Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Montana’s Conrad Mansion Rendered with HDR

©Bert Gildart: At the moment we are camped in a KOA just outside of Spokane.  We were bound for Sutton RV where we’re scheduled to have a few repairs made to our RV all covered by the warranty that came with our new Airstream.

Those who have followed will recall we had to purchase a new RV because of the extensive filiform corrosion sustained last winter as we traveled over Monida Pass.  From Suttons we will be heading to the warmth of the desert.Just prior to leaving I visited the Conrad Mansion in Kalispell to create images of one of Montana’s wealthiest families, the Conrads.

Mansion2 Conrad Mansion Mansion4

Because flash is not allowed in the mansion, I had visited with friends from Boise who are experts on the use of a technique called HDR, standing for “high dynamic resolution.”

The technique requires the use of a tripod and the bracketing of exposures of the same setting.  Typically, anywhere from three to six or more images are recorded of the same exact setting, then using a program such as Photomatrix, the images are superimposed one on the other – then merged.


HDR tends to create exaggerated colors; the trick is to control that tendency.


The theory is that in the course of taking multiple images one will have created the proper exposure for all elements in the scene ranging from the most extreme highlights to the densest shadows. This was my first attempt, but with lots of help from Todd and Jack (my companions on the recent trip to Wildhorse) I think I have made a good first start.  I’ll work on reducing some of the extreme colors, but have included them here because they show colors that might be useful in creating “Photo Art.”


Bedroom once used by Theodore Roosevelt and then by cowboy artist Charles M. Russell.


Not so incidentally, the image of the bedroom shows the bed and room in which both Theodore Roosevelt and Charles M. Russell stayed while visiting the Conrads.  Obviously these are Christmas scenes and hopefully my images have captured all the wonderful decorations staff at the mansion have displayed for the Christmas season. They helped me with ideas and with detailed explanations of the mansion’s history, and several of the images will most certainly be used in our book Montana Icons.  Glacier Icons will be in the warehouse of Globe Pequot December 15th and ready at that time for nation-wide distribution.



*Athabascan Fiddle Festival


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