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2021 North Dakota Horizons Scenic Calendar Photography

Posted by Annie Bennett, Co-Editor 12/2/2020 2:11:07 PM

The 2021 North Dakota Horizons scenic calendar highlights the beauty of North Dakota with breathtaking images, taken around the state and across all seasons, by talented photographers. Below, the 2021 calendar photographers share the stories behind their stunning images.



After the Storm Sunrise, Traill County, by Dave Bruner

Dave Bruner captured this image on a 10-degree morning. “I was driving around before sunrise looking for a nice scene and found these evergreen trees below this little hill that looked like a nice composition. It had been storming throughout the night and was clearing up in the morning.”

Bruner has been practicing professional landscape photography for about 10 years. “The diversity of the North Dakota landscapes from the eastern part to the western part provides a variety of terrain to work with,” he notes.



Sky Reflections on Ice, Grand Forks, by Dave Bruner

“I have been to this pond before and when I saw the red sky, I went to this location to get this image, hoping there would be some ice not covered in snow to help with reflections,” says Bruner, noting the weather was a little breezy and cold, around five degrees below zero.

He adds, most days, photography in North Dakota provides interesting sunsets and sunrises with beautiful clouds.



Fresh Snow, Missouri River, Mandan, by Erick Garza

Erick Garza’s image was taken on the Mandan-side of the Missouri river. “After the snow stopped, I decided to take a little trip to the river, looking for something interesting. Luckily, that was my opportunity,” he says. “I saw different elements starting to contribute to the shot, like the fresh snow and the sunset turning into a beautiful color. The weather was a bit cold, but not freezing. It took time to look for the angle to shoot and try keep the area free of foot tracks.”

Garza, who has been practicing photography for six years, enjoys driving to try to find his next shot. “I’m always thinking of things to photograph around the Bismarck-Mandan area and researching other places out of town.”



Reflections of Government Bay,

Riverdale, Lake Sakakawea, by Erich Linser

“To me, it is an area that seems so foreign and out of place with the tall cliffs and waves,” says Erich Linser, who captured this image on a warm spring afternoon. “I had just purchased some new lens filters and I wanted to test them out with some long exposures. I had my camera setup on my tripod in the water and I balanced on rocks along the shore.”

Linser’s interest in photography began in 1975 in a grade school summer program. “My camera was a hand-me-down Kodak 127 Brownie. We developed our own film and printed a few photos,” he notes. “I took several classes in high school as well.”



Bloomers, Bismarck, by Rebecca Raber

Rebecca Raber’s photo was taken in her backyard. “I plant a huge flower garden because I enjoy gardening, but also so I can photograph it,” she says. “After you’ve gardened for a while, you begin to anticipate when each little bloom will have its special moment in the sun. It’s fun when that waiting comes to an end with a beautiful bloom!”

Raber says she has been interested in photography for about 10 years. She says she enjoys photography in North Dakota because, “there’s beauty at the end of every dusty road.”



 In the Hills, Grant County, by Dave Bruner

 “I had been to the top of these hills before and climbed up this steep hill to try   and get some images, as I knew there were some neat rock formations at the top.   The sky had a variety for cloud formations near sunset and it had been raining off   and on,” says Bruner. 

  He adds the rain stopped and it presented this image, the one he liked the most.



Split Sky, Grand Forks, by Dave Bruner

Bruner snapped this image on a calm, 70-degree day. “I was aware of this pond, and I was out before sunrise that day looking for something to photograph,” he says. “There was no wind that morning and when I saw the beautiful sky forming, I went to this location hoping there would be nice reflections created in the water.”

Bruner says he was very honored to have his photography selected for the North Dakota Horizons calendar. “I try every year to be out many days and seasons to capture North Dakota landscapes around the state.”



Sunflower Sky, Dunn County, by Gail Orvis

Gail Orvis snapped August’s image in a sunflower field north of Dickinson. “It was a beautiful day,” she says. “I learned North Dakota had huge sunflower production and we set out several times searching for these fields. I knew I needed to get some photos before leaving the state and returning to our new home in Maine.”

“I enjoyed taking photos of North Dakota’s scenery because it is very different from the scenery from my upbringing in New Hampshire,” says Orvis. “The colors, textures, animals, flowers, and even the skies, are different.”

She says she also loved exploring many back roads of North Dakota during her stay in Watford City.



Summer Sun Halo, Zap, by Casey Helling

Casey Helling says he was on his way home from working night shift and saw this sunrise. “I was tired and had no intention of taking photos that morning, but I immediately looked for a location to snap a few shots of this rare event,” he says. “Just a few hundred yards down the road I came upon a grain field that seemed like an appropriate location. It was a very humid summer morning and everything was dew covered. The green, maturing grain field really seemed to tie the composition together.”

“The photo’s title, ‘Summer Sun Halo,’ came from the scientific term for this sun phenomenon, 22 degree halo or sun halo,” Helling continues. “The explanation behind this phenomenon is the same as the typical sundogs we see in the cold, winter months. Sundogs and halos are the result of the refraction of sunlight in thin, icy Cirrus clouds at altitudes above 20,000 feet. It is not common to see these halos in the summer, which is why this photo is so unique.”



Autumn Reflections, Grand Forks, by Dave Bruner

“There had been historic rains in our area that caused the Red River to flood, causing a lot of the areas with trees to be in the flooded waters,” says Bruner, noting the day the photo was captured it was 40 degrees with no wind. “The peak of the fall colors happened to coincide with this event, and I went down to the river a few mornings to try and capture some of these reflections at sunrise. It had to be a calm day with no wind so the reflections would stand out, and on this morning, it was very calm and allowed me to capture this scene.”



Frosted Passages, Donnybrook, by Erich Linser

“After days of freezing fog, I knew there was the potential for some frosty fences and trees,” says Linser. “I did also note the sun was starting to burn through the clouds, which would mean a quick end to the frosty conditions.”

“I really like the skies and countryside drives that seem to find me traveling on many miles of gravel roads and prairie trails,” he notes. “The blooming canola, flax and sunflower fields are always amazing to find.”



Icy Winter Wonderland, Lefor, by Carmel Meier

Carmel Meier has been practicing photography for 10 years. “I happened to be out and about after we had icy weather coverage around Thanksgiving 2018, looking to see what could possibly grab my eye for images I would like to capture. I came upon row of trees along the Enchanted Highway near Lefor and decided to pull over to take some photos,” says Meier.

“Since I grew up in North Dakota and will always consider it home, I find the nice wide open skies and the different seasons we have here gives me a great opportunity to capture what the state offers for its beauty,” she adds. “I always enjoy the ability to capture our wonderful state views.”




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