Once a month, we’ll feature a landscape photography hotspot. We want to aid you with getting ‘the shot’ in order to help rekindle your love for nature, to enable you to become inspired by nature and to equip you to become an advocate for a wilder world at home.
This month’s focus:
If there is one national park famous for its landscapes, it’s Montana’s Glacier National Park. Of the many landscape hotspots, one of our emerging favourites is the slightly-off-the-beaten-path Two Medicine Lake.
Four miles north of East Glacier, on Highway 49, is the junction to the reasonably short, dead-end road to Two-Medicine.
Though at one time the main destination for travellers accessing the park by train, today it is all but an after thought for most visitors, meaning that most landscape photographers don’t have to wrestle with one another for the best shooting location (unlike Goose Island).
If you have the time, stay at the Two Medicine Campground – quiet and picturesque – in order to be well positioned to photograph Two Medicine at sunrise and sunset. But if you can only choose one of the two, opt for sunrise.
The light on Mt. Sinopah in the morning is breathtaking and, as the sun rises, your options for framing the lake with other peaks surrounding its shores increase.
This isn’t to say sunset is lacklustre, but we’ve found that the images at night didn’t pop as much as the morning.
The exception is when storms roll through the valley and the east side of Glacier, like Waterton across the border to the north of the park, is known for them.
The winds especially can reach hurricane force, meaning that it is helpful to have help in holding filters and cleaning water off lenses, especially if you’re positioned near the crashing waves rolling onto the shore.
Though tripods are a must for most good landscape shots, this is especially true at Two Medicine due to the winds. And because you might require faster shutter speeds to prevent the wind or rain/splashing waves from ruining your shot, it helps to have a ‘big stopper’ filter to slow the motion of the water.
While there are many places to capture the lake, without question, my favourite is next to a small stream that spills into Two Medicine near the picnic area.
If facing the lake from the picnic area, work your way to the shore and then move left until you hit the creek. From here, you can mostly cut out the man-made structures, while maintaining the views of the best peaks. Most importantly, the foreground offers endless opportunities, such as this…
Call it Jill’s influence, but I love the shapes and colours of the rocks.
Though we have never been lucky enough to capture a perfect reflection at Two Medicine, it is possible. But don’t be worried if it fails to materialize. What’s lost in reflection is gained in cloud formation, unique light and total serenity from one of the best landscape hotspots in the Lower 48.
Location: Glacier National Park, Montana
Accessibility: Two Medicine Lake is the terminus for a short park road that begins 4 miles north of East Glacier on Highway 49.
Best Time: Sunrise
Season: All Seasons
Have you checked out our NEW online shop yet?