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Eight Seconds of Fury

Brahma Bull Riding: “The most dangerous 8 seconds in sports”

The American Flag

If you have them, jump into your Wranglers, put on your Tony Lamas, snap up your long-sleeved shirt, lock in your silver belt buckle and top everything off with your best Stetson. Then head to the Fairgrounds for a night of fast and unpredictable action. The Jackson Hole Rodeo has been thrilling tourists each Wednesday and Saturday for decades. If you can can’t make to either of those nights, Friday night rodeos have been added to the lineup.

Little Bull Rider

Each week, little tikes are initiated to the cowboy tradition and develop the skills for a lifetime of rodeo action. Bear Emlyn isn’t in Kindergarten yet, but he’s already on a bull! The Rodeo way of life starts early for some!

Sequence 1

Each cowboy that gets on the back of a one ton Brahma Bull knows they are taking an eight second ride that can possibly kill them—or cripple them or life. No two rides are the same, but they are all potentially dangerous. These athletes “cowboy up” and put it all on the line, while us spectators do just that from the safety of the bleachers.

Sequence 2

To “earn the points”, a bull rider must hang on for a full eight seconds without touching the bull or the hardware with his free hand. If they hang on for the full eight seconds, judges give them style points based on a 100 point system. The action of the bull can augment the score, with a good ride in the high 70’s.

Sequence 3

When things start going bad, they can go really bad in a split second. Landon Smith’s ride looked great for the first few seconds, but as the bull spun to its left, Land began to lean to the right and it was all downhill from there.

Sequence 4

Judges, rodeo clowns and other rodeo officials scamper up a fence as a raging bull approaches. By this time, I am sure Landon knew his ride would never reach 8 seconds.

Sequence 5

“Survival mode” kicks in.

Sequence 6

In real time, this sequence happened over a period of only a few seconds. I’m sure it felt like slow motion to Landon.

Sequence 7

This is a place where no cowboy ever wants to be.

Sequence 8

The job of the rodeo clowns is to distract the bull once the cowboy becomes defenseless, but they have no control of where the back legs of a bucking Brahma bull will land. I this shot, the back legs of the bull are pushing the Landon to the ground.

Sequence 9

The grimace on Landon’s face tells of the pain he must have been feeling at that split second. All of the bull riders wear a protective vest and many wear helmets during their bull ride. Luckily, the bull’s hooves landed on the ground and not in the middle Landon’s back, but it appears there was plenty of weight pressing down on his lower back and buttocks. Interestingly, he’s still hanging on!

Sequence 10

Chaos—captured a 12 frames per second!

Sequence 11

1/12th second later.

Sequence 12

Still not out of danger!

Sequence 13

Any doctor or E.M.T. would tell someone that just experienced a back injury event to “stay still”. In that moment, a bull rider’s instinct would be to attempt to protect himself from additional danger. After he saw the danger was gone, he collapsed to the ground.

EMT

An E.M.T team is always on hand at a rodeo. They were quick to respond to this event. The arena was quiet for around 10 minutes.

Walk Off

Cowboys are tough. Landon walked off on his own power as the arena cheered and the announcer wished him well.

Jerry Jeff Walker – Ro Deo Deo Cowboy

You might enjoy Jerry Jeff’s 1977 song about bull riding! Click the link above, or read the lyrics here!

Saddle Bronc

If you were to do an Internet search for “The most dangerous 8 seconds in sports”, you’ll find a page or so of references to Brahma bull riding. Even if you could come up with a few other dangerous sports, like cliff diving, the photos on this page should convince you to put bull riding right up there with anything else you might consider. It’s bad enough to think the bull is doing it’s best to buck the rider off his back, but knowing the same bull is plenty willing to turn and gore the helpless cowboy puts this sport in a category all by itself.


A Photographer at the Rodeo

I mentioned earlier that the JH Rodeo is held during the summer months on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. I like to go early in the summer while the days are longest and light is best for photographing the first round of the bull riding. The Fairgrounds Arena has new lights, but they are not strong enough for most photographer’s needs once the sun goes down. I have three camera bodies, but I immediately grab my Nikon D5. It can shoot at 12 frames per second, and it can handle high ISO speeds much better than my other two cameras.

On the positive side, rodeo photos (and western photos in general) can handle more “grain” than some other genres of photography. It’s almost expected!

You can get all of the dates and prices for entry into the JH Rodeo at their site:  Jackson Hole Rodeo — Where the West is still Wild! I never hesitate to ask for my “senior discount”! More importantly, you probably don’t want to pay for the better seats under the canopy and at midfield. General admission tickets will allow you to move around based on the event. Unlike the NFR rodeos in the huge arenas, this is a small, intimate rodeo. You’ll be close to the action anywhere you stand or sit.

Camera Settings: For freezing action, I like to keep my shutter speeds at 1/1000th to 1/1250th second. I’d love to keep my aperture at F/8, and I’d love to keep my ISO speed at ISO 400 or less. At the evening and night rodeo, that’s probably not going to happen! There will be compromises! For example, the Brahma bull ride shots on this page were captured at 1/800th of a second, wide open at F/5.6, and the Auto ISO varied between ISO 5000 and ISO 6400. By the time, the cowboy was walking off the arena, the Auto ISO had jumped to ISO 11,400. I photographed these images with a Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, using a tripod with VC OFF.

American Flag Blur: For this photo, I was set up on a leveled tripod at 1/13th Second, at F/11 and Auto ISO at 125. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, using a tripod with VC OFF.

Bronc Rider Blur: For this photo, I was set up on a leveled tripod at 1/20th Second, at F/6.3and Auto ISO at 560. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, using a tripod with VC OFF.


Other Posts of Interest

Another Day at the Office! An unexpected broncing horse ride.

Rodeo – Saturday Night Action, Jackson Hole Style!

Wild West in Jackson Hole: Cowboys, Wranglers and Horses


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If you are going to be in Jackson Hole and would like a On-On-One Photography Tour in Grand Teton Natioal Park, check out this option!

Teton Photo Excursions

 

Teton Valley Hot Air Balloon Rally

Mark your calendar, get up early, and head over Teton Pass for next year’s Teton Valley Balloon Rally. That’s my suggestion!

I was there early for the 36th annual event, typically held around July 1st each year. It’s a heck of a deal! Pay $5 to park, then walk around almost unrestricted! I had visions of being roped off, away from the balloons, but those visions were wrong!. Onlookers are rewarded with an intimate experience. Spectators can walk among the balloon crews and watch the balloons being unfolded, filled with air, and then raised to the sky via hot air.

Unrolling the Balloon

I was at the fairgrounds site long before daylight…too early! I’ve seen photos from the Albuquerque event where balloons were being filled during the pre-dawn period—lit by the fire of the propane jets. For this event, most balloons are filled between 6:00 am and 6:45 am. The balloon above was being unpacked prior to the 6:00 am pilot’s meeting.

Take a Ride! Entry to the parking area is $5, but if you want to take a Hot Air Balloon Ride, get there early and bring about $300 per person. Riders help ready the balloons, as seen above.

Balloon Interior

Balloon are temporarily filled with cool air via large fans. During that stage, all of the crews allowed photographers to shoot into the balloon.

Balloon Interior

This is definitely not something I see every day!

Adding the Heat

It’s cold a first light here in the mountains. The blast of warm air from the jets raises the balloon from the ground and emanates to chilly onlookers.

Balloons

This year, there were nine colorful Hot Air Balloons registered to fly out of the event. An additional couple of balloons took off just to the south for a total 11 balloons in the air.

Take Off

There were a lot of people at the event, but it didn’t feel crowded. Following the National Anthem and a short intro from an announcer, balloons began to lift off with Lynard Skinner’s Sweet Home Alabama echoing across the valley.

Hot Air Balloons

The Fairgrounds are located just to the south of the Driggs airport. There are nine balloons in this scene, with two more readying to lift off. Gentle southerly winds pushed them north with chase crews not far behind.

Teton Valley Hot Air Balloon Ralley

This is one of the last balloons to take off. Notice the Grand in the distance and spectators right in the middle of the action.

Camera Gear

I carried two cameras and two lenses for the event. A Nikon 24-70mm lens was paired with a Nikon D5 (full frame) and a Nikon 14-24mm lens on a Nikon D810 (full frame), leaving the tripod in the truck. I’d use the same gear if going back.

Balloons

 Up, Up, and Away! See you there next year!

Jackson Hole’s Great Solar Eclipse!

A Page of Resources and Links

August 21st will be the big day for this year’s Solar Eclipse—and Jackson Hole is directly in the totality path!  The Park Service is preparing for the event with extra staff, one way roads, camping and parking restrictions and so forth. Expect bumper to bumper traffic and all kinds of “issues”. Even with a few potential logistical hassles, this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for most of us.

Luckily, I live in the path so I don’t have much invested in the eclipse. I don’t have to gamble at all! Others will have paid premium prices to be in Jackson Hole for the event—with no guarantee of clear skies. Heavy clouds, and even smoke from area fires, are always a possibility. Barring clouds or smoke, onlookers can expect some of the least polluted skies in the country. Plenty of areas of the country will be in the path of the Solar Eclipse but Jackson Hole will be a hot ticket! Remember—it will be August. Traditionally it is a very hot month in most parts of the US. Jackson Hole’s cool weather and clear skies make it a premier location.

NOAA Map

NOAA: Ready, Set, Eclipse: As the map indicates, JH is predicted to have a good chance of clear skies for the Eclipse in August (Historical Averages). Viewers originally planning on being in Oregon might rethink their choices. The “clear skies” gamble is much higher there.

JH Total Eclipse Guide

Jackson Hole Total Eclipse Guide

Local photographer and author, Aaron Linsdau, produced this book available in the local bookstores, from Aaron, and through most online book outlets. The link will take you directly to Amazon, where you can order it directly. If you are coming here, I’d suggest spending $10. You can also purchase the book as an eBook through Amazon.

Other Books

Besides Aaron’s localized book on the subject, there are many more. Amazon has 86 pages of book results for “solar eclipse” . Click the link and pick one or more!

A Couple of Comments

I’ve never tried to photograph a solar eclipse, so I am not going to try to tell you how to photograph one! This page is a collection of links and resources that do that job. Check out the various sites listed below, and by the time of the eclipse in August, you should know exactly where to be and how to get the shots safely!

I’m not 100% positive I will try to photograph this eclipse, but I definitely want to experience it! That will be one day of the year that I won’t be offering a tour! (Teton Photo Excursions)

If you are going to give it a try, make sure to purchase your filters, eyeglasses, and safety gear sooner than later.

As I mentioned earlier, logistics will be an issue! Hotels have been booked for a year. Campgrounds will be full. Roads will be jammed. People will be IN their chosen spot early, early in the morning—creating enforcement issues for the Park Service for out of bounds camping and off road parking. Plan ahead, get there early and show some patience for everyone else!

Want a Chuckle? While at our yearly CUA permit holders meeting a few weeks ago, one of the permit holders mentioned they had booked a wedding at Schwabacher Landing for the day and hour of the solar eclipse. They plan on bringing buses full of attendees down to the parking area for the wedding ceremony. I am guessing there will be vehicles parked on both sides of the gravel road from the highway to the parking area from 3:00 am on. The person at the Park Service that books wedding permits must have been “asleep at the wheel” when they issued that permit. Parking and turnarounds at Schwabacher Landing is difficult on any day of the summer!

If you are anticipating including the Grand Peak under the eclipse, you’ll need to be in Idaho. Prime spots there will likely be a zoo! Just warning you! Totality will be at mid-morning and will last only 2 minutes and change if directly under the center of the path. I’ll fill in the details, but be aware that the moon and sun will be at roughly 45° up at totality. You’ll be shooting essentially UP, so getting anything in the foreground will mean you are using a wide angle lens (and the moon/sun will be small), or you will be using a telephoto lens and will not be able to include anything in the foreground. If you are focused on the pair, you’ll likely be at infinity on the lens, knowing the moon will be roughly 235,000 miles away. Anything that you might be able to include in the foreground on a telephoto lens won’t be in focus.

Aaron’s book mentions you will need photos with 9 stops of light variances. That will take some pre-planning and practice knowing you only have a little over 2 minutes of totality.

NASA

Another NASA Image

Path

Eclipse: Who? What? Where? When? and How? | NASA

Planning a Lunar Eclipse shot  | The Photographer’s Ephemeris:

Total Solar Eclipse of 2017  | NASA

Total Solar Eclipse 2017 – Path Through the United States | Eclipse2017.org

Total Solar Eclipse 2017 – Maps of the Path| Eclipse2017.org

Best places to view Total solar eclipse | GreatAmerican Eclipse

Map of Total Solar Eclipse Path | APOD:

National Parks and the Eclipse Path | NASA

Photographing a Solar Eclipse

How to Photograph the Sun  | B&H Photo: This page is loaded with important SAFETY information.

Eclipse MagaMovie

Mark Your Calendars: North American Solar Eclipse 2017  | B&H Photo:

B&H Photo Eclipse Tools, Filters, Safety Products | B&H Photo:

How to Photograph a Solar Eclipse | MrEclipse.com

How to Photograph a Solar Eclipse | PhotographyLife.com

How to Photograph a Solar Eclipse |  Nikon USA

How To Photograph The Solar Eclipse |  David Reneke

How to Photograph a Solar Eclipse | B&H Photo

Total Eclipse Photography: Eclipse2017.org

Photograph the 2017 Solar Eclipse Like a Pro | Space.com

Eclipse 2016: How to photograph the solar eclipse |Mirror.co.uk

How to Photograph a Solar EclipseSkyandTelescope.com

Observing and Photographing the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse | Astropix.com

Photographing Solar Eclipse | Photo.net Forums

Eclipse Photography | NASA

How To Photograph A Solar Eclipse | Outdoor Photographer

How to Photograph the 2017 Solar Eclipse: Gear List | PhotographyTalk.com

Smartphone Photography of the Eclipse | NASA

 A Total Guide to Totality: Solar Eclipse | Canon DLC

How To Photograph The Total Solar Eclipse | Adorama.com

How To Successfully & Safely Photograph a Solar Eclipse  | Contrastly.com

Oregon  Total Solar Eclipse; Here’s How to | OregonPhotoSupply.com

Solar Eclipse Photography: How to Safely Get the Shot | ImprovePhotography.com

Photographing the Eclipse – Planning | OregonExposures.com

Photographing Solar Eclipses | Eclipse Chasers

How to Photograph a Solar Eclipse | TimeandDate.com

How to photograph the solar eclipse 2017 | Komando.com

Photographing a Solar Eclipse | Tatra Photography

Total Eclipse Photography | Jeff Berkes Photography

Photographing the August 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse | Ascrosociety.org

How can I photograph a total solar eclipse? | NASA

Photographing the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse | Hudson Henry

2017 Total Solar Eclipse Guide | Time.com

How to photograph a solar eclipse | USATODAY.com

Get Ready to Photograph the Eclipse |  Lynda.com

Photographing Solar Eclipse 2017 | Tech Guru

Photographing 2017 August eclipse – what filter to use | DPReview

Photographing the total solar eclipse August 2017 | Canon

Total Solar Eclipse Photography | AstroMax.org

July 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP

“Jackson Hole is Hitting on All Cylinders!

Daily Updates Archives:
2017: 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:

Monthly Overviews for JH / GTNP .

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Click these popular pages:

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July 24th, 2017:  Monday

Luminar

Nik Collection (Google) / Luminar  (Macphun)  / KelbyOne – Training . Scott Kelby recently introduced a new Tutorial on Luminar, highlighting the major features of the program and explaining how Luminar should be able to replace the old NIK Color Efex Pro filters. Looks promising!

Upcoming Regional Events

There are always events happening in JH. Next week, we’ll start seeing activity at the Fairgrounds here in town, but there are also a few events with historic or cultural significance.

Remember the Road Closure on the Gravel Section of the Moose-Wilson Road tomorrow and Wednesday.

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July 23rd, 2017:  Sunday

Dusty Horses

Dusty Horses: Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

Today’s Events:

  • Wilson Firefighters Annual Chicken Fry Fundriser at the Stilson Parking Lot.
  • Blue Angels Air Show: Afternoon in Idaho Falls.
  • Concert in the Commons at Teton Village.
  • Art Show at Teton Village.
  • The Teton County Fair is underway. The Fair rides should be here soon, too.

Wildlife Updates: The last time I was in the area, I saw 17 Pronghorns and 20 or so Bison in the sage flats around Kelly and the Mormon Row area. Also, watch for Long-billed Curlews in some of the hay fields near Kelly. I’ve had a few reports of Bald Eagles and Osprey active along the shores of Palisades Lake in the Alpine area.

Horseback Rides:

Osprey Female & Chicks

Osprey Female & Chicks: There are three chicks in the nest. Until today, I had only seen two. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

Osprey Feeding Chicks

Osprey Feeding Chicks: Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

Chick Moving Sticks

Chicks Moving Sticks: It’s fairly common for a single stick to be “in the way”. Today, the oldest looking chick cleaned up a few of the loose ends for me!  Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

Male Osprey

Male Osprey: Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

Robertson Barn

South Park Barn: Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

Teton Photo Excursions

If you are considering a trip in September, I’d definitely recommend booking it NOW. Some of those slots are filling fast. There are numerous openings in July and August. For inquiries, send an email to info@tetonimages.com.

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July 22nd, 2017:  Saturday

Trail Horses

Wranglers: I spent the afternoon “doing the western thing”. This one was processed in Lightroom, adding a few Presets to give it a sepia tone. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

Trail Horses

Trail Horses: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

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July 21st, 2017:  Friday

Morning Moose

Morning Moose: Captured at Blacktail Ponds. I went there for sunrise, but spotted these two off to my left. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-80mm Lens.

Morning in the Tetons

Morning in the Tetons: Taken at Blacktail Ponds. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-80mm Lens.

Young Bull Moose

Young Bull Moose: Taken at Blacktail Ponds. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

Morning Flowers

Morning Flowers: Taken along the Moose-Wilson Road near the R Park. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180mm Zoom Micro Lens.

Morning Flowers

Morning Flowers: Single Capture with a Micro Lens. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180mm Zoom Micro Lens.

Morning Flower

Morning Flowers: This shot was “focus stacked” using four different images. Click the link for more info. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180mm Zoom Micro Lens.

Osprey

Osprey: Captured along the Snake River.  Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

Osprey

Osprey: Same landing…a split second later. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

Yesterday, I mentioned using my D500 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. I had not been fired up about the results when shooting across the sagebrush to a moose far in the distance. Micheal Seiler wrote back with this info:

Heat Waves: Comments from Michael Seiler

We are shooting regularly at 900mm and even at 1530mm (with 1.7x TC) and 1800mm (with 2.0 TC) when the situation allows it.

In my experience, the reason for any of those shots being not as sharp as one would wish is atmospheric turbulence due to heat differences between ground and air. Also called atmospheric scintillation and this is also the reason why the stars twinkle.

The longer the optical path to the subject, the more this introduces distortion, which explains your observation. When the sun is up, this seriously diminishes your chances of getting a decent shot, and that is regardless of whether you are shooting over grass or snow. But the occasional shot can be sharp, in particular if it is cloudy or there is some wind. Shooting over large bodies of water can also help.

That being said, at these focal lengths you really also need to have perfect support and vibration reduction, but yes, it can work and you can get fantastic results, so keep trying.

All the best,

Michael Seiler

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July 20th, 2017:  Thursday

Remember the Road Closure on the gravel section of the Moose-Wilson Road on the 25th and 26th!

Osprey in Flight

Osprey in Flight: Captured along the Snake River. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

Osprey Female and Chick

Osprey Female and Chick: Along the Snake River south of Jackson. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

Osprey Female and Chick

Osprey Female and Chick: There maybe be more, but this nest has at least two chicks.  Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

D500/Tamron 150-600mm G2 Comments: When these are paired, the 1.5 crop factor yields a 900mm effective zoom. I can remember using it earlier while photographing Moose far out in the sage and I never felt they were acceptably sharp. Lately, I have been giving it another try on subjects that are quite a bit closer (like the badgers, grizzlies, and osprey) and have been much happier with the results.

Badger Family

Badger Family: June 25, 2017

Summer Musings: I was noticing my deserted Hummingbird feeders this year. In many years, I’m set up with multiple strobes and a few flower pots with the relatively consistent buzzing sounds all day. It’s not a Hummingbird year! And then, I think of the other great opportunities I’ve had this year to offset the Hummingbirds. I was only a few feet from the birth of a baby Moose. I spent quite a bit of time near a Fox den, and later a Badger den. I managed to get a few quality experiences with the baby Grizzlies. The Northern Flickers returned to the nesting cavity for the second year in a row. Last week, I was only 20 yards from a Burrowing Owl den. Earlier in the year, we had good photo opportunities with the Great Gray Owls that were pushed closer to the roads by the heavy snow. Year to year, some wildlife experiences can be repeated, but others may not happen again for years.

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July 19th, 2017:  Wednesday

Upcoming Road Closure: MOOSE, WY- To accommodate a dust abatement application, a brief travel closure will be in place for about 48 hours, beginning 4 a.m. Tuesday, July 25, on the unpaved section of the Moose-Wilson Road in Grand Teton National Park. The road will reopen by 8 a.m. Thursday, July 27.

Road Closure : Manhunt in Progress

Pilgrim Creek Road is closed as part of a search effort for a murder suspect. JH News & Guide: Murder suspect’s car found near Moran.

Osprey Female

Osprey Female: This nest is near Teton Pines subdivision on the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC ON.

Osprey Male

Osprey Male: There is an Osprey nest near the road just north of the GTNP entry station on the Moose-Wilson Road. This raptor was on a dead standing tree across the road. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

Moose-Wilson Road: Lately, I have been spending my time along the Moose-Wilson Road looking for the big bull Moose I saw a few days ago. There is also a smaller bull in the area, along with the possibility of a couple of cows and calves. The odds of seeing any of them isn’t great—knowing the trees and willows are so thick along the road. There have been Elk (mostly cows) grazing along the roadway near the John Dodge subdivision and there has been a Bald Eagle on the top of one of the power lines near Teton Village. Early in the morning, there are usually two or three Hot Air Balloons rising above the valley floor. I’ve heard a few random reports of Great Gray Owls on the road, along with a very random sightings of a Cinnamon Black Bear. I know there are a few foxes along the road, but haven’t had chances to photograph them. Additional Moose have been spotted near Sawmill Pond and Moose Pond.

Gas $$$$: Wow! I spent over $300 on gas last month! Going north is okay when there are multiple Grizzly sows and cubs, but they haven’t been too active lately. Lately, I have been staying closer to home and checking out other opportunities. I like the variety!

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July 18th, 2017:  Tuesday

Hardiman Barns

Hardiman Barns: You’ll see these cylinders of hay all around the valley. The irrigation ditch that runs through our property has been shut off for a week or so for “haying”. These barns are in the small town of Wilson. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC ON.

Moose Cow

Moose Cow: Captured on Mosquito Creek Road, south of Wilson. I hand held this one at 1/160th second, F/7.1,  600mm and ISO 5600 using my Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600 G2 in VC Mode 3. Click the link above to see a Google Map of Mosquito Creek Road. The road is roughly four miles south of Wilson on Fall Creek Road. You can drive 6.2 miles before coming to a “Road Ends Ahead” sign. The 1825-1840 Mountain Men and trappers described Mosquito Creek / Mosquito Pass in their journals as a gentle incline, well worn by game and Native Americans. The creek tumbles down the canyon next to the road, but isn’t exactly easy to get to on foot. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC ON.

Road Closure

Pilgrim Creek Road is closed as part of a search effort for a murder suspect. JH News & Guide: Murder suspect’s car found near Moran.

 

Wildlife Sightings: Bison and Pronghorns seem to be staying north, with only a few in the south part of the park. Bison often move south in August for the rut. I’ve heard a couple of sightings of 399 and her cubs but nothing of Blondie and her cubs. A few people are randomly seeing black bears and an occasional Great Gray Owl. Moose are apparently deeper in the willows lately. Elk bulls are looking good, but you have to be out early and late to have a chance to see them.

Wildflowers: There are still lots of wildflowers, but you might have to go higher to see them. Check out Teton Pass and Signal Mountain, or take a hike to Phelps Lake.

Night Skies

Night Time Photography: The next “new moon” is July 23, but you can get dark skies now. I went out Sunday night in hopes of seeing Northern Lights, but never saw them. There are several apps for your phone or pads, like Aurora Forecast, that will alert you where there are good chances to see Northern Lights. On your laptop or desktop, check out : Northern Lights Forecast – The Aurora Service.

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    July 17th, 2017:  Monday

    Opening Ceremony

    Opening Ceremony at the JH Rodeo: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

    8 Second Bull Ride

    New Feature Post: Eight Seconds of Fury. As promised, I just uploaded a new Feature Post showing this cowboys harrowing experience on the back of a Brahma bull. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

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    July 16th, 2017:  Sunday

    Trailer On Mormon Row

    Trailer On Mormon Row: For the Mormon Row photographers, you might need to know there is a construction trailer parked in front of the John Moulton Barn. Nikon D500 and Nikon 28-300mm Lens.

    Mormon Row

    Moulton Barn: With a little “in the field” cropping, you can keep leave the trailer out of the scene. In most years, restoration projects begin in August. Nikon D500 and Nikon 28-300mm Lens.

    Hay Bales

    Hay Bales: These bales are resting in a pasture on the West side of Jackson. Nikon D500 and Nikon 28-300mm Lens.

    Hay Bales Pano

    Hay Bales: This is a stitched pano from five horizontal captures. (Click this image to see it much larger) Nikon D500 and Nikon 28-300mm Lens.

    Gros Ventre Scouting: My aim today was to hike around in the river bottom along the Gros Ventre looking for bull Moose. I hiked about a mile of the river where I’ve seen early season Moose, but only saw tracks.

    Wyoming Flag

    Wyoming Flag: I went to the Saturday night Rodeo at the Fairgrounds last night with intentions of capturing long exposure action shots. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

    Saddle Bronc

    Saddle Bronc: Slow shutter speed captures usually yield a very low ratio of keepers, but a good one shows the fast action and potential dangers in a way the frozen photo seldom portray. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

    Bull Rider

    Bull Rider: Landon Smith held on for around 6 seconds of an 8 second ride before falling and being stomped by this large Brahma bull. Luckily, Landon walked off. Check back! I hope to do a page showing the full sequence! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

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    July 15th, 2017:  Saturday

    Pick Up Men

    Pick Up Men: I went to the JH Rodeo again tonight…lots of photos! Check back! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

    Osprey Landing

    Osprey Landing: Garage sales took me down the Snake River Canyon this morning. There’s a big construction project between town and the first Snake River Bridge, but delays weren’t too bad. Watch for the numerous Osprey and Eagle nests along the Snake River. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm Lens.

    Osprey Adults

    On the Nest: I got to watch the male bring in two fish this morning. I had to wait over an hour to get the second opportunity, but he came in at an odd angle. I got mostly his back side. It was anticlimactic—but actually a typical wildlife photography experience. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm Lens.

    Lume Cube at B&HLast night, I grabbed one of my new Lume Cubes as I headed out to photo the Mormon Row barns (photos in yesterdays post). As I was walking up Mormon Row in the near darkness, I spotted a large black shape just off the road. It was a large Bison bull! There have been four or five of them in the area, so even though he moved away from me, I was quite aware of the possibility there could be more. I used the Lume Cube to shine across the sagebrush to make sure one wasn’t in the area. Lume Cubes have 10 brightness settings available via one of the two buttons, plus an option to control the cube from an iPhone using a slider. Additionally, the intensity of each Lume Cube can be controlled through the iPhone app via Bluetooth to a distance of about 30 feet. These things are VERY BRIGHT and only 1.5″ x 1.5″ x 1.5″! They can be recharged via a USB port or powered by a secondary power source the USB connection. I have another small order in the Cart at B&H for a couple of grids and CTO gels to add some additional flexibility.

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    July 14th, 2017:  Friday

    Murphy Barn

    Murphy Barn on Mormon Row: Light in this photo was supplied by a couple of vehicles on Antelope Flats Road. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

    Murphy Barn

    Murphy Barn: The glow behind the mountains are from Victor and Driggs, ID. The light on the barn was from a vehicle. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

    Moulton Barn

    Moulton Barn: Bright lights from vehicles on US Highway 89/191 lit the north side of the barn and cast a shadow on the Peach House. A passing vehicle on Antelope Flats Road lit some of the grass under the Aspens. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

    Bull Moose

    Bull Moose: Found along the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

    Luminar

    Luminar For Windows:  MacPhun Software has a beta version of Luminar available for Windows users. Click the link to download the Beta version and give it a spin!

    Just a few notes:

    • Still in Beta form. Not all of the features are in the program yet.
    • Photoshop Plug-In will be included in the final release at the end of 2017.
    • Reads most RAW files.
    • Has Layers.
    • Currently exports JPG files.
    • Has lots of very nice presets, all of which can be adjusted as saved as new presets.

    You can see the original Lightroom image below and a “single click” Luminar preset above.

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    July 13th, 2017:  Thursday

    Music On Main

    Music On Main: Concert held in the Victor, ID town park each Thursday afternoon and evening. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

    Mucis On Main

    Music On Main: Performers from Main Squeeze. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

    Featured Image

    New Feature Post: Teton Valley Hot Air Balloon Rally The event is over for this year, but after seeing the photos, you might plan on making next year’s Hot Air Balloon Rally!

    Trumpeter Swan Family

    Trumpeter Swan Family: Captured along Flat Creek on the National Elk Refuge. The family recently lost one of the Cygnets. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

    Trumpeter Swan Family

    Trumpeter Swan Family: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

    Trumpeter Swan Family

    Trumpeter Swan Family: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

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    July 12th, 2017:  Wednesday

    Burrowing Owl Adults

    Burrowing Owl Adults: I checked a few sites to try to determine the sex of the two adults I saw yesterday. The Owl Pages say, “Females are larger and heavier than males.” The smaller of these two stayed in the den with the chicks, while the larger one hung around the edges on “lookout”. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF.

    Tamron 18-400mm Lens

    New lenses are introduced almost daily anymore. Right? This new one caught my eye.

    Yesterday, I made a trip to the Idaho Falls area. I had planned on going there to do some specialized shopping (hot tub parts, refrigerator filter, shelving, etc) and to go through some of the antique stores, but I timed that trip to dovetail with the introduction of Tamron’s new ultra-telephoto, all in one zoom lens. I was able to try out the new lens for about 15 minutes.

    Tamron 18-400mm at 400mm

    Tamron 18-400mm at 400mm: On a 1.5 crop factor body like my Nikon D500, the 400mm end turns into a 600mm.

    Tamron 18-400mm at 135mm

    Tamron 18-400mm at 135mm: = 202mm on a D500. These were hand held with VC on. This lens has only one VC Mode (off/on).

    Tamron 18-400mm at 80mm

    Tamron 18-400mm at 80mm: = 120mm. 1/200th Second, F/5.6, ISO 400 Handheld with VC ON. I don’t have the specs on this lens, but it focuses darned close to the subject.

    Tamron 18-400mm Initial Comments:

    I had about 15 minutes to take photos in the parking lot at Perfect Light. I didn’t get to use it on moving subjects, but I saw photos of Burrowing Owls that Chris Balmer took the evening before—and they looked great! Apparently, the lenses begin shipping to dealers in the next 10 days or so and sell for $649. From what I could tell, this new lens may be sharper than Nikon’s 28-300mm, making it a good all around, walk around lens. I used the Nikon 28-300mm on our trip to Maui a few years ago. You can see photos on this page: Here Today, Gone to Maui! I was shooting with a Nikon D4 and the full frame Nikon 28-300mm lens, many times wishing I had longer reach. The Tamron lens is a APS-C Format (DX) lens, so if planning on using that lens, I’d opt to take the D500, with a  35 mm equivalent to 27-600mm.

    There are times in the Fall when I am hiking around the river bottoms in reconnaissance mode, looking for Moose. On those days, I like to go “light”, but I still want a camera with me in case I actually find something. I could see how this lens might replace the Nikon 28-300mm for that purpose—especially when paired with a Nikon D500. For many Nikon users (the DX crop factor group), Tamron may have hit a home run in terms of a light, sharp, and inexpensive lens.

    On a personal level, I already have a Nikon 14-24mm F/2.8, Nikon 24-70mm F/2.8, Nikon 70-200mm F/2.8, and Nikon 200-400mm F/4, plus the Tamron 150-600mm G2. This new lens overlaps much of the range I already have covered—but this new lens does it on a DX format in one lens—if I am willing to give up a couple of stops of light.

    Perfect Light Camera has quite a few of the lenses on order if you would like to buy from a home town camera shop. They were helpful for me to get my 150-600mm G2 lens replaced.

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    July 11th, 2017:  Tuesday

    Burrowing Owl Adult

    Burrowing Owl Adult: These photos were taken a few miles NW of Idaho Falls. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm Handheld, VR ON.

    Burrowing Owl Chick

    Burrowing Owl Chick: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm Handheld, VR ON.

    Burrowing Owl Six Chicks

    Burrowing Owl Six Chicks: I was hoping to get all six chicks out on the mound like the previous photo, but most of them stayed closer to the opening and behind a few stalks of grass. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

    Burrowing Owl Adult

    Burrowing Owl Adult: One of the adults stayed just off the nest atop of a clump of sagebrush. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm Handheld, VR ON.

    Burrowing Owl Adult

    Burrowing Owl Adult: Burrowing Owls are fairly small birds. The body of this one was about the size of a pigeon, with a shorter tail and longer legs. I typically have my Nikon 200-500mm lens on my D500, but after taking a few hundred shots with that lens, I switched to the Tamron 150-600 mm G2 to get the extra reach.   Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF.

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    July 10th, 2017:  Monday

    Summer Storm

    Summer Storm: When I let the dog back in last evening, I saw the skies lit up by lightning. I drove south a mile or so and set up to photograph towards the western mountains. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens

    Summer Storm

    Summer Storm: This storm was as entertaining as watching the fireworks last week. There were flashes of light almost constantly even if there wasn’t a bolt in the scene. The lights on the far right are part of the Jackson Hole High School buildings. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens

    Summer Storm

    Summer Storm: The storm cell moved south. I drove down to South Park Feed grounds and caught several impressive bolts over Munger Mountain. The Lightning Trigger caught this bolt. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens

    Young Canada Goose

    Young Canada Goose: I found two groups of Canada Geese at the R Park (Rendezvous Park) near Wilson. When I got there, they were practicing their flying skills. As I approached, they began taking baths and stretching their wings. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF.

    Young Canada Goose

    Young Canada Goose: The Gosling’s wings are not fully grown, but they are starting to resemble adults. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF.

    Young Canada Goose

    Young Canada Goose: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF.

    Wildlfowers

    Wildlfowers: Also captured at the R Park. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF.

    Wildlfowers

    Wildlfowers: Captured at 1/13th second while being jostled by the wind. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

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    July 9th, 2017:  Sunday in the Park

    Setting Full Moon

    Setting Full Moon At Snake River Overlook: The moon was setting just before we got the morning color. It could be good tomorrow! Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens

    Teton Range Pano

    Teton Range Pano: Taken at the entrance to Snake River Overlook. This shot is a stitched Pano. Click it to see it much larger. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens

    Hedrick's Pond

    Hedrick’s Pond: Water is much higher this year than in most years. Wear waders! Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens

    Bison at Cattle Guard

    Bison at Cattle Guard: I watched this bull walk across the cattle guard with no issues at all. Never seen that before! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF.

    Announcement from Perfect Light Camera and Supply: (Idaho Falls, ID)  “EXCITING NEWS!! We will be the very first dealer in the country to show the NEW Tamron 18-400 this Tuesday. DO NOT MISS our Tamron event here at Perfect Light this Tuesday July 11th from 1:00-7:30pm.  Call for details today and get registered. Totally FREE Event!!

    PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS: EF-Mount Lens/APS-C Format, 28.8-640mm (35mm Equivalent), Aperture Range: f/3.5 to f/40, Three LD and Three Aspherical Elements, HLD Autofocus Motor, VC Image Stabilization,  Moisture-Resistant Construction, Electromagnetic Diaphragm, Rounded 7-Blade Diaphragm, Compatible with TAP-in Console, Price: $649.00

    Jackson Lake

    Jackson Lake: Taken at Leek’s Marina. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF.

    Penstemon

    Penstemon: These plants are growing at the Colter Bay Marina area. Many still have buds, indicating they will be better soon. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC On.

    Buckrail Vista Pano

    Buckrail Vista Pano: Taken near Cunningham Cabin. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens

    Lupines and Vistas

    Lupines and Vistas: Stitched pano taken at Elk Ranch Flats. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens

    Barn Swallows

    Barn Swallows: Taken along Flat Creek. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm Lens, Tripod, VR OFF.

    Swan Family

    Trumpeter Swan Family: On Flat Creek. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm Lens, Tripod, VR OFF.

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    July 8th, 2017:  Saturday

    The Flag

    The Flag: I went to the JH Rodeo Saturday evening and had a great time (2000+ photos). Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

    8 Seconds

    8 Seconds: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

    Farmer's Market

    Farmer’s Market: I was prepared to get up early this morning, but the weather reports said we would have clear skies. They got it right this time! I stopped in downtown to see the first Farmer’s Market of the season. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens

    Farmers Market - East Side

    Farmers Market – East Side: There were lots of people in the Square and on the three sides of the event. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens

    Entertainer

    Entertainer: This performer has a nice, rich sound, playing on the Southeast corner of the Jackson Town Square. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens

    Art and Antique Fair

    Art and Antique Fair: This was taken yesterday afternoon at Teton Village. The art fairs, shows, and markets add a festive flavor to the summer Jackson Hole experience. I spend a lot of time in GTNP during the year. These events offer a welcome break in the action. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens

    Trumpeter Swans

    Trumpeter Swans: By the time I stopped along Flat Creek, the Swan family was moving away from the area. This pair has six Cygnets. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF.

    South Park BarnSouth Park Barn: I’ve photographed this barn from a different angle on quite a few occasions. I spent part of the morning going to local garage sales (looking for antique junk) and spotted this new angle. Obviously, it’s an active farm or ranch. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF.

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    July 7th, 2017:  Friday

    Art Fair at Miller Park

    Art Fair at Miller Park: Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens

    Weekend Activities:

    Concrete Stains

    Concrete Stains: I saw this chunk of concrete on the back of the 4H building at Miller Park. I processed it with a bit of muted blue and then added it over a photo from Oxbow Bend in 2014. I flipped it, then adjusted the opacity, along with a few NIK Color Efex filters.

    Oxbow Bend Sept. 2014

    Oxbow Bend Sept. 2014:

    Mushroom Collection Not Allowed in Grand Teton National Park : I just received this note from GTNP. However, Berries and Nut collecting is permitted in limited quantities as outlined in the GTNP Compendium.

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    July 6th, 2017:  Thursday

    News: Fire Danger Elevated to Moderate.pdf

    Public Open House to Share Info on Gros Ventre Roundabout Construction Anticipated to Begin Spring 2018: Anyone wanting to learn more about the roundabout, including construction plans, is invited to stop by the open house anytime between 5-6:30 p.m. on July 11.  National Park Service and Federal Highway Administration representatives will be available.

    Badger: I did a quick loop around Kelly, mainly looking for Badgers. I found lots of fresh diggings, but no Badgers! This one was taken a few days ago on the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF.

    Grizzlies? Seems the Grizzly action has slowed considerably. Blondie and her two cubs haven’t been seen in several weeks and 399 and her two cubs appear to be well off the roads.

    Teton Photo Excursions

    If you are considering a trip in September, I’d definitely recommend booking it NOW. Some of those slots are filling fast. There are numerous openings in July and August. For inquiries, send an email to info@tetonimages.com.

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    July 5th, 2017:  Wednesday

    Featured NASA ImageNew Feature Post

    Jackson Hole’s Great Solar Eclipse! This page is loaded with links for anyone interested in viewing and photographing August’s Solar Eclipse. There are links for  filters and safety glasses, along with links for maps showing the path, and lots of pages about HOW to photograph the eclipse.

    Road Closure: RKO Road is currently gated.
    Road Opening: Mormon Row Road and Warm Springs Road are now open.

    Pronghorns

    Pronghorns: Captured along the Gros Ventre Road. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF.

    Columbine

    Columbine: The first time I checked on these flowers, I was a few days early. They are now either in full bloom or even a bit past prime. I added some light with a couple of Lume Cubes. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

    Snow King View

    Snow King View: There has been some haze in the valley for the past two or three days. I assume some of it is caused by wildfires in Utah. On the 4th, Snow King offered free rides to the top of the mountain on the chair lift. Normal prices are around $20. This might be a great spot for morning shots on days with a few clouds, but clear atmosphere. This is a stitched pano.  Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld

    4th of July Fireworks

    4th of July Fireworks: One more from last night. Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Tripod

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    July 4th, 2017:  Tuesday

    7:00 am Pancake Breakfast, 10:00 am Parade, Evening Fireworks

    Check out these Feature Posts!

    Bluebird Landing

    Mountain Bluebird and Nest: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

    Bluebird Sequence

    Bluebird Sequence: The shooting speed on a Nikon D5 is 12 FPS, but without autofocus, can go to 14 FPS. These were taken at 1/4000th second. At F/8 the resulting Auto ISO was 1800. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

    I missed going to the 4th of July Parade this year while photographing these Bluebirds.

    Dreamers

    Dreamers: Still going through hard drives and files. This image was composited from several images of my oldest son, Tyler,  and our Golden Retriever, Zeffy.

    4th of July in Jackson Hole, WY

    4th of July in Jackson Hole, WY: Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Tripod

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    July 3rd, 2017:  Monday

    Catch of the DayCatch of the Day: Zeffy as a pup. I taught her how to skateboard when she was a pup and she still loves it. Click the link to see her in action!

    Morning in the Park

    Pronghorn

    Pronghorn: Captured at Elk Flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF.

    Mountain Bluebird

    Mountain Bluebird: I captured these at 1/2000th of a second. If there was enough light, I’d probably go to 1/4000th second on the next similar experience. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

    Uinta Ground Squirrel

    Uinta Ground Squirrel: Find a bunch of these, and then look for these….(next photos). Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF.

    Badgers

    Badgers: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF.

    Badgers

    Badgers: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF.

    Coyote

    Coyote: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

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    July 2nd, 2017:  Sunday

    More Activities: (I included a lot of events info earlier.)

    Downtown: The Town Square was “buzzing” with tourists today. I was tempted to pull over and take street photos of the tourists. Every single day is different, and even every single hour is different.

    Afternoon in the Park

    Threatening Skies

    Threatening Skies: I saw one lightning bolt as I driving north, but none after I got set up along the Gros Ventre Road. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

    Cactus Flowers

    Cactus Flowers: These flowers bloom in waves. A few of them are well past prime while others are looking great. This clump is near the Kelly Warm Springs. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

    Tree Trunks

    Tree Trunks: I was moving into position to photograph one of the barns and saw this little scene. I turned and shot one image. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens.

    Parking Barricades

    Parking Barricades: You’ll find barricades like these all over the park this year. There is a new parking lot and rest room on Mormon Row designed to accommodate visitors. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens.

    Homestead

    Homestead: You’ll also see a lot of new black “windows” on the historic structures on Mormon Row. Actually, the windows are now painted plywood. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens.

    Corner Gate

    Corner Gate: I was ready to set up the Lightning Trigger.  The dark clouds looked promising, but I didn’t see lightning. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens.

    Patch of Light

    Patch of Light: Captured as a set of three horizontal pano parts, stitched in Lightroom. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens.

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    July 1st, 2017:  Saturday

    Half of 2017 is now in the rear view mirror! I think of July (and most of August) as “business as usual”. Every activity is in full swing with lots of tourists in the valley. You can’t really distinguish a weekend day from a weekday.

    Note: There are a lot of photos from last night and this morning under the July Hot Topics list below. Scroll on down!

    Hot Topics for July

    Roads and Rivers:

    • GV Road and River: The high water and snow melt from June is subsiding slowly, but the damage is done in a couple of important places. The Gros Ventre Road is open again, but look for a short one way section controlled by temporary stop lights. See More photos of the road on June 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP. Delays are short and tolerable.
    • Cattleman’s Bridge: At least one of the piers under the bridge on Spring Gulch Road washed out—closing the bridge for the summer. This one may be closed for a year or longer.
    • Mormon Row Road: As of June 29, a large section  of this road is gated. The entire length of Warm Springs Road is still closed.

    Gros Ventre Stop Light

    Wildflowers:

    • July is a great month for wildflowers. Balsom Root Flowers are dwindling, but are being replaced by Mule’s Ears and One Flowers. Bright red clusters of Indian Paintbrush dot the landscape in many areas. Purple Lupine and Penstemon are also common.

    Wildlife:

    • Bears: There are two Grizzly sows with two Cubs of the Year (COY) each roaming around in the zones at Willow Flats, Pilgrim Creek, and Leek’s Marina. A large boar, commonly called Bruno is currently courting #610 in the same area. Black Bears are seen at times in various zones. I haven’t heard many reports of Wolves in a long time.
    • Great Gray Owls: Don’t expect to see many of these this year. None of the “studied” nests produced chicks this year. Adults are scattered and difficult to spot.
    • Babies: Watch for baby Elk, Moose, Deer, Bison, Pronghorns, along the young of the smaller critters. By July, they will be quite mobile.
    • Swan News: I just received a report of 5 Cygnets (baby swans) on Flat Creek on Friday.

    Activities:

    Weather:

    • Sunrise is at 5:46 am to start the month and Sunset at 9:07 pm. The Summer Solstice was on June 20th, so days are getting shorter.
    • Warm July and August days can bring in storms, including lightning and occasionally rainbows.

    July 1st, 2017:  Saturday Images

    Milky Way Over Jackson Hole

    Milky Way Over Jackson Hole: (Click the image to see it much larger).  We had a half moon when I took this shot last night. This is a stitched pano from five or six vertical captures taken from East Gros Ventre Butte. The Town of Jackson can be seen on the right and a stream of cars heading into town can be seen on the left. The half moon lit parts of the valley floor, but it also knocks down some of the intensity of the Milky Way. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm at 24mm. 25 seconds, ISO 2500, F/5. 

    July Featured

    The Town of Jackson: This is a smaller section of the full pano above. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm at 24mm. 25 seconds, ISO 2500, F/5. 

    Tower on Teton Pass

    Tower on Teton Pass: I took several images with trees, but chose this power pole at the top of the Pass. I waited until 1:30 am to leave town for Idaho. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm. at 24mm.

    Spud Drive-In

    Spud Drive-In: The Spud is located a couple of miles south of Driggs, ID. Going to the Spud is a step back in time, complete with the animated concession cartoons and concession stand. In the old days, moviegoers had to hang the speaker in the window. Now, the sound is broadcasted through your car’s radio system. We used to load up the van with the kids and go there for a unique and memorable evening under the stars. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm.

    Spud Drive-In

    Spud Drive-In: Old Murphy, lit with a large flashlight during a long exposure. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm.

    Tetonia Grain Elevators

    Tetonia Grain Elevators: Tetonia is about 8 miles NE of Driggs. There was a bright street light behind me, pumping out a ton of green light. I put an orange filter on the front of my flashlight to try to negate the green cast, then burned down the foreground in Lightroom. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm.

    Teton Valley Hot Air Balloon Ralley

    Teton Valley Hot Air Balloon Rally: Notice the shape of the Grand? This was taken from  the other side of the Pass, near the airport in Driggs, ID. I’ll probably create a Feature Post using the photos from the event.  Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm.

    Balloons

    Teton Valley Hot Air Balloon Rally: I had a great time at the Balloon Ralley this morning. It cost’s $5 to park and then you can go into the thick of the action. They also have a Breakfast for $5. This is a great bargain! The Rally will continue tomorrow, too. The first balloons begin filling at roughly 6:00 am and the last one will likely be in the air by 6:30 or 6:45 am.  I shot with a Nikon D5 and a Nikon 24-70 mm lens and a Nikon D810 paired with a Nikon 14-24mm lens. Darla and I tried to go the event last year, but it was cancelled due to bad weather. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm.

    June 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP

    “Summer is officially here!” 

    Daily Updates Archives:
    2017: 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:

    Monthly Overviews for JH / GTNP .

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    Click these popular pages:

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    June 30th, 2017:  Friday

    Looking for something different, check out the 2017 Teton Valley Balloon Rally in Driggs, ID. You have to be there EARLY!

    I am working on the new July Daily Journal I’ll post tomorrow.

    Jackson Hole LIVE: Another “almost free” concert at Snow King tomorrow afternoon/night.

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    June 29th, 2017:  Thursday

    Road News: The Gros Ventre Road is now open with a one way section controlled by traffic lights. This should give people a better chance of seeing Moose through the rest of the summer. During the Solar Eclipse, the Gros Ventre Road will be one way from the highway to Kelly.

    Gros Ventre Stop Light

    Gros Ventre Stop Light: Eastbound Light at the road damage site. It looks like the light cycles about every 2 minutes, though it might be sensitive to the amount of traffic. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens

    Gros Ventre River Bank

    Gros Ventre River Bank: Rushing water from this year’s snow melt washed out a bank along the roadway. The Park Service added a new section of road at the base of the ridge, allowing one way traffic. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens

    Gros Ventre Road

    Gros Ventre Road: This shots shows how the eastbound road is missing up to the center line in places. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens

    Big Dipper Over the Moulton Barn

    Big Dipper Over the Moulton Barn: Very early in the morning. I left home at 3:30 am and got set up at about the time the “blue light” period began.  Nikon D5 and Nikon 14-24mm lens.

    Early Morning

    Early Morning: T.A. Moulton Barn on Mormon Row. This was taken with almost no light and even a few lingering stars. Let’s just say I was there EARLY! No one was around at either barn, which is unusual. I left Mormon Row and was one of the first four vehicles in the park lot at Schwabacher Landing. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

    Riffle at Schwabacher Landing

    Riffle at Schwabacher Landing: Raging rapids washed away the Beaver Dams at Schwabacher Landing. This pool is a result of a remnant rock base of an older dam. Stitched Pano. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

    Riffle at Schwabacher Landing

    Riffle at Schwabacher Landing: This image is built from seven vertical captures, stitched in Lightroom. I used a Vari-ND Variable Neutral Density Filter to get to a 4 second capture at F/16. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

    Mt. Moran

    Mt. Moran: Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

    Beaver Dam at Schwabacher Landing

    Beaver Dam at Schwabacher Landing: This was a large dam as of early spring. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

    Weed Core

    Weed Core: Beauty is all around! Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens

    Mule Deer

    Mule Deer: Captured in the sage and grass between the road damage and the entrance to the GV Campground. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600 Lens. Handheld, VC Off.

    Teton Photo Excursions

    If you are considering a trip in September, I’d definitely recommend booking it NOW. Some of those slots are filling fast. There are still a couple of June openings and numerous openings in July. For inquiries, send an email to info@tetonimages.com.

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    June 28th, 2017:  Wednesday

    Flat Creek Sunrise

    Flat Creek Sunrise: Taken from the Observation Platform along Flat Creek. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

    Flat Creek Sunrise

    Flat Creek Sunrise: Same spot, different direction. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

    Rainbow

    Rainbow: Taken from Moose Junction. Nikon D810 and Nikon 14-24mm lens.

    Rainbow with Topaz Studio

    Rainbow with Topaz Studios: Topaz Studio is their newest program for image manipulation. I did the image above with just a couple of clicks using the Vintage Effects group. The basic set is FREE after creating an account. (Click the link the see more options and effects). The optional Pro Pack program costs $274.86, but it is still in the introductory phase of $99.99 (2 more days). Knowing it will work on both my Mac and PC for the same price, I spent the $99.99 and have all of the new tools in the toolbox. Nikon D810 and Nikon 14-24mm lens.

    Other News from Micron.  Micron is the parent company for Lexar. They are announcing plans to discontinue their line of cards many of us use.

    Moulton Barn

    Moulton Barn: Taken along Mormon Row.

    Mule Deer Buck

    Mule Deer Buck: Taken at Moose Junction. There was a Doe with two Fawns in the area, but I couldn’t get a clean shot of them. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens. Handheld, VC Off.

    Penstemon

    Penstemon: I keep mentioning seeing Penstemon. Today, I stopped along the Moose-Wilson Road and took a few quick shots. There are usually a few groves of this plant around the Colter Bay Visitor’s Center and Marina area. Watch for Bumble Bees on them! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens. Handheld, VC Off.

    Indian Paintbrush

    Indian Paintbrush: Similarly, I have been mentioning seeing Indian Paintbrush plants around. These were near the Sawmill Pond Overlook on the Moose-Wilson Road. There was a Cow Moose in the pond this morning. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens. Handheld, VC Off.

    The 2017 Grand Teton Climbing Season: The climbing blog at Wyoming Whiskey included a link to my site, so here’s on back to them. There is a TON of information about all kinds of topics on the page. Check it out!

    BW Barns

    Barn Under Buck Mountain: At the time I took this shot, the clouds were still thick in the East, making the scene essentially monochromatic. I liked the ribbon of clouds behind the barn. The peak of the Grand was covered up. Nikon D500 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens. Handheld.

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    June 27th, 2017:  Tuesday

    Wildflowers

    Wildflowers: I’ll try to identify the flowers later. I liked the clouds, so I did a hike up Antelope Flats Road towards the Hunter/Hereford ranches. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens

    Wildflowers

    Wildflowers: Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens

    Yellow Wildflower

    Salsify Wildflower: This is one of the non-native/invasive species of plants in the Park. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens

    Today, I was on a bit of a reconnaissance mission to check on wildflowers. I took the zoom micro lens, which also works fine for normal landscapes. I left the tripod in the truck to save weight and unnecessary wear on my back. I’ll take it next time.

    Shed and Mt. Moran

    Shed, Raven, and Mt. Moran: In the north part of the park, you’ll find “Wildlife Brigades”. In other areas you will find evidence of a “Barricade Brigade” with barricades designed to keep people from parking in grassy zones. In the historic zones, you see the works of the “Door and Window Brigade”. The black plywood doors and windows help seal up some of the old buildings. They may be functional, but are definitely “aesthetically deprived”.  Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens

    Hunter Barn

    Hunter Barn: Most of the landscapes were taken as two or three shot panos.  Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens

    Hunter Homestead

    Hunter Homestead: Click this image to see it much larger.  Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens

    Hereford Barn

    Hereford Barn: It is roughly a mile and a half from the East Boundary Road to this barn. You have to hike it! Click this image to see it much larger. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens

    BW Yellow Flowers

    B&W Yellow Flowers: Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens

    Gears

    Gears: Part of an old piece of farm equipment at the Hereford Ranch. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens

    I keep meaning to mention it…When I was driving home from Alpine Junction last Friday, I spotted an adult Mountain Goat on one of the ridges near Wolf Creek Campground. Worth watching the ridges if you are driving the Snake River Canyon. I missed a good shot of him by only a few seconds.

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    June 26th, 2017:  Monday

    April Bison

    April Bison: I checked the weather report for today and decided to stay home for the morning. The afternoon forecast calls for building clouds and possible thunderstorms. I decided to “save my bullets” (time and gas) for this afternoon. I used the home time to cull through some of my images and clear up space on the hard drives. This bison shot caught my eye, taken back in April as the herds moved out of the National Elk Refuge and into GTNP. This one was captured at ISO 6400, which is high, but I think it works fine for this image. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens. Handheld, VC Off.

    Moose at Pond

    Moose at Pond: Cow Moose feeding on willows at Emily’s Pond near Wilson. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

    Pastoral Landscape

    Pastoral Landscape: Taken along Highway 26 between Jackson and Wilson. Nikon D500 and Nikon 70-200 Lens VR Off.

    Wrangler

    Wrangler: Afternoon at one of the Dude Ranches. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

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    June 25th, 2017:  Sunday

    Pronghorn Buck

    Pronghorn Buck: Light was better this morning for photographing Pronghorns. This one was grazing along Antelope Flats Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

    White-Crowned Sparrow

    White-Crowned Sparrow: Found singing along the East Boundary Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

    Wildflowers

    Wildflowers: Arrowleaf Balsom Root and Mule’s Ear wildflowers can be found mixed together in some areas. This shot was taken along Antelope Flats Road. Nikon D810 and Nikon 14-24mm lens.

    Wildflowers

    Wildflowers: This photo was taken along the East Boundary Road. Better hurry there! They appear to be going into “past peak” stage. Nikon D810 and Nikon 14-24mm lens.

    Wildflowers

    Wildflowers: Nikon D810 and Nikon 14-24mm lens.

    Wildflowers

    Wildflowers: Nikon D810 and Nikon 14-24mm lens.

    Jackson Lake Sunset

    Click this image to see it much larger

    Jackson Lake Sunset: Taken at Leek’s Marina a few days ago. I hadn’t downloaded the card from that camera until today. This is part of a three shot pano, stitched in Lightroom CC 2015.  Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

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    June 24th, 2017:  Saturday

    Night Barn

    Click this image to see it much larger. Nikon D5 and Nikon 14-24mm Lens. 

    Night Barn: I went back to the Mormon Row barns last night to capture a full arc of the Milky Way. I had to wait for several groups to come and go, and for traffic on Antelope Flats to drop off. It takes me four vertical captures to build this pano, so timing is critical between series of shots. There’s a steady stream of vehicles heading East from the highway on Antelope Flats Road. Some are heading home to Kelly, others to the GV Campground, and others to camp and party on Shadow Mountain. You’d swear a concert just finished in town! If the lights from the travelers lit the barn fully, night time photographers would be tickled pink—but the lower 2′ of the barn stays in shadows. This pano was from the last set of images I took at 12:15 am.

    The steps I used for this project are much the same as on this new page: New Feature Post: Light Painting Without Lights  

    A few days ago, I created this Feature Post: Artificial Light for Photography in Grand Teton National Park. Today, I added all of the legal information found in the Park’s documents.

    Pronghorn Buck

    Pronghorn Buck: I stayed home this morning, watching for activity at the Northern Flicker nest. It appears all of the chicks have now fledged. I did a quick buzz into the Park, hoping to see some baby Pronghorns, but only finding this nice buck. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

    Pronghorn Buck

    Pronghorn Buck: I snapped this shot as he passed by a clump of Purple Lupines. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

    Wildflowers: From what I’ve seen recently, the “hottest” spot for wildflowers is along the highway at the Climbing Rocks pull-out, just south of Antelope Flats road. I’ve seen more Penstemon and a few Indian Paintbrush plants.

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    June 23rd, 2017:  Friday

    Light Painting Without Lights

    New Feature Post: Light Painting Without Lights

    Afternoon

    Ready to FledgeFlicker Chick: The baby Flickers in my back yard are ready to fledge. This one got really close to leaving while I was watching, but pulled back at the last second. It was quiet when I returned from Alpine, so one or two of them might have already split. Just before dark, I saw an adult trying to return to the nest, so the chicks could all be in the cavity. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

    Flicker Chick

    Alpine Mountain Fest

    Alpine Mountain Days – Alpine, WY ~ This event starts today and goes through the weekend. Besides the Mountain Man section, there are food vendors, artists, photographers, arts and crafts and so forth. There are only 10 or so traders in their section and it is difficult to get clean shots without power lines, vehicles, or buildings in them. They are hoping for a big turnout tomorrow. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

    Tipi Ribbons

    Tipi Ribbons: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

    Fire Engine

    Fire Engine: This old fire engine was parked in Alpine, WY. I parked across the street and isolated it using the telephoto lens. I added some vintage grain and converted it to black and white in Lightroom. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

    Gulls

    Gulls: I know there are lots of species of gulls, so I’ll leave it generic for now. On my trip down the Snake River Canyon, I was amazed at how much water if gushing down the Snake and into Palisades Reservoir. The Grays River and Salt River also flow into Palisades, which is full to the brim. The three rivers become the South Fork of the Snake as it exits the Palisades Reservoir Dam. These gulls were on the Salt River inlet near the McCoy Creek Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

    Gulls

    Gulls: I don’t get that many chances to practice my “birds in flight” skills here in Jackson Hole. For some reason, few of the gulls spend time in the Jackson Hole valley. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

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    June 22nd, 2017:  Thursday

    Night Barn Original Capture

    Light Painting without Light: I spent some time today working on this image and creating a bunch of screen grabs for a new Feature Post. The image above was the original capture and the one below was modified using a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop. Nikon D5 and Nikon 14-24mm Lens. 

    Final Layered Image

    Nikon D5 and Nikon 14-24mm Lens. At some point, I must have bumped the barrel on my lens last night. Many of the images were not as sharp as they should have been! It happens. This was an experimental project. Next time, I will be more careful!

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    June 21st, 2017:  Wednesday

    GV Road

    Gros Ventre Road: This Park Service image was sent through an email to CUA permit holders. It shows recent damage to the Gros Ventre Road between the highway and Kelly. You can read more about the damage in the JH News & Guide Story: Officials have a plan for crumbling road

    The bike path along the highway near the Gros Ventre River bridge was under about 6 feet of water for a couple of weeks. Water has receded and the path is open again.

    JH News & Guide: Blondie, mother of 2, is acting like she’s ill. “Grizzly’s apparent sickness triggers worry and the closure of Pilgrim Creek Road.”

    Loose Ends

    Country Road

    Country Road: Occasionally, I take a few photos on a camera, then neglect to download the images that evening. This one was taken along Elk Ranch Flats a few days ago. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200 Lens.

    Magpie

    Black-billed Magpie: Magpies have now fledged. The young find a convenient perch and wait for the parents to find food for them. Besides the begging behavior, they can be identified by their shorter, rounded tail feathers. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

    Teton Clouds

    Teton Clouds: Yesterday, I heard thunder in town and headed out. I took this shot just south of the Gros Ventre River. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200 Lens.

    Teton Clouds

    Teton Clouds: Given time, the clouds turned to a more stormy state. I was driving up and down the road, watching for storm cells and lightning bolts. Eventually, a short lived rain squall passed over. I was ready and waiting for a rainbow that never materialized! Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200 Lens.

    Sleeping Indian

    Sleeping Indian: On the way back into town, I saw the nice clouds and shadows at Sleeping Indian. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

    Sandhill Cranes

    Sandhill Cranes: This isn’t a great shot, but it documents the babies seen along the highway on the National Elk Refuge. It’s difficult to get a shot with all four heads up at one time! Right now, the daytime high is in the mid 80s. Yesterday was the Summer Solstice—or the longest day of the year. I headed in early.  We cooked out on the grill and enjoyed the evening at home. It is supposed to be clear tonight, so I plan on doing sunset and stars until late. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

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    June 20th, 2017:  ~ Summer Solstice

    Tipi and Stars

    Tipi and Stars: Technically, the photo above and a few below were taken on the 19th, but I didn’t return home until after midnight. Don’t miss this recent post: Artificial Light for Photography in Grand Teton National Park, Nikon D5 and Nikon 14-24mm Lens. 

    Early Evening Tipi

    Early Evening Tipi: Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens. 

    Cattleman's Bridge

    Cattleman’s Bridge: Spring Gulch Road’s Cattleman’s Bridge is sagging after loosing a pier. The bridge will be out of service for an indefinite period. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

    Elk Cows

    Elk Cows: I spotted these elk feeding on the east side of the park. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

    Pronghorn Buck

    Pronghorn Buck: I’ve heard of a few Pronghorn fawns, so I’ve been searching the sagebrush areas for them. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

    Badger

    Badger: The two Badgers I saw on Sunday were youngsters. This one is an adult. Watch for diggings and dens in sandy soil areas with good populations of Uinta Ground Squirrels. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR Off.

    PicaridinSawyer Picaridin Insect Repellent My wife bought a bottle of this repellent before our trip to Costa Rica. We didn’t need it there, but I definitely needed “something” while waiting for the badger to come out of its den. When the wind died down, the mosquitoes were thick. I put some of this repellent on, which doesn’t smell at all, and the mosquitoes stayed about 10″ away. Use it at your own risk, but this site might give you some needed info. Picaridin General Fact Sheet – National Pesticide Information Center.

    Badger

    Badger: I found this adult Badger today a little while before it went off into the sagebrush to hunt. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VC Off.

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    June 19th, 2017:  – Monday

    New Feature Post: Artificial Light for Photography in Grand Teton National Park, If you do any “light painting” (strobes or flashlights) in the National Parks, you’ll probably want to read this article. I don’t know how strict the enforcement will be, but the topic is definitely on the Park’s radar.

    Rendezvous Park: Summer Solstice Party June 20, 2017 at 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm Rendezvous Park, Moose Wilson Rd, Wilson, WY 83014, USA “Rendezvous Park has ponds, meadows, knolls, and trails for visitors to explore through a variety of passive recreation activities including cycling, walking, swimming, SUP boarding, kayaking, fishing, and picnicking. It is centrally located in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and visited by people of all ages and backgrounds for free.” Click the link for more information.

    Great Gray Owl on SnowGreat Gray Owls: People regularly write me asking where to see Great Gray Owls when they come to the Park. In previous years, a couple of GGOs have been regulars along the Moose-Wilson Road. Others have been spotted with frequency on Togwottee Pass, along with several pairs on private land. The Teton Raptor Center has been reporting NO new chicks this year on any of their known nests. Of the 20 plus study sites, only one pair attempted to use their nest and that one failed. The heavy snows and deep freeze over the winter is being blamed for a few known owl deaths and lack of Summer breeding this year.

    JH Sun and Moon

    New Permanent Link! You’ll see this new button in the navigation bar, showing tons of information for Jackson Hole’s celestial environment. Find the obvious sunrie/sunset, moon rise/moon set times, but also moon phases and times for the various phases of twilight. There are lots of sites on the Internet with this information, but I liked the visual display at this site.

    Here’s a relevant tidbit from the site:June Solstice (Summer Solstice) is on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at 10:24 pm in Jackson. In terms of daylight, this day is 6 hours, 28 minutes longer than on December Solstice. In most locations north of Equator, the longest day of the year is around this date.”

    Raptorfest

    Raptorfest: Eagle. Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-180mm Zoom Micro Lens. Handheld

    National Elk Refuge to Host Talon Tuesdays: “The Refuge is partnering with the Teton Raptor Center to present live bird “Talon Tuesday” visits this summer at the visitor center.” You probably saw the face shot of the Eurasian Eagle Owl in yesterday’s entry. That image was from the Teton Raptor Center’s “RaptorFest” held at Snow King. You can still see them! Click the link to get the details for the Tuesday showings.

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    June 18th, 2017:  – Sunday

    Schwabacher Sunset

    Schwabacher Sunset: I spent the evening in the park, then stayed out for the stars. This shot was captured as a three image bracket and then merged in Lightroom into a single DNG file. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70 Lens. 

    Tetons at Dusk

    Tetons at Dusk: This was taken from Shadow Mountain. The tip of the Grand was covered at the time. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70 Lens. 

    Stars

    Stars, Trees and Lingering Clouds: Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70 Lens. 

    Nightscapes

    Nightscapes: I checked my Stellarium app to see when and where the Milky Way would show up. Of course, it was dead-on accurate! Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70 Lens. 

    Incoming Clouds

    Incoming Clouds: Clouds started filling the night sky, so I headed on down the mountain. By the time I hit the highway at Snake River Overlook at midnight, there were almost no stars to be seen, so I headed home. Nikon D5 and Nikon 14-24 Lens. 

    Shadow Mountain is open, but there is a huge mud puddle on the crest road. I made it through in the truck in 4 wheel drive, but the thought of going through it again forced me to exit the mountain via the north route.

    I am in the process of doing a brand new Feature Post about the use of artificial light in the “Parks”. Sign up if you want to get a notification!

    Raptor Fest

    Raptor Fest: Eurasian Eagle Owl. At a little over 6 lbs, this cousin of North America’s Great Horned Owl is capable of killing a small deer or even a badger. Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-180mm Zoom Micro Lens. Handheld

    Badgers

    Badgers: Captured along the National Elk Refuge. A few days ago, I drove through the National Elk Refuge to get to Curtis Canyon. Along the way, I probably saw a hundred badger diggings. If you go there, also keep an eye out for Burrowing Owls. I haven’t spotted them, but I’ve seen photos of the Owls from there.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VC Off.

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    June 17th, 2017:  – Saturday

    Mormon Homestead

    Mormon Homestead: We had rain overnight and some of the clouds and drizzle lingered in the east this morning. I was attracted to the layered hills behind the Mormon Row Homesteads. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC ON.

    Peach House

    Peach House: The rain accentuated the cracks in the stucco finish and the steel blue sky helped make the orange pop. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200 Lens. Handheld, VR ON.

    Sticky Geraniums

    Sticky Geraniums: These wildflowers are common in the valley now. I’ve begun seeing (purple) Penstemon flowers now. Yesterday, I saw a lot of them at the base of Curtis Canyon. The wind was blowing so hard I passed on trying to photograph them. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC ON.

    Hardiman Barns

    Hardiman Barns: Some of the facility in downtown Wilson, WY is home to the Teton Raptor Center. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC ON.

    Tomorrow is Father’s Day: If you are in town, you can see some of the Teton Raptor Center’s birds at the Snow King ball field, held in conjunction with the music concert and Crawfish Feast. Admission is $5 for the raptors and concert. An additional fee is required for the Crawfish. These events usually draw a lot of locals and tourists.

    Outside the Park: Alternative Places to Visit, Hike, Fish, and Photograph

    You might notice I have been checking out a few of the other places around the valley. Recently, I went to Granite Falls. Last week, I headed up the RKO Road and historic Bar BC Ranch. A couple of days ago, I was up the Gros Ventre, and yesterday I tooled around Wilson and Teton Pass (where I took the barn photo above). If you find yourself feeling a bit “claustrophobic” following a couple of days of “Bear Jams”, consider some of the many other options in the region!

    Telephoto Lenses For Landscapes

    Many of the photos on this page were captured using telephoto lenses. They are obvious choices for wildlife, but I think they can be fantastic options for landscapes. Click the link for more examples.

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    June 16th, 2017:  – Friday

    Northern Flicker

    Northern Flicker: This is the female Flicker returning to the nest. I shot this one at 1/320th second, F-6.3 with VC turned on in Mode 3. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC ON.

    JHNews & Guide: Gros Ventre Road to open soon. Click the link to see a photo of the erosion next to the roadway. Despite the occasional delay, this is great news! Currently, there are barricades at the Highway entrance to the Kelly/GV Road and at the GV Campground on the other end. Also of note: Warm Springs Road is barricaded at the East Boundary Road. Throughout most winter months, we have been able to drive roughly a mile and a half on the road before hitting a closure gate. The “Powerline Road” (the dirt road portion of what people called Science School Road or Ditch Creek Road is still open to within a mile or so of Mormon Row. The Middle section of Mormon Row Road is still closed, and will probably remain that way until the GV Road is repaired (next year?)

    Bald EagleYesterday, I was out early and in the north and northeast portion of the Park. I posted a pile of photos just before lunch. Later in the day, I went out again, and ended up going up the Gros Ventre. I posted another few photos from the evening, so if you checked in early, look again! I could have probably added another half dozen shots from the evening trip, but I had already posted a lot for one day.

    While driving, I spotted a Red-tailed Hawk flying across the sky with a heavy load. I pulled over to see if I could get a shot when it dropped the payload. A Bald Eagle was in the area, attempting to take the large ground squirrel away from them. Action was fast and loud with all kinds of screeching. It was a tough shoot with the birds in the light sky, then down in the darker sage and trees. I wasn’t fully happy with any of them, but this shot at least captures the essence of the event as the Eagle picked up the prize.

    Small Falls

    Cascades: 1/4 second at F/22 and ISO 100. This little cascade feeds into Glory Bowl Lake below Teton Pass. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VC OFF.

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    June 15th, 2017:  – Thursday

    NPS Update: – “The closed portion of the Gros Ventre /Kelly Road in Grand Teton National Park is anticipated to open to alternating one-lane of traffic in the affected area within the next two weeks. The plan includes an automated traffic signal which will alternate east-bound and west-bound one-way traffic for vehicles and bicycles.”

    Oxbow Bend

    Oxbow Bend: Clouds looked nice as I passed by Oxbow, so I pulled over and took this quick shot. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70 Lens.

    Summer Solstice is Tuesday, June 20th this year.

    Wildflowers

    Wildflowers: I get emails fairly often asking about the status of the wildflowers in GTNP. Seems like I include this info regularly on this blog! Anyway, there are wildflowers everywhere in the valley now. Arrowleaf Balsom Root plants are most evident with some of the most dense areas near Oxbow Bend. Purple Lupine are good near the Gros Ventre Bridge and Spread Creek. Some are showing up along Pilgrim Creek Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

    Pair of White Pelicans

    Pair of White Pelicans: Captured below the Jackson Lake Dam. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

    Snake river Flows at Moose

    Snake River Flows at Moose: Click the link for more information. Many of the tributaries are past high water—not raging anymore. The side channel flow that washed away the beaver dams at Schwabacher Landing is back to normal. The beavers have their work cut out for them this year.

    Three Baby Marmots

    Three Baby Marmots: Little cuties sunning on a downed trunk. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VC Off.

    Four Baby Marmots

    Four Baby Marmots: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VC Off.

    Chipmonk

    Chipmonk: Taken along Pilgrim Creek Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VC Off.

    Mt. Moran

    Mt. Moran and Bison: Taken at Elk Ranch Flats. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200 Lens.

    Bison Cow and Calf

    Bison Cow and Calf:Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

    Cunningham Cabin

    Cunningham Cabin: Wranglers from Triangle X made a stop at Cunningham Cabin with their crew of tiny guests. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200 Lens.

    Red Hills Ranch

    Red Hills Ranch: Quick afternoon trip “Up the Gros Ventre”. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200 Lens.

    Red Rocks

    Red Rocks: Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200 Lens.

    Gros Ventre

    Gros Ventre River: Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200 Lens.

    Columbine

    Columbine: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

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    June 14th, 2017:  – Wednesday

    Remember the Road Closures:

    • Cattleman’s Bridge on Spring Gulch Road. (This might be closed for a year and a half)
    • Gros Ventre Road between the Highway and the GV Campground. (No updates)
    • Middle Section of Mormon Row Road (Likely closed until the GV Road is reopened)

    Western Tanager

    Western Tanager: I took this photo in my back yard this morning.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

    Western Tanager

    Western TanagerNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

    Raven

    Raven: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

    Back Yard Birding: Bullock’s Orioles have moved on for the year. I haven’t seen Lazuli Buntings in a while, either. Tanagers are still around in good numbers. I’ve seen a few Black-headed Grosbeaks off and on. In most years, I start photographing Hummingbirds when the other songbirds leave the yard. This year, I’ve seen and heard only a fraction of the normal Hummingbird visitors. The Flicker family is still active, but I haven’t seen any of the babies at the opening yet.

    Six June Photos

    Six June Photos: I did a quick trip into the Park, entering at the Granite Station on the Moose-Wilson Road. While in the Park, I was able to get a record shot of a Cinnamon colored Black Bear, a young Bull Moose, and a few shots of Elk on a ridge. I took all of them from the window of my truck. On the way back home, I found two other young Bull Moose along the Moose-Wilson Road. Most of these are what I might consider “record shots”. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR On.

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    June 13th, 2017:  – Tuesday

    March of the GoslingsMarch of the Goslings: Caught at the Visitor’s Center on North Cache. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

    Great Blue Herons

    Great Blue Herons: Found at Oxbow Bend. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR On.

    Elk Ranch Cabins

    Elk Ranch Cabins: Remains of an old JH Dude Ranch with rainy distant mountains. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Pronghorn Buck

    Pronghorn Buck: Taken at Elk Ranch Flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Pronghorn Doe

    Pronghorn Doe: Also at Elk Ranch Flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Mountain Bluebird

    Mountain Bluebird: Captured near Elk Ranch Flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Dusky Flycatcher

    Dusky Flycatcher or Western Wood Peewee: If I have the identification wrong on this one, please let me know! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Dusky Flycatcher

    Dusky Flycatcher or Western Wood Peewee: Taken near Elk Ranch Flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

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    June 12th, 2017:  – Monday

    RainbowRainbow & Moon: Taken along the south boundary of Grand Teton National Park. Nikon D810 and Nikon 14-24 Lens.

    Teton Peaks

    Teton Peaks:

    Monday Morning Grizzlies

    Monday Morning Grizzlies: Taken near Pilgrim Creek Road. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR Off.

    Grizzlies On Knowl

    Grizzlies On Knowl: Taken near Pilgrim Creek Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Arrowleaf Balsom Root

    Arrowleaf Balsom Root: Taken near Oxbow Bend. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Aspen Trunks

    Aspen Trunks: Taken near Oxbow Bend. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Sparring Bison

    Sparring Bison: Taken at Elk Ranch Flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Bald Eagle

    Bald Eagle: I did a quick run up Spring Gulch Road to check out the washed out bridge. This Bald Eagle was hunting near an irrigation ditch. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Box L Barns

    Box L Barns: I took this one from a long distance. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR On.

    Irrigation

    Irrigation: Along Spring Gulch Road. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. 1/60th second, Handheld, VR On.

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    June 11th, 2017:  – Sunday

    Many Strings

    Many Strings: At most rendezvous, Many Strings is playing a banjo. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

    New Feature Post: Fort Henry Rendezvous 2017

    Barrow's Golden Eyes

    Barrow’s Golden Hen and Kids: Taken at Swchwabacher Landing. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

    Barrow's Golden Eyes

    Barrow’s Golden Eye Kids: Taken at Swchwabacher Landing. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

    Barrow's Golden Eyes

    Barrow’s Golden Hen and Kids: Taken at Swchwabacher Landing. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

    Wigeon

    Wigeon: Taken at Swchwabacher Landing. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

    Kildeer and Kids

    Kildeer and Kids: Taken near Elk Ranch. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

    Blondie and Kids

    Blondie and Kids: Taken near Pilgrim Creek Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

    399 and Elk

    399, Kids, and Elk: Taken near Pilgrim Creek Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

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    June 10th, 2017:  – Saturday

    Fort Henry Rendezvous 2015: I am heading over to the Fort Henry Rendezvous this morning. They should have clear skies or maybe partly cloudy skies, while we are having rain and drizzle here.  This page contains a schedule of some of the regional Rendezvous:  Mountain Man Rendezvous:

    Idaho Fields

    Idaho Fields: On my way to the Rendezvous, I stopped for a few farming photos. I want to go back and spend an entire day with the farms and barns.  Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

    Idaho Barn

    Idaho Barn: There are lots of old barns and structures in Eastern Idaho. I had Rendezvous on my agenda, so I didn’t get much time for the other opportunities. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

    Fort Henry Rendezvous

    Fort Henry Rendezvous: This rendezvous is in a wonderful setting. It is hardly a mile from the historic Fort Henry location—along the Henry’s Fork (of the Snake) River. Since it is in a rural area, the attendees have access to a shooting range for black powder rifles and muskets. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

    Fort Henry Rendezvous

    Fort Henry Rendezvous: I didn’t plan on making a new Feature Post on this year’s Rendezvous, but I ended up with a lot of nice images. They seem to be screaming for their place on the site! The Fort Henry Rendezvous continues through tomorrow, so you still have a chance to go! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

    Tim Tanner

    Tim Tanner: If you go to this year’s Fort Henry Rendezvous, look for Tim Tanner’s authentic trapper’s camp. He belongs to the AMM (American Mountain Man) group. They painstakingly research the Mountain Man period from roughly 1825-1840 and recreate the gear and lifestyle. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

    Gears and Chains

    Sprockets and Chains: On the way home, I stopped at a few spots to “do the grunge” thing. This was on an old piece of machinery in Ririe, ID. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Grain Separator

    Grain Separator: To be honest, I don’t know what this thing is? I can’t even begin to guess how anyone could engineer and build something like this! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Lark Bunting

    Lark Bunting: This isn’t a great shot, but I’ll post it here in case there are any “birders”. From what I understand, this bird isn’t common around here. I saw it in the top of sagebrush on the “Powerline Road” (dirt road portion of Ditch Creek Road) on Thursday. Richard Pontius has been spotting a few of them east of Cody.

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    June 9th, 2017:  – Friday

    “Per Teton County Road & Levee Department, the Cattleman’s Bridge over the Gros Ventre River on Spring Gulch Road (County Road 22-4) is closed until further notice. Teton County Sheriff’s Office deputies noticed structural changes to the bridge and immediately notified Road & Levee. Upon arrival, Road & Levee personnel closed the bridge due to apparent compromising of key structural features, likely due to high flows from the Gros Ventre River.”..received through Nixel.

    Another Day at the Office

    Brand New Feature Post: Another Day at the Office! I didn’t plan on adding another Feature Post so close to the last one, but this page “fell into my lap”.

    My recent Feature Post about Beating the Summer Crowds in Grand Teton National Park: mentioned going to Cascade Canyon and visiting Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. You can usually get there by taking the Ferry from Jenny Lake Visitor Area or hiking in from either end of the lake. A good friend, Maurice Horn added this comment to the page.

    “On Monday, June 5, 2017 We found Hidden Falls closed for maintenance and to give the area a rest and recovery from the vast hordes of people over many years. Boats were not landing at the boat dock on the West side of Jenny Lake. Some of the boats are work boats. The trail from the String Lake parking lot was closed after about two and a half miles. It was blocked with a closed sign. At that point the trail up into Cascade Canyon was open. Needless to say the String Lake parking lot was jammed with cars. We met lots of hikers, but much less than if the ferry boats were landing. Most boats that day seemed to be operating sightseeing tours on Jenny lake without landing anywhere.” MH

    Teton Wildflowers

    Teton Wildflowers: The RKO Road is open (finally!) Yesterday, I went to Bar-B-C for a few shots. Today, I made the 16.2 mile loop. This shot was taken just after first light of a hillside of Balsom Root. At the time, there were no clouds. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70 Lens, Handheld.

    RKO Clouds

    RKO Clouds: I’ve always driven the RKO road in a four wheel drive. I’d recommend one, even if you never put it into 4 wheel drive. The road is rough, and there are three rough, steep ravines. Around 7:00 am, clouds started rolling in. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70 Lens, Handheld.

    Snake River

    Snake River: The road follows parallel to the Snake in most areas, though elevated on a bench roughly 100 feet up. The Snake is running fast and muddy. It was supposed to have peaked yesterday, but I haven’t heard an official report. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70 Lens, Handheld.

    Incoming Clouds

    Incoming Clouds: Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70 Lens, Handheld.

    Pronghorn

    Pronghorn: In GTNP, Pronghorns can be quite elusive. This one seemed curious. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Bounding Pronghorn

    Bounding Pronghorn: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Mt. Moran

    Mt. Moran: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Blondie and Cub

    Blondie and Cub: Captured near Pilgrim Creek Road. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod

    Pilgrim Creek Road

    Pilgrim Creek Road: Typically, I don’t post the exact location of a bear, but you can see here that it was not a secret today. This is only a very small fraction of the people lining the roadway!

    Blondie's Cub

    Blondie’s Cub: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod

    Blondie and Cub

    Blondie and Cub: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod

    399 and Cubs

    399 and Cubs: I saw both sows with two COY each. This one caused and even larger bear jam. 399 has a collar. I cloned in some fur on this photo. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod

    Cathedral Group Plain

    Cathedral Group Plain: I took this shot from the Inner Park Loop Road near the Spaulding Bay entrance. I didn’t use a Polarizing Filter, Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70 Lens, Handheld.

    Cathedral Group with Polarizer

    Cathedral Group with Polarizer:  This shot shows how the image looked with my Polarizing Filter attached. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70 Lens, Handheld.

    Cathedral Group without Polarizer

    Cathedral Group with Lightroom Adjustments: In Lightroom, I adjusted the Luminosity of the blues using the Blue slider in the HSL adjustments. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70 Lens, Handheld.

    Cathedral Group NIK

    Cathedral Group NIK: In this photo, I started with the same image as the first one in this series, then applied the Polarizer filter in NIK Color Effex Pro. Over the past few years, I’ve moved away from using a polarizing filter in the field, and especially when doing pano images. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70 Lens, Handheld.

    Heading out early. Check back!

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    June 8th, 2017:  – Thursday

    Another Road Closure! Cattleman’s Bridge over the Gros Ventre River on Spring Gulch Rd is CLOSED until further notice.

    Gros Ventre Road

    This aerial photo is on GTNP’s Facebook page, showing the erosion next to Gros Ventre Road. While on Antelope Flats Road yesterday, I saw truck after truck go by with large boulders in the trailer. I assume they are dumping them into the river to protect the road.

    The gravel section of the Moose-Wilson Road should be open at 8:00 am today.

    Black Rock Ranger District site: This page shows some of the destruction and erosion in the Crystal Creek Campground.

    Jackson Lake Root

    Jackson Lake Root: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Spaulding Bay Wildflowers

    Spaulding Bay Wildflowers: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Spaulding Bay Wildflowers

    Spaulding Bay Wildflowers: Arrowleaf Balsom Root. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Bar BC Fireplace

    Bar BC Fireplace: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

    Bar BC Cabin: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

    Bison: Near Elk Ranch. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

    Morning Bison: Near Elk Ranch.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

    Pronghorn: Along the old Jackson Road near Elk Ranch. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Readhead Pair: Taken along Flat Creek. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

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    June 7th, 2017:  – Wednesday

    New Feature Post: Beating the Summer Crowds in Grand Teton National Park: After 31 years in Jackson Hole, I can hopefully share some insights on how to dodge much of the congestion in the Park and help relieve stress in the process! Check it out!

    GV Road Closure Map

    Gros Ventre Road Closure Map: This is a HUGE closure! The swift, high current of the Gros Ventre is undercutting the bank in one portion of the road. The last time I went by there, the Park Service had placed about 50 cones to keep people from parking along the edge. Since then, they closed that section of the road. When a went to the permit holder’s meeting a month or so ago, we were told that portion of the road would be converted to a one-way road towards Kelly during the August Eclipse. This could throw a massive wrench in that plan if the road is still closed or under construction at the time. Also, notice they also closed a portion of Mormon Row Road.

    The Other MAJOR Closure is the gravel section of the Moose-Wilson Road. It will open at 8:00 am tomorrow. You might find other temporary closures where water from local streams is covering roadways. Numerous officials were inspecting the flooding on the east side of the highway near the GV bridge last evening.

    Wildflowers

    Wildflowers: There are lots of Arrowleaf Balsom Root wildflowers along the East Boundary Road this year. I should have been out earlier when the sky was slate gray and moody over the mountains, but now know to be ready. There are many more varieties of wildflowers that appear to be coming up in the same area. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70 mm Lens.

    Traffic

    Traffic: This was taken at the intersection of Antelope Flats Road and the East Boundary Road. A large semi-truck had bunched this group up, but large numbers of campers, tour buses, tourists, and construction workers are having to use the two narrow roads to get to the GV campground and areas up the Gros Ventre drainage. Beating the Summer Crowds in Grand Teton National Park: Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70 mm Lens.

    Stormy Skies

    Stormy Skies: Taken at the Mormon Row barns. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70 mm Lens.

    Murphy Barn

    Murphy Barn: This homestead is on the north end of Mormon Row. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70 mm Lens.

    Bison Bull and Brown-headed Cowbirds

    Bison Bull and Brown-headed Cowbirds: Captured along Antelope Flats Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Sparring Bison

    Sparring Bison: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Sparring Bison

    Sparring Bison: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Tipi

    Tipi and Soggy Skies: Also captured along Antelope Flats Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR On.

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    June 6th, 2017:  – Tuesday

    Road Closures:

    • The gravel section of the Moose-Wilson Road is closed today for dust abatement and will reopen reopen by 8 a.m. Thursday, June 8. You will still have access to the LSR Preserve from the asphalt portion coming in from the North.
    • Pilgrim Creek Road is closed due to flooding and Grizzly activity.
    • Cattleman’s Bridge near Oxbow Bend is partially closed due to flooding.
    • The Gros Ventre Road is closed between the Highway Junction and somewhere near the GV Campground. The river is washing out the bank under the road. You can still access Kelly and the Campground via Antelope Flats Road.

    Sorry about the late post last night! Days are getting long and I didn’t return until close to dark. It takes a while to have some dinner and then go through the photos.

    Big News Flash: I mentioned it last night, but the Beaver Dams along the river section at Schwabacher are gone. High water from the main river washed them away. The old reflection pool is still in good shape.

    Teton Range

    Teton Range: Call this one a reconnaissance image…something I do a lot. I would need to get up EARLY and get to the vista views from Togwottee Mtn. This was taken at mid-morning. I can see a ton of potential there if the peaks are visible and there are good morning clouds and light. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm. Handheld.

    Balsom Root

    Arrowleaf Balsom Root are in full bloom on Togwottee Pass, mostly in the first few miles from the Hatchet Resort. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm. Handheld.

    Balsom Root

    Balsom Root: Taken from a hillside location on Togwottee Pass if heading towards Dubois from Moran Junction. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm. Handheld.

    Other Flowers: I am seeing Sticky Geraniums, early Mule’s Ear, Low Larkspur, more Purple Lupine, & Skyrocket Gillia scattered around.

    Young Marmots

    Young Marmots: Yellow-bellied Marmot babies are now starting to appear at the dens. This one was along Pilgrim Creek Road. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

    Young Marmots

    Young Marmots: There were at least four babies in this group. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

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    June 5th, 2017:  – Monday

    Afternoon Clouds

    Afternoon Clouds: I spent the morning going through some of the recent images and doing a little paperwork. Hopefully, I can get out some this afternoon, so check back. The image above was taken along Spring Gulch Road as a band of storm clouds passed by. (I had planned on watching the NBA championship game and doing the paperwork I am doing now, but when I see this kind of clouds, basketball and bookkeeping can wait.) I captured this one just as a cloud darkened the lower section—adding drama and interest. This image was captured as a two shot vertical pano and stitched in Lightroom. Most cameras have an AF/L button, but a D810 also has an AF/L-AE/L button that can lock both focus and exposure settings. This makes it very quick and easy to capture pano image parts. If you have a Nikon D800 or D810, give it a try! Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200 Lens,  Handheld.

    Google® Nik® Collection Discontinued: “The Nik Collection is free and compatible with Mac OS X 10.7 through 10.10; Windows Vista, 7, 8; and Adobe Photoshop through CC 2015. We have no plans to update the Collection or add new features over time.” Learn more about Nik. (Source: Google)  Better get this free collection while you can!

    Tomorrow!!!! – A temporary travel closure will be in place on the unpaved section of the Moose-Wilson Road in Grand Teton National Park June 6-8, for a dust abatement application. The temporary closure will begin at approximately 4 a.m. Tuesday, June 6 and the road will reopen by 8 a.m. Thursday, June 8.

    Meadowlark

    Meadowlark: Before heading out this afternoon, I set up the LensAlign and AF Fine tuned the Tamron 150-600mm G2 with both the Nikon D810 and Nikon D500. This Meadowlark was on Mormon Row Road. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Garter Snake

    Garter Snake: For now, I’ll call this a Garter Snake…could be a Ribbon Snake? This part of Wyoming has few reptiles so I typically don’t have to identify them. This snake was at Schwabacher Landing. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Schwabacher Landing

    Schwabacher Landing: Over the past few years, Beavers have been busy building a series of dams along the side channel of the Snake. They are all gone! Their handiwork is no match for this year’s gushing high water. The riffle above is from a remnant of the dam below the parking lot. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Baby Barrows

    Baby Barrows: The upper reflection pond is holding up fine (so far) and home to a set of eight baby Barrow’s Golden-eyes. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Baby Chisler

    Baby Chisler: There is a bumper crop of baby Uinta Ground Squirrels this year. There were lots of them at Schwabacher and I’ve seen a lot around the Barns. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Yellow-rumped Warbler

    Yellow-rumped Warbler: All of the shots at Schwabacher Landing were taken with the Tamron G2 and Nikon D500. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Fuzzy Yellow Flowers

    Fuzzy Yellow Flowers: Not sure the name of these flowers found in good numbers at Schwabacher Landing. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

    Three Quarter Moon

    Three Quarter Moon: Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

    Resting Cross Fox

    Resting Cross Fox: This one is quite shaggy right now. His penetrating eyes are captivating. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

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    June 4th, 2017:  – Sunday

    Bull Elk In Velvet

    Bull Elk In Velvet: I try to vary the subject matter here on Best of the Tetons. Grizzlies every day? (I wish I had that problem). I had a text report of one of the sows being visible this morning, but I opted to stay south and look for other subjects. These beautiful bulls were along the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR OFF at 1/500th second.

    Bull Elk In Velvet

    Bull On the Move: The sun was just beginning to show over the eastern mountains when I took these shots. That’s Jackson Peak in the background. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR On, Mode 3 at 1/320th second.

    Bull Elk In Velvet

    Bull Elk: These Elk were heading towards the cover of the forest when I first spotted them. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR On, Mode 3 at 1/320th second.

    Ruffed Grouse

    Ruffed Grouse: I heard this male “drumming”, which helped me find him initially. Taken along the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR OFF.

    Granite Creek

    Granite Creek: Just for something different, I drove around 30 miles south of Jackson to the Granite Creek Drainage. The creek is running high and off color, but nothing like the Oklahoma red mud color of the Hoback. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200 Lens, Handheld, VR OFF.

    Granite Falls

    Granite Falls:  After leaving the Hoback Canyon highway, the falls are roughly 10 miles up a gravel road. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200 Lens, Handheld, VR OFF.

    Granite Falls

    Granite Falls: I made it to the area at around 8:30am. The falls were still in the shadows, but not for long. If going back, I’d either leave 30 minutes earlier or would wait for an overcast day. Later in the year, you can walk out onto the terraces of the falls. Some people wade it to get to a natural hot springs pool on the other side, but not now! There’s a lot of water blasting through the area. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR OFF.

    Granite Falls

    Granite Falls: I processed around 10 images from there, but will only post these few. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR OFF.

    Granite Falls

    Granite Falls: By about 9:30 am, sun begins to hit the water in front of the falls, and eventually the entire zone. I shot this one using a tripod as a 5 shot bracketed set, with two stops between each capture. The five photos were blended to a single DNG file in Lightroom. Check out the links below for more information and maps to the Falls. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR OFF.

    Granite Falls and Granite Creek:
    Lesser Seen Regional Waterfalls
    Intermittent Springs: Another Lesser Seen Regional Waterfall.

    Granite Creek.

    Granite Creek: A fire swept through parts of the Granite Creek drainage last year. Fire crews protected the summer homes farther up the canyon. Evidence of the fire is visible in a few areas. Nikon D500 and Nikon 24-70mm. Handheld.

    Battle Mountain Lodge

    Battle Mountain Lodge: When we moved to Jackson back in 1986, some of these structures were still standing along the Hoback Canyon at the confluence of Granite Creek and Hoback River. There’s not much evidence of the building’s existence now.

    Tractor Grill

    Tractor Grill: For quite a few years, the Teton Mystery Spot attracted tourists as they drove through the Canyon. It had an antique store associated with it, which had quite a few antique tractors, harvesters, wagons and so forth. The area is being rezoned for housing, so the antique remnants will soon be history. I stopped in today and took a few photos before they are gone. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR OFF.

    “Don’t it always seem to go? You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”

    Afternoon Storm Clouds

    Afternoon Storm Clouds: Taken along Spring Gulch Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR OFF.

    Scratching Fox

    Scratching Fox: Late evening capture. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR On.

    Yawning Vixen

    Yawning Vixen: A temporary rest after a long day of hunting. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR On.

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    June 3rd, 2017:  – Saturday

    I spent the day on a tour—teaching and assisting. We worked on switching between photographing landscapes and wildlife using one body and several lenses. We were adjusting the EV settings to modify exposures in varying conditions and subjects.

    Wheels

    Wheels: Experimenting with depth of field on one of the old wagons near Kelly. This one was taken at F/2.8 at fairly close range. Nikon D500 and Nikon 70-200mm. Handheld

    Wildflowers

    Wildflowers: Shooting up through the backlit Balsom Root flowers on the Inner Park Loop Road. Nikon D500 and Nikon 24-70mm. Handheld

    Bison in Summer Grass

    Bison in Summer Grass: Taken along Antelope Flats Road. On these shots, I was explaining varying kinds of focusing methods along with tips on how to isolate a subject from distracting elements in the background. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm. Tripod, with VR off.

    Cathedral Group

    Cathedral Group: Taken along the road into the String Lake area. Nikon D500 and Nikon 24-70mm. Handheld.

    Teton Photo Excursions

    If you are considering a trip in September, I’d definitely recommend booking it NOW. Some of those slots are filling fast. June is filling, but there are still openings. For inquiries, send an email to info@tetonimages.com.

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    June 2nd, 2017:  – Friday

    Bison and Mt. Liedy

    Bison and Mt. Liedy: Soft morning light across Elk Ranch Flats. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm. Handheld, VR OFF.

    Marmot

    Yellow-bellied Marmot