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May 072014

Photo copyright Jamie Shrader

Montana has some of the most beautiful landmarks in the world.  The state is in the Western United States and has numerous mountain ranges.  We would expect this, since the states name came from the Spanish word montaña, meaning mountain.  Montana has a popular slogan, “Land of the Shining Mountains”.   The top attractions in Montana are Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, and the Montana Rockies.

I had a cross-country meet in Bozeman, Montana.  We had a day off before the meet and my coach and I decided to try to find a spot that we could drive up the mountains.  After driving around for quite some time, we finally found a way up.  We had to drive through a neighborhood and while doing that, we came across something so beautiful.  There were many horses running around in a field so I grabbed my phone and began to take many different shots of the horses with the mountains in the background.  I wanted to capture an image that would express Montana’s beauty.  When I walked over towards the horse, he ran right up to me.  I was so shocked that he was not scared of us.  The horse was perfect because he was posing for the image exactly how I needed him to be.   Having the mountains in the photo was important to me because I wanted to capture what Montana is known for.

I did not have my Canon EOS Rebel T3i camera with me, which was a huge disappointment, so I used my iPhone 5.  It was very surprising how well the photo turned out since I did not have my camera, but since I was so close to the horse, it still captured an image that I wanted.  The ISO is 50, with an aperture f/2.4 and a shutter speed 1/1550.  I later used minor post processing in Adobe Lightroom.  I took away something in the field as well as brightened the whites and darkened the shadow on the mountain.  This gave the mountain more depth.

I learned a lesson that I need to bring my camera with me anywhere I go.  I am still using this image because it has a lot of character.  The mountains with the stormy sky give the photograph good color and the horse is placed using the rule of thirds.  Some of our best photographs are taken when we least expect it, and this is exactly what happened to me.

About the Photographer:
My name is Jamie Shrader and I am a Biology major with a photography minor at Northern Arizona University.  I was born and raised in Flagstaff, Arizona and enjoy to photograph nature.  I would later like to specialize not only in nature photography, but in wedding photography as well.  I want to capture detail and exclusive beauty through my photographs. My goal is to show people something they have never seen before.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at