12 Favorite Photos from 2013

Mountain lion kittens sit cautiously behind their mother in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
Mountain lion kittens sit cautiously behind their mother in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

Certainly one of the most exciting moments of the year was when I found myself sharing a trail with cougars. This was not just the first time I had ever seen wild cougars, it was the first time I had ever seen wild cats at all. The excitement I felt in the moment was overwhelming, and equally was the disappointment when they began to run away. Taking ample time to fully immerse myself in the scene, and not just grab a few shots, it became a defining moment that I will not soon forget.

A coyote quietly sneaks through snow and sagebrush in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
A coyote quietly sneaks through snow and sagebrush in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.

Yellowstone always provides a great getaway during the winter. Plenty of wildlife scours the blanket of snow for traces of food during the harsh winters, much of it unconcerned if a road crosses its path.
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The 12 Best Photos from 2011

Pilgrim Mountain in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming rests under glowing sunset clouds. (Mike Cavaroc)
Pilgrim Mountain in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming rests under glowing sunset clouds.

I found myself rather unproductive in early 2011 in terms of stills. With the recent purchase of a 7D and getting it up to working order, as well as discovering time-lapse photography, my still photography became a bit stagnant. As a result, most of my work was in the form of a time-lapse and before finding a good balance of time-lapse, video and still, I even wondered if I would move entirely into video. Eventually the balance did work itself out and once I had my 7D back and functioning properly the following spring, it was full-steam ahead in every direction!

I discovered this image during that time after forgetting about it. I was looking back through a day in January where I hadn’t shot very much at all, but saw potential in a nice sunset above Pilgrim Mountain.
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A Teton Winter – Landscape and Wildlife Video

A video and time-lapse compilation in and around Grand Teton National Park of the wildlife and landscapes.

With both cameras still out for repair, I put together another video, this time using many more clips and even incorporating some time-lapse sequences. I had been wanting to put together a longer video to do this, but never did find a song long enough that fit the mood I was looking for. I went back to another track from zero-project, the same artist I used in my first time-lapse video compilation, and found the music not only perfect for what I was wanting, but was long enough to give me the flexibility I needed in adding in more diversity in the clips.

Most clips come from Grand Teton National Park, however for frequent visitors to the area, you might also recognize some bison and waterfalls from Yellowstone National Park, bighorn sheep from the National Elk Refuge and mountain goats from the Snake River Canyon.
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Kepler Cascades in Winter

The Kepler Cascades of the Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming after a recent snow storm in winter. (Mike Cavaroc)
The snow-covered Kepler Cascades of Yellowstone National Park pour along the Firehole River.

In sticking with Yellowstone waterfalls from yesterday’s post, I decided to post one I was particularly happy with on the way out of Yellowstone National Park from last weekend. One of the two stops we made leaving was to Kepler Cascades along the Firehole River. The night before had just dumped plenty of fresh snow so the landscape was incredibly peaceful. To get a good shot, I had to wait till most of the crowd left, which meant I was once again rushed for a shot since the snowcoach driver wanted to stick to a schedule. The tricky thing about this one was there was no clear shot. Every angle had trees in the foreground. I did what I could and snapped away and rushed back to the snowcoach.
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Black and White Moose Falls in Winter

Winter surrounds Moose Falls in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
A black and white photo of Moose Falls of Yellowstone National Park in winter.

The winter snowcoach ride from Flagg Ranch to Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park surprised most of us by making a few stops along the way. They’re just a few quick stops and very short jaunts to points of interest along the way as a means to let you get out and stretch your legs. They also provide a great bit of scenery that few get to see of some of the most common sights of Yellowstone covered in snow.

One such sight was the first stop along the way (after the entrance sign), Moose Falls. The interesting story is that I almost never got this shot. Thanks to a busy weekend, the snowcoach was already packing in ten of us. Legroom was a luxury that many of us didn’t have.
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Appreciating the Weather in Zion National Park

Light breaks through the clouds onto Zion Canyon as a waterfall from recent rains pours in the foreground in Zion National Park, Utah. (Mike Cavaroc)
A waterfall from a recent storm pours over a cliff in Zion Canyon in Zion National Park, Utah.

On the first leg of my trip, I hit an unexpected cold front. Since I was only a couple of hours away from Zion National Park, I decided that that would be the best place to wait it out for a couple of nights since it was much lower in elevation than where I was, and thus, warmer. The next day I made the best of it and spent the entire day hiking around Zion Canyon, warming up at Weeping Rock, where this photo was taken, then moving on to Hidden Canyon, The Emerald Pools and finally, after a nice lunch and break, heading up Angel’s Landing.

To put it simply, don’t let the weather ruin your day, or especially your entire trip.
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