You have no business including pictures of interiors in your Montana photography. Well, you’re allowed to shoot a few; but Montana is Big Sky Country, and you and your family and friends (and your digital cameras) should spend almost all of your time outside and under that big sky. It’s where you’ll take your best and favorite Montana photos.
Montana photography of most of the eastern half of the state shows open prairies with grain farms and cattle and sheep ranches—and great stretches of open road between small towns. That shouldn’t deter you from venturing forth and discovering the many Montana picture-taking opportunities at Fort Peck Lake, Upper Missouri Wild and Scenic River and the Little Bighorn Battlefield Monument, where General George Armstrong Custer and his men died fighting warriors from the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho nations.
Your Montana photography could be a continuation of your adventures in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks in northwest Wyoming. Yellowstone actually straddles the border between the two states. There are two scenic drives that will guide you north from Yellowstone and into the Absaroka and Madison mountain ranges where a concentration of peaks taller than 10,000 feet are perfectly posed for your Montana photos. For the most adventurous, the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area provides all the whitewater and mountain-hiking challenges you’d ever want. All of which should be included in your Montana photography.
The other Montana photography adventure that is apt to catch your attention is Glacier National Park in northwest Montana. Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Park, across the border in Canada, have been designated the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park and one of the few World Heritage sites. That alone makes a visit to the area a must for amateur and professional photographers. What can make your Montana photos of Glacier Country more interesting are the pictures you can take as you follow the route north toward Glacier National Park.
Montana photography of your Glacier expedition starts in Seeley Lake in the Swan Valley. To the west are the Mission Mountains and the east the Swan Range. The low light of the evening creates a mystical landscape for your Montana pictures of the sparkling Swan River and a series of small lakes at the bottom of the valley. Sunsets reflect off the towering rock surfaces of the Swan Range, giving your Montana photos a special kind of clarity and sharpness.
You can easily be diverted from your goal of Glacier, however, with the enormous Bob Marshall Wilderness to the east. Known locally as “The Bob,” this is where weeklong horse-pack trips take you to very wild places, pictures of which will make your Montana photography astounding. You can experience a bit of “The Bob,” by taking a half-day hike to Pyramid Pass, one of the gateways into “The Bob.” You’ll want plenty of Montana pictures of your expedition on the well-marked trail, especially the great beauty of a high-mountain meadow, with its wildflowers and racing streams.
Eventually, the road leads you to the final goal of your Montana photography: Glacier National Park. These narrow, glaciated valleys and the granite spires of the mountains that surround them are beyond description. Take a boat tour on Lake McDonald near the west entrance of the park, and then travel Going to the Sun Road to the top of the park. This roadway has been literally carved from the side of the mountains. Once you reach the top, you’ll have much closer views of the wonderful panoramas of the glaciers and mountains for your Montana photography; and you might even capture a picture or two of wild mountain sheep.