This image presents a scenic view of northwestern Montana’s Holland Lake, Swan Valley, Swan and Mission mountain ranges, photographed from a rock outcropping near the apex of the Holland Falls National Recreation Trail. Photographed in autumn, the yellow and orange colors of ponderous pine, red fir, and western larch frame the lake and surround the trail. From this spot on the trail, the rushing water of Holland Falls can be clearly heard, adding to the serene experience of the mountain and lake environment.
This photograph was created in October of 2006, on a road trip from Missoula, where I was a participant in a digital intensive photography program. In fact, I had recently purchased my first digital camera equipment, having been a longtime film photographer. Montana offers a wealth of photographic opportunities, with inspirational scenery at every turn, and many of the images created there remain among my favorites.
Equipment included the Canon EOS 5D, Canon EF 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS lens, and Gitzo Mountaineer tripod with Kirk BH-1 head. Exposure was 1/13 second at f/20, ISO 200, 53mm focal length.
Photographers and travelers visiting Holland Lake will find an easy to intermediate trail of approximately 3 miles to the falls and back, with an elevation gain of about 700 feet. The trail initially parallels the crystal-clear blue lake at ground level, begins to climb at the one-mile mark, then rises steeply between the outlook from which this photograph was made and the waterfall. One can expect immersion in spectacular scenery and photographic opportunity here. The area is accessible from May through October.