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November 2016 Daily Journal for GTNP & JH

“November: Fall is Over and Winter Feels Imminent” 

Daily Updates Archives:
2017: 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:

Monthly Overviews for JH / GTNP .

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Check Out These TWO Popular Pages: If I Had Only One Winter Day in the Tetons: and A Trip to Jackson Hole

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November 30, 2016 –  Wednesday

Rams

Rams: : A couple of Rams gathered at the base of Miller Butte this morning. D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Bighorn Ram

Bighorn Ram: There’s a photo in today’s JH Daily of bighorns licking salt and chemicals off a vehicle. Tourists seem to enjoy having their cars licked, including taking “selfies” with the sheep at their windows, but the National Elk Refuge is discouraging it. Some of the sheep have a form of pneumonia, and they biologists are worried they can pass it to other sheep by licking the vehicles.  Refuge officials do not have a problem with people shooing the sheep away from their vehicles. D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

On the Rocks

On the Rocks: I caught this lone Ram looking over the valley from one of the rock platforms. D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

On the Rocks

On the Rocks: Same Ram…different angle. D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Resting Bighorn Rams

Resting Bighorn Rams: I dropped the shutter speed and stopped down the aperture try to get both in focus. D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Landing Swan

Landing Swan: Captured along Flat Creek at the north edge of town. D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Tomorrow I will be starting a new December Daily Updates. November has been good, and I believe December will also be a productive month. Please, take a minute to sign up to follow this blog, and please let others know about it! I’d love to see the readership double, but I need your help!

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November 29, 2016 –  Tuesday

Winter appears to be back! I saw a report of 17″-19″ of new snow on the mountain tops at Teton Village. There’s not a lot of snow on the valley floor, but it has been staying cold enough to keep the snow. A few more storms are on the horizon.

Bighorn Ewe

Bighorn Ewe: I spent a bit of the morning on the National Elk Refuge, but the large groups of bighorns weren’t down. I found a few ewes and lambs. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Pair of Swans

Pair of Swans: After lunch, I went back out. Bighorns were still not too visible. Trumpeter Swans have been fairly dependable lately, so I spent the rest of the afternoon along Flat Creek. D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Squabble

Squabble: On the surface, Trumpeter Swans appear to be graceful and docile, but at times they can display extreme territorial behavior—willing to fight to protect their spot. D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron: Swans are normally the main attraction, but other bird species occasionally zip by. D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Cygnet

Cygnet: This one is possibly a Tundra Swan? D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Flapping Swan

Flapping Swan: D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Swan Pair

Swan Pair: D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Muskrat

Muskrat: D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

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November 28, 2016 –  Monday

Washakie

Washakie: I’ve been hoping to find Washakie in the open. He lost one antler over a month ago, but it doesn’t seem to be causing him too much stress. He was actively courting a cow this morning. D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Rams and Ewes

Rams and Ewes: Captured on the National Elk Refuge. D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Rams Bashing

Rams Bashing

Rams Bashing: Today was the first day I’ve seen rams bashing heads. D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Ram's Face

Ram’s Face: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Trumpeter Swan

Trumpeter Swan: Taken along Flat Creek. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Trumpeter Swan Family

Trumpeter Swan Family: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Trumpeter Swan

Evening Takeoff: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

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November 27, 2016 –  Sunday

Ridge Top Rams

Ridge Top Rams: Taken early at the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Mountain Goats on the Highway

Mountain Goats on the Highway: Taken in the Snake River Canyon near Alpine Junction. Mountain Goats are attracted to salt on the road. I found three nannies, each with a single kid. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Billy Mtn. Goat

Billy Mtn. Goat: The valley received a few inches of fresh snow, plus a wave of flakes during the middle of the day. This Billy was close to the road when I first saw him. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Close Rams

Close Rams: Back on Miller Butte on the National Elk Refuge. I didn’t see any head butting today. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Early Rut Behavior

Early Rut Behavior: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Blowing Snow

Blowing Snow: 1/80th second flakes. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Swan Squabble

Swan Squabble: Taken from the observation platform along Flat Creek. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Cluster of Swans

Swan Family in Flight: The cygnets are often more gray than the adults. Most shots taken after lunch were through a layer of light snow. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Stretching Swan

Stretching Swan: Also taken along Flat Creek. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

MikeMost openings are available in December. Just ask!

Teton Photo Excursions. I offer LICENSED One-On-One Photography Excursions in Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge, with emphasis on helping clients with their camera and gear. Each trip is customized based on client needs and requests. (Note: It says One-On-One, but I take two people on a trip for the same price). We find some of the best locations for scenic photography, and look for wildlife in the process.  Check out some of the Client Comments. (Teton Photo Excursions is an Authorized Permittee of the National Park Service and the National Elk Refuge)

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November 26, 2016 –  Saturday

Bull Moose in Sagebrush

Bull Moose in Sagebrush: Back in town (after a quick trip to Salt Lake City)! I saw over 20 moose this morning, mostly north of Kelly. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Refuge Elk

Refuge Elk: Still early, but elk are beginning to show up on the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Eve on Miller Butte

Ewe on Miller Butte: There are 50+ bighorns on the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Ram on Hillside

Ram on Hillside: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Lamb on Rocks

Lamb on Rocks: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

D500 Note: If your battery life seems shorter than it should, try turning ON Airplane Mode. This disables some of the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features that may be active and affecting battery life. Also, check on the battery replacement program for older En-El 15 batteries for D500 owners.

Antlers and Holiday Lights

Antlers and Holiday Lights: It was clear tonight, so I did a quick run downtown for a few shots of the Holiday lights on the Town Square. Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-180mm Zoom Micro lens.

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November 25, 2016 –  Friday

Salt Lake Refinery

Salt Lake Refinery: As I was driving towards Antelope Island yesterday morning, I noticed this site. I made a “mental note” that I’d love to go there early sometime. As it worked out, today was the day!  It was still dark and cold when I got there. I parked along the highway and set up the tripod to shoot over a wire fence. Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-200mm lens.

Salt Lake Refinery

Salt Lake Refinery: I stayed until I captured plenty of images, including lots of multi shot panos. It’s not exactly a Teton shot, but a worthy subject when I’m not in front of them. Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-200mm lens.

Franklin Sugar House

Franklin Sugar House: We headed back to Jackson via Logan, UT, and then on north through Franklin and Preston, ID. There are quite a few old sugar factories dotting the landscape in eastern Idaho. This is a relic of one of the factories in Franklin, ID. I did a few artistic effects using NIK and Topaz Photoshop filters. Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-200mm lens.

Preston Factory

Preston Factory: Just up the road is this old factory at Preston. I’d love to spend two or three days touring these little Mormon communities. Currently, there are lots of old farms, barns, ghost signs, and historic structures. Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-200mm lens.

We made it home at 6:00 pm. The lighting ceremony on the Town Square was probably just beginning. In most towns, Santa comes to town in a reindeer drawn sleigh. I heard our Santa made his entrance to the Square on a firetruck!

Mountain Goats: As we entered the Snake River Canyon near Alpine Junction, we had to dodge two Mountain Goats at the edge of the road. Currently, there is no snow along the road in that part of the canyon, but there is a lot of snow on the nearby mountain peaks.

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November 24, 2016 – Thanksgiving Thursday 

Wood Duck

Wood Duck: Taken at a small pond near Ogden, UT. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Pair of Wood Ducks

Pair of Wood Ducks: Near Ogden, UT. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Shorebirds

Shorebirds: I got up early and drove to Antelope Island near Layton, UT. I had hoped to see some large Mule Deer, but never spotted them. I saw several herds of Bison, a bunch of Pronghorns, a couple of hawks, a coyote and other small birds. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Garr Ranch

Garr Ranch: This historic old ranch is located at the South end of Antelope Island. It is loaded with old farm equipment, vehicles, and textures. Afterwards, I stopped at the Union Station in Ogden and took another load of great textures.

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November 23, 2016 –  Wednesday

Luminar: Black Friday Special: If you are a Mac user, check out this deal for Luminar. Save $10 on the program and get four additional products for free!

NIK and Flypaper

Flypaper NIK Presets: Black Friday Specials: Flypaper Presets
On this recent post: Miscellaneous Tips & Links: Software, Apps, Settings, Comments, Etc. I mentioned you can get Google/NIK for FREE! The Flypaper set of 44 NIK Presets cost $8. Presets are great for toggling through a bunch of options, then picking one you might not have ever created yourself, and you can always tweak the settings. The light bulb above was added to yesterday’s post, but adjusted just now with the new Presets.

There are a lot of Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals with heavily slashed prices on software and plugins. I usually pick up a few of them at this time of the year. Kelby Training, for example has a deal for a year of training for $159.

Rail Cars

On the Road: We found a house sitter, so we headed to Park City and Salt Lake City for Thanksgiving.  I checked the canyon on the way down for Mountain Goats, but didn’t see a single one. I hope to get to Antelope Island for some possible Mule Deer. The image above was taken at the historic old railroad yard in Evanston, WY. That’s one of my favorite places to find grungy old objects and textures.

Valve

I usually think of the options as either “objects/buildings or textures”. The previous two would fit the objects/buildings category. I converted this on to B&W in Lightroom, then added the sepia toning in NIK Silver Efex.

Peeling Paint

This one fits into the “texture” category. I’ve been to Evanston quite a few times and have thousands of photos from there. Today, we needed to get to Park City, but we had a little time to kill. I dropped my wife off at Wal-Mart, and I went to the rail yard for some shots. In 45 minutes, I captured over 350 images similar (but almost all different) than the three I am posting here tonight. FWIW, I used a D810 and an older Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro lens. I’d love to spend four or five hours there someday!

Remember:

  • Days are short. This is a great time to do light painting. Vehicle access to Mormon Row will be coming to an end soon. The moon should not be a factor in night shots for a while. Clear mornings are good for Alpenglow during the Winter months.
  • Afternoon Snow: Maybe? Good for some wildlife shots and some landscapes.
  • Holiday Lighting Ceremony: If you are in town, the Ceremony is Friday evening. Santa usually makes an appearance. After Friday, the lights will be on all season.

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November 22, 2016 –  Tuesday

White-tailed Buck

White-tailed Buck: Captured in the sage near the Gros Ventre Road. I haven’t seen many White-tailed bucks this year, but am seeing more and more does in the Kelly area. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Sparring Bull Moose

Sparring Bull Moose: I had to hike a mile or so to get the moose shots today. These were along the Gros Ventre. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Standing Bull Moose

Standing Bull Moose: Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Bull Moose Snacking on Twigs

Bull Moose Snacking on Twigs: During the summer and fall months, moose strip the leaves from the low willows, but the leaves are gone and they are now forced to eat the freshest twigs. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Resting Bull Moose

Resting Bull Moose: Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Bighorn Ram and Little Lamb

Bighorn Ram and Little Lamb: Captured near Miller Butte on the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens VC Off.

Ram's Face

Ram’s Face: Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens VC Off.

Edison Bulb

Edison Bulb: Just a test shot of an antique style light bulb in a warehouse lamp on front of the house. Handheld with VC on. Some of the shots I took today of the bighorns seemed to be focusing on the nose instead of the eyes. I made a slight tweak to the AF Fine Tune value for this test image.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens VC Off.

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November 21, 2016 –  Monday

Bighorn Ram

Bighorn Ram: It snowed overnight—you know—the wet and slushy stuff!  I headed out early for a few shots, starting at the National Elk Refuge. This ram was coming off Crystal Butte and headed to Miller Butte. Timing is everything! I caught this one ram, but then nothing! I could have easily missed him.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Moose in Sage

Moose in Sage: Two nice sized bull were out in the snow covered sagebrush along the Gros Ventre Road. Timing is everything! Ten to fifteen minutes later, and I would have missed them once they made it to the cottonwoods. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Sparring Moose

Sparring Moose: These two bulls sparred regularly this morning. I got lots of shots! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

So Close, But Yet So Far

So Close, Yet So Far: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Bull Moose with Low Willows

Bull Moose with Low Willows: This bull reminds me a lot of Washakie, but he lacks the cut in his cheek and the two split ears. Washakie has already lost one of his antlers and was last seen on Ditch Creek Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee: I took a photo of some rusted steel this morning, then put it behind a wintering Chickadee. The bird shot was taken at ISO 5000. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

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November 20, 2016 –  Sunday

Canada Geese

Canada Geese: I stopped at Flat Creek long enough to capture these Geese as they passed by the head of Sleeping Indian.  From there, I made the “Kelly loop”. Hunters were active, with shots ringing out north of Kelly. I kept going and headed back into town.  Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. 

Common Merganser Male

Common Merganser:  Most of the Mergansers I have been seeing lately have been females. I found this more colorful male along Flat Creek. I am always a sucker for the beautifully artistic rippled reflections from the cattails. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. 

Common Merganser Male

Common Merganser Male: Same duck…different ripples. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. 

Common Merganser Female

Common Merganser:  The females are still nice! Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. 

Golden Eyes

Golden Eyes: Also taken along Flat Creek. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. 

Bighorn Ewe and Lamb

Bighorn Ewe and Lamb: On the rocks at Miller Butte on the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. 

Buck Mule Deer

Buck Mule Deer: I took this shot from the parking log along the Flat Creek observation platform. The buck was in hot pursuit of a doe. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. 

Swan Squabble

Swan Squabble: Late afternoon light and active Trumpeter Swans along Flat Creek. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. 

Swans Rejoicing

Swans Rejoicing: Call it a victory dance following a short lived squabble. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. 

Incoming Swans

Incoming Swans: Wind was blowing out of the south, prompting the swans to fly into the wind and towards the observation platform. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens. 

Landing Swans

Landing Swans: Action along Flat Creek. There are always a lot of culls on a flight sequence like this. Often one of the wings will be in front of the other bird, or a bird in the water merges with the wings of the landing birds.  Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens. 

Pronghorns

Pronghorns: I counted 68 Pronghorns on the National Elk Refuge this afternoon. I don’t have a clue how many will hang around for the Winter season and how many will make the journey to areas south of here like Marbleton and Big Piney. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. 

Bighorn Ram

Bighorn Ram: Taken from the roadway on the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. 

Bighorn Ram

Bighorn Ram: There are a few bigger Rams on the National Elk Refuge, but one this size always makes a good subject. Note: If you happen to be considering a trip to Dubois for the Bighorns, the road to the top of the mountain closes at the end of the day on November 30. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. 

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November 19, 2016 –  Saturday

The Grand

The Grand: The mountains received a new layer of snow over the past few days. There’s a few inches of snow on the ground in town and around most of the valley. Another storm is in the forecast for Monday. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180mm Zoom Micro.

Creek Ice

Ditch Creek Ice: Overnight temperatures have been dropping to the low teens. I pulled over and took a few detail/texture/close-up shots using a Nikon 70-180mm Zoom Micro lens. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180mm Zoom Micro.

Creek Ice Crystals

Creek Ice Crystals: Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180mm Zoom Micro.

Creek Ice Crystals

Creek Ice Crystals: Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180mm Zoom Micro.

Buck Mule Deer

Buck Mule Deer: Several mule deer were around the edges of Kelly. I found this buck along the Highway near Moose Junction. I saw 32 different Moose this morning, mostly in the sage flats north of Kelly. Each day, there are more and more hunters driving the roads along the hunting zones. There were lots of Swans in Flat Creek, but out of photo range. I did a quick run to the National Elk Refuge, but didn’t see Bighorns. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens Handheld with VC On.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron: Take-off along Flat Creek. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. 

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron: Late evening photo. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Swans and Ducks

Swans and Ducks: Wild Swans are back and hanging around Flat Creek. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm. 

Sleeping Indian

Sleeping Indian: Fresh snow on the hillsides. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. 

River Otter

River Otter: A single Otter drifted by the observation platform on Flat Creek. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm. 

MikeA few openings are available in November. Just ask! Now Taking December Reservations.

Teton Photo Excursions. I offer LICENSED One-On-One Photography Excursions in Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge, (Note: It says One-On-One, but I take two people on a trip for the same price).

Each trip is custom tailored based on clients needs and requests. Need help with your gear and shooting techniques? Maybe you want to know where to go for some of the areas best landscapes and where to look for wildlife? If you are planning on being in the area a few days, one of my tours can give you a valuable jump start to the area. Check out some of the Client Comments. (Teton Photo Excursions is an Authorized Permittee of the National Park Service and the National Elk Refuge)

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November 18, 2016 –  Friday

Sparring Moose

Sparring Moose: Bulls crossing the East boundary Road north of Kelly. Temps dropped to 12° (or lower) with a biting wind this morning. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm.

Morning Moose:

Morning Moose: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm.

Bull in Early Winter Sage

Bull in Early Winter Sage: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm.

Miller Butte Bighorns

Miller Butte Bighorns: Mid-morning on the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm.

Bighorn Lip Curl

Bighorn Lip Curl: Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm.

Afternoon Bighorns

Afternoon Bighorns: Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm.

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November 17, 2016 –  Thursday

Snow Day! Last week, the weather reports said Thursday would be cold and snowy. I never believe reports that far out, but they got it right this time!

Miller Butte Bighorns

Miller Butte Bighorns: I didn’t see any head butting, but found four or five rams huddled together. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens with VC Off.

Portrait

Portrait: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens with VC Off.

Bighorn Ram

Bighorn Ram: I spent about 10-15 minutes with the Rams before they spotted something on the hillside and headed up Crystal Butte on the south side of the road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens with VC Off.

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November 16, 2016 –  Wednesday

I just added a bit of information on this page: New Feature Post! Miscellaneous Tips & Links: Software, Apps, Settings, Comments, Etc. If you are a Photoshop CC user, you’ll probably love the little hidden gem for moving a small image from under some of the open panels like Swatches, Layers, Histograms, etc.

Wildlife Updates: A few days ago, I saw over 50 Bighorns on the National Elk Refuge. I’ve been back at least six times hoping to see some of the larger rams at close range, but haven’t been lucky yet. The weather reports (if you can believe them) are calling for rain and snow, with more seasonable temperatures for the Wednesday and Thursday. Elk are moving around now, evident by all of the hunters parked along the roadways. A nice herd of Bulls crossed the road in front of me as I was driving into Schwabacher Landing, plus the ones in the lightpainted photos. Beavers at Schwabacher were visible early, but don’t seem to be gathering branches yet. I’ve heard a few reports of Long-tailed Weasels in their white winter coats, which stand out like a sore thumb with no snow on the ground.  There are lots more Trumpeter Swans in the valley now. Time to put them on the agenda. There were also Buffleheads, Wigeons, Coots, Golden Eyes, and two species of Mergansers along Flat Creek.

Impact

Bighorns of Miller Butte: I drove over to Miller Butte on the National Elk Refuge this afternoon where I saw at least 30 Bighorns coming off the butte at the SW corner and heading out to the grassy fields. They were too far off for any kind of usable photo. In 2014, I created this page loaded with information about going there, plus a few tips I think might help you get head bashing shots of your own.

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November 15, 2016 –  Tuesday

New Feature Post!: There Should Have Been a Moon! Morning at Schwabacher Landing My recent quest to photograph the setting “Super Moon”.

En-El 15 Battery Replacement for D500 Users: I’ve noticed VERY SHORT battery life on my D500 on occasions, yet good life on other days. As it turns out, the older Li-ion01 batteries are the culprit, while all of the Li-ion20 batteries perform as advertised. I called NPS (Nikon Professional Services) about the issue after reading a Nikon Rumors post. After registering my D500 (receipt and serial number), NPS is sending a prepaid envelope to replace up to four of the old batteries. They were probably part of my D800 or D810 batch of batteries. Even if you are not NPS, I believe you will still be able to get your old batteries replaced. Give Nikon a call!

Light From the Super Moon

Light From the Super Moon: I went out early again for a chance to include the heavily hyped “Super Moon” over, or near the Tetons. Nope! Clouds were too thick in the west.  Still, I got some interesting photos with clouds blowing across the sky over a 30 second exposure. If you look closely, you can see a few elk grazing in the darkness. I wouldn’t have known they were there until I lit the river bank with a 2 million candlepower flashlight. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm.

Hints of Alpenglow

Hints of Alpenglow: The Super Moon helped backlight the upper clouds. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm.

Alpenglow

Alpenglow: The sensors in today’s cameras are just waiting to record light! There was a hint of pink on the peaks when I took this 30 second image, but the D5 found and enhanced what I was seeing. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm.

15 Seconds at Schwabacher Landing

15 Seconds at Schwabacher Landing: Wind picked up while I was at the reflection pool, creating streaks on the water and passing clouds. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm.

Moulton Barn

Moulton Barn: If you read over There Should Have Been a Moon! Morning at Schwabacher Landing , you’d see a fiery sky shot from Schwabacher Landing. I mentioned I’d like to have included a barn or other subject in front of the clouds. Today, when I saw the light changing, I bailed on the shots at Schwabacher and made a quick run to Mormon Row. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm.

John Moulton Barn

John Moulton Barn: Another angle. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm.

Homestead

Homestead: This one is a nine shot HDR Pano consisting of three sets of HDR captures, composited in Lightroom. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm.

TA Moulton Barn

TA Moulton Barn: Moody skies during a short period when sunlight found an opening in the eastern clouds. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm.

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November 14, 2016 –  Monday

Schwabacher Sans Moon

Schwabacher Sans Moon: I was out early again today, but there were thick clouds blocking the setting “Super Moon”. I can’t complain too much, since I ended up quite a few nice morning images. Instead of loading this page, I plan on making a new Feature Post titled something like “There Should Have Been a “Super Moon” at Schwabacher!” If you haven’t already signed up to follow Best of the Tetons, now would be a great time! Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm.

Lip Curl

Lip Curl: One of several bull Moose found grazing on the bitter brush near Ditch Creek. The rut is still over, but bulls still check out the females.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens with VC Off.

Mother Moose and CalfUpcoming Feature Post: Young Moose of the Tetons! I’ve spent a lot of time lately going through images and culling a large percentage of them. It looks like I have plenty of images to make a post about the baby moose from this year. It might take a few more days before that one is ready, but if you want to be one of the first to see the page, sign up to follow Best of the Tetons! You’ll receive an email notice when I add a new feature post.

Note: Internet and cell service was down almost all day. I’m not sure if the outage was local or regional.

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November 13, 2016 –  Sunday

Stars Over Schwabacher

Stars Over Schwabacher: When it is pitch black on the drive out of town, it is impossible to know if the peaks will be visible for landscape shots. I took a “leap of faith”, getting up early and driving to Schwabacher Landing. I had planned on trying to capture the Alpenglow period, but unfortunately there was a cloak of clouds across the peaks. Maybe next time!  Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm.

D500 and Tamron G2

Bull Moose: This bull was well out in the sage, so I tried a different combination. This was taken with a Nikon D500 and a Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens on at 600mm. With the 1.5 Crop Factor, the image was captured at a 900mm effective zoom range, shot hand held out the window with the VC (Vibration Compensation) On. Some were plenty sharp, while I had quite a few not so sharp. At 900mm, it doesn’t take much of a shake to affect the sharpness. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens with VC On.

Sparring Bull Moose

Sparring Bull Moose: Three bulls were grazing along the East Boundary Road today.  Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm.

Moose and Sagebrush

Moose and Sagebrush: Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm.

Mt. Moran

Mt. Moran: Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm.

Moose and Ditch Creek

Moose and Ditch Creek: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens with VC off.

Thrashing Bulls

Thrashing Bulls: Taken in the Ditch Creek river bottom. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens with VC off.

Bighorn Rams

Bighorn Rams: I made a quick trip to Miller Butte on the National Elk Refuge. Good news! There were 50+ bighorns today. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens hand held with VC on.

MikeMost openings are available in November. Just ask!

Teton Photo Excursions. I offer LICENSED One-On-One Photography Excursions in Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge, with emphasis on helping clients with their camera and gear. Each trip is customized based on client needs and requests. (Note: It says One-On-One, but I take two people on a trip for the same price). We find some of the best locations for scenic photography, and look for wildlife in the process.  Check out some of the Client Comments. (Teton Photo Excursions is an Authorized Permittee of the National Park Service and the National Elk Refuge)

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November 12, 2016 –  Saturday

First Light on Morning Moose

First Light on Morning Moose: Captured in the sage flats north of Kelly. I saw at least 10 moose (mostly cows and calves) along the Gros Ventre Road. The bulls seem to have moved out to the flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens with VC off.

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: This is one of several bulls lacking a dewlap under the bell. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens with VC off.

Incoming Geese

Incoming Geese: I stopped at the Flat Creek Wetlands on the north edge of town. Quite a few Canada Geese are now moving around the valley. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron: Captured on the north edge of town. This Heron is there regularly, but is typically quite skittish. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Landing Goose

Landing GooseNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Hooded Merganser

Hooded Merganser: I found this duck yesterday, but it stayed in the mucky area of the water. Today, I managed to get a few cleaner shots, and a few with his head feathers extended. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens with VC off.

Afternoon Buck

Afternoon Buck: I shot this one hand-held out the window with minimal light. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens with VC on.

Super Moon

Super Moon: I had originally planned to trying to photograph the moon coming up over Sleeping Indian Mountain, but that area of the valley was socked in with clouds. I captured this shot from just outside Kelly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens with VC on.

Super Moon

Super Moon: With the 1.5 crop factor on a D500, the image was taken at roughly 750mm. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

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November 11, 2016 –  Veterans Day

Hooded Merganser

Hooded Merganser: I found this male in Flat Creek near the bridge on north Cache. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Muskrat

Muskrat: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Rising Moon

Rising Moon: I took this shot from Kelly, looking towards the east. This will be a “Supermoon” on Sunday and Monday. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens with VC off.

Buck and Doe Mule Deer

Buck and Doe Mule Deer: This Kelly buck was bedded down for quite a while this afternoon, but finally got up just before sunset. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens with VC off.

Running White-tailed Deer

Running White-tailed Deer: A few White-tailed Deer are mixed in with the area’s Mule Deer population.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens with VC off.

Buck Mule Deer

Buck Mule Deer: I spent some time this afternoon doing additional AF Fine Tune tests (using a Lens-Align), then went out to try to find “something” to photograph. I didn’t care if it was going to be a Chipmonk, Bighorn, Bison, Moose, or Deer. This nice buck worked out just fine! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens with VC off.

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November 10, 2016 –  Thursday

Buck Mule Deer

Buck Mule Deer: Taken along the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens with VC off.

Wildlife Comments: I saw quite a few moose, but they were farther out than I like. Most were in the sage flats north of Kelly. Bison and Pronghorns were missing this morning. There were a few mule deer hanging around Kelly. Other than the mule deer, things are quiet along the Moose-Wilson Road. With the warm weather, Elk are not migrating (in numbers) to the Refuge. I don’t see many hunters this year.

Early Bighorns

Early Bighorns: I drove out to the National Elk Refuge today on a general reconnaissance mission and took this record shot. There were five on the Crystal Butte side of the road. Expect more to appear as winter progresses. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

National Elk Refuge SignBeware! Last year, the National Elk Refuge did a lot of work on the entrance and first four miles of the roadway. They added numerous much needed pullouts where they are asking people to park “straight in” to make room for as many vehicles as possible. This year, they put up several signs letting people know it is illegal to stop on the roadway, much less park on it. I believe people will find the agency to be very strict this year. Additionally, the Refuge issued 18-20 permits to wildlife and photography tours this year and only those groups are allowed to legally do tours there. Taxis are not allowed to take people onto the refuge for wildlife viewing (none applied for permits this year).

Wildlife Viewing Along the Highway: The National Elk Refuge owns the land along the fence running next to Highway 89/191. Despite the fact there are no signs to the contrary, people are not allowed to cross the highway easement to stand or photograph next to the fence.

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November 9, 2016 –  Wednesday

Snake River Overlook Pano

Snake River Overlook Pano: Early morning shot consisting of four horizontal captures, stitched in Lightroom CC (Click the image to see it much larger!). Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

Snake River Overlook

Snake River Overlook: This is a crop section of the stitched pano above. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

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November 8, 2016 –  Election Day Tuesday!

Tips FeaturedNew Feature Post! Miscellaneous Tips & Links: Software, Apps, Settings, Comments, Etc. If you take photos long enough, you will inevitably stumble across nifty  little tools and workflow steps that can help by making life easier or streamline efforts. This new page consolidates a lot of the ones I use. Some have been suggested to me by my clients while on Teton Photo Tours. There is some info on Back Button Focus and Auto ISO which might help a lot of people. 

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: There have been half a dozen moose hanging around at Moose Junction. On most mornings, Blacktail Butte keeps the area in shadows until after the moose move away from the roads and into the trees. This bull stayed in the light for me this morning.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens with VC off.

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: The new Tamron 150-600mm lens has three modes for VC (Vibration Compensation). I finally got around to reading the manual. Mode 1 is for normal shooting, Mode 2 is for panning, and Mode 3 “prioritizes compensation effects, compensating only at the moment the shutter is released”. The manual also suggests turning OFF the VC when on a tripod. Based on today’s shots, this seems to be correct. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens with VC off.

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens with VC off.

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November 7, 2016 –  Monday

2016’s closest supermoon is November 14 | EarthSky: “The full moon of November 14, 2016 is not only the biggest, closest and brightest supermoon of the year. It’s the closest supermoon since January 26, 1948. The moon won’t come this close to Earth again until November 25, 2034. Should you watch for this full moon on the night of November 14? Sure, and, if you do, it’ll be beautiful. But, for us in the Americas, the moon is closer to full on the night of November 13.”

2013 Super Moon

2013 Super Moon: According to EarthSky, you can experience one of the largest full moons since 1948 next Sunday night. We had a Super Moon a few years ago, so I went out that night. Sure, enough, the moon was very bright! On a 30 second exposure, like the one above, the moon casts shadows and creates an almost unreal look to a night shot.

Super Moon 2013

Super Moon 2013: This is the same image, captured at 11:00 pm (not a typo: late night). I had enough light to make this look almost like a day shot—but with stars. If you are thinking of going out, these photos should give you an idea what to expect.

By now, everyone is probably aware of the time change. Sunset tonight will be at 5:06 pm, but much of the valley begins to go into shadows by 4:45 pm.

Parade of Moose

Parade of Moose: There were 11 moose within a couple hundred yards of Gros Ventre Road this morning. More were in the sage flats north of Kelly and near Ditch Creek. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Cow Moose and Steamy Breath

Cow Moose and Steamy Breath: It has been getting down to around 21° F early in the morning, as illustrated in the steamy breath of this backlit cow moose. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Young Bull in Cottonwoods

Young Bull in Cottonwoods: Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Morning Drink

Morning Drink: Quick drink at a frozen side channel of the Gros Ventre River. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Ringed-neck Duck

Ringed-neck Duck: Taken along Flat Creek on the North edge of town. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Mergansers

Mergansers: The reflected cattails make this a busy (but interesting) background. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Merganser

Merganser: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Ring-necked Ducks

Ring-necked Ducks: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Coot

CootNikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Playing Catch Up on Culling! Throughout the summer months, I get home late and am often too tired to cull through the days batch of photos. Even after a few days of “on the fly” culling, I ended up with roughly 25,000 moose images taken from mid-august to now. I’ve managed to take that group down to 4,400 and will probably delete 400 of those before adding keywords and preparing them for long term storage. Once that’s completed, I still have 60,000 more images to cull through! At least I live in an area of the country that allows me that many chances! Not complaining!

Bison Cow and Calf

Bison Cow and Calf: Captured in the afternoon along Antelope Flats Road. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Kelly Buck

Kelly Buck: Late evening capture at ISO 8000. This buck has a very thick neck! Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Kelly Buck

Kelly Buck: Captured at ISO 2500. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

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November 6, 2016 –  Sunday

Canada Goose

Canada Goose: I did a loop around Kelly and saw Bison, Moose, Mule Deer, and Pronghorns, but didn’t taken any shots. I headed back towards town through Spring Gulch Road and ended up at the Boyles Hill Pond west of the Maverick Convenience Store.  Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Trumpeter Swan

Trumpeter Swan: I spoke with Bill Long from the Wetlands Society this morning. He anticipates the wild Swans to start showing up in the valley in the next 10 days. The warm weather is probably delaying their return this year.  Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Mallard Duck

Mallard Duck: Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Abandoned Vehicle

Abandoned Vehicle: Taken on High School Road. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens.

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November 5, 2016 –  Saturday

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: Captured from the roadway near Ditch Creek. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Bull Moose in Ditch Creek

Bull Moose Sparring: These two were actually IN the creek! Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Bull Moose in Ditch Creek

Bull Moose in Ditch Creek: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Sparring Bulls

Sparring Bulls: With the fall rut essentially over, large bulls occasionally spar with smaller ones. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Sparring Bulls

Sparring Bulls: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Kelly Gas PumpNew Feature Post: The Grungy Side of Kelly

Most photos on Best of the Tetons are “straight photos”, meaning I simply process them with normal adjustments to tonal values, hue and saturation, contrast, and so forth. On this new post, I took the liberty (artistic license) to modify the images using additional layers of texture and patterns. Hopefully, readers will enjoy them!

I also included a link to FREE Photoshop plugins from NIK Software (now owned by Google). You’ll definitely want to grab these while they are still available!

Schwabacher Grasses

Schwabacher Grasses: Beavers should start being active soon. I drove to Schwabacher Landing to check it out, but only found a couple milling around and not gathering branches. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Beaver

Beaver: I hung around a while, but none of the beavers seemed interested in going across the dams. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Evening Mule Deer

Evening Mule Deer: I found this nice buck grazing north of Kelly…just as the sun began setting. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

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November 4, 2016 –  Friday

Bull Moose in Sage

Bull Moose in Sage: Taken along Ditch Creek Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Bull Moose in front of Mt. Moran

Bull Moose in front of Mt. Moran: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Buck Jumping Fence

Buck Jumping Fence: (Click the image to see it much larger) Taken on the north edge of Kelly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Buck Mule Deer

Buck Mule Deer: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Visitors

Visitors:  A lot of people have to travel 1400 miles (or more) to see a moose. I typically see them 14 miles from the front door. This afternoon, two were 14 feet from the door.

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November 3, 2016 –  Thursday 

Frosted Leaves

Frosted Leaves: Temperatures started out in the low 20s today. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Custer and Mt. Moran

Custer and Mt. Moran: I had originally hoped to get a shot or two of Washakie’s broken antler, but ended up in the Ditch Creek area where I found Custer grazing in the sagebrush along with three other bulls. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Custer Crossing

Custer Crossing: I occasionally take people on tours, only to find the wildlife far out in the fields or sage flats. Other days, they are next to, or on the roads as seen here. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Afternoon in Jackson Hole: Jumping Buck Sequence

Jumping Buck Sequence: (Click the image to see it much larger) On my morning trip, I saw where Custer and the other bull bedded down. I decided to do a quick trip out to see if they were up and grazing again. I found this young buck ready to jump the fence on the north side of Kelly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Lone Moose

Lone Moose: This nice fella was standing on Ditch Creek road after drinking from the little puddle.  I found Custer and the other bull, but they never got up. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Young Buck Portrait

Young Buck Portrait: While waiting for the bulls to stand up, I spent some time in Kelly, taking a variety of “grunge” shots. This buck was milling around near the road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Washakie

Washakie: This stoic old bull lost one of his antlers last week. I’ve seen him a few times from a distance. Late today, I hiked out to get a few shots. Originally, I thought he broke the antler off below the paddles, but it appears the complete antler snapped off at his skull. Normally, he shouldn’t lose his pair of antlers until mid-December. I watched him thrash around on several trees, as if trying to remove the other one. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Washakie

Washakie:Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Town Square Lights

Town Square Lights: When driving through town, I noticed the lights on the Square. Crews are apparently testing them before the Thanksgiving weekend lighting ceremony. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

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November 2, 2016 –  Wednesday 

Morning Clouds

Morning Clouds: Like many days, it depends on where you are in the valley whether you see blue sky or thick fog. Town and river bottoms were socked in, plus there was a log hanging cloud in front of the Teton range. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Cottonwoods

Cottonwoods: Taken along the Gros Ventre River. I hiked around looking for moose, but they seemingly disappeared there. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Moose on the Move

Moose on the Move: This moose was moving across the sage flats near Ditch Creek Road. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Sparring Bull Moose

Sparring Bull Moose: These two bulls were in Ditch Creek. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Sparring Bull Moose

Sparring Bull Moose: Same moose. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Foggy Morning at the Miller House

Foggy Morning at the Miller House: I heard a report of a few Bighorns on Miller Butte, so I did a quick drive down the National Elk Refuge Road. Fog was just pulling back from the historic old Miller House. I didn’t see any Bighorns this morning. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Sleeping Indian

Sleeping Indian: Also taken on the road through the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Cherry Picker

Cherry Picker: Taken on the Jackson Town Square…not much context to go with this shot! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Cherry Picker

Cherry Pickers: Much better! This crew is stringing Holiday lights on the ever growing Spruce trees. The four antler arches are already fully wrapped with LED lights. There will be a Holiday Lighting Ceremony on Friday evening following Thanksgiving. The lights remain on the Square throughout most of the Winter. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

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November 1, 2016 –  Tuesday (Please note: This is the initial post for the month. I will be adding to it almost daily during the entire month)

Three Moose

For most purposes, you couldn’t tell this morning from yesterday morning, but when it comes to Grand Teton National Park, things are much different! Why? Two of the major arteries are now gated and locked for the season! The Inner Park Road (Teton Park Road) from Taggart Lake Trail Head Parking Area to just south of Signal Mountain is closed to vehicle traffic for the season. Likewise, the Moose-Wilson Road from Death Canyon Road to the Granite Canyon Trail Head Parking Area is closed to vehicle traffic.

The good news!….Antelope Flats Road typically doesn’t close until sometime in mid-December. That gives visitors/photographers access to some great wildlife viewing opportunities in the south end of the park—plus access to the Mormon Row barns and homesteads.

The three Moose above were taken next to the steamy warm water downstream from Kelly Warm Springs. The light was an eerie color to start the morning. If you are a “Shane” fan, the Starrett Homestead location is only a half mile downstream from where I capture this shot! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

A Drink from the Springs

A Drink from the Springs: I photographed this young bull numerous times in October…even on the day he snapped off part of his antler. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Small Bulls

Small Bulls: Taken near the Kelly Warm Springs. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Morning Moose

Morning Moose: Taken at the intersection of the East Boundary Road and Ditch Creek Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens: A few weeks ago, I purchased a brand new Tamron 150-600 G2 (Generation 2) lens from Perfect Light Camera. I was getting inconsistent results with it (not consistent AF throughout the zoom length). Tamron paid to ship the lens to the repair shop and back. After the light cleared the eastern mountains, and after the two moose above bedded down for the morning, I did some AF Fine Tune adjustments on all three bodies using a Lens Align. After the Tamron repair, the lens is now staying “neutrally” focusing throughout the zoom. I headed north to look for some new subjects!

Blondie

Blondie: I got lucky and stumbled upon this beautiful adult Grizzly sow at the North end of the park. Since we are in the midst of the World Series, I’ll say I was “o for 3” on my attempts to find this bear on prior trips. I missed her two times by about 30 minutes and wasn’t even close on the third trip. Today, however, I hit it right! Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Blondie

Blondie: I was able to get shots with all three of my bodies today. (D5, D500, & D810) This sow spent most of the time with her head down and digging for food sources. It was just a matter of waiting for her to raise her head.  Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Blondie

Blondie: This sow has a number, but I spend so little time with them, I can’t recall it. She has two ear tags, but no collar. It’s easy to see how she got her nickname. A friend told me today she is roughly 9 years old. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Gray Jay

Gray Jay: Taken near the lake in the Colter Bay complex.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Resting FoxThe South Entrance into Yellowstone closes on November 7, 2016. All roads except the road between the North Entrance and the Northeast entrance close at 8:00 am. This last week of Yellowstone access can be rewarding, though most services and facilities are closed. There are few tourists, less rangers, and wildlife can be more active in preparation for Winter. This also applies to Grand Teton National Park.

Additional Related Links:

November Comments: Landscape opportunities will be “limited” for a while—at least compared to the summer and fall seasons. Most of the leaves have fallen and everything looks rather bland. (There’s another “Super Moon” this month for the stargazers) I think November is a seriously overlooked and underrated month. Wildlife is much more visible and exposed in November than almost any other month! Most people will see dozens of moose in one morning (assuming they get up early). Elk will be migrating to the Refuge. Deer and Bison are usually visible in the southern areas of the park. Bighorns will be moving onto Miller Butte by Thanksgiving. Swans will be migrating through the valley soon. Beavers will be busy gathering willows for the winter months. Foxes and Coyotes will be seen with their full winter coats.

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MikeMost openings are available in November. Just ask!

Teton Photo Excursions. I offer LICENSED One-On-One Photography Excursions in Grand Teton National Park, with emphasis on helping clients with their camera and gear. Each trip is customized based on client needs and requests. (Note: It says One-On-One, but I take two people on a trip for the same price). We find some of the best locations for scenic photography, and look for wildlife in the process.  Check out some of the Client Comments. (Teton Photo Excursions is an Authorized Permittee of the National Park Service)

 

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Comments (15)

  1. ED

    Thanks for all your great photos & info on each one.. I always enjoy seein’ what Mike is up to in the Tetons.. Your insight & excellent photos help me w/ my photo work w/ my Nikon & Tamron 150-600mm lens.. Wish I could afford a new G2 right now, but will have to do w/ the old one.. I have one of the first ones out.. Thanks Mike, keep up the great work.. ~Ed~

  2. Ed, The G2 has numerous small improvements which added up enough to make me pull the trigger on the purchase. Even so, I didn’t feel like I was missing good shots while the new one was being adjusted…I just kept using the original lens that has served me well over the past couple of years. Cheers! Mike Jackson

  3. ED

    Thanks for your reply Mike.. Do you feel that you can zoom all the way to 600mm & get the same sharpness & detail that you get thru out the range of the Tamron lens. I’m not so sure that mine is as great at max. I probably need to calibrate mine, as it’s never been done.. Gettin’ up there in years also, so eyes aren’t as great either.. But overall I’m very pleased that I waited for nearly 6 months for the Tamron.. Will be savin’ for a G2, or whatever is next in line.. Have a great day of adventures in the Tetons.
    ~Ed Clark~

  4. Jackie Ireland

    Thanks for sharing Mike, Awesome photo’s.

  5. Larry Becker

    I see that your using the new G2 lens now. Is the IQ much better over the older model?

  6. Hi Larry, After the new G2 came back from Tamron Service, it has worked much better. Nothing like a little TLC from a tech to get it right. I have been easing into the new lens, using it on subjects that I know I can recreate if I need it. I never get 100% tack sharp images from any lens or any body, so I spend a lot of time trying to figure out if the failures are a result of pilot error (me vibrating the lens, or poor focus point selection, etc) or if the lens has anything to do with it. At 600mm, it doesn’t take much vibration to soften the image. It seems to focus faster than the original 150-600 and it has a “better build” feel to it. The collar is better and smoother, but still not perfect.

  7. Hi Mike, met you while photographing Moose at the campground this past September. I was the guy wearing the Marine Corps baseball hat and shooting the Nikon D4S and Nikon 600mm wrapped in camo. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me and I met several other people up in Yellowstone who also knew you. They said you were a great guy and I must admit, I agree.

    Question: I also use the LensAlign and FocusTune to keep my lenses/bodies paired up for sharpness. My D810 has some pretty aggressive +/- values in the AF Fine Tune with all my lenses. My D4S has minimal adjustments and with the Nikon 600 it needed no adjustment. If you are shooting the D810, have you found this to be true for you also or do I possibly need to send the body into Nikon Service for adjustment?

    Thank you for your time and I enjoy reading your blog.

  8. Terry, as long as your lens and body combination will Fine Tune within the +20 and -20 range, I wouldn’t send it in. I bought a D7000 a long time ago and it didn’t START getting sharp until +20. I got my money back on that one and waited for a new model. My problem with the Tamron G2 was the fact it AF Fine Tuned at 600mm at -14 but was good at 150mm at -4. That was too much variation…I can handle one or two points from one end to the other. The same lens will not have the same AF Fine Tune value on every body, though it might become apparent the specific lens either back focuses or front focuses. The 200-500mm on my D5 didn’t need any adjustment, but it does on other bodies. Cheers! MJ

  9. Mike,
    Great job. Just to let you know, https://www.bestofthetetons.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=25961&action=edit, on this page goes to a sign in sheet for the blog. Take care. And appreciate your craft.
    John

  10. Mike, thanks for the reply. Just did firmware updates on both my D4S and D810. Weather is supposed to improve by this afternoon so I plan on doing more LensAlign tests with both bodies. The D4S is pretty rock solid but the D810 did take almost maximum +/- AF adjustments with several lenses that I used. As our winter birds are starting to show up in the Pacific Northwest, I need to get my gear setup for some serious shooting.

  11. Hi John, Thanks! I’ll fix it. I apparently copied the link while in ADMIN mode.

  12. Terry, I almost always need to do the AF adjustments, then shoot for a while and tweak them. It seems to take me a while to dial them in, and get comfortable knowing they are as sharp as I can make them.

  13. Tris Dunn

    Mike — Many many thanks for addressing the Peer Mentors Group of the Teton Photography Club! I so appreciated your sharing valuable tips on photographing wildlife.

  14. Trevor

    Mike, LOVE your web site and visit at least once a day. You are very generous to share the wealth of knowledge you have amassed over the years, THANK YOU. Sorry about the Mule deer on Antelope Island. I live just down road from Antelope Island and I am very familiar with it and the animals. I have noticed that the Mule Deer make there appearance on the north end of the island in September, and this year I was thinking they would stay up north because the southern half of the island burnt over the summer due to lighting. Side note the roof of the Garr Ranch was blown off in September during a rare extremely strong storm which also brought a tornado to South Ogden.

  15. Hi Trevor, thanks for the info. I remembered the barn roof being in place the last time I was there, and a couple of owls nesting in one of the gables. Not now! I figured would eventually find the deer, but it might take several different visits. I only had one morning, so my odds weren’t great. It appeared there were several other people driving around looking for them, but I never saw anyone taking photos towards the pastures. Maybe next time. I came home with a bunch of images at Garr Ranch, so I was not disappointed in any way. Happy to see your comment! MJ

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