About MeI live in Jackson Hole, Wyoming where I explore the deeper reaches of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem while also trying to raise awareness about light pollution and the importance of dark skies through photography and video.
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Category Archives: How I Shot It
Backpacking tent lying under evening light hitting a Gros Ventre Mountain peak, Gros Ventre Wilderness, Wyoming
With digital photography becoming so mainstream these days, many advances have accompanied the evolution of the technology. At some point, it was bound to be expected that tools that were considered unheard of in photography just ten years ago would eventually become standard items for many people who wouldn’t consider themselves photographers at all. At the same time, many tricks and developments were created to accommodate for different ranges of light, two of them being layer mask blending in Photoshop, and the other, HDR. For those wondering, this is not a rant against HDR. That time is over. It’s found its audience and at this point has established itself as a style many prefer.
Myself, I was a hardcore advocate of the layer mask blending technique in Photoshop, though admittedly, it’s above the head of many who simply don’t care to learn Photoshop.
One of the trickiest times to photograph wildlife is during a snowstorm. The bright, white snowflakes distract many auto-focus mechanisms on lenses no matter how expensive the glass. Thanks to a bit of modern technology though, there is a more reliable work-around than manually focusing, provided you have an animal that is not moving too quickly.
In the case of this bull moose during a winter storm, I had been attempting to get an auto-focused shot of him, but the snow was so thick, shots were being lost as the snow continued to fall quite heavily. The Canon 7D, along with most newer cameras, have the ability to switch to a live-view mode. By using this feature, I had turned it on showing a preview of the scene, zoomed in by a factor of 10, and was able to get a much more reliable focus of the moose in just a few seconds.
This isn’t so much a post about the technical aspects of how I got this shot so much as it is a reminder to listen to your intuition. A lot of people confuse intuition with overthinking a certain situation. Intuition does not come with weighing the pros and the cons, nor does it come with analyzing options. It is usually referred to as a gut instinct that often requires you to change your plans to fully experience the true outcome of what it is it’s calling you to.
Such was the case when I got this photo of a mountain lion mother with her two, nearly grown, kittens. (On a side note, it’s been suggested multiple times that these are three kittens. In the tracks I had found that morning, as well as the next day, there was definitely a larger set, implying it was in fact a mother with kittens).
The northern lights shine behind and above the Moulton Barn on Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
I was recently asked on my Facebook photography page to do a blog post on how I shot this photo. It seemed like a good idea to me, so here’s the first installment of a series of posts that probably won’t have any kind of regularity, but I hope some people will find useful.
This photo had very little post-processing work done to it; just the usual contrast, exposure, and color settings. One thing I believe heavily in is in getting the shot right from the start in the camera. This includes everything from effects, when possible, to even the cropping. As a result, this is the full crop of this image and the light-painting on the barn was just about the exact exposure I wanted.