Grand Tetons National Park, Wyoming

I mentioned in my last post how visiting the Grand Tetons turned into a watershed moment in my photography career. I’m not sure if I’d call it a turning point or an epiphany or something else entirely, but it was important and it changed the way I approach and appreciate photography.

This expedition was more about capturing reality than interpreting it. For a long time I’ve taken pride in interpreting reality and being able to craft images where once upon a time no image existed; I’m talking in large part about much of my flash/strobist work (portraits, abstracts, whatever else). Visiting the Tetons became a challenge; craft images where hundreds and thousands of photographers have worked before.

I wanted my Tetons portfolio to be uniquely me and not simply another take on the work of Ansel Adams and Thomas Mangelsen. Initially I thought about lugging a bunch of lights and filters and all manner of other tools around with me to create something of my own. Then I gave up on that. I decided to put myself in positions and locations that would allow me to capture reality in a way that required little interpretation. I went out looking for light; I didn’t concern myself with creating my own. I shot without filters and decided against utilizing any post-production trickery. I dusted off my Olympus OM-2n and ran a dozen rolls of film through it. This is as close to “pure” photography as I’m ever likely to get and whether it lasts or not or ever happens to me again remains to be seen. Either way, it was fun while it lasted, opened my eyes a little wider and changed the way I work.

 

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Images.

1. Our first view of the Tetons after leaving Yellowstone.

2. Starlit night at the Gros Venture campground.

3. A very early morning at Jenny Lake.

4. Jenny Lake sunrise.

5. More morning light from Jenny Lake.

6. Sunlight bursts through the aspen grove.

7. Mormon Row sunrise.

8. Moulton Barn fence.

9. A summer view from legendary Oxbow Bend.

10. Snake River Pale Ale! Good stuff.

11. Waiting for the sun to crest the hills.

12. Chasing sunset light.

13. Taming wild horses.

14. The sun goes down behind the mighty Tetons.

15. Passed a few streams on the way to Taggart Lake.

16. Looking for moose at Taggart Lake.

17. Soft light over the mountain peaks.

18. Shooting stars on Mormon Row.

19. Stephen and Kristin’s shoot at Schwabacher’s Landing; not a bad place to be married!

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