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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Fall colors are reflected in a creek at Schwabacher Landing in Grand Teton National Park
Last night I watched Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. As you’re probably aware, it’s built up quite the reputation for being one of the worst episodes, and stirred up quite a bit of controversy upon its release, something I, like many people my age, jumped on the bandwagon for. Is it really all that bad though? And are we only hurting our own creativity by bashing it?
This eventually all comes down to our own subjective opinions, but last night I watched it again for the first time in a while and I watched it unbiased. I accepted it as a new branch of George Lucas’ own vision of the story that captured an entire generation and to be honest, I actually enjoyed it!
A solitary, fall cottonwood tree stands in Antelope Flats of Grand Teton National Park under stormy skies.
You hear it all the time. People making excuses not to go shooting because of a certain kind of light or weather condition. In the end, however, that’s all they are: excuses. At its simplest terminology, photography is the art of capturing light. The word itself is Greek and breaks down into "drawing with light." So when someone says "you can’t shoot in that kind of light," they’ve either never tried it because that’s what others have told them, or they’re just not very creative. If photography is the art of capturing light, then there is always good light because there is always light! It doesn’t matter if it’s overcast, middle of the day, middle of the night, etc. There’s always some kind of light, therefore there are always good shots to be found.
A thunderstorm passes over The Sleeping Indian above Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
The other night I had made a quick drive out to Kelly, Wyoming in Grand Teton National Park and in looking at the clouds and light, I began expecting a nice sunset over the Tetons. I drove back out toward Highway 89 and got myself set up, patiently waiting for something to happen. I began looking around and noticed the light in the opposite direction above Sheep Mountain, commonly known as The Sleeping Indian (see it?), gradually glowing brighter. I began getting a couple of shots and in stepping back and looking at the scene again, realized it was one of those scenes that had to be a panorama. So I took five shots, stitched them together in Photoshop, cropped a bit off the top and settled upon this image.
The Teton Mountains are reflected in a pond at Schwabacher Landing in Grand Teton National Park.
In transitioning out of my full-time job, I’ve been doing a lot of work indoors. I’ve been working heavily on a new project and in sitting inside for much of yesterday, I noticed fall leaves being blown rather easily off of an aspen tree outside my window and it dawned on me that I’ve most likely missed fall here in its prime. There’s still plenty of color around the valley, but much of it has already either faded, or fallen off the trees.
Thus, this morning, I forced myself out of bed for sunrise (something that should be much easier than it is given that sunrise is around 7:30am these days), and headed up to Schwabacher Landing in Grand Teton National Park to capture some of the remaining cottonwood trees.
A black bear crosses a stream reflecting fall colors in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
With this beautiful Indian summer we’ve been having coming to an end, I’ve been getting out to other areas of Grand Teton National Park and enjoying as much of it as I can before more chilly weather begins making its way into the area. I had the intent to go back to the bears and document some of the misbehavior from some of the more disrespectful photographers, but in trying to enjoy the last days of the Indian summer, working on several side projects, getting another larger project off the ground and also just trying to stay in decent shape, my time’s been a little tight lately. I’d still like to catch some of it, but at this point I’m not sure when I’ll be able to get out there again, especially since cubs are high up on my list for the fall and unfortunately, despite the fact that there are as many as five bears near the ponds of the Moose-Wilson Road area, none of them have any cubs.
A black bear eats river hawthorne berries along Moose-Wilson Road in Grand Teton National Park.
After driving through Moose-Wilson Road in Grand Teton National Park the other day I discovered that the word is out that the black bears have begun emerging to get fattened up for the winter! Around the ponds along the north end of Moose-Wilson Road, there are no fewer than five different black bears wandering the area with plenty more in other areas of the park. The berries that this particular black bear and all the others in this area are nibbling on are river hawthorne berries. They flourish all along the road and with the help of outstanding Grand Teton National Park rangers doing an excellent job of crowd management, the bears are able to enjoy their food as the humans can keep a safe distance and enjoy watching the bears in their natural habitat.