Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Tetons

Grand Teton National Park is just south of Yellowstone, but is a completely different park. Really it is hard to believe they are next to one another.  Sure both have a lot of animals, but the scenery is topography is very different.  Yellowstone has its thermal features and is more rolling.  In the Tetons you are in a deep and flat valley with a range of huge peaks right there.

That flat valley can be useful for images and it also makes it easy to get around.  In fact most of the famous images you see from the Tetons are from easy to reach spots along the road.  Add to that fact that many are fairly close together and it really is an easy place to photograph.

What had been a clear morning in the Hayden Valley and at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone became cloudy and rainy as I made my way into the Tetons.  I set up my camp in the Gros Ventre campground, which is a little less crowded than most and very close to a few of the areas I wanted to photograph like the barns of Mormon Row.

I explored several locations for potential and watched the rain.  Late in the day it looked like it was going to have the potential for a great sunset.  I decided that I liked the view from the Blacktail Ponds area.  First, it was an area I had not seen images from, I really liked the stream that meandered through the valley there, and finally no one else was there. 

I made a few images and played around with different compositions.  I walked down to the stream but it lost something in the view down there so I walked back up the small hill.  I saw some bison not too far away and tried to frame them with the Tetons, but they did not want to cooperate.

As the evening wore on the clouds started to break up and I wondered if they would last until sunset.  What had been a completely cloudy sky soon only had clouds right along the ridge of the Tetons.  

Luck was with me as those clouds lit up nicely.  Still I had to frame the mountains tighter to keep out the clearing sky.  If only the clouds had stuck around.  I guess those are just things you have to be able to work with.  It was still an awesome view and I was able to photograph until the light was gone.  

Truly a spectacular place!

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