I’ve been busy, real busy, and I’ve created a back log of images that need to be shared with the world. So over the next few weeks, I’ll be releasing a blog post each Friday to catch up!
When it comes to photography, I get excited easily. So when we made plans to visit Grand Teton National Park it was no surprise that I could barely contain that excitement. What feels like very long ago, when I was in my first year of college, my family and I made a trip to Grand Teton National Park. It was the first trip out west I had ever made, and it really helped shaped me into who I am today. I fell in love with the mountains and the landscape of the American West and the ruggedness of the terrain. Since then I have sought out places in this country that evoke that sense of awe and tried to memorialize them.
On our first day in the area, we managed to snag the last available campsite anywhere near the location I wanted to photograph the following morning ( A good omen). The next morning came and we hustled our way down an old gravel road to a well documented barn that I was expecting to be brimming with photographers. However, upon arrival I had the area virtually to myself. One other photographer was off to my left a ways. I set up my composition and waited for sunrise.
The thing that makes the Tetons so special to me is how flat the landscape around them is. They dominate the landscape for miles and miles, and create such a stark contrast to the valleys below. I captured my version of the usual barn scene, and moved on to another image I had envisioned. The image at the beginning of this blog represents how I feel about the Tetons. Bathed in golden light, the Grand Teton rises above the trees and fills the frame of this image creating a sense of majesty that captivates your attention while you travel through the area. To me, that image symbolizes the strength and beauty of nature. It is tender and inviting, yet ultimately rugged in the same moment.
The weather was forecasting thunderstorms by mid afternoon, so we hiked the rest of the morning before we had to hunker down and wait out the storm. I managed to capture one image from the trunk of our vehicle while the winds were howling and throwing rain every which way.
With lightning striking nearby, we didn’t venture out far from the vehicle, but as the last light of the day was disappearing, I managed one more image down near Jackson Lake.
Mt. Moran makes the perfect backdrop to this image, and while a perfect sunset would have been nice, the moodiness of this image works nicely for this scene. The brownish rock in the foreground that is glistening a golden color makes me think of the gold rush and it’s influence it had in shaping the West.
Wet and all, we made our way back to the tent excited to do it all again the next day. The following morning was a wash as we awoke to rain pounding the sides of the tent. We opted to stay in our bags and enjoy rising slowly that morning. As midday came around, the weather had slightly improved, so we headed out hiking.
Well after the sun disappeared behind the mountains and the valley fell into darkness, the sky remained a beautiful shade of orange that faded into the purple dark of the evening. I created a silhouette of the Teton range and then went to bed excited to see what sunrise would bring to this location. The next morning I arose to a view of the entire range in view and knew it would be a special sunrise. Sitting in the calm morning air waiting for the sun to warm the valley I reflected on how lucky I was to be experiencing these locations with my wife.
We spent the morning enjoying the moment and after we had packed up and headed away from our campsite to head back to civilization, I turned around and noticed one more composition. So naturally I unpacked my camera, set up the tripod and took one final image. Much like the first image in this post, I like how the forest framed the mountains in the distance, and gave them a sense of enormous scale.
4 Days and 9 images later it was time to say goodbye to the Tetons. I hope one day I will return to this incredible place and show my children the awe inspiring peaks of Grand Teton National Park.
Check back on Friday to see where we traveled to next!