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Bull Moose

July 2015 Daily Updates & Photos for Grand Teton National Park & JH:

A monthly journal of wildlife reports, scenic opportunities, and tidbits for both photographers and Teton visitors!

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Daily Updates Archives:
2017: Sept: | Aug: | July: | June: | May:Apr:Mar: | Feb: Jan: |
2016: Dec: | Nov: | Oct: | Sept: | Aug: | July: | June: | May: | Apr: | Mar: | Feb: | Jan: 
2015: Dec: | Nov: | Oct: | Sept: | Aug: | July: | June: | May: | Apr: | Mar: | Feb: | Jan:
2014: Dec: | Nov: | Oct: | Sept: | Aug: | July: | June: | May: | Apr: | Mar: | Feb: | Jan:
2013: Dec: | Nov: Oct: | Sept: | Aug:

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Check out the July Overview!

Monthly Overviews for JH / GTNP . Get a quick look at 12 months side by side.

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July 31, 2015 :

Main Barn Interior

An eclectic group of volunteers has been working on the T.A. Moulton barn all week. All I can say is WOW!…they made a ton of progress in five short work days! You can see some of the stages of their work by clicking on the latest Feature Post: Mormon Row Preservation and Enhancement 2015: The image above is the interior of the main section of the barn. Next week, a group of volunteers from Michigan will be in the area to finish a few loose ends and replace the shingled roof on the north and south sections. A professional roofing company will do the new roof over the main section once they are finished. I’ll add a few shots of the progress next week, too.

Blue Moon! Tonight is a “Blue Moon”. That’s a term for the second full moon within one month.

Upcoming Plans?  If you are planning a trip to the region, here are a couple of suggestions:

  • All Summer: Jackson, WY: Farmer’s Markets ~ Saturdays on the Town Square.
  • All Summer! Jackson, WY: Rodeo on Wednesday and Saturday nights all summer.
  • All Summer! Jackson, WY: JH Shootout on the Town Square at 6:30 nightly (except Sunday).
  • West Yellowstone, MT: Smoking Waters Mtn. Man Rendezvous: July 31-August 9
  • Fort Hall, ID ~52nd Annual Shoshone-Bannock Festival & Pow Wow  ~ August 6-9, 2015

One-On-One Excursions Openings: I have openings most dates in August. September is mostly filled, but ask if you are interested. The trips are designed to help people learn to use their DSLR cameras and help photographers find some of GTNP’s nice shooting locations. Click the link for more information. (Golden Era Studios / Mike R. Jackson is an Authorized Permittee of the National Park Service and the National Elk Refuge.)

Tomorrow, I will be posting a NEW page for August. It won’t have much on it, of course, but should fill nicely throughout the month. July was incredibly busy for me…just scroll down to get an idea of what I managed to find this month! I just uploaded my May copyright images to the US Copyright Office. It was one of my largest submissions ever. May is always busy with all of the songbirds passing through. August should be good for wildlife, with moose and elk active. Bison will be in the rut most of the month.

Ferruginous Hawk: If you are out on Mormon Row, watch for a Ferruginous Hawk: Sue Ernisse spotted one near the T.A. Moulton Barn recently. She works at the Raptor Center, so I believe we can trust her sighting! Northern Harriers, Red-tailed Hawks, and American Kestrels are also seen along Mormon Row. 

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July 30, 2015 :

Frozen Biker

Frozen Biker: I shot this image at 1/3200th second this morning. He might have well been parked. I succeeded in freezing him, but I don’t like the effect. Bikers are on their way to the big Rally in Spearfish, SD and like to pass through Jackson Hole on their way.

Streaked Biker

Streaked Biker: Much slower and panned at 1/60th second. The goal on the next version would be to pan at the same speed to keep most of him in relative focus. Cyclists are passing by at 55mph, so hitting it perfectly is tough. I’ll get back farther next time, giving me a better chance. If you kept an eye on the Teton County Fair post, I did quite a bit of rear curtain flash shots. I’d love to try it with a few riders, freezing part of them with the strobe. The mountains would be relatively sharp behind them. It’d be much easier with a person on a bicycle!

I added a few more shots of the preservation work at Mormon Row Preservation and Enhancement 2015:

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July 29, 2015 :

Early Morning Bull Elk

Early Morning Bull Elk: I was up well before daylight this morning to be able to drive to Jenny Lake before the sun came up. This shot was taken during that time frame.  Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Golden Elk

Golden Elk: Within a few minutes, golden light bathed the valley floor. Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Volunteers at the Moulton Barn

Volunteers at the Moulton Barn: Roughly 16 volunteers from around the country are in the process of stabilizing and preserving the T.A. Moulton Barn. I drove there again this morning after taking shots of the Elk and took more photos to add to this page:  Mormon Row Preservation and Enhancement 2015: David Moulton supplied a photo of the original flat topped roof barn from circa 1919. I added it to the page this morning, too.

Moose

Moose: On the way home, I stopped at the Snake River bridge. This isn’t close to the best shot of a moose I’ve ever taken, but I add it here today to document the fact the two bulls can be seen there if you know to be looking. This is the smaller of the two in the area. Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

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July 28, 2015 :

Web_Sentinels_July29

Sentinels: A pair of Uinta Ground Squirrels keeping an eye on the area atop fence posts along Mormon Row. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Sentinels

Elk Antlers: Look for these, then wait! Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Bull Elk

Bull Elk: Taken on the Teton Park Road near Cascade Canyon Turnout. Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Too Close for Comfort

Too Close for Comfort: Cell phone cameras force people to get too close. Luckily, the bull elk was feeding and not paying much attention to the tourists. Nikon D4 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Cow Moose and Calf of the Year:

Cow Moose and Calf of the Year: Taken along the Gros Ventre just before the sun dropped behind the mountains. Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Cow and Calf

Cow and Calf: Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Horse Shed

New Feature Post: Mormon Row Preservation and Enhancement 2015: I stopped by the T.A. Moulton Barn this morning to find workers assembling to being day two of work on the barn. Keep an eye on the page all week as I add new photos and comments. Not many people ever get access to the inside of this barn. Thanks to all 16 of the volunteers for giving up a week of their summer to work hard on the project!

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July 27, 2015 :

Wildlife Reports for late July:

  • Moose along Gros Ventre, SR bridge at Moose, along Moose-Wilson Road
  • Black Bears along Moose-Wilson Road and around Signal Mountain
  • Bison in the Kelly / Mormon Row area. Beginning their rut season.
  • Pronghorns along Mormon Row and Warm Springs Road (dirt road)
  • Elk around Timbered Island, Windy Point, Lupine Meadow, Jenny Lake, and along the Snake.
  • A pair of Trumpeter Swans originally showed up on Flat Creek with three Cygnets. Now down to only one.

I haven’t been hearing many reports of Grizzlies lately, however 610, 399, and Blondie should be around. I’ve heard of several sightings of Grizzlies along Togwotee Pass. The Great Gray Owl family we saw regularly along the Moose-Wilson Road has moved out of the immediate area. Many of the birds have fledged now, however it looks like Osprey youngsters are still on the nests. I don’t see any wildlife activity along the Elk Refuge Road.

Barn and Road Reports:

  • Mormon Row: Work begins on the TA Moulton barn today. There may be workers and scaffolds.
  • Mormon Row: Work continues on the path between the two barn areas.
  • Mormon Row: A temporary outhouse is next to the John Moulton barn for workers there.
  • Moose-Wilson Road: The dirt and gravel portion of the road will be closed on August 4th.

Tut's Red Eyes

Tut’s Red Eyes: Pharoahs’s Revenge: Last evening, I went back to the Teton County Fair for the last night of the rides and attractions. Most of the images were taken with a Nikon 70-200mm lens.

Pharoahs Revenge

Pharoah’s Revenge: This new Feature Post: Teton County Fair 2015: contains a lot of images, taken over five nights of shooting at the Fair. By noon time today, I should have all of the images uploaded and labeled.

Tiger's Head

Tiger’s Head: This is part of a kiddie attraction.

Upcoming Plans?  If you are planning a trip to the region, here are a couple of suggestions:

  • All Summer: Jackson, WY: Farmer’s Markets ~ Saturdays on the Town Square.
  • All Summer! Jackson, WY: Rodeo on Wednesday and Saturday nights all summer.
  • All Summer! Jackson, WY: JH Shootout on the Town Square at 6:30 nightly (except Sunday).
  • West Yellowstone, MT: Smoking Waters Mtn. Man Rendezvous: July 31-August 9
  • Fort Hall, ID ~52nd Annual Shoshone-Bannock Festival & Pow Wow  ~ August 6-9, 2015

One-On-One Excursions Openings: I have an opening for late July and for most dates in August. September is mostly filled, but ask if you are interested. The trips are designed to help people learn to use their DSLR cameras and help photographers find some of GTNP’s nice shooting locations.   If you are a fisherman/photographer, you might enjoy this trip:  Hybrid Photography & Fly Fishing Trips in GTNP. Click the links for more information. (Golden Era Studios / Mike R. Jackson is an Authorized Permittee of the National Park Service and the National Elk Refuge.)

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July 26, 2015 :

Zipper and Vertigo

Zipper and Vertigo: Last night, I made another trip to the Teton County Fair. Tonight will be the last evening for lights and action for the year!

The rides at the fair begin and end in essentially a random cycle that seldom results in two of the major rides running concurrently. Last night, I finally managed to capture the Zipper and Vertigo in action at the same time. The “frozen” Zipper lettering anchors the blurred motion of the two rides. As a bonus, the half moon can also be seen just to the left of the rings of the spinning Vertigo ride.

Vertigo

Vertigo: I spent most of my evening using a Nikon D800 and a Nikon 14-24 lens which allowed me to capture some unusual images. East Gros Ventre Butte is still slightly visible against the Indigo sky.

Cliff Hanger Riders

Cliff Hanger Riders: One of the beauties of the Fair is the fact the rides are running five days straight. That gives me time to experiment and improve on the previous night’s shots. This image is an example of a very challenging ride. Most of my previous attempts have been miserable failures! The riders on this ride fly by at extreme speeds and with only a few feet between each of the paraglider style carts.

Basketball

Basketball: This fair worker had no problem with me taking his photo. I just snapped off two quick images using an off camera strobe. The strobe created a harsh shadow on his shirt, something I could have eliminated if I had more time, a softer light source, or a second strobe.

Freak Out RawFreak Out Raw: I know there are people that hate the direction Adobe took with its subscription based software model—Adobe Creative Cloud. They are either using old copies of the software, or have moved to something else. No problem! Everyone finds their own path. However, if you have been on the fence about switching to the CC versions of Photoshop and Lightroom, I’d say “Now’s the time!”.  Adobe recently added two very cool new tools in Lightroom CC for creating a single panoramic DNG file out of numerous panoramic parts, or a single high quality HDR file—combining several bracketed images. Another powerful tool is the new “Dehaze” filter—great for foggy days as you might expect, but also very useable for many other images if you want to add contrast, structure, and clarity in one slider. Maybe I can do a Feature Post someday soon highlighting some of the new features. All I can say at this point is “I’d hate to go back to the earlier versions”. (Note: These features are available in the boxed version of Lightroom 6, but the newest features in Photoshop are only available in the CC offerings).

Freak Out

Freak Out: This image takes advantage of the new feature in Lightroom called “Dehaze”. The thumbnail above is a screen grab of the original RAW file.

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July 25, 2015 :

Carousel Horse Portrait

Check out the new Feature Post:

Teton County Fair 2015:

Disaster

“Cab 360 Disaster”: Yesterday afternoon, my wife and I drove over the Pass to the town of Driggs to watch our youngest son, Corey, participate in a skateboard contest. The event was hosted by the Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Team, a program Corey grew up with while he was younger. He’s now a ski coach for the Park City team. I set up with my Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600 mm and took 2200 jpg images for the club. This image was modified using OneOne and Nik plugins in Photoshop.

Afternoon in the Park:

Bison Bull

Bison Bull: This image, along with the following wildlife shots were taken along Mormon Row.

Pronghorns and Bison

Pronghorns and Bison: Always nice to mix two species in one image.

Pronghorn Doe

Pronghorn Doe:

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck: A younger buck was nearing this big buck’s territory, causing him to abandon his normal flighty behavior and pose for a few dozen shots.

Teton Bison

Teton Bison: Late afternoon at the south end of Blacktail Butte.

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July 24, 2015 :

Muphy Homestead

Murphy Homestead: Taken along Mormon Row with moody clouds and saturated morning colors. Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

John Moulton Barn

John Moulton Barn: Clouds were covering the Grand, so I looked for alternative views and angles. Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Two Bull Moose in Cottonwoods

Two Bull Moose in Cottonwoods: These moose were grazing along the cottonwoods half a mile from Gros Ventre Junction and south of the Gros Ventre Road. Two larger bulls were moving towards the river, catching the attention of the two younger bulls. Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Creek Crossing

Creek Crossing: Both of the smaller bulls crossed a shallow stream to catch up with the big bulls. Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Washakie

Washakie: I’m almost positive this is Washakie, one of the venerable old bulls along the Gros Ventre River. I have photos of him going back to at least 2006. He usually sports a large rack with distinctive, well pronounced brow tines. He’ll continue to grow the antlers for another five weeks. Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Three Bull Moose Crossing

Three Bull Moose Crossing: This is an example of the flexibility of the Tamron 150-600mm zoom lens. Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Miller House

Miller House: Taken on the Elk Refuge Road. I drove out to see the progress of the road construction project. It looks they are adding two or three new parking areas for the Winter viewing of the Bighorn Sheep. Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Carousel Horses

Carousel Horses: Last year, I created this page: Fair Time! Photos from the Teton County Fair. I contains some fun images with motion blurs, zooms, and twists during a long exposure. It also has some standard fair images. I’ve been to the fair twice so far and have quite a few new images already—and I have three more night opportunities to go! This year, I’ve been carrying around my Nikon SB-910 strobe and off camera triggers. I lets me add some light into the dark areas and allows me to experiment with motion blurs and rear curtain sync. If I can get to the project, I’m planning on making “Another Look at the Teton County Fair” using photos taken so far—then adding additional photos as I take them. It seems like a nice option vs. waiting until the Fair is over. Now would be a really good time to subscribe to this blog to receive email notices of new Feature Posts!

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July 23, 2015 :

Sparring Pronghorns

Sparring Pronghorns: It was overcast this morning. I headed out the Gros Ventre looking for Moose, Bison and Pronghorns. I didn’t see a single Bison, missed seeing a Moose, then found a couple of herds of Pronghorns. These shots were taken in the pastures East of Mormon Row. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Pronghorns

Pronghorns: Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Pronghorns on the Run

Pronghorns on the Run: When I saw a few of the Pronghorns starting to run, I stopped down the Aperture, which slowed the shutter speed (Aperture Priority). I was shooting out he window and panning at 1/25th second. It takes a little skill and a lot of luck. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

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July 22, 2015 :

Sunrise Beginnings

Sunrise Beginnings: Taken above Triangle X Ranch this morning. D800 and Nikon 70-200 mm

Jackson Lake

Jackson Lake and Barn Swallows: Taken from the sidewalk on the Dam. (Click the image to see it larger) D4 and Nikon 70-200 mm

Afternoon on Flat Creek:

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing: Waxwings are more common in town this year than usual. There has been a group feeding on berries along Flat Creek near the Visitor’s Center. Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans and Cygnets: This pair of swans has been seen on Flat Creek for most of the last week. Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Three Cygnets

Three CygnetsNikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Stretching Swan

Stretching Swan: Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Swallow Feeding Time

Swallow Feeding Time: Barn Swallows and Tree Swallows share the water along Flat Creek, including this years fledglings. Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Zipper

Zipper: The rides are open and running at the Teton County Fair. Nikon D4 and Nikon 14-24 mm lens.

Vertigo and Zipper

Vertigo and Zipper: 1.3 second exposure with wide angle lens.  Nikon D4 and Nikon 14-24 mm lens.

Lion Head In Motion

Lion Head In Motion: The Ferris Wheel is missing this year. I was told their “newer and larger” wheel was at the shop for repairs. The Merry-Go-Round was missing last year, but is back in action this year.  This one was shot with a shutter speed of 1/13th second and lit with a Nikon SB910 off-camera strobe set to “rear curtain sync”. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Zipper Detail

Zipper Detail: Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

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July 21, 2015 :

Morning in the Park:

Teton Range at Sunrise

Teton Range at Sunrise: Fog blanketed Flat Creek and some of the low areas north of Moose Junction. This shot was taken on the East Boundary Road. Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70 mm lens.

Hedrick Pond

Hedrick Pond: Fog had already pulled back from this area of the valley when I arrived, but that revealed Hedrick Pond. Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70 mm lens.

Teton Range above Hedrick Pond

Teton Range above Hedrick Pond: Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70 mm lens.

Morning Fog

Morning Fog: Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70 mm lens.

 

Afternoon on Flat Creek

Afternoon on Flat Creek: This family of Trumpeter Swans first appeared on Sunday. Today was my first chance to photograph them. Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Fledgling Tree Swallow

Fledgling Tree Swallow: Also taken along Flat Creek. Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

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July 20, 2015 :

Braod-tailed Male

Broad-tailed Male Hummingbird: I’ve been hearing and seeing Hummingbirds so I decided to set up again to try to photograph a few of them. Nikon D800 and Nikon 200-400mm lens with several Nikon strobes.

Broad-tailed Female Hummingbird

Female Broad-tailed Hummingbird: I purchased this plant a month or so ago for the Hummingbirds. It has finally flowered and occasionally attracts a hummingbird. Most of the males still seem to prefer the sugar water feeders. Nikon D800 and Nikon 200-400mm lens with several Nikon strobes.

Female Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Female Broad-tailed Hummingbird: This time last week, I was trying to photograph Great Gray Owls—with a wingspan of roughly 60″. Today, I spent my time photographing these peanut sized hummers—with a wingspan of roughly 5″. Nikon D800 and Nikon 200-400mm lens with several Nikon strobes.

Calliope Hummingbird

Calliope Hummingbird: These are reported to be the smallest bird in North America—weighing less than a penny and with a wingspan of just over 3″. So far this summer, I haven’t seen a Rufous Hummingbird. In the past, I have occasionally seen a few Black-chinned Hummingbirds, but not this year either. Nikon D800 and Nikon 200-400mm lens with several Nikon strobes.

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July 19, 2015 :

Murphy Barn

Murphy Barn: Sunday started with thick fog and low clouds around most of the valley. Occasionally, we got slivers of light and small glimpses of the mountains—Mother Nature’s teasers! Nikon D800 and Nikon 200-400 mm

Wildflowers

Wildflowers: There are still a few yellows wildflowers around. Bright red Indian Paintbrush are more common now. Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70 mm

Sunday Horses and Teton Range

Sunday Horses and Teton Range: This is a four shot stitched Panoramic Image captured across from Triangle X Ranch. I prefer this kind of image at sunrise, but today that would have been impossible with the thick clouds. Even without the buck rail fences, this is still a good place for a panoramic image. (Click this image to see it much larger) Nikon D800 and Nikon 70-200 mm

Goldola Ride

Goldola Ride: At 4:30 pm on most days, residents and tourists can get a FREE Gondola Ride at Teton Village. (Saturdays are usually reserved for weddings and private parties. Last Friday was also closed for a reception party, so it is always best to call first) This is a quick shot of the outdoor seating, allowing people to enjoy a drink and snack on appetizers as they view the valley floor. If you go, I’d suggest taking a light jacket. Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70 mm

Gondola View

Gondola View: This is a shot taken through the window of the Gondola on the way back down. Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70 mm

Corey Grinding Bowl

Corey Grinding Bowl: I went back to the JH Skateboard Park with “the kids” for the evening light. I took a couple of SB910 strobes and an orange gel, then “grunged” the images inside Lightroom. Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70 mm

Tyler's Kick Flip

Tyler’s Kick Flip: Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70 mm

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July 18, 2015 :

Sunrise over Flat Creek

Sunrise over Flat Creek: Taken from the observation platform on the north edge of town. This is a two part stitched pano image. Nikon D800 and Nikon 70-200 mm lens.

Farmer's Market July 18

Farmer’s Market: Captures from this morning’s downtown market. Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70 mm with one off-camera Nikon SB-910 Strobe

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July 17, 2015 :

Bison Morning

Early Start to the Rut

Early Start to the Rut: This morning, I found a small herd of American Bison near Mormon Row Road. Yesterday afternoon, a herd was just to the north, but were in deep grasses. The annual Bison rut normally begins in August, but one big bull and this little calf were already showing rut behavior. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Bison Bull

Bison Bull: GTNP and the National Elk Refuge have more bison than they’d prefer. Each fall, bison are hunted and killed in the Refuge and just outside the boundaries of the park. Each spring, the Bison cows give birth to another batch. Big bulls like this one are less common here…I always assume as a result of the hunters taking the biggest bulls during the hunt.  Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Bull Portrait

Bull Portrait: Bison have been called Buffalo for a century or longer. Technically, they are American Bison, but as long as we have Buffalo Bill, Buffalo, WY, and Buffalo Nickles, it is difficult to correct the misnomer.  Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Red Dogs

“Red Dogs”: That’s a term some people use for baby bison. I was looking forward to seeing them early in the season, but not long after the first ones were beginning to show up, the herds moved far to the north and out of easy view. Nice to see them again!

Bison Herd on the Move

Bison Herd on the Move: Nikon D800 and Nikon 70-200mm

Upcoming Plans?  If you are planning a trip to the region, here are a couple of suggestions:

  • This Weekend: Annual Wilson Fire Department Chicken Cookout: Stillson Parking Lot ~ Wilson, WY
  • Antiques and Art Sale: Lawn of the Virginian Lodge – Jackson, WY —I believe this is Friday and Saturday.
  • Teton County Fair July 17, 2015 – July 26, 2015:
  • All Summer: Jackson, WY: Farmer’s Markets ~ Saturdays on the Town Square.
  • All Summer! Jackson, WY: Rodeo on Wednesday and Saturday nights all summer.
  • All Summer! Jackson, WY: JH Shootout on the Town Square at 6:30 nightly (except Sunday).
  • West Yellowstone, MT: Smoking Waters Mtn. Man Rendezvous: July 31-August 9
  • Fort Hall, ID ~52nd Annual Shoshone-Bannock Festival & Pow Wow  ~ August 6-9, 2015

A Truly FREE RIDE: I mentioned this one last year, but maybe I should again. If you drive out to Teton Village in the afternoons, at 4:30 pm, you can ride the Gondola to the restaurant on the mountain for free…and it’s free to ride down. Note: Saturdays are usually reserved for private parties… and it might be best to call the resort to make sure other dates are not reserved.  Some people opt to have a drink and appetizer at the restaurant overlooking the valley—but it is not required. Take a jacket as it can be much cooler up there! This time of the year, parking at the bottom of the mountain is also free.

Evening with the Kids: Corey is home for the summer and Tyler is home for the weekend. We went to the JH Skateboard Park this evening, armed with a remote SB-910 strobe and took a few shots of both of them. Both are really strong skateboarders as you can see!

Tyler

Tyler: Age 25 . Nikon D4 and Nikon 24-70 mm with one off-camera Nikon SB-910 Strobe

Corey

Corey: Age 22. Nikon D4 and Nikon 24-70 mm with one off-camera Nikon SB-910 Strobe

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July 16, 2015 :

Foggy Morning in Jackson Hole:

Wranglers

Wranglers: It was quite foggy this morning across most of the valley, however just enough of the golden early morning light was showing through to affect the normal gray, foggy morning.  Nikon D4 and Nikon 70-200mm

Trail Horses

Trail Horses: Grasses around the valley are still very green, but stalks of golden seeds are giving many pastures an amber look.  Nikon D4 and Nikon 70-200mm

Foggy Morning Roundup

Foggy Morning Roundup: If you are using the latest version of Lightroom (Lightroom 6 or CC2015), there is a new “Dehaze” filter in the Effects tab. For some images, it can save quite a bit of tweaking in the normal sliders, but on a moody image like this, I didn’t want to try to push it. This is a “high key” image with almost no natural dark values.  Nikon D4 and Nikon 70-200mm

You might notice I’m still going through my  Upcoming Year of Wishes (2015) list. “Wranglers and Cowboys” were on the list. I still need to go to the rodeo a couple of times this summer.

Antlers

Wildlife: By mid-July, many of the large male ungulates are displaying nice sized racks. They are velvet covered and still growing, but are of substantial size now. Winter coats are mostly replaced by sleek new coats. Get out early to see them! Bison will begin to gather for their August rut. They will be fairly dependable subjects for the next month or two.

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July 15, 2015 :

A Morning of Horses and Barns!

Barn with Lit Peaks

Barn with Lit Peaks: Taken near Teton Village on the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D4 and Nikon 70-200mm

Single Horse and Clouds

Single Horse and Clouds: Nikon D4 and Nikon 70-200mm

Incoming Horses

Incoming Horses: Nikon D4 and Nikon 70-200mm

Running Horses

Running Horses: Nikon D4 and Nikon 70-200mm

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck: I did a quick pass through the south part of the park. I found two Moose along the Moose-Wilson road. No Owls again today. Bison and Pronghorns were along Mormon Row. It started raining as I made it to the Gros Ventre, so I didn’t have much of a chance to see Moose there.  Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Rainy Afternoon in Jackson Hole:

Running In Rain

Running In Rain: Trail horses headed for afternoon pastures. Nikon D4 and Nikon 200-400mm

The Colonel

The Colonel: Nikon D4 and Nikon 200-400mm

Sleeping Indian

Sleeping Indian: Taken out the window while parked on the shoulder of the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

JH Loose Ends and Notes: While looking for owls, I found a Northern Flicker nest still active. Black-capped Chickadees are fledging. The Tree Swallows chicks are still in a nesting box in front of my house. I am starting to see their heads looking outside now. The tiny little Canada Geese babies are now almost as large as their parents and can be seen flying in formation around the valley. Watch for Cedar Waxwings along the Moose-Wilson Road and along the Gros Ventre.

New Moon: You might find this page worthwhile: Moon Phases Calendar for July 2015.  Night photographers like new moons to get the best out of their Milky Way shots. Also note the Full Moon on the 1st and again on the 31st. The second one in a month is often called a “Blue Moon”. You’ve probably heard the expression “A month of Blue Moons”…or a very long time.

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July 14, 2015 :

A Morning of Moose!

Bull Moose in Willows

Bull Moose in Willows: Lately, there has been three or maybe even four nice bull moose hanging around the Gros Ventre River. They are often seen from the pull-out roughly 2.3 miles from the highway. This morning, one of them was grazing on willows just under the ridge. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Morning Moose Crossing

Morning Moose Crossing: The bull fed for a while, then headed for the river. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Mid-River Moose

Mid-River Moose: Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Moose in Shadows

Moose in Shadows: I shot over 300 photos of this moose crossing the Gros Ventre this morning. Very enjoyable! Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Owls? Like yesterday, I hiked a couple of miles in two areas, but never saw an owl. Maybe others had better success.

Trail Horses Through Dust

Kicking Up Dust: Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Afternoon Dust

Afternoon Dust: Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Bison

The Bison are Back!: This afternoon, roughly 80 Bison crossed Antelope Flats Road. Another herd of about the same size was grazing near Mormon Row—seen in the photo above. Jackson Peak (sometimes called Mt. Jackson) can be seen in the distance.

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July 13, 2015 :

Rusting Away

Rusting Away:  Last Fall, I packed up the truck to drive out to the Bar BC Dude Ranch to do some late evening light painting on this old vehicle. When I got to the turn in,  I found  the gate locked for the season. Last night, I drove out to give it another try. Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70 mm lens.

Bar-B-C

Bar-B-C Vehicle with Teton Range: I didn’t return home until Midnight last night, so I’ll post these photos in today’s section. Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70 mm lens.

Outhouse with No LightThe historic old Bar BC Dude Ranch is roughly 2 miles east of the Taggart Lake trail head on the Teton Park Road. Head East on the dirt road and park at the top of the hill. The ranch was the second Dude Ranch in the valley, attracting the rich and famous of the day. (Bar B C Dude Ranch via Wikipedia.)

There are still quite a few of the old buildings, some of which have been partially restored or repaired. The ranch was quite large and attracted many writers, poets, and well-to-do travelers from all over. The old outhouse is still standing as seen in this photo. It had a ceramic stool…something you’d expect over a couple of wooden holes seen in “regular” outhouses.

Bar-B-C Outhouse

Bar-B-C Outhouse with a little light added. Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70 mm lens.

Cabin in the DarkCabin in the Dark: Last night, I took a couple of flashlights down the trail. This one was lit with a 2 million candle power flashlight, with a 20° grid and a couple of neutral density gels to cut the light down. The shot on the left is the exposure without any supplemental light.

Cabin Entry with Light

Cabin Entry with Light: Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70 mm lens.

Bar-B-C Cabin

Bar-B-C Cabin and Stars: Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70 mm lens.

Night Sky

Night Sky: This is 14mm big sky shot from the hill above Bar-B-C. The streaks are vehicles moving across the highway. Blacktail Butte runs the horizon line near the center. The bright areas on the right are lights from the Town of Jackson, the JH Airport, and cars on the highway during a 25 second exposure. Shooting Data: NIKON D800, 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8 at 14 mm, 25.00 seconds at f/2.8, Manual Mode, -2/3 EV,  ISO 3200

Spring Gulch

Spring Gulch: When I see clouds like this developing, I drop everything and try to make a quick trip to the Park. I headed straight to the flowers on Antelope Flats Road, but they are now past peak. I didn’t see owls this afternoon, but there were three nice bull moose on the Gros Ventre River. Bison seem to have disappeared in the southern end of the park. Pronghorns are more common. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Trumpeter Swan

Lone Trumpeter Swan: I’ve been watching for a set of baby swans lately, but have only seen this one loner near the bridge on Flat Creek.  Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

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July 12, 2015 :

Landing in Tight Quarters

Landing in Tight Quarters: I found a few bull Moose along the Gros Ventre this morning, then looked for other subjects. This owl was hunting on the Moose-Wilson Road. I came home with quite a few nice shots from this morning. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Trail Horses

Trail Horses near Teton Village: Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Young Great Gray Owl

Young Great Gray Owl: I spent a good portion of my day yesterday trying to get shots of the baby Great Gray Owls. You might get a chance to see them if you keep a keen eye out for them. Recently, I heard there were something like 24-28 nesting Great Gray Owl pairs in the region. Watch for them along deep woods areas along the Snake River, Fish Creek Road and Fall Creek Road. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Feeding Time

Feeding Time: Before you ask, I don’t know where their nest is/was. The only thing I can offer right now is they are off the nest and will be learning to hunt on their own. The parents may continue to feed them along the Moose-Wilson road or my move them into the back country. Who knows? Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

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July 11, 2015 :

Tetons, Fog, and Clouds

Tetons, Fog, and Clouds: Taken from the side of the highway near the Welcome to Grand Teton National Park sign.  Nikon D800 and Nikon 70-200 mm

GGO Take-Off

GGO Take-Off: Yesterday’s Great Gray Owl was back. Maybe I should simply say an owl with no tags or bands was back. No telling how many different owls I have been seeing. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Spit Second of Landing

Spit Second of Landing: This owl was near the overlook on the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Upcoming Plans?  If you are planning a trip to the region, here are a couple of suggestions:

  • This Weekend: Pinedale, WY: Green River Rendezvous Days: July 9-12, 2015 : Parade, Trader’s Row, Mountain Man Museum, Pageant
  • This Weekend: Antique Show at Teton Village
  • This Weekend: First of two Center For The Arts outdoor Art Shows ~ Miller Park
  • Fort Hall, ID ~52nd Annual Shoshone-Bannock Festival & Pow Wow  ~ August 6-9, 2015
  • West Yellowstone, MT: Smoking Waters Mtn. Man Rendezvous: July 31-August 9
  • All Summer: Jackson, WY: Farmer’s Markets ~ Saturdays on the Town Square.
  • All Summer! Jackson, WY: Rodeo on Wednesday and Saturday nights all summer.
  • All Summer! Jackson, WY: JH Shootout on the Town Square at 6:30 nightly (except Sunday).

Plein Air Painter

Plein Air Painter: Bill Sawchuck is one of around 40 painters scattered around the valley this week painting “in the open air”. I saw him working along Spring Gulch Road and he graciously let me take a few photos. Bill shows his work at Trio Gallery on north Cache. Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70 mm

Wrangler and Horses

Wrangler and Horses: Taken near Teton Village this afternoon. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Horses Going to Pasture

Horses Going to Pasture: Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

More Trail Horses

More Trail Horses: Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Calliope Hummingbird

Calliope Hummingbird: I captured this one in the back yard just before dark. Nikon D800 and Nikon 200-400 mm

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July 10, 2015 :

Northern Sunrise

Northern Sunrise: As I was heading north this morning, I saw nice color in the east and north. I didn’t think I could get to Schwabacher Landing in time, so I turned onto Antelope Flats Road and made it to Mormon Row as the color begin to bathe the mountains. Nikon D800 and Nikon 70-200 mm

Moulton Barn and Corrals

Moulton Barn and Corrals: Lots of people like to wait until the sunlight hits the barn, which is also great, but I prefer this period of the sunrise. The peach, pink, and lavender hues are usually replaced by amber and gold by the time first light hits the barn. This shot is actually two captures I stitched together into a single, small “pano”. There were four or five photographers in the scene, but I cloned them out in Photoshop. It’s difficult to go there this time of year and not have three or four in your shot. (Click on this image to see it much larger) Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70 mm

TA Moulton Barn

TA Moulton Barn: Last Monday, I took a couple out for a One-on-One Photography Excursion. I was showing them how to control depth of field using both distance and aperture settings by focusing on the fence post near the center at F/22 and then F/2.8. After the mini-lesson, the light turned amber gold and we all took shots from this spot. I did the bonehead mistake of not switching back to F/11 and took my shots at F/2.8. They were far from optimal. This morning, I went back and re-shot my scene. Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70 mm

Tetons and Tipi

Tetons and Tipi: I shot this one from the vehicle at Dornan’s. I used NIK software to convert it to yellowed sepia. Nikon D4 and Nikon 70-200 mm

Great Gray Owl Taking Off

Great Gray Owl Taking Off: I spotted “the Owl” early this morning along the Moose-Wilson Road. Yesterday, I created this post New Feature Post!  C3 ~ GTNP’s Showboat Great Gray Owl. Interestingly, this is not C3. This one doesn’t have tags, bands, or antenna. This Owl used the exact same perches C3 uses! Shooting Data: NIKON D4, 150.0-600.0 mm f/5.0-6.3 at 350 mm, 1/1000 at f/6, Manual Mode, -2/3 EV,  Auto ISO 7200

Wet GGO with Vole

Wet GGO with Vole: Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Out of the Grass

Out of the Grass: No tags! Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Eyes on the Landing Perch

Eyes on the Landing Perch: Great Gray Owls focus on one spot, whether it is a mouse or a branch and then fly directly to that spot. They are so focused they don’t watch for dangers like passing campers or vehicles. Some pay the price and are found along the roads. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Diving Owl

Diving Owl: I took quite a few shots of this owl on the various perches and branches, but spent most of my morning trying to get flight shots. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Mule Deer in Summer Flowers

Mule Deer in Summer Flowers: This nice buck was grazing along the Moose-Wilson Road near the south entrance. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

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July 9, 2015 :

One Flowers

One Flowers: The skies were overcast and the Teton Range was cover with clouds, so I headed back to Antelope Flats Road to try some experimental photography. The plan was to set up, then focus on a single flower or maybe two and let everything else fall out of focus while shooting “wide open”. And with low, dull light, I took a Nikon SB-910 strobe controlled by a Nikon SU-800. To help with communications, I added a pair of Radio Poppers to convert IR (infra red) signal into RF (radio frequency). Lastly, I used an RFN4-s to trigger the camera as I held my strobe very close to the flowers. The strobe was set to Manual at 1/32nd power. Nikon D800 and Nikon 200-400 mm

Sticky Aster

Sticky Aster: The camera was set to underexpose by a stop or so, then I punched in some light in the focused zones. I took several hundred images. Some worked better than others, but the effect worked out about as well as I had hoped. I spent a couple of hours of the morning amongst the flowers. Nikon D800 and Nikon 200-400 mm

Wildflowers: Photography Tips, Suggestions & Resources

Great Gray Owl Landing

Great Gray Owl Landing: Before heading home, I made a loop to the Moose-Wilson Road. C3 (numbered by a tag) was out hunting and putting on a grand show. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Diving Great Gray Owl

Diving Great Gray Owl: Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

C3

C3/Great Gray Owl: Unless the image is being submitted to some sort of Audubon or National Geographic site, I usually remove the tags and rings. This one also has an antenna wire sticking out its back. I’m not say “you should”…only that “I do” when something man made is causing a distraction. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

New Feature Post!  C3 ~ GTNP’s Showboat Great Gray Owl. This page contains ten photos of this owl—all taken today!

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July 8, 2015 :

Trumpeter Swan

Trumpeter Swan: Taken along Flat Creek just north of the Visitor’s Center. Nikon D4 and Nikon 200-400 mm

This morning, the sky was gray and clouds hovered in front of the top of the Grand. We’ve had a couple of good morning sunrise days already this week, so I looked for other opportunities. I did a Kelly loop, then a few passes along the Moose-Wilson Road. Bison were far out in the pastures in the Kelly area. Same for Pronghorns. I didn’t see any owls on the Moose-Wilson Road. I saw one two year old moose cow near the old Beaver Ponds, but didn’t get shots. I’ve heard reports of a Black Bear sow with two cubs in the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve, so I made a couple of passes there.

Touron

Outside the Park “Touron”: I took this shot Monday night along the Teton Village Road near the “R Park”. This bull, a cow, and a young bull caused a sizable traffic jam. I am always amazed how close people think they have to get to take their shots.

Afternoon in the Park

Landing Osprey

Landing Osprey: Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Purple Lupine

Purple Lupine: Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Shaggy Pronghorn Doe

Shaggy Pronghorn Doe: Taken along Mormon Row. Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm

Pronghorn in Motion

Pronghorn in Motion: Panning at 1/40th second. Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm

Moulton Barn with Early Clouds

Moulton Barn with Early Clouds: Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70 mm

Sunset over Mt. Moran

Sunset over Mt. Moran: Tonight, the best color was in the northern sections. Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70 mm

badgerWhile I was on the road taking the photo above, a Badger walked towards me, then passed directly in front of me — apparently on its way back to its den.

Mormon Row Pathway

Mormon Row Pathway: This is a “record shot” showing the new pathway being built next to the roadway connecting the two barns. Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70 mm

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July 7, 2015 :

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 I added a little fill flash to my Wildflower shots this morning. The clouds in the East were dulling the light on the flowers at times.

Wildflower and Clouds

Wildflower and Clouds: Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70 mm with Strobe

Dark Tetons

Tetons in Shadows:This group of Widlflower shots were taken along Antelope Flats Road.  Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70 mm with Strobe

Meadowlark

Meadowlark: Taken along Mormon Row Road. Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm

OneFlowers and Aspen Trunk

One Flowers and Aspen Trunk: Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm

Buck Mule Deer

Buck Mule Deer: Two bucks were milling around near the Gros Ventre Junction as I was heading home.   Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm

Buck in Shade

Buck in Shade: This buck was standing in the shade of a small cottonwood tree. It looks like he is still adding points to his velvet covered antlers. A minute or so after this shot, he bedded down in the sagebrush. Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm

Pink

Shadow Mountain Wildflowers: I prepped another half dozen Wildflower images I took this morning on Shadow Mountain, but figured I already had enough images for today. There were Sticky Geraniums, One Flowers, Indian Paintbrush, Fireweed, Penstemon, Scarlet Galia, and a number of species I couldn’t identify. Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm

Afternoon:

Dusty Horse Herd

Dusty Horse Herd: Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird: Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm

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July 6, 2015 :

Golden Morning

Golden Morning at Mormon RowNikon D800 and Nikon 24-70mm

Chambers Homestead

Chambers Homestead on Mormon Row: Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70mm

Wildflowers

Wildflowers on Antelope Flats Road: Nikon D800 and Nikon 14-24mm

Oxbow Bend

Oxbow Bend: Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70mm

Penstemon

Penstemon at Colter Bay: Nikon D800and Tamron 150-600mm

A Day in the Park: I took a couple out for a “One-on-One” photo excursion today. Light was beautiful in the morning following overnight rains. In between helping them with their photography and shots, I was able to sneak in a few captures for today’s entry. Besides the landscape opportunities, we managed to find a Great Gray Owl. I believe both of them were able to get some great captures. Flowers along Antelope Flats Road are still in peak shape.

I have a couple of openings for photo excursions for later in July. For more info: Mike Jackson’s One-On-One Photography Excursions in GTNP. (Golden Era Studios / Mike R. Jackson is an Authorized Permittee of the National Park Service and the National Elk Refuge.)

Lilys Bee

Lily & Benson’s Bumble Bee: The goal was to capture a Bumble Bee in flight. I shot my still image with a Nikon D800. I switched the body to a Nikon D4 knowing it can shoot at 10 FPS. I let Lily & Benson take some images while I walked to the Colter Bay Visitor’s Center for a pit stop. When I returned, they had captured several nice images with a Bumble Bee in the air. I have no way of knowing which of the husband and wife team took the shot, so I included both names. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

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July 5, 2015 :

Eclectic Sunday! I did a quick zip around the southern part of GTNP and stumbled upon a variety of subjects. By comparison, today was cool and pleasant. Clouds rolled in after the Fireworks last night and there was a light wind to help keep the temperatures down.

Pronghorn Buck with Summer Wildflowers

Pronghorn Buck with Summer Wildflowers: This nice looking buck was crossing Mormon Row when I saw him. All I had to do was wait until he moved into the flowers and hope he’d look up for a few seconds. I typically photograph Pronghorns either out the window (over a bean bag) or standing against the door and shooting over the hood. They often spook if you pull out a tripod and get out into the open. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Pronghorn Doe

Pronghorn Doe: The variety in colors and texture behind this Pronghorn attracted me initially. She was also along Mormon Row. On a sunny morning, I would have been shooting into a backlit situation, but the slightly overcast skies made the shot work. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Bluebird

Bluebird: I would have preferred to capture this male Bluebird on a more natural looking branch, but this happens to be the kind of object they land on all the time. He let me pull up fairly close in my van and shoot out he window. This would have been a very tough shot into the sun on any of the last mornings. I’ve seen Bluebirds near the TA Moulton Barn almost every time I’ve been there in the past month or so. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Uinta Ground Squirrel

Uinta Ground Squirrel: This little critter near the parking lot at Schwabacher Landing seemed to be begging for a photo. It posed on a buckrail fence for quite a while. I photographed this one out the window of the van (always with the vehicle turned off). Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow: Unlike some of the other subjects from today, this Swallow allowed me to capture two exposures and then was off the perch and flying around Schwabacher Landing searching for insects. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Mystery Shorebird

Sora Rail: Richard Pontius sent me a note to identify this bird as a Sora Rail. This bird made a loud, distinctive call, similar in many ways to some of the Kingfisher calls. This was also taken at Schwabacher Landing. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Schwabacher Landing Tidbits: I bumped into a “Best of the Tetons” subscriber this morning that has been spending a lot of time there. She said she saw a Black Bear one day and a Grizzly another, along with beavers, Mallards with babies in tow, and other waterfowl. Moose are seen at Schwabacher Landing at times, but she hadn’t seen one.

Molting Mallard

Molting Mallard: At the time I took this shot, I wasn’t sure about this bird either. After seeing it on the computer, I am fairly sure it is a Mallard drake going through a molting stage. I can see some of the blue green feathers in its head. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Driggs Fireworks 2015: Last year, I spent one night photographing the Fireworks at Huntsman Springs in Driggs, ID. It was such a wonderful show. This year, I suggested my wife and her friends go there to see it for themselves. Things changed, however. Hunstman turned the fireworks event over to the town of Driggs and the golf course was closed to non-Hunstman Springs members.  Maybe the event went off well and all were satisfied, but my wife and friends came back to Jackson Hole to watch our event.  That gave me a chance to try a new spot several mile south of town and at an elevated position. The photo is at the end of yesterday’s entry. I’ve never seen a Fireworks photo from there.

Trumpeter Swans: Recently, I caught a glimpse of a pair of Trumpeter Swans with four or five babies. If you are driving by Flat Creek, keep an eye out for them. This is about the same time we first saw them last year.

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July 4, 2015 :

Happy 4th!

Dusty Trail Horses

Dusty Trail Horses: Morning’s gold light on area horses. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Dusty

An Upcoming Year of Wishes: Western images are on the wish listNikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck: Taken along Mormon Row Road. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

The Gros Ventre

The Gros Ventre: Bull Moose posing along the river this morning. 150mm. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Bull Moose in Summer Grass

Bull Moose in Summer Grass: 600mm. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Bubble Performer

New Feature Post: Downtown Red, White & Blue ~ Patriotic Colors on Display at the 4th of July Parade.

For additional recent shots, click the June 2015 Daily Updates and Photos Page. July was active and busy last year, and I expect it to be again this year, so please check back regularly! The image above was taken on July 1st of 2014.

Upcoming Plans?  If you are planning a trip to the region, here are a couple of suggestions:

  • TODAY! Jackson, WY: 4th of July Parade & Fireworks: Saturday, 4th of July
  • TODAY! Driggs, ID: Celebrate America, large fireworks display: Saturday 4th of July
  • TODAY! Driggs, ID: Hot Air Balloon Festival, early mornings July 02 – July 05
  • West Yellowstone, MT: Smoking Waters Mtn. Man Rendezvous: July 31-August 9
  • Pinedale, WY: Green River Rendezvous Days: July 9-12, 2015 : Parade, Trader’s Row, Mountain Man Museum, Pageant
  • Jackson, WY: Farmer’s Markets begin on Saturday, July 11 downtown.
  • TODAY! Jackson, WY: Rodeo on Wednesday and Saturday nights all summer.
  • TODAY! Jackson, WY: JH Shootout on the Town Square at 6:30 nightly (except Sunday).

Jackson Hole Fireworks at Snow King Mountain

Fireworks at Jackson Hole’s Snow King Mountain: Taken from the hillside on East Gros Ventre Butte. Nikon D800 and Nikon 70-200mm ~ 3 seconds, F/8, ISO 1250

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July 3, 2015 :

4th of July Weekend Begins! I was out early and found three Bull Moose along the Gros Ventre River.

Bull Moose in Willows

Bull Moose in Willows: Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm

Cautious Approach

Gros Ventre Approach: Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm

Gros Ventre Crossing

Gros Ventre Crossing: Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Morning on the Gros Ventre

Morning on the Gros Ventre: Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Side Channel Crossing

Side Channel Crossing: Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Touron

Notes for iPhone users: The Moose images above were taken at roughly 45 yards from the subjects with a telephoto lens. The only way to get a similar shot with an iPhone is to be very close. That would be dangerous and illegal! I was speaking with Bill Kerr last week. He’s a Yellowstone ranger. He pulled out his cell phone then said, “This is the worst device  ever invented for Yellowstone…people get way too close with them.” The shot above was taken in 2008. I was ready to get bloody shots on all the news feeds that day!

Wildlife Notes: Days are still very long right now, with highs in the low to mid 90°s. Most of the dark mammals bed down as soon as the sun starts heating their backs, so if you want to see them, be out very early. Sunrise is at 5:46 am and first light over the eastern mountains is close to 6:00 am in many areas. Many of the moose, deer and elk will pull back into the shadows early. By 7:30am, expect them to be down and out of sight for the bulk of the day. Moose will often stand up in the daytime just long enough to move to a new shady spot. By about 6:30 pm or so, watch for them to start moving around a bit and feed on fresh willow branches and leaves. Great Gray Owls are having to feed their hungry babies and may be hunting more in the middle of the day than when they are only hunting for themselves. This should also apply to Foxes and Coyotes until the young are hunting on their own.

JH 4th of July Tidbits: It has been warm and dry lately. Fire Danger ratings are high. Fireworks are prohibited in Teton County, except for the big events at Teton Village and Snow King. Gasoline is running around $3.05 per gallon for self-serve unleaded at many stations.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird: Nikon D800 and Nikon 200-400mm with Nikon Strobes

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird: Nikon D800 and Nikon 200-400mm with Nikon Strobes

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Summer is Here! …a bonus section today!

Crowded Location

I took this shot last September. I have similar ones taken at Oxbow Bend around that time, too. A recent newspaper article said Yellowstone is smashing visitor records this year, and I’m sure the Tetons are well above averages. Each morning, I see a group of photographers at both of the famous Mormon Row barns and the parking lot is almost always full at Schwabacher Landing.

Granite FallsIn October of 2013, the Parks went through the infamous Government Shut Down. I “got on my horse” (slang for got busy) and created this page: Outside the Park: Alternative Places to Visit, Hike, Fish, and Photograph. If things begin to feel crowded here, take the short drive down the Hoback, then up Granite Creek to Granite Falls. It should be running clear by now. Also check out: Granite Falls and Granite Creek: If you have a good 4-Wheel Drive, consider a trip down to Bar BC Dude Ranch or up Shadow Mountain on the other side of the valley. Fall On Shadow Mountain. The post was created in the Fall, but it’s still a great option in the summer, especially for wildflowers

Occasionally, a person or group will already be in your shot. Actually, that’s almost always the case at any of the popular spots. Sometimes you can wait them out. Other times, I’d suggest just taking the photos with them in the scene and then removing the person or distraction in post production: Abracadabra: Now You See Them—Now You Don’t!

Evening Outing:

Bull Moose on the Gros Ventre

Bull Moose on the Gros Ventre: I only managed to get one shot of the bull Moose today. I believe there were at least three bulls and I saw one cow. People have been telling me about a cow with a calf in the area. Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm

Mountain Bluebird with Insect

Mountain Bluebird with Insect: Also taken along the Gros Ventre. Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm

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July 2, 2015 :

Early Morning Barn

Early Morning Barn: Alpenglow at the TA Moulton Barn. Also, check out: Alpenglow: Morning’s Fleeting Phenomenon Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70mm

Setting Moon

Setting Moon: The full moon was my catalyst for being up so early this morning. If you like photographing rising and setting moons, check out this old post: Shooting the October Moon: Tips for Being at the Right Place at the Right Time. This is a three shot pano image stitched in Lightroom. Why? I walked out into the field to photograph the setting moon at 600 mm. (See below) When I pointed the lens at the barn, I found I could not get the entire scene in the lens at 150mm, and I knew I didn’t have time to get back to the vehicle for the 70-200mm lens. With a set of vertical orientation shots, I knew I could capture the shot before the moon dipped behind the mountain. I’ve used this same technique a few times when I wanted to capture a full rainbow, but didn’t have a wide angle lens on the body at the time. Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm

Setting Moon

Setting Moon: Taken from Mormon Row over Blacktail Butte. Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm

Northern Mountains

Northern Mountains: Stitched pano looking north from Mormon Row. (Click the image to see it much larger). This image ended up being 14″ tall and 68″ long when left at the native resolution of 300 DPI. Four 35mpx images can create a huge file! Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm at 260mm

Light Rays

Light Rays over Shadow Mountain.  Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm

If you have been paying attention to the most recent set of Feature Posts, you might notice a wide variety of subjects. GTNP, with its wide array of landscapes and wildlife possibilities, is always at my doorstep, but there are plenty of other regional events and subjects. Back in January, I created this Feature Post: An Upcoming Year of Wishes. I have been systematically going through the list. We are planning on going over to the Fireworks display in Driggs next Saturday and I’d like to experience one of the days at the Hot Air Balloon Festival. There are a few upcoming Mountain Man Rendezvous and I’d like to go photograph the Wild Mustangs again soon. The rivers are clearing, so it is also time to begin photographing fishermen on the rivers and streams.

I can always use your help if you have a chance to spread the word about this site. It is constantly growing, but your help would be greatly appreciated!

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July 1, 2015 :

The year is now half over! Wow!

Morning Shots:

Flat Creek

Flat Creek: Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70mm

The Grand With No Clouds“When something worthwhile catches your eye, stop then and there and snap the shot!”

That’s advice I gleaned from Dave Ryan many years ago while I was taking a photography class at the JH Art Center. No telling who passed the advice along to him! I’ve mentioned it here on Best of the Tetons a few times over the past couple of years. The advice paid off for me today. As I was driving through town to head north, I saw the clouds begin to light up over Flat Creek. I turned into the pullout and set up on the observation platform where I took at least a hundred shots.  I loaded up and continued on North.

The small photo above was taken at the Gros Ventre Junction only a few minutes after the shots at Flat Creek. I was expecting similar clouds and color over the Tetons, but instead, it was devoid of clouds and lacked any kind of color. There may actually be times when the shots down the road will be equal or better than the one at hand, but in my experience, that is the exception and not the norm.

Gros Ventre

Gros Ventre: Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70mm

Tall Summer Grasses

Tall Summer Grasses: Taken along Mormon Row Road. Pronghorns and Bison are common along the road, but also watch out for Wolves, Raptors, Meadowlarks, Coyotes, and various songbirds. In the Fall, Grizzlies have begun to travel along Blacktail Butte following gunshots during the Elk Reduction Program. I’ve seen both Grizzly and Wolf tracks in the snow going up and down the road.  Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

One Flowers

One Flowers: Taken along Antelope Flats Road. Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70mm

Morning Photographers

Morning Photographers: Want to make the Tetons loom huge over the barns? Check out this post: Distance and Scale Relationships in the Tetons ~ Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm

Schwabacher Landing Beaver Dam

Taken on July 1st of 2014…the date is incorrect.

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One-On-One Excursions Openings: I have a couple of openings for mid/late July. The trips are designed to help people learn to use their DSLR cameras and help photographers find some of GTNP’s nice shooting locations. Click the link for more information. (Golden Era Studios / Mike R. Jackson is an Authorized Permittee of the National Park Service and the National Elk Refuge.) The Snake River is starting to clear. If you are a fisherman/photographer, you might enjoy this trip:  Hybrid Photography & Fly Fishing Trips in GTNP

 

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Comments (8)

  1. Lowell Schechter

    Hi Mike
    It seems like every year more and more people are coming to Yellowstone and the Tetons. Your pictures sure want to make me get out there again but need the time and the $ . It is amazing all the events and activities you can see if you plan it right. I know July 4th weekend should great out there. I see you are really liking that Tamron 150-600 lens.
    Lowell

  2. Yep, lots going on here in the summer. It’s hard to pick the events or be in all the right spots. There’s hot air balloons in the air, a parade and fireworks over the upcoming 4th, people riding horses, people fishing and floating down the river, and the list goes on and on. It’s easily possible to capture images of many different subjects in a single day, too. Most tourists never see the spectacular colors of the morning light, and also miss most of the animal activity. I can go out and get shots, then head back into town as many of them are just leaving.

  3. Diana LeVasseur

    Mike, your mystery bird is a sora. Beautiful photos as always.

  4. Daina, Thanks! When I opened my emails this morning, I saw Richard’s info on the same bird. It’s always nice to have a team behind me! MJ

  5. Norma Brandsberg

    Love, love your gray owl shots. Hope I can get some when we visit the end of September-October.

  6. Don George

    Mike, Great capture with the feeding image. Nice that the tree was void of foliage for a clear shot of all three.

  7. Hi Don, I found the two in the tree against a white sky. I overexposed the sky to open up the silhouetted birds on a few test shots. The top bird started getting excited and the lower baby followed suite. The adult came in with the vole and I started firing. I filled the buffer on my D4 on this sequence which isn’t that easy to do! I added the texture in Photoshop to cover up the stark white skies. Cheers, Mike

  8. Jackie Ireland

    Mike, love all the photo’s could you post the one of the 3 owls on facebook so I can share it with my family. I always rave about “this Photographer from Jackson Hole” so they are familiar with you but I don’t think they all see your blog. I always give you full credit when I post your pix. Awesome shots, very envious.
    Jackie and Todd Ireland

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