After our morning shoot at Schwabacher’s Landing, we were heading back towards Jackson Hole when we came upon this Horse Ranch nestled in the foothills of the mountains. A quick stop and a quick click and we have another memory of our time in the Grand Tetons. Not every shot needs to be a masterpiece. But when the light is right and the composition is a simple one, then take the shot. As photographers we talk about making a photograph not necessarily taking a photograph. But there are snapshots out there that add to the story you are trying tell about the location of your time in the field. Story telling takes on many different faces in our travels and sometimes just a simple click can be all that is needed to add to your field experience. Enjoy!
I am back to the great State of Ohio after my recent trip out west to visit the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks. In addition to a few sunrise and sunset pictures, we found many wildlife photo opportunities. Over 13 Moose sightings in our travels throughout the parks. When driving and looking for wildlife, you only need to see a few cars and trucks gathered along the side of the road to indicate wildlife activities. Usually the rangers arrive shortly thereafter to manage traffic and protect the onlookers as well as the wildlife itself. We were driving towards the main gate and found many cars along the side of the road. We joined the fray and were told that a Bull Moose had been lurking in the area. We waited only a few moments and he came out from the trees near the water in front of us. I had my long lens on my camera and soon realized I had too much reach. A wider angle would have been more appropriate. I moved back away from the animal to get a better shot and he moved right along with me. He crossed the road right in front of our vehicle. He stomped around a bit on the other side then crossed back over to our side and moved down under a bridge behind our car. I moved quickly across the bridge thinking that he would move that way. When he did I was able to get this close up portrait shot before he moved back into the trees and away from the crowds. A wider lens would have been great for a better environmental photograph. However, the long lens helped in capturing this great portrait of a Bull Moose with full antlers. Enjoy!
I have been working in the Grand Tetons for the past few days, additional posts to come. Each of the first three nights of watching and waiting for a great sunset, we were left with an empty SD card and nothing to show for our efforts. Last night, all that changed. We were standing at the Blacktail Ponds Overlook because the previous night we were entertained by a few Moose and a red fox. There were no wildlife sightings and many of the people who shared the space with us packed up their gear and left. One could say we were intrepid photographers waiting for the last gasp of sunlight to leave us stranded.
We were the last ones watching as we entered twilight. All of a sudden, there was a pinkish glow around the tops of the Tetons. As the sun continued to set the colors became more vibrant. We grabbed our cameras and went to work. Shortly after the sunlight went out totally and the color was gone. We stood at the overlook and knew we had seen a magical moment. Being the “last man standing” while the light of the setting sun danced across the September Skies was a great experience and the above image is one of many captured in the last light of day. Enjoy!
Our evening sunset shoot was a bust last night. In addition, our morning sunrise shoot was problematic but I should find a few images to post later. The fun really got started when we took a trip down Moose Wilson rd. on our way back to Jackson Hole. You know when things get crazy when all the cars on this two lane road start piling up, pulling over, and trying to park along side the road. We came upon the congestion but could not see what the people were looking at. We later found out it was a black bear up in a tree. There was limited space for us to park and the Rangers were on our tail so we continued down to the Granite Circle Overlook where we found many Aspens in fall color with the mountains in the background. As we got our of our SUV a man came up to us and said that a Moose Cow and her child were across the road deep into the trees. So with long lenses in our hands we ventured off the path into the trees in search of wildlife. The above image shows the Cow laying among the grass resting near her younger counterpart. We slowly approached her and moved around to capture this image. I guess it was just a Moose kinda day so far. Enjoy!
This morning at 0 dark 30 found us traveling to Scwabacher Landing in the Grand Teton Mountain Range. Our goal was a sunrise shoot with the Tetons in the Background. Our arrival surprised us as we were not alone. Many other photographers were scrambling to find the best location for the shoot. We watched as others selected their positions and we went for ours closer to the water’s edge. Our thought was to use the water in front as our foreground, the reflection of the mountains and the foliage as our middle ground and the Mountains for our Background. Having these three components working together makes for a great composition. We only had to wait for the sun to arrive about an hour later for the magic to appear and help us make a great photograph.
Our previous night we traveled to the Mormon Row Barns for a sunset shoot. The clouds were non existent. If you don’t have any clouds, you seldom get good color. Although we captured a few images, nothing special was going on so we packed it in for a late dinner and then off bed for a 5:30 am wake up call. Enjoy!
This week will mark my second excursion to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. Staying in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, we will have access to many different photo opportunities. Beginning with the Tetons and its many landscape views, searching for many wildlife that populate the area, followed with a brief trip up to Yellowstone National Park. The above image is of Oxbow Bend. A great area for both a morning or evening shoot. This image was captured during my first trip and we were here during the month of June. This year, we hope to capture some of the fall colors that have started to show themselves here in the mountains of Wyoming. Having been here in the past, we are searching for new venues, new approaches to some of the iconic areas, and some of the wildlife that is more prevalent during the later months as the cold weather up in the mountains tends to move the wildlife here down to more warmer areas.
I will have access to my website this week so watch for my updates in Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Enjoy!
One of things that I found in my travels is the fact that you come across some interesting people. Whether they are students, Workshop Leaders, or just people in the area, they can be entertaining and fun to be with. Back in 2009 I was traveling with a few of my friends from across the country. Our destination was the Great Bear Rain Forest located along the coast of British Columbia. We were traveling on a sailboat and working our way through the many coastal water ways looking for Spirit Bears, a rare type of bear found in the islands along the western coast of Canada. The above image is one that we found on a small island where we stopped in search of Spirit Bear activity. The trip was back in 2009, ten years ago. The reason I am posting this image is because one of those characters I found in my travels is Kevin Pepper. Kevin was our guide when we went to Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories to photograph the Northern Lights. Kevin has a workshop company and just recently posted some images of Spirit Bears as he is leading a workshop among them. Kevin’s web site can be found here.
There are many different types of photographic workshops to be found on the world wide web. I have had the pleasure of traveling with many of these folks over the years. Kevin Pepper is one of those characters who travels near and far in efforts to provide education and photo opportunities to his clients. Check out his web site and follow him on Facebook. Its fun to see what some of these people are up to and may entice you to follow your dreams and travel to some fun and exciting places to expand your photographic endeavors. Enjoy!
With the better weather arriving recently I have been spending some time Lake Side. I always try to bring my gear along to see what might suit my fancy. The lake is quite populated with water lilies right now but it is a challenge to get close enough for a nice composition. The dragon flies however are a different story. Along the shore of our property are large areas of vegetation. Often times these areas are visited by the many species of dragon flies found in similar places along the waterfront in Ohio and Michigan.
Normally, I would carry my macro lens with me and get close to these flies to get the best composition as I can. But our area is such that the water does not allow me to get as close to the flies as I want with a macro lens, so I use reach into my gear bag for an alternative. The above image was caught using and extremely long lens (300mm) and a 1.4x teleconverter. I like the reach of this combination and use it a lot for my bird photography. With the dragon flies it allows me to get a close up shot while also keeping the background a little out of focus to highlight the main subject which is the dragon fly. Knowing the types of lenses at your disposal and the effect they can have on the images you capture is essential to a great picture. Know your gear and experiment with the various lenses you have to learn their capabilities and how each one might give you the shot you are looking for. Enjoy!
Street Photography is quickly becoming an important genre in the world of photography. Street photographers have a significant following on the internet and are proving to be a significant contributor in photographic art. As a nature and wildlife photographer I have been researching this phenomenon and find that it has many challenges. Aside from the gear choices one has to make, approaching your subjects on the streets where you live could be daunting and the cause for a certain expertise. My recent experience with street photography was last Wednesday as I was attending my local community Independence Day Celebration. I always try to get there early so I can position myself for some of the great fireworks photos I can get that evening. In the interim, people listen to a local band, watch their children at play, have an adult beverage, and just general commiseration. I took the opportunity to take a small step in to this new genre. I found this gentleman clowning around with some of the patrons and thought I would give it a whirl. Enjoy!
One of the reasons that you carry your camera with you at all times, is when that special moment happens you can capture it. I was sitting at the lake last evening when I saw a young female deer walk out of the forested area to the west of our property. We had to remain pretty still because the deer could see our movements through our windows. As she moved further down towards the lake, I was able to grab my camera, switch to a longer lens and quietly move outside from the far side of our house. From there I was not only able to capture a few images of this young female, but of an older female who also made her way out onto the lawn near the lake. We have been aware of their presence several times over the last few weeks, but could not get a shot as they were too skittish and ran away as soon as they saw us move around the inside of the house. Last Night I was better prepared and the situation allowed a few great captures in the evening light. Enjoy!