The Flathead National Forest lies just west of the Continental Divide and runs along the eastern edge of the Flathead Valley. Clouds cast unique shadows and shapes on the valley and forest, especially during sunset, which can make for a beautiful picture.
Photo tip: I am often drawn to symmetry and layers, especially when photographing landscapes. I was in Flathead National Forest to photograph something else, but kept looking back at this tree in the distance to see how the setting sun was affecting its lighting. I took this photo just as the shadows enveloped the forest, which helped make the lone tree in the foreground stand out. From the dark yellow grass surrounding the tree, to the lighter yellow grass in the background, and finally to the dark green forest, the layers further showcase the beauty of this spring evening in Montana.
Jonathan Irish is a professional photographer and Director of Programs for National Geographic Adventures.