Wyoming: Part 3

15 Hours

That's about how long it takes, including photo stops and lunch, to work your way through Grand Teton and then loop around Yellowstone, clockwise. We were up at 4:30. No coffee until we hit Signal Mountain around 7:00. Actually, make that exactly 7:00. We arrived as the store clerk did. But the morning hours are worth it, being out before the day's gotten too old, you get better light (unless you're lucky and storm rolls in) and a better shot at seeing critters.

And the early legwork did pay off for those shots at Jenny Lake. They're included in the gallery below which is what the 15 hours on the road netted. It was a good trip. Saw a lot, but it still felt a bit like a rushed greatest hits tour.

Maybe go back one day and spend a bit more time in Yellowstone.

09 March 2013 Edit: With the site move, all of the shots from this trip are right here.

Wyoming: Part 1

Weddings and Recon

Earlier this month we found ourselves heading to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. In a word it was a fantastic trip. That's more than one word, but you get the point. Laura had never seen Yellowstone. I'd been once, but I was a kid. Maybe eight years old. I think I was younger to be honest so, I don't know if that counts. Actually, it probably does. But more on that later.

they do

they do

The occasion for us to go was for Mona and Will's wedding. Mona and Laura have been pals since seventh grade in Kuwait. Lots of history there. So the decision to go was easy. Destination wedding here we come.

With the Grand Tetons in the background, the wedding was going to be amazing and it was. A simple, elegant service. Before a stream with a small group of friends and family.

After the wedding, we get to the reception back at Teton Village and after a little R&R Laura and I set out to check out the area. Grand Teton National Park was all around us. On the recommendation of a friend we set out to find Jenny Lake.

Before I get too far into this, I should say that it is firmly my belief that the last thing the world needs is another landscape photographer. More specifically, the last thing the world needs is for me to be another landscape photographer. Landscape photography takes saint-esque patience. Being willing to go back to the same spot over and over, day after day. Waiting to see the hand the weather deals you.

I'm not that guy.

I don't have that patience. To be up and out before you can get a good cup of coffee. Not me. Not it.

For the storytelling I want to work toward, the landscape can be a vital part. It's the frame the story takes place within. For me, on it's own, the landscape isn't enough. Having said all that, with the time we had—with so much to see—this is the story I can tell. A whirlwind of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.

Don't get me wrong. It's easy to get caught up in the idea of adventure associated with landscape photography. The brilliant mornings. The idea of dragging your gear out to your Jeep. Or your Land Rover Defender. But it doesn't work that way.

not a jeep

not a jeep

We were driving a Yaris.

That makes it sound like we didn't like it. Or that we had issues with the car, but to be honest, had it been a stick instead of an automatic, it'd actually have been a pretty entertaining little ride. Enough with the car talk before I have to add a motorsports warning on this post.

So there we were, looking for Jenny Lake. It's about eight o'clock, an hour to go before sunset. The sky is cloudless, the light is to bright. To harsh to get much of anything worth while. So we decide to call it a reconnaissance trip. To find out where stuff is. That way, when the light is good, there's no fumbling around looking for some place to go take pictures.

You know, so we have a plan.

After about a half hour we head back to Jenny Lake via the scenic route. Grab the camera and hike down from the overlook to the waters edge. And wait. The sun is setting right behind the Cathedral Group. It should be spectacular in any minute.



Ten go by. Still. Nothing really going on yet. I get bored. Climb out and stand on some rocks and find a perspective I like better. Still nothing. . . truly spectacular. I fall back on my old friend textures and grab a shot of the stones around me. Just under the water.

We're getting hungry. So we throw in the towel, leaving with few photos, but with a plan.

Grab a late dinner at the Mangy Moose and call it a night since we have a big day of rafting ahead of us.