Painted Rocks Reservoir

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Painted Rocks Lake near Darby, Montana
Can you believe I took this photo of Painted Rocks Reservoir with an iPhone?

On a drive up the West Fork of the Bitterroot River in our Montana backyard, Alan and I arrived for a first visit to Painted Rocks Reservoir State Park at just the right time. It was about 10:00 a.m., not a cloud in the sky and the reflections in the water took our breath away. We couldn’t get out of the Jeep fast enough.

When Alan pulled the the four-wheel-drive vehicle into a parking lot just below the dam, I jumped out—iPhone in hand. We ended up staying a while and practicing with all of our cameras but this iPhone photo turned out to be one of the best ones. And it proves that not all photographs have to be carefully set up or thought out. I was shooting away with the iPhone only to be a bit stunned when viewing the final results.

Do you enjoy exploring in your backyard? Sometimes those short trips can be the most memorable ones. On our visit to the West Fork, the Bitterroot River flowed beside the road for most of the journey. Fly fishermen floated in rafts or waded in the water casting for trout. June wildflowers were sprinkled around the hillsides, offering the perfect opportunity for practicing macro photography skills. A group of college-aged kids frolicked in the water at one of the boat ramps of the reservoir making us wish that we had brought our swimsuits along. And we returned home with a notebook filled with ideas for adventures to come in this scenic wild area tucked into the Bitterroot Mountains.

To learn more about the West Fork of the Bitterroot, read my article, Spend the Day (or Night) at Painted Rocks Reservoir at Make It Missoula.

Do you have tips for photographing with a camera phone?

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