  The images she choose for her wines reflect the overall theme of the winery, “The west: the finest line between discovery and despair”, a saying you will find on many of March Cellars website pages. So, I consider it an honor to  have one of my images carefully selected to be on a bottle of wine and help represent the theme and vision of March Cellars.

 

I was even more excited to be invited to the bottling even for the Chardonnay. 6First Glass of March Cellars Chardonnay While not one of the more exciting parts of wine making it represents the culmination of hard work to create this great wine. For me it is interesting to see a little of the behind the scenes of part of the whole process. Ashley even offered me a glass from the first bottle. Without being chilled or aged in the bottle it was outstanding. While my image on the bottle was only a small fraction of the process of the making of this chardonnay It will be one of the most memorable and cherished uses of one of my photos.

 

Oh, and the image of mine that she chose, “Frosty Bison”. An image of 3 bison in Yellowstone covered in frozen fog. An image, at the time, I tried to capture the hardships of bison in Yellowstone. With the temperature well below freezing and blanketed with frost eating dead frozen grass, I thought it captured what the bison go through to survive the harsh conditions of the Park.

Frosty BisonFrosty BisonAn Early October moring I found these bison grazing. The temperature was in the single digits and no wind. Nearby thermal features created a mist that covered everything and reduced visibility. When I was working up this photo I really wanted to give the viewer the idea of how cold it is. There was frost clinging to everything including the bison. The best way I could convey this was to show this image in Black and white. Completly unfazed by the bitter cold conditions, these bison continued to feed on what grass was left only knowing it would soon be covered by snow.

The other thing I will mention is the whole experience in working with Ashley was very positive.  After talking to her a little and seeing her in action during the bottling process I realized how genuine, passionate and a complete professional she is which is why I have no doubt she will be successful with March Cellars.

The Bottling ProcessA view of the bottling process from the outside. The forklift is bringing palates of empty bottles for the beginning of the line as the conveyor belt on the left is where the boxes full of wine come out. Bottles filled and labeled

 

 

 

If you are a fan of chardonnay or any wine I would highly recommend trying this wine from March Cellars. Information for buying it can be found on the website. Or, if you are planning on being in Walla Walla check to see if they have any events going on while there. You can get more information from the March Cellars Website  or on Facebook.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and please feel free to leave comments and share. I also encourage you to join my email list and visit and follow me on Facebook , Twitter , Pintrest  or on Instagram where I post my latest work. All of my images are available for purchase on this site and at Fine Art America.

 

 

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mkiver9@gmail.com (Mark Kiver Photography) Bison Fine Art Mark Kiver Pacific Northwest Photography Walla Walla Washington State Wildlife Wine Wine Label Wine Making Yellowstone http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/making-photos-into-wine Mon, 18 Jul 2016 19:12:10 GMT
Your photos deserve more, like being in a gallery. http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/your-photos-deserve-more-like-being-in-a-gallery So, you took some pictures and posted them on Instagram. A lot of people liked them and had some nice things to say about them. But you feel like you are ready to show them off in a different environment. Go for it! It would be nice to have your images up somewhere. Unfortunately the fridge is dominated by the kids art including that 4 year old macaroni art that is half eaten by the dog, but still to precious to toss. Your hall is covered by family portraits.  While nice and sentimental, they still aren’t photos you took. But seriously why limit yourself to your own home. Think bigger and prestigious. Some place where everyone can enjoy them and they are out of reach from the family pet and greasy little fingerprints. Yes, put them in a gallery. You may be thinking that, while your works of art may be great in their own special way, they might not be worthy of a gallery. At least not yet. Plus, you know it takes a lot of work and it can be expensive. Let me tell you, there is a way that’s not only easy but free to put those timeless and captivating images of yours into a gallery…. Where they belong…. For the world to see.

Here is the solution to all your problems. It is called Instamuseum. Yep, a simple little app that allows you to put your images into a gallery and share it with whoever you want. You have your choice of 4 galleries including the Louvre (how cool is that!). The app is free and simple to use.  After a little information from you it collects your images and creates a gallery that can even be viewed in VR. You can view your gallery on Sketchfab(also a free site). This is a fun little app that you can share the link with whoever you want. The only downside to this is you can’t select the images and it only works with Instagram.  Hopefully this will change so you can create different galleries. Here is my gallery of images.

Instamuseum for @mkiverphotos by MKphotography on Sketchfab

 

While this may have not been the "brick and mortar" gallery you were hoping for, it's a start.So, go create your amazing gallery and enjoy your images larger than life on a wall for all your friends to see. I would love to see what you have done so if you want, please share your gallery in the comment section.

 

Please feel free to leave comments. I also encourage you to join my email list and visit and follow me on Facebook , Twitter  or on Instagram where I post my latest work. All of my images are available for purchase on this site and at Fine Art America.

 

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mkiver9@gmail.com (Mark Kiver Photography) Art Fine Fun Instagram Instamuseum Landscape Marketing Meda Nature Photography Social http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/your-photos-deserve-more-like-being-in-a-gallery Thu, 09 Jun 2016 00:52:04 GMT
The Black and White Challenge http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/the-black-and-white-challenge rustic barn photographs for sale Early Morning ChillEarly Morning ChillA cold fall morning, a creek carring run off from the Geo thermal springs and fountains runs through a dead forest. Mist from the creek creates ice crystals on the grass all backlite by the sunrise.

In 1935, American Eastman Kodak invented a tripack color film they called Kodachrome. This wasn’t the first color film to it was a big step towards modern color film and prints. For many years black and white was still preferred mostly to the cost of developing color. It wasn’t until the late 1960’s and early 1970’s that color film and prints became the norm for photography and black and white slowly faded away. Highland School HouseHighland School HouseLocated just off US Highway 2 in Eastern Washington, The Highland Shool House sits in wheat field. Also known as the Baird Shool, this one room school house has seen better days. One of the many interesting sights one can see on the backroads of rural Washington.

Many people now days prefer color photography. With the exception of a few the art of black and white photography has faded. Yes, most everyone sees in color so I understand why they would prefer images in color. As photographers we tend to cater to what the public wants. It helps us sell more. Besides, if the image isn’t in color how are we to enjoy a beautiful spring landscape of wildflowers or the different vivid uniforms of teams during a sporting event? We love that “pop” of color. It draws us in to the image and makes us say “wow”. It also blinds us.

I have to admit, the majority of my galleries are of color images. My preferred style is dramatic landscapes with dynamic lighting and color. But if we strip away all that color, we can really what the image is made of. Many times we don’t see the true essence of an image until we view it in black and white. Without color we now focus on the composition, the light and how it falls on the subject and creates shadows. And what really stands out for me in black and white is the textures and patterns.

So here is my challenge to you: when you look at a black and white image, explore it. Go beyond the surface and see what you feel. Examine it. Let it take you in. Many times the story can be so much richer.

Lower Lewis Falls Black and WhiteLower Lewis Falls Black and WhiteThe Gifford Pinchot National Forrest takes a back seat to the more popular, Columbia Gorge when it comes to waterfalls. That doesn't mean there aren't as many or they aren't as stunning. It is just a little more remote. There are so many great falls and the center piece to all of them, in my opinon, is Lower Lewis River Falls. It goes by many names but it is beautiful no matter what it is called. Trillium Lake Black and WhiteTrillium Lake Black and WhiteSince this is the first time I have been here I could be wrong but I don't think someone can get a bad shot of Trillium Lake. This beautiful lake in the Mount Hood National Forest is the perfect setting to capture the majestic Mount hood. With very little fall color in foliage and nothing from the sunrise I think the shots I took are almost suited better for black and white.Everying from the amazing reflection, the whispy clouds to all the detail that is sometimes overlooked in a color shot. Sometimes simple is better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know you may still love your color photos and feel they offer more than a black and white image would. Still, try viewing several black and white image to notice all the elements in the image. I think you will be surprised. The final images at the end are a comparison of the same composition. One in color and the other in black and white. I really love the story the color image tells but I like the black and white image more. Study both of them for yourself and see what you find.

 

Palouse SentinelPalouse SentinelThere aren't many trees in the Paloluse. I guess that is something that gives it the unique look of miles of rolling hills. The few trees that you see obviously have been around for a long time and some are purposely left alone. This specific tree has many stories to tell. Not far from Steptoe Butte it looks out across the fields. It is a protector of sorts. A guardian. It is refuge for small animals and gives shade to many including farmers taking a break from a long hot day of working the fields. The one branch almost seems to curve and wrap over the Palouse as if it is telling it, "I am here to protect you, I am the Palouse Sentinel". Palouse Sentinel - Black and WhitePalouse Sentinel - Black and WhiteThere aren't many trees in the Palouse. I guess that is something that gives it the unique look of miles of rolling hills. The few trees that you see obviously have been around for a long time and some are purposely left alone. This specific tree has many stories to tell. Not far from Steptoe Butte it looks out across the fields. It is a protector of sorts. A gaurdian. It is refuge for small animals and gives shade to many including farmers taking a break from a long hot day of working the fields. The one branch almost seems to curve and wrap over the Palouse as if it is telling it, "I am here to protect you, I am the Palouse Sentinel".

I offer a variety of landscape, nature and wildlife images and fine art digital paintings. I also have many agricultural, farming and countryside images as well. Most of my work is from around the Pacific Northwest, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, British Columbia, and Alberta. Please look through my galleries or visit my website to view my full portfolio.

All of my work is original and copyrighted. The watermarks will not be on your final print. Thank you for looking and feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Mark kiver Photography.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hint:click on the image to open in it in a larger version to enhance your viewing experience.

 

Please feel free to leave comments. I also encourage you to join my email list and visit and follow me on Facebook and Twitter where I post my latest work. All of my images are available for purchase on this site and at Fine Art America.

 

 

 

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mkiver9@gmail.com (Mark Kiver Photography) Black Blog Fine Kiver Mark Nature Northwest Pacific White and art challenge landscape photography white http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/the-black-and-white-challenge Wed, 01 Jun 2016 20:29:09 GMT
The Evolution of a Photographer and his Toys http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/1/the-evolution-of-a-photographer-and-his-toys From a professional standpoint, the gear I use aren’t toys but sometimes industry outsiders(my girlfriend)  refer to them as such. Yes,  I am one of those that would love to have the latest and greatest camera gear if my wallet would allow me. I also know that the skill to use a camera, processing software and everything in between is just as important. For the moment I am going to focus on the technology side of how I became a photographer and how it will impact my future in the industry.

The moment I became hooked on photography was in 2003. Before I get to that I will back up even farther. I have always liked taking photos but it has been to document the moment more than anything else. When I was around 7 years old our family took a trip to Yellowstone National Park. For the trip, my parents allowed me to use an old camera of theirs that took black and white 35mm photos. I had so much fun being behind the lens and clicking the shutter button.  At one point on the trip we saw a bull moose in the Madison River and I almost used up all my film trying to capture the moment. Needless to say I came home with a lot of shots of the moose and not much else.

Growing up I always had some type of camera. For a while it was the 110 format film camera. Then I convinced my parents to get me a Disk film camera. They seemed so cool at the time. Eventually I got an Olympus point and shoot 35mm camera. Most of the time I just used my camera to capture memories from trips, family, and friends. My interest with photography didn’t go much further than that. I think because once the picture was taken I then had to wait for the roll of film to be used up. Then it would take a while to get it developed. First, my parents would usually wait until we had several rolls of film to get developed. That could take several weeks or more. Then when we sent it away it could take up to 2 weeks before we got it back. There was nothing like seeing Christmas memories in the summer.

Fast forward to 2003, I was looking to upgrade from my 35mm point and shoot camera to a digital camera. Gasworks ParkGasworks ParkOne of my first night photos I took. I realized the limitations of my cameras ability to capture detail with very little noise. While I did experiment with light painting and a few other night shooting techniques, I didn't take that many night shots because of the limits of my camera. Some type of higher end point and shoot that allowed for some creativity and had manual settings. I was a soccer coach and wanted it to document the season and create end of the year slide shows. I knew I would use it for more but that was what I was planning on using it the most. By this time, I also had also become fan of technology. I got the bug when my parents got me a Commodore  64 computer when I was in High School. They wanted me to have something more useful than the Atari game console I wanted. This really kick started my craving for tech.

So, back to buying my first digital camera. I was in our local camera store looking at point and shoot  digital cameras. In my research I had narrowed it down to a Canon and Nikon. Digital photography wasn’t fully accepted at this point. Many pros who shot with film weren’t too excited about the digital revolution that was about to happen. For me, I wanted digital because I was able to easily download images right from my camera to my computer and see my results instantly. I loved that. So, after talking to the salesman about the different types of digital cameras, he showed me a couple of DSLRs. I wanted a camera that was easy to learn at first but I could grow with. It didn’t take much to sell me and I ended up walking out with my first DSLR. It was the Canon Rebel. The camera that really helped start the DSLR revolution.

I actually waited a day to open up my new camera, which is so unlike me. I was patient and read through the manual to figure out how to use my new digital camera. I finally felt confident enough that I was ready to test it out. So I put the camera in a backpack and road my bike down a trail that I often ride to capture a few images. My first stop was a wildflower. I snapped a few shots of it and some more broad landscape shots. FirstMy FirstThe first image that I took with my new Canon Rebel DSLR and helped me get hooked on photograph. As soon as I got home I hooked my camera up to my computer and downloaded them. It was instant! I was blown away and now hooked! I couldn’t wait to go back out and take more images. Soon I was taking pictures of everything. I found nature and landscape to be the most alluring to me. I joined online photo communities and shared my images. This is where I was first humbled especially after taking my first big trip to Southern Utah. I didn’t quite fully understand why some of my images were OK and others were nowhere close to capturing the beauty that I saw. Bryce SunriseBryce SunriseOne of my image from my first photography trip that I was actually happy with. After comparing it to other images from the trip that didn't turn out I realized I needed to learn a lot more about photography. So, as I realized that I have so much more to learn, I did everything I could to educate my passion. I bought books about composition and lighting, learned my camera inside and out,  studied images of great photographers , and worked hard on sharpening my post processing software skills.  I really couldn’t get enough of everything photography. Then there came a point when I wanted to upgrade. It was really after my second DSLR purchase that I was pulled into the digital photography vortex and felt I needed all the latest gear I could get. But, I couldn’t really afford it so I resorted to dreaming instead. Through time I did add more lenses and upgrade cameras several more times. As I try to keep up with all the advancements in photography it becomes overwhelming, in a good way. But now, as I look to add to my collection of “toys”, I mean tools, there are more choices to consider. Full frame, how many pixels do I need, should I go mirrorless? How much of these improvements are really important? Will they really help me?

Palouse Sentinel - Black and WhitePalouse Sentinel - Black and WhiteThere aren't many trees in the Palouse. I guess that is something that gives it the unique look of miles of rolling hills. The few trees that you see obviously have been around for a long time and some are purposely left alone. This specific tree has many stories to tell. Not far from Steptoe Butte it looks out across the fields. It is a protector of sorts. A gaurdian. It is refuge for small animals and gives shade to many including farmers taking a break from a long hot day of working the fields. The one branch almost seems to curve and wrap over the Palouse as if it is telling it, "I am here to protect you, I am the Palouse Sentinel".

I offer a variety of landscape, nature and wildlife images and fine art digital paintings. I also have many agricultural, farming and countryside images as well. Most of my work is from around the Pacific Northwest, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, British Columbia, and Alberta. Please look through my galleries or visit my website to view my full portfolio.

All of my work is original and copyrighted. The watermarks will not be on your final print. Thank you for looking and feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Mark kiver Photography.

Through my development, I have followed several photographers that I consider to be some of the best in the business. One thing I have noticed is that there are a few that seem to always be on top of the industry while others have faded. New advances in photography gear seem to come out every day from improvement on a lens to new processing software to the latest camera. For me, I can’t afford to always upgrade to the latest or buy the top of the line gear. But I have learned from these expert photographers like George Lepp, what type of advancements will help me and how I can apply that to what I already know.  

The Quiet Sunrise - Tofino BCThe Quiet Sunrise - Tofino BCOne of my favorite parts of early morning is how quite and calm it usually is. My senses are alive talking in everything. There are typically no distracting noises to prevent me from enjoying everything the moment has to offer. As the sun comes up there is still that peacefulness. But not long after, more things begin to move as the light kick starts the day. This image is from the Jack's Restaurant area in Tofino looking out to Mears Island.

I offer a variety of landscape, nature and wildlife images and fine art digital paintings. I also have many agricultural, farming and countryside images as well. Most of my work is from around the Pacific Northwest, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, British Columbia, and Alberta. Please look through my galleries or visit my website to view my full portfolio.

All of my work is original and copyrighted. The watermarks will not be on your final print. Thank you for looking and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

An example of new technology that I have been keeping an eye on is from a company called Light. Their outside of the box thinking on a new camera technology called the Light L16 has really got the industry talking and photographers like me excited about its possibilities. You really have to check out this video to understand what I mean.

 

As I carefully evaluate what type of camera will best fit my needs, I can’t help but think what the next advancement in this amazing field will be and  how will help with what I want to achieve with my photography.  There is always a learning curve that may be steep at times but I am willing to make that climb in the name of photography.

 

As always, thanks for reading and please feel free to comment and take a little extra time to look through my galleries.

Note: The first 3 images were taken with my first DSLR

 

 

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mkiver9@gmail.com (Mark Kiver Photography) Fine Art Landscape Light Light L16 Camera Mark Kiver Nature Pacific Northwest Photography Technology http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/1/the-evolution-of-a-photographer-and-his-toys Wed, 27 Jan 2016 20:36:53 GMT
The Power of a Photo http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/1/the-power-of-a-photo Do you ever look at a photo and it brings up all these memories? Sure that is one of the great things about photos but has an image ever taken you somewhere or evoked some type of feelings that kind of surprised you? Maybe it is in conjunction with something else and it helped stir an emotion that you didn't even relate with until looking at the image?

For me, I experienced it with the following image. It is just a simple image with a rural road.  When I started adding keywords and other information,  I had glanced at the image again and thought of the John Denver song, "Take me home, country roads". From there I went on a long journey down memory lane. Growing up, my parents played all of John Denver's music. It wasn't until I was older did I realize how much his music related to my parents. I group up in the country, well removed from paved roads and even neighbors. Now, my parents have moved to a small city. They still hold on to the farm we grew up on, mostly for my dad. He loves to come back and do small work around place. He is a country boy at heart. So, seeing this image just took me there. A country road that is taking my dad home.  Of course I had to go find the song and play it along with many other John Denver hits.

 

Have a great day and I hope you view an image soon that makes you smile about something close to you.

Back Road SolitudeBack Road SolitudeTraveling through the rural areas of Eastern Washington can be a great way to get out and relax. It can also be an easy way to get lost. What I mean is loose yourself in the surroundings. While you can travel for miles and not see a single sign of life, that feeling can also be very calming. Then combine the peace and solitude with some stunning Landscape and it can be easy to just get lost in the surroundings. This is a seasonal road mostly used in the spring and summer by farmers working their fields. There is a special feeling about being somewhere that can easily be accessed but people rarely go. This scene was enhanced by a spectacular cloud formation as the light was just perfect.

I offer a variety of landscape, nature and wildlife images and fine art digital paintings. I also have many agricultural, farming and countryside images as well. Most of my work is from around the Pacific Northwest, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, British Columbia, and Alberta. Please look through my galleries or visit my website to view my full portfolio.

All of my work is original and copyrighted. The watermarks will not be on your final print. Thank you for looking and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

 

Please feel free to leave comments. I also encourage you to join my email list and visit and follow me on Facebook and Twitter where I post my latest work. All of my images are available for purchase on this site and at Fine Art America.

 

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mkiver9@gmail.com (Mark Kiver Photography) Countryside Farmland Fine Art Landscape Pacific Northwest Photography Road Rural Take me home country road Washington State http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/1/the-power-of-a-photo Wed, 20 Jan 2016 18:32:19 GMT
My Most Unique Image of 2015 http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/1/my-most-unique-image-of-2015 Like most photographers, I am constantly challenging myself. From always improving my camera and post production skills to trying to capture new subjects. This year I was able to capture an image of a Sun Halo. In years past when I have noticed on, I have struggled to find a good composition. Unless the sun is low to the horizon, it usually takes up the whole frame of the camera. This where challenge lies with a good composition to make the image interesting enough. I have photographed a sun halo in the past but it has just been the Halo in the sky and nothing else. Well, this year while I was  on Wickaninnish Beach near the town of Tofino, I was able to get a composition  that consisted of more than just the sky with a sun halo.

What is a sun halo? This is an atmospheric phenomena know my many names, like 22 degree halo, sun halo and icebow to name a few. Simply, it is a large ring around the sun that can be colorful like a rainbow. These circular halos are produced by light interacting with ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere. Sun halos were used as part of weather lore as a means of weather forecasting before the development of meteorology. It was used as a sign that there will be rain in the following 24 hours. This is fairly accurate because cirrostratus clouds that cause them can signify an approaching storm. Coincidentally, we had a good rain storm the next day.

Back to the image. I was eating lunch on a bench at Wickaninnish Beach when I first noticed the halo. The colors were really vibrant at the time. I scrambled around to look for a composition, and found this piece of drift wood that also helped block part of the sun. By the time I got set up the halo was already starting to fade but I was able to get a few images that I was satisfied by.

While I was finally happy to capture a good image of a sun halo I will continue to look for better or more interesting compositions. As for my challenge(s) this year? There are many but the best one will be something I wasn't even expecting or planning.

Wickaninnish Beach Sun HaloWickaninnish Beach Sun HaloWhile visiting Wickaninnish Beach on Vancouver Island near Tofino we pleasantly surprised by a Atmospheric phenomena know as a circular Halo or Sundogs. This is when light interacts with ice crystals causing a Rainbow Halo around the sun. I was able to use some driftwood in the foreground to capture it with the Kiwistis Visitor center in the background. This is just one of the many great surprises on my travel to Tofino, British Columbia.

I offer a variety of landscape, nature and wildlife images and fine art digital paintings. I also have many agricultural, farming and countryside images as well. Most of my work is from around the Pacific Northwest, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, British Columbia, and Alberta. Please look through my galleries or visit my website to view my full portfolio.

All of my work is original and copyrighted. The watermarks will not be on your final print. Thank you for looking and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Please feel free to leave comments. I also encourage you to join my email list and visit and follow me on Facebook and Twitter where I post my latest work and sale info with discount codes. All of my images are available for purchase on this site and at Fine Art America.

 

 

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mkiver9@gmail.com (Mark Kiver Photography) 22 degree Halo British Canada Columbia Fine Art Landscape Mark Kiver Nature Photography Sun halo Vancouver Island Wickaninnish Beach beach circular Halo clouds driftwood gloriole icebow kwisitis visitor center outdoors sun http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/1/my-most-unique-image-of-2015 Thu, 07 Jan 2016 20:47:30 GMT
Best of 2015 http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/12/best-of-2015 2015 has been my best year yet as a photographer. I feel that my skills have developed more and I am taking on different subject matter. I have sold almost twice as much as the previous year, and I have been branching out into some new styles. Here a list in no order of my top images of the year. Now not all these images were taken this year but they were worked up and released this year.

 

This first one is from the Palouse. I finally got a sunrise trip to Steptoe Butte and was well rewarded. I love the tones of yellow with the rolling hills in the foreground and the mountains in the background. This is the true Golden Hour!

Golden GrainsGolden GrainsShortly after the sun has risen over the mountains, the sky has turned a beautiful golden color on this morning, Spring wheat in the foreground is sill green but the winter wheat along with other crops are starting to ripen. This vantage point is from lower on Steptoe Butte. The warm glow of the sun brings life to the crops. It won't be long until combines are seen in the distance harvesting this seasons crops. The Palouse is a region located in south Eastern Washington.

 

Jeanelle and I have been talking about going to Vancouver Island for several years now. I have always had a hard time venturing away from my "go-to" spots but I do like a new adventure. After our first day I was kicking myself for not making the trip sooner. The whole Island is amazing and has so much to offer. We spent several days on the West Coast near Tofino. This image was from a small beach that can be accessed from town and is more popular with the locals who just want to relax and enjoy nature. It didn't take me long to find my spot to capture sunset. As soon as I took a few shoots, I knew this was going to be a image that I couldn't wait to see when I got back home.
Tonquin Beach SunsetTonquin Beach SunsetThis isn't one of the biggest beaches around Tofino or the most popular, But it is arguably the prettiest
. Tonquin Beach is a small beach that is popular with the locals. After a short hike the sandy shoreline greets you. It is easy to find a private place to set up a chair and watch the sun go down or do a little exploring.

I offer a variety of landscape, nature and wildlife images and fine art digital paintings. I also have many agricultural, farming and countryside images as well. Most of my work is from around the Pacific Northwest, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, British Columbia, and Alberta. Please look through my galleries or visit my website to view my full portfolio.

All of my work is original and copyrighted. The watermarks will not be on your final print. Thank you for looking and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

 

This is am image that I actually took in the fall of 2014 but struggled with how to work it up. I got frustrated because I couldn't do it justice. The light was amazing. Fog and the thick forest softened the light and created a magical curtain that blanketed the picnic area. It wasn't until I experimented with a few black and white versions that I new this is how the photo was meant to be presented.

Spiritual PicnicSpiritual PicnicAs a photographer I always hope I get the light that I am looking for on the subjects that I am photographing. Many times that doesn't happen but that is why nature is so amazing. Then, every once in a while, there is lighting that is beyond anything I hoped for or could image.That is what I got when I stumbled on this scene in Silver Falls State Park. In the Picnic area the fog was hanging in the trees filtering it enough so light beams formed as the sun cut through the trees. It was definitely an inviting place for a picnic.

I offer a variety of landscape, nature and wildlife images and fine art digital paintings. I also have many agricultural, farming and countryside images as well. Most of my work is from around the Pacific Northwest, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, British Columbia, and Alberta. Please look through my galleries or visit my website to view my full portfolio.

All of my work is original and copyrighted. The watermarks will not be on your final print. Thank you for looking and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

 

This next photo is one of my favorites if not my favorite of the year. I also have a version in Black and white that I almost like more as it shows off the textures and shadows. On this day I didn't have a very successful day shooting sunset. Because of all the fires, the hot weather, no clouds and so much dust and smoke in the air it was tough to get a something I was happy with. On my way down from Steptoe I saw this tree and figured I would try some shots of it since nothing else worked.  The moment I got home and opened this image on the computer screen I knew I had something special. Everything from the last rays of the sun to the shadows bouncing off the hills in the background.

Palouse SentinelPalouse SentinelThere aren't many trees in the Paloluse. I guess that is something that gives it the unique look of miles of rolling hills. The few trees that you see obviously have been around for a long time and some are purposely left alone. This specific tree has many stories to tell. Not far from Steptoe Butte it looks out across the fields. It is a protector of sorts. A guardian. It is refuge for small animals and gives shade to many including farmers taking a break from a long hot day of working the fields. The one branch almost seems to curve and wrap over the Palouse as if it is telling it, "I am here to protect you, I am the Palouse Sentinel".

 

Every year there is a farmer that plants several fields of Sunflowers. They are not always that accessible and then when they are it can be tough to find a good composition. The other issue this year was the heat. We had an extremely hot summer. Almost as soon as theses sunflowers opened did they start to wilt so there was a small window to get some quality shots. But as I have found, there is something special about a field full of sunflowers and even an average image can be interesting.
Sunshine and HappinessSunshine and HappinessAnother year brings a new field of sunflowers. A farmer in northeastern Washington rotates his crops every year so it is a guessing game as where he will plant his crop of sunflowers. When they are grown and fully mature, they will be harvested for bird seed. Until then they are a field full of sunshine and happiness for everyone to enjoy.

 

I had several images that I took at sunrise around the docks of Tofino that I was fond of so I picked the one that was by far the favorite by visitors to my websites. This one was actually worked up and presented as a tribute towards a horrible boating accident that happened a little over a week after we had left. Jamie's whaling station (located on the far right of the image) had one of their tour boats out looking for whales when it capsized killing several tourists that were on board. A beautiful sunrise is a great symbol for hope and new beginnings.

Tofino Docks Sunrise - A TributeTofino Docks Sunrise - A TributeOn a calm morning in early October the sun lights up the sky in a symphony of colors. The sleepy docks of Tofino start to wake with fishermen and tour boats preparing for the day. This specific image is my way of paying tribute to the recent tragedy that happened to this tight knit community when a tour boat from Jamie's whaling station sank killing 5 people. This image was taken just short of 2 weeks before the terrible accident happened. The docks where Jamie's Whaling Station boats are at is in the far right side of this image. As my heart breaks to all those directly affected and the town of Tofino, I know more amazing sunrises like this will come, signaling the time for healing and hope.

I offer a variety of landscape, nature and wildlife images and fine art digital paintings. I also have many agricultural, farming and countryside images as well. Most of my work is from around the Pacific Northwest, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, British Columbia, and Alberta. Please look through my galleries or visit my website to view my full portfolio.

All of my work is original and copyrighted. The watermarks will not be on your final print. Thank you for looking and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

 

The next image would fall more in the category of digital painting. It is still a photo that I took but I have worked it up through an application that gives it a painterly look. This year I have been doing a lot more digital painting image in hopes to diversify my portfolio. This is also one of those images that I took several years ago but was never happy with it until now.

Madison BullMadison BullThis is a digital painting from an image I took of a Bull Elk in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. This Bull was crossing the Madison River. It is Rut and he was with his harem.

 

 

While there were many more that deserve to be on the list, I welcome you to be the judge and pick out your favorites on either one of my websites. I also want to send out a huge Thank You to all that have followed my journey this year and those have have purchased my images. I can't wait to see the challenges that 2016 brings in the chase for amazing light. Thank you again and have a Happy New Year!

 

Please feel free to leave comments. I also encourage you to join my email list and visit and follow me on Facebook and Twitter where I post my latest work and sale info with discount codes. All of my images are available for purchase on this site and at Fine Art America.

 

 

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mkiver9@gmail.com (Mark Kiver Photography) Best images of 2015 British Columbia Fine Art Landscape Mark Kiver Nature Pacific Northwest Palouse Photography Sunrise Sunset Washington State http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/12/best-of-2015 Thu, 31 Dec 2015 18:04:28 GMT
A Few Of My Favorite Things - Waterfalls http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/12/a-few-of-my-favorite-things---waterfalls As I was thinking about ideas for blog posts it came to me that it was time for me to reveal a little something about me as a photographer. Pull the curtain back as they say. Not too far but just enough to give you a little more of an idea of who I am. So, I thought I would share a few of my favorite things that I like to photograph.

Proxy FallsProxy Falls

The first one that always gets me excited is waterfalls. As far back as I can remember I loved waterfalls. As a kid when my parents would take me on hikes I struggled at about 5 minutes in. I was tired, bored, and wanted to go back. But if I knew there was a waterfall, I would race you there. I could not wait to see it. As I got closer and could hear the roar of the falls the excitement was overwhelming.  I was a cautious kid but something about waterfalls would draw me in. I would explore all around and could spend what seemed like hours. But when it came time to leave, it was not met with the same enthusiasm as the trip to the falls. Mostly because a majority of the hike back was uphill.

Autumn EuphoriaAutumn EuphoriaTucked away just out of sight by most that pass by is as spot that depicts everthing I love to see in fall. Changing colors of leaves, cascading water all highlighted by moss. With all the big waterfalls as the attraction in Silverfalls State park, many times places like this go unnoticed and are preserved for the few that discover it.

Fast forward to today and as a photographer I still have that same child like enthusiasm for Waterfalls. There are so many things that draw me in to a waterfall. First off, the overall beauty of the surrounding area is the first thing that hits me. I am just overcome with all the natural beauty and how the waterfall just enhances everything around it. Next, each one is different. Some big, others small, some are in the open others on the side of the mountain. No waterfall is the same. Plus throughout the year, it can change as well. An example of this is in Glacier National Park, there is a waterfall known as running eagle falls or trick falls that has two distinct looks. Fern FallsFern FallsOne of two small but amazingly beautiful waterfalls tucked away in northern Idaho. First, the drive up the north fork of the Coeur d'Alene river is work the trip all by itself. Then after a short drive on a very rough forest road you reach a small parking lot. Only a short hike brings you to Fern falls and a little farther past, Shadow Falls. Both are located on the tributary of Yellow Dog Creek. Perfect for a short walk and maybe a picnic. Ever since I first saw pictures of this waterfalls I have been planning, dreaming of a trip to this place. Not knowing what to expect when I actually get there, I knew there would be some great potential for some quality photos. The surrounding forrest really makes this image, filtering the light even during the brightest part of the day. The biggest issue was the force of the falls created breeze that blew the some of the branches and vegetaion around. I did want to capture a little motion but I didn't want the image to have a lot of bur. Most of this work was taking several exposures in post production and hand blending them to give me the final image that I had envisoned. In the spring when the water flow is high, the falls comes over the top. But when the water flow lessens it drops through a hole on top and comes out under the usual drop off creating a smaller waterfall. The other thing that I just love about waterfalls is the sound. The power generated from the water dropping and hitting the pool below. There is just so much mystery that surrounds each and every waterfall I travel to.   As a photographer my challenge is to first try to capture the beauty that nature has created. I want to share this with everyone I can. Then I want to explore every inch of the falls. I take images from all angles and find a view that someone hasn’t already done yet.  Then at some point, I stop taking pictures and just take it all in. There is something so calming and relaxing about waterfalls to me.  There is a place nowhere like it. I try to visually capture the area and moment as well. Falls at First LightFalls at First LightSwiftcurrent falls, one of the spectacles of Glacier National Park. Partly to help when I work up my photos but also because there are just moments that can’t be captured in a photo, so I want to remember and feel it later. I guess I could say waterfalls are a muse and inspiration to me. Like a beautiful model that has taken an eternity to look perfect for a photo shoot, I feel I must do it justice and capture all the beauty of the waterfall to the best of my abilities.

  Avalanche FallsAvalanche FallsOne of the more iconic areas on the west side of Glacier National Park is Avalanche Falls. Located in an old growth cedar forest, this picturesque gorge is carved out by Avalanche creek. Avalanche lake feeds this creek. The glacier silt from the melting snow and ice in the mountains creates the beautiful aqua blue color in the creek.

I know there are many that share the same allure to waterfalls as me but for different reasons. For me, they are so much more than just a great subject to photograph. Please feel free to leave comments. I also encourage you to join my email list and visit and follow me on Facebook and Twitter where I post my latest work and sale info with discount codes. All of my images are available for purchase on this site and at Fine Art America.

 

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mkiver9@gmail.com (Mark Kiver Photography) Art Blog Fine Glacier Landscape Mark Kiver National Nature Oregon Pacific Northwest Park Photography Washington State Waterfall Waterfalls http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/12/a-few-of-my-favorite-things---waterfalls Sat, 05 Dec 2015 18:07:10 GMT
50 Shades of Fall: The Senses http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/11/50-shades-of-fall-the-senses In most areas where we live, Autumn is at peak color or on it's decline now. As we step out our front door, we are greeted with a medley of leaves and a scene that indicates a change is in the air. At this point our senses are starting to be overcome with everything Fall. Portland Japanese MaplePortland Japanese MapleThis famous Japanese maple tree is located in the Portland Japanese Garden. It only stands a little over 4 feet tall. Photographers travel from all over to capture its beauty in autumn. On a busy weekend there can be a line of 10 or more photographers waiting to take their turn capturing this amazing tree. In its peek color, the maple has a canope of red and orange leaves that filter out most of the light. The light is at its best in early afternnon when all the leaves are back lite and they seem to glow. While this tree is the most famous attraction in this Japanese Garden, it isn't the only. There is beauty every where. The soft crackle of of leaves under foot to the ever distinct smell of fall which may be a combinations of rain, foliage and weather. Our traditional senses take in everything at light speed with sight, sound, touch, smell and yes, even taste. What our senses do with this information impacts how we perceive the event know as Autumn. Everyone that I talk too loves some aspect of fall. It maybe be the colorful foliage to the change of weather. I really think that fall affects our senses more than any other season. As I talk to people about their every day activities or even the upcoming holidays, more commonly than not, a feeling brought on by fall comes into the conversation. It may be how there is a chill in the air and they are bundling up more to going to the park to enjoy the season, to the type of food they are now cooking. As the season progresses our minds are stimulated and overwhelmed with everything Fall creating all sorts of emotional attachments to the season and what lies ahead. As a photographer, I also try to keep the traditional senses in mind when capturing fall images. I hope when people are viewing an image, all those senses are stimulated once again through all the elements they see and all those positive and happy thoughts about the Autumn are relived.

Autumn EuphoriaAutumn EuphoriaTucked away just out of sight by most that pass by is as spot that depicts everthing I love to see in fall. Changing colors of leaves, cascading water all highlighted by moss. With all the big waterfalls as the attraction in Silverfalls State park, many times places like this go unnoticed and are preserved for the few that discover it. Path to Multnomah FallsPath to Multnomah FallsThe main pathway that visitors use to view Multnomah Falls.

 

I hope you are finding time to enjoy fall and take in all that this incredible season has to offer. All of my images are available for purchase on this site and at Fine Art America .

 

Please feel free to leave comments. I also encourage you to join my email list and visit and follow me on Facebook and Twitter where I not only post new work but sale info and discount codes.

 

 

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mkiver9@gmail.com (Mark Kiver Photography) Autumn Colorful Emotion Fall Fine Art Landscape Mark Kiver Nature Oregon Pacific Northwest Photography Senses Trees http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/11/50-shades-of-fall-the-senses Sun, 08 Nov 2015 19:18:52 GMT
50 Shades of Fall: The Anticipation http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/50-shades-of-fall-the-anticipation   Cedar Creek Grist MillCedar Creek Grist MillLeaves are changing colors and the salmon are running upstream which means it is Autumn at the Cedar Grist Mill in Washington State. The working grist mill makes flour, corn meal and even apple cider. This Natural Historic Landmark was restored in 1980 and still run today by volunteers. The mill was originally built in 1876 and changed hands several times before falling in bad disrepair in the 1960's. Today the Cedar Grist Mill is the oldest building in Washington State that is still doing what it was designed to do.

50 Shades of Fall: The Anticipation

by Mark Kiver

 

Ohhh,  my favorite time of the year is so close. I can start to smell it in the air as the weather changes. Mornings become cool and crisp with a fresh scent and just a hint of chlorophyll as it starts to disappear from the leaves. While this signals the change of seasons, it is much more to me. Something starts to overcome me as I get giddy. Yes, the romance of autumn has begun.

I start to envision forests of multicolored trees, and I can hear and feel the crisp leaves under my feet. Waterfalls surrounded by shades of yellow, green and red.  There is just something about fall that gets me going. Now the pursuit and courtship of this amazing season is in full swing.

Months and sometimes years in advance I research some of the best spots to visit. I start to scour the internet for fall color maps. I visit forums to find out what fellow leaf-peepers have discovered and I check web cams to monitor the color change. It becomes an obsession that is the only thing I can think about at times. Flowing Through AutumnFlowing Through AutumnThe Wenachee River flows through Tumwater Canyon in Washington State. Just outside of Leavenworth in Washington State, trees and bushes explode with autumn color. Low clouds block any chance of the sun peaking through and drop rain on the canyon floor while snow falls near the peaks. A true fall day with perfect temeperatures, this area is full a beauty. It is only a matter of time when the colors leave only to be replaces with a blanket of snow and different type of beauty fills the canyon.

There is so much beauty to be found in this, my favorite season, I get desperate and try to capture as much as I can before it is gone. Autumn is much more than just changing leaves for me. It truly is a wonderful time with so much to offer. Through this series I would like to share my experiences of the fall splendor.

For now, I am filled with anticipation for what nature will bring in the coming weeks. Meanwhile,  I will just tease you with some of my images from past escapades as these are what I have to help fill the void until autumn fully arrives. Maybe they will stir and evoke some of the same emotions that I have, in you.

All my images are available for purchase in a variety of print types and home décor products at either of the following sites. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.  

 

Oxbow Fall reflectionOxbow Fall reflectionA calm Autumn morning in Grand Teton National Park, Mount Moran surounded by fall colors reflects in the Oxbow bend. Multnomah From AfarMultnomah From AfarMost images of Multnomah Falls are from the common view points. This is from right off the path from the parkinglot. It includes several elements that show the character and history of the area. The beautiful top of the falls are surrounded by autumn color. The creek that drains from the falls runs under a bridge for the historic Columbia Gorge Highway. Swiftcurrent Falls in AutumnSwiftcurrent Falls in Autumnlooking up Swiftcurrent Falls on a overcast autumn day

Please feel free to leave comments. I also encourage you to join my email list and visit and follow me on Facebook and Twitter where I not only post new work but sale info and discount codes.

 

 

http://1-mark-kiver.artistwebsites.com/index.html?tab=galleries

 

http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/

 

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mkiver9@gmail.com (Mark Kiver Photography) Autumn Colorful Emotion Fall Fine Art Landscape Mark Kiver Nature Oregon Pacific Northwest Photography Trees Washington State http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/50-shades-of-fall-the-anticipation Mon, 07 Sep 2015 18:11:03 GMT
2014: A Year In Review http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/1/2014-a-year-in-review As I look ahead to figure out where my photography will lead me this year I first look back at what I have done last year. For me it was a huge year in growth and finding my identity as a photography. This is so important to me in helping me figure out my next steps which will be huge. 

As I look back I had some great trips and adventures but I also focused a lot on what I have in my own backyard. The Pacific Northwest has so much to offer. From the roadside traveler to the backwoods adventurer, the sights are endless.

Autumn and IronAutumn and IronNested in the east side of the north cascades of Washington State is Tumwater Canyon. There is a lot of history associated with the early days of the railroad. Today it is also know for great folige color when fall rolls around. This is the pipleline bridge, which is now part of a trail that follows the Wenachee River to a dam that was once used to power electric trains through the cascade tunnel. For me, it is the perfect setting for amazing fall photos. Silver Falls Historic DistrictSilver Falls Historic DistrictNestled in the Willamette valley, Silver Falls State Park in Oregon is unique and special place. Where the South Falls Lodge and outbuildings stand today is where a once small community called Silver Falls City use to reside. Around 1883, about a dozen families called this town home for about 40 years. The Great Depression had a huge effect on Silver Falls City it soon was no more. But the Civilian Conservation Corps was brought in construct buildings, bridges trails and other infrastructure. This was the beginning of Silver Falls State Park. Today, it is one of Oregon's most visited parks with many of the structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Even closer to home, practically right out my door, is the unique and awe inspiring Palouse.  But this year I wanted more than just landscape images of this beautiful area,  I wanted more photos of how the land is actually worked. The crops, the harvest and the people. I accomplished some of that but I do have a lot more to work on.

Palouse in SpringPalouse in SpringStart with a unique landcsape of rolling hills for farther than the eye can see. Next, cover those hills with various natural texture patterns and color shades. Then, add great natural light. Yes, this is a landscape photographers Heaven. The golden hour on the Palouse in Eastern Washington turns the extraordinary into an amazing beautiful scene like no other. To photographers, this is Art. But for the farmers of this rich land, it is a symbol of their hard work. Days EndDays EndJust outside of Cheney, in Eastern Washington farmers scramble to get thier harvest in. They are not just racing against daylight on this day but also storms the can drop large amounts of rain or even hail that can damage crops. On this day rain did cut short the harvest. Hopefully it we dry out for tomorrow. This farmer is working on his barley crop.

So, to get a little more inspiration and drive for the coming year I have created a slide show video of images from all my photography adventures from last year, 2014.

2014 A Year In ReviewImages from my photography adventures in 2014

 

I hope you enjoy it and as always, my images are all available for purchase in my gallery. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Thanks for looking,

Mark Kiver

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mkiver9@gmail.com (Mark Kiver Photography) Autumn Fine Art Landscape Mark Kiver Montana Nature Northwest Oregon Pacific Photography Review Silver Falls State Park Video Washington http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/1/2014-a-year-in-review Mon, 19 Jan 2015 22:29:32 GMT
My Top 5 Images of 2014 http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/12/my-top-5-images-of-2014 Reflecting back on the year I would have to say it has been one of the best for me as far a growth as a photographer. I think I have produced some of my best work yet. I have also worked out of my comfort zone and tried some different subject matter which I have found to really like photographing. My focus this year was more local. Not just around my home town but in the Pacific Northwest. There is so much to see in this beautiful region and I realized I need to explore a little more and also strengthen my portfolios of these areas. Looking forward to 2015 I plan on concentrating more on the Pacific Northwest and on farming scenes. I have so much access to farming in my area and I really think that this is an area that isn't focused on that much from a fine art perspective. A note about the following images, they are not just about the most visually appealing photos or overall quality but they also have to do with achieving personal goals as well.

So, here are my top 5 images of 2014 in random order.

Fern FallsFern FallsOne of two small but amazingly beautiful waterfalls tucked away in northern Idaho. First, the drive up the north fork of the Coeur d'Alene river is work the trip all by itself. Then after a short drive on a very rough forest road you reach a small parking lot. Only a short hike brings you to Fern falls and a little farther past, Shadow Falls. Both are located on the tributary of Yellow Dog Creek. Perfect for a short walk and maybe a picnic. Ever since I first saw pictures of this waterfalls I have been planning, dreaming of a trip to this place. Not knowing what to expect when I actually get there, I knew there would be some great potential for some quality photos. The surrounding forrest really makes this image, filtering the light even during the brightest part of the day. The biggest issue was the force of the falls created breeze that blew the some of the branches and vegetaion around. I did want to capture a little motion but I didn't want the image to have a lot of bur. Most of this work was taking several exposures in post production and hand blending them to give me the final image that I had envisoned.

The first on my list is Fern falls. Located in the Idaho Panhandle, the hardest part about getting here is the drive. There are 2 falls located on a short hike from the parking lot. The second waterfall is called shadow falls. This image stuck out as one of my top for the year because I have been wanting to go here for several years now. I have seen several images of the falls and had a composition in mind on arriving if all the elements were in place. When I got to the falls, it was more beautiful than I even imagined. The green from the moss, plants and trees really helped make the falls stand out. The old trees at the base of the falls helped with the composition and the dense forest filtered the light to give the surrounding area a nice even glow. I couldn't have asked for better conditions. The biggest challenge was the force of the falls was blowing some of the surrounding vegetation so I had to take several images to blend them together manually to keep the image a sharp as I could.

Palouse in SpringPalouse in SpringStart with a unique landcsape of rolling hills for farther than the eye can see. Next, cover those hills with various natural texture patterns and color shades. Then, add great natural light. Yes, this is a landscape photographers Heaven. The golden hour on the Palouse in Eastern Washington turns the extraordinary into an amazing beautiful scene like no other. To photographers, this is Art. But for the farmers of this rich land, it is a symbol of their hard work.

The next image that in my top 5 is one that is from Steptoe Butte looking down on the rolling hills of the Palouse. The spring is the busiest times of the year for me at my two other day jobs so I am not able to get out and photograph as much as I want. For the longest time I have wanted to capture an image of the Palouse in spring with all the green fields of the various young crops. On this day the weather was very cooperative. Not a lot of wind with some clouds in the sky to create the perfect light. As the sun set the golden light painted the fields and the shadows created a stunning contrast. While I was satisfied with finally getting a spring shot of the Palouse, I am also now driven more than ever to get many more. This is just a beautiful and unique landscape that has endless possibilities.

 

Path to the StormPath to the StormPatterns left in the field from the freshly harvested grain lead right into the ominous clouds that are telling us a storm is about to come. In the distance bracing for this storm is the small Eastern Washington town of Cheney. Surrounded by farms, ranches and wheat fields, the town is filled by trucks carring the grains of harvest.

One of the projects I have wanted to do for a while is document harvest. I finally was able to do that. A good friend, Trevor Smith is a local Farmer. He has built his business from the ground up, never handed anything and has had to work for everything that he has. This is really true of most family farms. I was privileged enough to tag along during several of his farm operations this past summer and not only captured some great images but found a new area of focus form my photography that I am going to explore more in the coming years. It was hard to just choose one harvest image. I was really excited about several that I shot, and that doesn't happen often. The reason I choose this one is I think it represents so many different elements. Not just from The Smith Family Farms but from many grain farmers in the region. This year was a bad year for wheat with many sad stories that followed low yields from harvest. This image not only shows harvested grain fields of several farmers but the ominous storm clouds in the background. Weather has so much to do with farming. Farmers can work as hard as they possible can, doing everything right, but if they don't get some help from the weather then it could be a real struggle . What I see in this image is how weather can play a huge part in what happens to the crops of dry land farms plus it is about harvest which is the culmination of all the hard work for the year. On this day it was just a cloud burst but enough to shut down harvest for the night but also a reminder of how powerful mother nature is.

Cedar Creek Grist MillCedar Creek Grist MillLeaves are changing colors and the salmon are running upstream which means it is Autumn at the Cedar Grist Mill in Washington State. The working grist mill makes flour, corn meal and even apple cider. This Natural Historic Landmark was restored in 1980 and still run today by volunteers. The mill was originally built in 1876 and changed hands several times before falling in bad disrepair in the 1960's. Today the Cedar Grist Mill is the oldest building in Washington State that is still doing what it was designed to do.

This next image is one that I got really excited about. The Cedar Creek Grist Mill. Another place that I have been wanting to get a great image from. The difference about this place is I have been here in the past and was never able to get an image I was happy with. The last time I visited the Cedar Creek Grist mill, the light was slightly harsh, the fall color was past peak and there wasn't the small waterfall coming from the mill which I think adds a lot of interest to the image. This year the colors were so much better. When I first arrived I had the place all to myself. The light was also perfect. It was slightly overcast so there was a nice even light. I had a lot of fun with the mill and photographed it from every angle possible. What I liked about this composition was the added element in the creek. There was foam that was created by the small cascades on the creek. The exposure I took was just long enough to catch the patterns of the foam in the water giving the image a sense of motion. While there is still room for improvement, in my opinion, it will give me a good reason to return to this great place.

 

Silver Falls Historic DistrictSilver Falls Historic DistrictNestled in the Willamette valley, Silver Falls State Park in Oregon is unique and special place. Where the South Falls Lodge and outbuildings stand today is where a once small community called Silver Falls City use to reside. Around 1883, about a dozen families called this town home for about 40 years. The Great Depression had a huge effect on Silver Falls City it soon was no more. But the Civilian Conservation Corps was brought in construct buildings, bridges trails and other infrastructure. This was the beginning of Silver Falls State Park. Today, it is one of Oregon's most visited parks with many of the structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The last image on my list might possible be my favorite of the year. There was some luck involved with this by being in the right place at the right time. This year I made my first trip, of hopefully many more, to Silver Falls State Park in Oregon. While the waterfalls are definitely the highlight of the park, there is a lot more to see. For this image I was working on trying to capture some unique shots of South Falls. I had taken many shots from all around the falls but I just wasn't feeling like I had got the shot I wanted. I figured I would walk back and try to capture some shots of the historic lodge. On my way, I was literally stopped in my tracks by the filtered light rays breaking through the trees. To enhance the scene even more a small tree with bright red leaves was highlighted. Not knowing how long this was going to last I through down my backpack and scrambled to get my gear set up and a shot composed. While the light is the star of this image there are so many other elements that make this photo so strong. The brick path with the subtle leading lines that leads into the giant trees creating a sense of mystery. The small tree with the red leaves that is highlighted to stand out from all the large trees. This is just an image I love to look at and gets more interesting each time I view it.

So, there is my list of the top images of 2014. I am sure you might have others that you might prefer and I would love to hear what they are. Art is subjective and everyone sees things just a little differently. I hope you enjoyed and please share.

 

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mkiver9@gmail.com (Mark Kiver Photography) Fine Art Pacific Northwest Autumn Cedar Creek Falls Farm Farming Fern Grist Harvest Idaho Landscape Mark Kiver Mill Nature Oregon Palouse Photography Silver Falls State Park Spring Storm Washington State Waterfall http://mkiverphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/12/my-top-5-images-of-2014 Tue, 30 Dec 2014 19:22:52 GMT