Spring Clouds Over Red Rock

Spring Clouds Art Prints Available

A friend of mine was visiting from out of town recently, so we hatched a plan to catch a desert sunrise. I was a little hesitant to go, as I was all set to fly out for a family trip later that afternoon, but I figured I could squeeze in a few hours for some pre-flight photography.

Besides, two people in our little group had never been to Red Rock Canyon Conservation area, and it is beautiful—especially at sunrise. True, they were a little concerned about coming across a snake or coyote, but I have never seen either of those in this spot. (I have seen the occasional—and much less threatening!—burro and rabbit, however.)

Spring Clouds

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The Spring Mountains border Red Rock Canyon, and I love capturing this area when a springtime storm is rolling in. It’s not uncommon to see clouds over the mountains, even when the skies over the city directly behind me are crystal clear.

I named the image I took that day “Spring Clouds Over Red Rock,” but it just as easily could be called “Prickly Path.” As I shot it, I worked at finding new and different foreground elements. In particular, I liked how the path on the right leads the eye through the prominently featured cactus and then, more deeply, into the desert beyond.

My ultimate takeaway? No matter how stormy or prickly one’s circumstances seem to be, there is always, always a path.☺



Best Camera for A Family Vacation?

Q: What’s the Best Camera to Take on Our Family Vacation?

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A: This may seem counterintuitive, but you don’t need to haul a lot of fancy photography equipment with you, in order to take beautiful pictures on your next vacation. Instead, the answer today is almost universally a smartphone. I prefer my iPhone, but that doesn’t mean that other types of available smartphones wouldn’t work as well.

Apple made a billboard using one of the images I shot while exploring the ice caves in Iceland. It was shown all over the world! (And, yes, I took this photo with my iPhone!)


Today’s smartphones are relatively compact, so you can keep them in your pocket, small bag, or purse. (What’s more, you pretty much always have your phone with you anyway!) Most models are equipped with cameras that can capture amazingly high quality, high-resolution images suitable for printing. Incidentally, some of my favorite online printing services include Shutterfly and the Costco Photo Center. And check out services like Groovebook (www.groovebook.com) or Blurb (www.blurb.comto have your own photo books made.

Of course, most smartphones also double as video cameras, so you can now shoot video with the push of a button. Best of all, you can share your photos and videos with friends and family in a matter of seconds—without the hassle of juggling those tiny, expensive memory cards. Simply make it a point to use the hotel’s wifi connection to back up each day’s photos and videos into the cloud if you are able. I like Apple’s iCloud(www.icloud.com), Google’s Photos(photos.google.com) and Dropbox(www.dropbox.com)!

In short, you take the best pictures with the camera you have with you! So, leave the big, bulky camera bodies for the crazy photographers who actually enjoy lugging all that expensive gear through airports and onto airplanes. Many of them are professional photographers being paid to tote all that stuff. Ask them what they use to shoot their own vacation photos, and most of them will tell you they carry a smartphone along for their vacation pics, too!

Here are a few vacation pics I’ve also taken with my iPhone:

Flowers in Epcot
iPhone 6S Plus

Cinderella’s Castle
iPhone 6S Plus

Badwater Basin Death Valley
iPhone 6S Plus

Mesa Arch
iPhone 6s Plus Panoramic

Have your own photography-related question for Doug? Contact him at askdoug@sandquistphotography.com and your question might be featured in an upcoming issue.

Gargoyles in the Desert

Fun exploring the Gargoyles made of Sandstone


Little Finland is a unique spot on the Gold Butte of Southern Nevada. It’s a bit of a dusty ride through the desert in a high clearance 4WD vehicle. There are many unique compositions to consider, here’s a gallery of various images from the area.

I like this image as it’s a bit different from many of the others I’ve seen from this location. It reminds me of old city architecture with the Gargoyles on the top of the ridge!

Water Reflections at Badwater, Death Valley NP

Not quite a lake, but still quite a bit of water in Badwater

Browse the Death Valley Gallery for print options! 

The water level in the Badwater salt flats was dropping fast from recent rains but still offered interesting reflections amongst the salt lines.

I’m also pleased to announce that I have a new store front to sell prints! The images below are linked to the new storefront where you can view media options and even use the Wall Preview tool to check the size of a print against a wall with a sofa below! Head on over to store.douglassandquist.com for more info!

Soothing Salt Lines
Soothing Salt Lines

View Print Media options for the print above

Death Valley Serene

Death Valley Serene

View Print Media options for the print above

Badwater Reflections

Badwater Reflections


Browse my Gallery from Death Valley

Sunset at Preacher’s Point-Abraham Lake

Sunset on Abraham Lake at Preacher’s Point

Browse my Full Canadian Winter Landscape Gallery!

Preacher’s Point is the beginning of Abraham Lake. It’s where the river enters the lake, which means this area is quite a bit shallower than other parts of the lake. There are cracks and ice breaks and even a few spots where you can step in the river if not careful!

From a composition angle, Preacher’s Point has many more options than other parts of Abraham Lake. The options are endless!

Here are two images from an evening at Preacher’s Point.

Distant Alpenglow(click on the image for a larger version)

Morning Alpenglow

Abraham Lake Sunrise Alpenglow

A few wispy clouds to the west at sunset too! (Click on the image for a larger version)

Preacher's Bubbles Sunset

Sunset over Preacher’s Point, Abraham Lake

Want to see more Canadian Winter Landscapes? Check out my Full Canadian Winter Landscape Gallery!

Interesting Ice Bubbles on Abraham Lake

Who doesn’t love the Ice Bubbles on Abraham Lake in Alberta Canada?

Browse my Full Canadian Winter Landscape Gallery on my brand new print store!

I don’t remember the first time I saw a photo of the methane bubbles on Abraham Lake, but I remember finding them so interesting that I had to make a plan to go visit them one day! Abraham Lake is in the Canadian Rockies about 3 hours northwest of Calgary, in between Jasper and Banff… Here are the first two images.

I enjoyed watching the sun dance across the peaks of the Candian Rockies, the bubbles make for an interesting visual element.

Belly of Abraham Alpen Glow

Alpen Glow Over Abraham Lake


The clouds around the mountain peaks also caused addition visual interest to the frozen bubble filled lake.

Bubbles and Cracks

Bubbles and Cracks, Abraham Lake

Thanks for reading down this far!

Prints are available on my photo hosting site Sandquistphotography.com and on the Sandquistphotography Society6 Store

It was a challenge to shoot the frozen bubbles. In order to make the bubbles appear as a strong foreground element you need to get as low and close to them as possible! This often meant laying belly down on the sheet of ice! Here’s a photo of me on the frozen lake.

I do recommend these MICROSpikes from Kahtoola(Amazon link) for working on the ice. They provide good traction and are easy to put on and take off when all bundled up!

More Ice Reflections

Blue Ice

This post concludes my series from the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. The first image Floating Ice and the second image Ice Reflections.

This series allowed me to reflect a bit! I guess there’s something about the blue reflecting glow on the glasslike water.

As a parent of grade school children, I do wonder about the future. Specifically, the types of careers available ten years from now?

Automation through robots and artificial intelligence are here. Jobs are vanishing before our eyes. Making a living as a delivery driver will soon become extinct through driverless trucks. Making a living in the new future will be far different than now!

So the question is how people will make a living in the future?

I know there are smarter people than me trying to figure this out, but what used to be a far off thought experiment is rapidly becoming a reality. I suppose it’s never a bad to reflect on the hard questions in life!



Iceland Glacier Lagoon Reflections

More Reflections at Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

Iceland Reflections

As I wrote recently here about the calm water at the lagoon on my summer visit, this is another image that captures the glassy water and iceberg reflections!

I like the blue hues and tones and imagine floating through the ‘bergs on a paddleboard!

I have been to the Glacier Lagoon a few times in the past few years and have heard of people paddle boarding around the icebergs, but have never seen anyone doing it. ArcticSurfers do paddleboard tours at the Glacier Lagoon! I don’t have any experience with ArcticSurfers but their info page on their website looks legitimate. If anyone has tried PaddleBoarding at the Glacier Lagoon I’d love to hear a first-hand experience! Thanks!