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Best of the Tetons

August 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP

“The Heat of Summer and Prelude to Changes!

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August 23rd, 2017:  Wednesday

GTNP Founder’s Day Celebration August 25Entrance Fees Waived and Special Program with Ranger of the Lost Art Doug Leen

Road Closure

Remnant Road Closure: “Warm Springs Road” connects Mormon Row Road and the Kelly Warm Springs. It has been open most of the summer, but was barricaded on Monday for the Eclipse. The road usually offers chances to see Bison and Pronghorns, but it appears Park crews neglected to remove the closure barricades. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Pronghorns in Gold

Pronghorns in Gold: Three Pronghorn does along Mormon Road Road just after first light. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Ridgeline Pronghorn

Ridge Line Pronghorn: It is still a bit early for the Pronghorn rut, but they seem to be forming mid-sized herds with a buck or two hanging close. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Double the Wyoming Population? A story in the JH News and Guide suggested the Wyoming population doubled on Monday. After the Solar Eclipse, most of the temporary population was flowing back out of the state.

Ravens

Ravens: This morning, I hiked a nice section of the Gros Ventre River bottom, looking for Moose. The river bottom changed considerably during this year’s runoff.

Sunflowers

Sunflowers: Taken at the Wednesday Farmer’s Market at Snow King. Nikon D5 and Nikon 28-300mm Lens, Handheld, VR ON. 

Shoppers

Shoppers at the Farmer’s Market: Rain cut this edition of the Farmer’s Market short. GTNP lifted some of the fire restrictions beginning tomorrow. Nikon D5 and Nikon 28-300mm Lens, Handheld, VR ON. 

Onions

Onions: Farmer’s Market. Nikon D5 and Nikon 28-300mm Lens, Handheld, VR ON. 

Peppers

Peppers: Nikon D5 and Nikon 28-300mm Lens, Handheld, VR ON. 

TOUR OPENING!!!!

A client had to cancel two trips in the “prime time of September” due to an unplanned surgery.  His dates were September 20-23. I believe I had to turn away a couple of trips requested for those dates, but they are now available. LMK if interested in taking any of them! You might also notice that August is a good month for scenery and wildlife.  I have dates available, other than the 20th and 21st of August (eclipse dates in which I blocked out due to lack of accessibility in the Park),

If you are interested in taking a One-On-One Photo Tour with me, click the links below!

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  August and a few in early September and October. For inquiries, send an email to info@tetonimages.com.

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August 22nd, 2017:  Post Eclipse Day

JH News & Guide: Eclipse awes everyone in valley. Well…it’s over! The initial hype sounded a lot like the Y2K scare, but thanks to extensive planning, it appears the event came and went with little downsides. At least to me, the day felt like a holiday. Most businesses were open, but many closed for the hour between 11:00 am and 12 Noon. I did a quick run through the Park this morning. The Porta-Potties are still up and a few barricades block access to roads like Warm Springs Road. I didn’t see a lot of litter, which is amazing! I heard traffic along the main highways in Idaho was terrible as people made their way back to Salt Lake.

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck: Captured along Mormon Row Road this afternoon. The dirt road (Warm Springs Road) is still barricaded which kept me from the Bison there. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Black Bear

Black Bear: Captured along the Moose-Wilson Road late in the evening. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

 

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August 21st, 2017:  Solar Eclipse Day

Powderhorn Park

Powderhorn Park: 10:21 am. Traffic was light, skies were clear and blue, and the crowd was scattered sparsely throughout town. I heard Gros Ventre Road filled quickly after the 6:00 am opening. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens, Handheld. 

Snow King Ball Field

Snow King Ball Field: I did a quick loop through town including a stop at Snow King. These were taken at 10:30 am. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens, Handheld. 

Snow King

Snow King Chair Lifts: This was taken roughly an hour before totality. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens, Handheld. 

North Cache

North Cache: I doubt I’ve ever seen North Cache empty during any summer day. Apparently, everyone was already in their chosen spot. Miller Park and the Fairgrounds also had pockets of viewers. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens, Handheld. 

Visitor's Center

Visitor’s Center: I would estimate two hundred people gathered in the park just to the North of the Visitor’s Center. This was taken at 11:20 am. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens, Handheld. 

Visitor's Center

Visitor’s Center: By 11:21, the valley began to cool off and the sky darkened. I saw a flock of birds fly by as onlookers prepared for totality. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens, Handheld. 

Total Eclipse

Solar Eclipse: This photo was captured at the Visitor’s Center just as the sun began to reappear. Early projections made it sound like it could be a “zoo” in the valley with bumper to bumper traffic. I had planned on staying home and getting a few shots from my front yard, but after making a trip through town earlier in the day, I decided to go somewhere and be part of a crowd. I think that was a great decision. Onlookers cheered as the moon moved into position in front of the sun, and again as the sun began to reappear. The event was over WAY too fast!  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off. 

Notes on the Featured Image at the top of the page: That photo was taken a few seconds prior to the blue version above. The red one was processed by sliding the temperature and tint sliders towards the hot colors. In reality, the experience was much more like the one above. Anyone looking through the safety glasses would have seen a red sun against solid black, and I suspect that will be the case for anyone shooting through the filters if they were going for the various phases of the eclipse.

If you missed this eclipse, set your calendar for April 8, 2024 and head farther east! The path runs from Texas to Maine.

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August 20th, 2017:  Sunday

Jackson Hole’s Great Solar Eclipse: August 21: A page loaded with helpful links!

Eclipse Info Station

Eclipse Info Station: Located north of Kelly at the GV/Kelly Warm Springs Junction. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens, Handheld. 

Local Eclipse Notes

I stopped at the station above and asked a lot of questions, worth passing along here.

  • Camping is allowed in GTNP ONLY in the campsites. Rangers will be running off out of bounds campers this evening.
  • The Gros Ventre Road will be one way only from the Highway to Kelly on Monday.
  • The Park Service installed porta-potties every 1/4 mile from the Highway to Kelly and in numerous other areas.
  • The Park Service mowed the North side of the GV Road to allow for roughly 1600 vehicles. The east bound side of the road will be left open for travel.
  • IMPORTANT: The Gros Ventre Road from the Highway to Kelly will be CLOSED between 5:00 am and 6:00 am to add signs and turn it to one way.
  • Access to the Upper Gros Ventre between 5:00 am and 6:00 am will be via Antelope Flats Road.
  • IMPORTANT: No roadside parking along US Highway 26/89/191, Moose-Wilson Road, and Teton Park Road. Park in official pullouts only.
  • IMPORTANT: Viewers and tailgaters will be allowed to set up AFTER 6:00 am.
  • If you go to the Park between 4:30 am and 6:00 am, you can park at trail heads and hike into the back country, but you can’t set up for tailgating.
  • Fire Danger is HIGH. No Charcoal Fires. Propane style stoves okay.
  • The JH Airport will be restricting Eclipse Parking.

Area Links: Including numerous different weather reports. The Weather Channel is predicting Partly Cloudy at 11:00 to Mostly Sunny at Noon. Expect chilly temps around 39-45° in the morning and up to around the mid 60’s for totality.

Teton Morning

Teton Morning: I was out early today expecting to see big crowds in town for tomorrow’s Solar Eclipse. Instead, it was fairly quiet during the morning hours. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens, Tripod. 

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier: I was set up for landscapes when this Northern Harrier flew by. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens, Handheld. 

Channel Crossing

Channel Crossing: Bison crossing the outlet stream from the Kelly Warm Springs. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Bison Bull

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

Aquaduct

Aqueduct: How about a little history? After the land slide that created Slide Lake, the mud pots at Kelly began flowing with warm water. Residents dug ditches to irrigate the valley floor. The main ditch from the Kelly Warm Springs crosses Ditch Creek via this aqueduct, then continues NW towards the John Moulton Barn while Ditch Creek flows east to the Snake River. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens, Handheld. 

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans: Taken along Flat Creek. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird: Nikon D810 and Nikon 200-500mm

 

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August 19th, 2017:  Saturday

Pronghorn Doe

Pronghorn Doe: Early morning photo of a Pronghorn Doe in the hay fields between Gros Ventre Road and Antelope Flats Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Pronghorn Youngsters

Pronghorn Youngsters: I would estimate seeing 75 Pronghorns this morning, along with a couple of herds of Bison. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird: Nikon D810 and Nikon 200-500mm

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August 18th, 2017:  Friday

Bison In Gold

Bison In Gold: Gold light, morning haze, and bison moving across the valley floor. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Pronghorn in Gold

Pronghorn in Gold: Pronghorns and Bison share much of the same terrain in the southern portions of the Park. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Pronghorn and Bison

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

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

On the Move

On the Move: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

JH News & Guide: Campers Try Their Luck. This article echos a comment I made yesterday about campers lined up at the Gros Ventre  Campground office—some since 4:30 am. I also mentioned that the Park Service put up rope barricades along Mormon Row Road. The bison herd “fixed” some of that this morning.

Evening in the Tetons

Bison in Gold Grass

Bison in Gold Grass: Captured along Antelope Flats Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Bison in Gold Grass

Bison in Gold Grass: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Bison in Gold Grass

Bison Herd: This herd appeared to be migrating from the northern portions of the Park. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Bison Head

Bison Head: This Bison has a unique hairdo…or is it a furdo?  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

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August 17th, 2017:  Thursday

Osprey Chick

Osprey Chick: I checked the Osprey nest this morning. Two of the chicks have now fledged and are sitting on nearby branches and posts. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Chipmonk

Chipmonk: An active little critter, feeding on berries of late summer. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Chipmonk

Chipmonk: Let’s see…would I prefer to photograph a Grizzly feeding on berries, or a little critter like this? Hmmmm. It depends. If I can only slow down and shoot out the window for 3 seconds and move on (and take my chances on whether the bear is looking up during the three seconds), or if I can leisurely capture this little subject, I’ll take the critter. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Bison and Barns

Bison and Barns: A herd of around 50 Bison are in the southern portion of the Park now. They crossed Antelope Flats Road just to the West of the Mormon Row Barns this afternoon. D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Bison Bull

Bison Bull: The Bison were on the move when I saw them, appearing to be heading to Ditch Creek for water. As you can see, the grass in that area is quite tall. D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Eclipse Notes: I drove into the Gros Ventre Campground this morning to find around 25 people lined up outside the office at 7:30 am. Other campers were driving in as I was driving back out. All of these people are hoping to get a campsite for the weekend and Monday Solar Eclipse. Much of Mormon Row Road now has steaks and rope along it to keep people from parking there. Many private roads along the highway have No Parking signs. Some of the side roads in town have No Left Turn lanes now. Gasoline went up another 10¢ per gallon to $2.69 per gallon.

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August 16th, 2017:  Wednesday

The Grand and Bison Bull

The Grand and Bison Bull: Captured on Elk Flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Badger

Badger: Captured near Elk Reservoir. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Badger

Badger: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Teton Horses

Teton Horses: Four shot stitched Pano at Elk Flats. (Click the image to see it larger) Nikon D500 and Nikon 70-200mm

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans: Captured along Flat Creek. There are still three Cygnets in this local family. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans: Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

A Few Moose-Wilson Road Notes: The Wildlife Brigade has now placed orange cones in most of the pullouts along the curvy portion Moose-Wilson Road, making it almost impossible to take a photo of anything there. Apparently, these otherwise legal pullouts will be coned off the rest of the “berry season”. When a bear is spotted in a Black Hawthorne tree, brigade members stand close by and allow vehicles to stop for 3 seconds and move on. They are not allowing people to park down the roads in legal spots and the walk on the roadway. Today, there was a Moose in “Moose Pond”, but we could not get a shot. We had similar experiences along Pacific Creek Road with 399 and her cubs.

 

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August 15th, 2017:  Tuesday

John Moulton Barn

John Moulton Barn: Broken clouds allowed a band of early light across the golden grasses behind the barn. Nikon D5 and Nikon 28-300mm G2 Lens.

Bee and Flowers

Bee and Flowers: Taken at the top of Signal Mountain. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Dusky Grouse

Dusky Grouse: Taken at the top of Signal Mountain Lodge. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Black Bear

Black Bear: This beautiful adult bear was captured at the top of Signal Mountain. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Black Bear

Black Bear: Same bear on the move. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Black Bear

Black Bear: Bears traditionally go to Signal Mountain at this time of the year for the Service Berries and Huckleberries. Other bears search for White Bark Pine cones in the higher elevations, while others search for Black Hawthorn berries along the river bottoms. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

 

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August 14th, 2017:  Monday

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird: It was overcast with occasional drizzle this morning. I set up the strobes and spent some time trying to photograph one of the male hummingbirds. Success rate is very low! Many of the culls are a result of poor wing positioning, but that’s totally a matter of luck based on the speed of their wings.

My Hummingbird Settings: Nikon D810 with Tamron 150-600mm G2 in full Manual Mode. ISO 160, 1/320th Second, at F/9. The shot is lit by three remote strobes being controlled by a Nikon SU-800 and Radio Poppers (Radio Frequency). The strobes are also in Manual Mode at 1/32, 1/64, or sometimes 1/128 power and at around 35mm zoom. I control the shutter with a Vello RFN-4s, allowing me to move around the deck and do some homework if necessary. I focused on the tip of the small, single port feeder, then switch the lens into Manual Focus Mode. Some of the Hummers feed, then pull back, pause and head in for more sugar water (1:4 mix ratio). I have a small “squeaker” from a stuffed animal that I occasionally use to get them to pull back from the feeder for a few seconds. The feeder is under a “grill gazebo” with a fabric backdrop, allowing me to control the light.

Hummingbird Setup

Hummingbird Setup: I should probably reshoot this image, taken accidentally at 1/1000th second and pushing the ISO to 14400. I circled the three strobes, held up with “Justin Clamps”.  The strobe on the ground lights up the background and occasionally catches the males gorget. The grill gazebo was purchased at Smith’s grocery store after they dropped from around $135 to a price closer to $100. My old one crumpled under the weight of the winter snow.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird: Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off. 

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird: Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off. 

Countdown to the Solar Eclipse: A week from today, the region will be overrun with tourists, photographers, and star gazers. Gasoline went up by 10¢ per gallon a few days ago…now $2.59 at most stations in town. It is always more expensive inside the Parks and on the outskirts of town. Most hotels are fully booked. There are lots of links on this page:  Jackson Hole’s Great Solar Eclipse

Additional Local Eclipse Links

 

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August 13th, 2017:  Sunday in the Park

Clouds and Morning Glow

Clouds and Morning Glow: Good news….some of the smoke cleared overnight! Trace amounts helped light up the Eastern clouds. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens, Handheld. 

Schwabacher Landing Pano

Schwabacher Landing: This is a two shot pano I took at Schwabacher Landing early this morning. (Click the image to see it much larger)  Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens, Tripod. 

Ripening Berries

Ripening Berries: I spent some time along Moose-Wilson Road, hoping a black bear would become visible. He didn’t. I believe these are Service Berries. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Pronghorns

Pronghorns: Captured in the hay fields between the East Boundary Road and Mormon Row Road. Mt. Moran in visible in the background. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Washakie

Washakie: Last Fall, Washakie broke off one of his antlers. I was worried the stub would cause problems with this year’s antler growth, but it apparently fell off. I’ve been photographing this bull since 2006. Check out this earlier Feature Post: Washakie. Washakie can be distinguished by the scar on the right side of his muzzle (becoming more faint each year), his distinctive antler growth and a cut in each of his ears. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Washakie and Youngster

Washakie and Youngster: I’ve overheard wildlife tour guides telling their clients that bull Moose are solitary animals, except during the rut when they hang with the cows. I find that to be an inaccurate statement in this Park—especially during August. I sometimes see five to six of them in a cluster. They seem to enjoy each other’s company. Another bull was bedded down on the other side of these two. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Alter Bull Moose

Alter Bull Moose: This will be a very respectable moose by the time his antlers finish growing this year. I was standing in the shadows about 40 yards off. They knew I was around, but stopped paying me any attention. Something upstream caught this one’s eye. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Bull Crossing Dry Channel

Bull Crossing Dry Channel of the Gros Ventre: The antlers will continue to grow until the last couple of days of August to the first week of September. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Washakie in Willows

Washakie: Right now, there is an abundance of food along the Gros Ventre and Snake River. Washakie’s antler growth is well ahead of the other two bulls. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird: I only had a few visitors this evening. Maybe more tomorrow! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

 

Social Hour:The Hoback Volunteer Fire Department is having their fundraiser BBQ today. There are two Free Concerts “In the Commons” at Teton Village this evening, plus the Art and Antique Show and Sale at Teton Village today.

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August 12th, 2017:  Saturday

Sunrise Over Flat Creek

Sunrise Over Flat Creek: Peach and pastel oranges were visible in the morning sunrise. Sleeping Indian (Sheep Mountain) is less dominant in this photo. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Handheld

Lots going on today!

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August 11th, 2017:  Friday

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.

 

Geese and Morning Clouds

Geese and Morning Clouds: Low clouds and fog were part of the valley again this morning. Flocks of Canada Geese are a fairly common scene now. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off. 

Osprey in Flight

Osprey in Flight: Taken along the Snake River south of Jackson. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off. 

Osprey Landing

Osprey Landing: The female Osprey is now staying off the nest for most of the time. She flies by regularly and returns to the nest once in a while. I was there around an two and a half hours and never saw the male, nor did it look like they had been fed. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off. 

Osprey Chicks

Osprey Chicks: The chicks are beginning to flap their wings. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off. 

Osprey in Tree

Osprey in Tree: I saw the female fly down to the river once, but came up empty handed. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off. 

 

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August 10th, 2017:  Thursday

Pronghorns

Pronghorns: Captured before first light along Mormon Row Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON. 

First of the Sun

First of the Sun: Sun rising over Shadow Mountain taken from Antelope Flats Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off. 

Bison

Bison: Captured just after first light on the East Boundary Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON. 

Mule Deer Fawn

Mule Deer Fawn: Wedding photographers love this kind of morning or evening light. Throw in the remnants of the morning fog, and there’s a unique glow. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON. 

Mule Deer Buck

Mule Deer Buck: I drove down the Moose-Wilson Road, then returned to the spot where I photographed the fawn. A couple of bucks had moved closer to the road, still backlit by the morning sun. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON. 

Foggy Barn

Foggy Barn: The town and areas south of town remained in the fog for much of the morning. This was taken just south of town. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON. 

South Park Barn

South Park Barn: Take on the South Park Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON. 

Wildflowers

Wildflowers: Taken in South Park. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON. 

August should be fairly productive, so if you are interested in taking a One-On-One Photo Tour with me, click the links below!

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  August and a few in early September and October. For inquiries, send an email to info@tetonimages.com.

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August 9th, 2017:  Wednesday

Gros Ventre Sunrise

Gros Ventre Sunrise: Taken along Gros Ventre Road just after the sun cleared the eastern mountains. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON. 

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron: Taken along the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON. 

Moose Cow and Calf

Moose Cow and Calf: These two were grazing on aquatic vegetation in “Moose Pond” along the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON. 

Moose Cow and Calf

Moose Cow and Calf: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON. 

Moose Cow and Calf

Moose Cow and Calf: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON. 

Moose Cow and Calf

Moose Cow and Calf: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON. 

 

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August 8th, 2017:  Tuesday

Sunrise

Sunrise: Fiery orange sun, filtered by low clouds and smoke. Taken along the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON. 

Early August Notes: Fire Danger is HIGH. I don’t know of any fires in the immediate area, but smoke from regional fires are affecting our skies. Morning lows are around 45°F and will only get to 71° this afternoon. It has been a pleasant summer so far. I don’t believe we’ve broken the 90° mark this year. Gasoline has remained at $2.49 per gallon for Unleaded at many stations in town. Check out: FREE in Jackson Hole ~ Areas & Activities: There are quite a few inexpensive opportunities in JH in the summer, including the free Gondola ride at Teton Village. This year, the rides start at 5:00pm. There are lots of wildflowers at upper elevations.

Goldola Ride

  • Gondola Ride at Teton Village: Throughout the summer, you can ride the Bridger Gondola to the Coulior Restaurant for free. Show up at 5:00 pm and bring your camera and jacket! Most Saturdays are booked with private parties and weddings, along with some Fridays, so it might be best to call earlier the day. There’s a large deck for relaxation and viewing. They serve appetizers and drinks, but people are not required to buy them. The ride down is free, too!

I can use your help! Please help me by spreading the word about Best of the Tetons! Let your friends and family know about it, and mention it on other forums or bulletin boards if anyone asks about JH or the Tetons. Also, sign up to follow Best of the Tetons if you would like to receive a notice of a new Feature Post! MJ

Berries

Berries: I took this photo yesterday along the Moose-Wilson Road. As more of the crop ripens, expect more bears, and expect more cones, parking restrictions and road closures. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180mm Micro, Handheld.  

Early Foliage

Early Color: If you look around, you can find hints of fall. These were along Moose-Wilson Road.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC On.

Mallard Duck

Mallard Duck: I could be wrong, but I think this is a Drake that has lost it’s summer breeding colors. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans: The family of six cygnets on Flat Creek is down to three, but it has been that way for several weeks. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Trumpeter Swan

Trumpeter Swans: One of the two adults taking care of their youngsters. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Spring Gulch Road: In case you haven’t been reading the site regularly, spring run-off washed out the bridge over the Gros Ventre River on Spring Gulch Road. The County is letting bikers across the bridge, but it will remain closed to vehicles all summer and winter. This cuts off one of the secondary roads through the JH valley.

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August 7th, 2017:  Monday

Fire Danger Level Upgraded to HIGH!

Black Bear

Black Bear: Spotted on the Moose-Wilson Road. Berries are beginning to ripen there. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.  

Black Bear

Black Bear: This is a beautiful chocolate brown colored Black Bear. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.  

Black Bear

Black Bear: Black Hawthorn berries, Choke Cherries, and Service Berries often grow in this area of the park, attracting both Black Bears and an occasional Grizzly. Bears have also  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.  

Coyote

Coyote: Taken along Mormon Row Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.  

Coyote

Coyote: This morning, I saw elk, deer, moose, eagle, osprey, black bear, bison, fox, coyote, American Kestrel, ravens, meadowlark, bluebirds, magpies, and Northern Harrier. The smoke adds an amber color shift during the morning hours. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.  

Swainson's In Flight

Swainson’s In Flight: Found along Mormon Row Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.  

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck: Also found along Mormon Row Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.  

Bison Bull and Cow

Bison Bull and Cow: Captured in the hay fields north of Kelly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.  

Weed Center

Weed Center: Taken along the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180mm Micro, Handheld.  

Weed Center

Weed Center: Taken along the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180mm Micro, Handheld.   

Lake Creek

Lake Creek: Taken at the Lowrance S. Rockefeller Preserve. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180mm Micro, Handheld.   

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August 6th, 2017:  Sunday

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: Taken along the Gros Ventre River before sunrise. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.  

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: You might think I was close to this bull, but I was actually on the other side of the fast flowing river. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens,Tripod, VC Off.  

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: I hung around for a while, hoping he would step to the river for a drink. Instead, he moved back into the willows. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.  

Sunrise

Sunrise: I took this shot with the same setup I was using for the Moose. Recent sunrises have had a heavy influence of rose color from smoke from the area fires. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.  

Pronghorn

Pronghorn: I took this photo from the walking path along Mormon Row. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.  

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron: Taken along Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.  

Ruffed Grouse

Ruffed Grouse: Also captured along Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.  

Wildflowers

Wildflowers: Taken at Emily’s Pond along the Snake River. Nikon D5 and Nikon 28-300mm Lens, Handheld, VC ON.      

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August 5th, 2017:  Saturday

Stomping the Divots  (jhnewsandguide.com) I should mention this event happening this afternoon at 5:00pm. This is a Polo match fundraiser at Melody Ranch to benefit the Jackson Hole Therapeutic Riding Association.

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel: Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.      

Corey Skateboarding

Corey Skateboarding: Our two “kids” are in town this weekend. I followed them to the local skate park late in the day for a few shots. Nikon D5 and Nikon 14-24mm Lens, Handheld.      

Tyler in Snake River

Tyler in Snake River: Yesterday, they floated down a calm section of the Snake River. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.      

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August 4th, 2017:  Friday

Smoke: The JH New & Guide says the smoke and haze in JH is coming from “a number of large wildfires burning actively in west-central Montana and Idaho’s Bitterroot Range and even as far away as British Columbia.”

Osprey Female

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

Osprey Male with Fish

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

Osprey Male with Fish

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

Osprey Male with Fish

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

Osprey Pair

Osprey PairNikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Three Osprey Chicks

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

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel: Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

A River Runs Through It

A River Runs Through It: Fishermen on the Snake River. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

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August 3rd, 2017:  Thursday

Rose Sunrise

Rose Sunrise: Another day with a layer of  peach and rose colored smoke obscuring details in the mountains. I took this photo overlooking Walton Ranch on the East side of the Snake River. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

Bison Herd

Bison Herd: The Bison rut normally occurs in August in Grand Teton National Park. For much of the early summer, a large herd could be seen at Elk Flats, but it appears they are moving back to the southern zones of the Park. I saw 150-200 of them today near Antelope Flats Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF.

Brewers Blackbird

Brewers Blackbird: Taken along Mormon Row Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF.

Yellow-billed Cukoos: I’ve had a few reliable reports of one or more Yellowe-billed Cukoos along some of the side channels of the Snake River. “Yellow-billed Cuckoos are fairly common in the East but have become rare in the West in the last half-century.”…All About Birds

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck: Taken along Mormon Row Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF.

Pronghorn Buck

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

Notes from Home: It appears Adobe updated Photoshop and Lightroom overnight. After rebooting, I am missing almost all of my Import, Develop, and Export presets in Lightroom plus all of my Actions in Photoshop. I have them saved on another drive, but will take a while to get everything back in order.

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August 2nd, 2017:  Wednesday

Sunrise On Flat Creek

Sunrise On Flat Creek: Taken at the Observation Platform on Flat Creek. Sleeping Indian is just to the right of the rising sun. Yesterday, a layer of smoke filled much of the valley, apparently from a fire somewhere in the region. It was a bit hazy this morning, which helped turn the first light of the sun into very rich orange. I shot this image as three bracketed images, then combined and processed in Lightroom. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm.

Pronghorn Doe and Fawns

Pronghorn Doe and Fawns: This years youngsters are growing rapidly. I took this photo in the Kelly area. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

Pronghorn Doe and Fawn

Pronghorn Doe and Fawn: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

Bison and Cowbirds

Bison and Cowbirds: Taken in the golden grasses north of Kelly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

Portrait

Portrait: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

Red-tailed Hawk

Swainson’s Hawk: These birds are difficult for me to consistently identify. They can have many different color phases and variants. I took this photo along Mormon Row Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

Mule Deer Doe

Mule Deer Doe: Taken at the R Park (Rendezvous Park) near Wilson. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

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August 1st, 2017:  Tuesday

Note: The first week or so of August should resemble the last two or three weeks of July. Check out: July 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP

Sunrise Pano

Sunrise Pano: It’s a tough call when you have a sunrise like this one developing on one side and three Bull Elk on the other side. I took this three shot pano, then concentrated on the Elk! (Click the image to see it much larger) Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld, VR ON.

Bull Elk in Velvet

Bull Elk in Velvet: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

Morning Elk and Jackson Peak

Morning Elk and Jackson Peak: Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld, VR ON.

Morning Bull Elk

Bull Elk: This one is a bit out of order, taken before the sun came up in the East. This bull is missing its ears!  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

Elk and Grand

Elk and The Grand: Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld, VR ON.

Willow Flats Pano

Willow Flats Pano: Captured as four horizontal images, then stitched in Lightroom. (Click the image to view it much larger). Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld, VR ON.

This morning, I got up early and made it to the Park well before sunrise. I spotted quite a few Elk along the Inner Park Loop Road, near Timbered Island, and a few on the RKO Road. The North/South portion of the RKO Road is closed at this time. I found Bison, Pronghorns, and a Coyote in and around Elk Flats. Two or three Moose were reported along the Gros Ventre this morning.

Bison Bull

Bison Bull: Captured near Elk Flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk: Captured near Elk Flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

Other Notes

As I reflect back on Augusts past, the two big headlines always include the Bison rut and the appearance of Bull elk and Bull moose with their rapidly growing, velvet covered antlers. This year, the “norm” will be shattered when thousands of visitors flock to Jackson Hole to experience Jackson Hole’s Great Solar Eclipse on August 21st. Expect it to be extra busy for the week preceding the event, too.

Teton County Fair 2017 If you visited the page the day I posted it, you might want to revisit it. Over the week, I added photos and comments.

Fishing: On August 1st, a few of Grand Teton National Park’s “smaller water” opens for the season. A section of Flat Creek opens, along with some of the creeks below Blacktail Butte Overlook, and Cottonwood Creek downstream from Jenny Lake. The Snake River has cleared and is reported to be fishing well.

 

July 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP

“Jackson Hole is Hitting on All Cylinders!

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

Monthly Overviews for JH / GTNP .

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July 31st, 2017:  Monday

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck: I found this buck along Mormon Row Road this afternoon. This buck was amazingly tolerant—grazing alongside the road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF.

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck: There are only two of the many images I took of this good looking fellow. I didn’t seen any Bison in the area, but I heard there was a visible herd earlier in the day.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF.

Wind Turbine

Wind Turbine: Taken along Mormon Row Road. I liked the clouds today! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF.

Teton County Fair 2017:  The Fair is over. If you visited the page the day I posted it, you might want to revisit it. Over the week, I added photos and comments. Tomorrow, we’ll be turning a page on the calendar into August! I’ll start a brand new Daily Journal and begin filling it with new photos and comments. I’ll soon be back in my normal wildlife and scenic mode.

Abstract

Abstract: One more from the 2017 Teton County Fair. This is the Ferris Wheel. The lens was spun (in the collar) during a long exposure. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

Dizzy Dragons

Dizzy Dragons: One of the Kid’s rides at the fair. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

Folded Ferris Wheel

Folded Ferris Wheel: The Fair ended at Midnight last night. By 7:00 am this morning, most of the rides had been collapsed and were ready to roll. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF.

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July 30th, 2017:  Sunday

Osprey

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

Osprey

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

Osprey

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

Osprey

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

Chipmonk

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

This is the last day of the Teton County Fair. Catch it if you can!…or look for one in your area.

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 29th, 2017:  Saturday

First Hummingbird

First Hummingbird: If you have been following along, I’ve mentioned that Hummingbirds have been unusually scarce this year. Lately, I have been seeing and hearing a lot more of them. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

4H Auction

New Feature Post: Teton County Fair 2017 I uploaded this page yesterday afternoon, then went back to the Teton County Fair to take a few shots of the “quiet” fair activities. I added a few of them this afternoon. The Fair continues today and through tomorrow night. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

Rock Star

New Rock Star Ride at the Teton County Fair 2017: Nikon D5 and Nikon 14-24mm Lens

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July 28th, 2017:  Friday

Morning Bull Moose

Morning Bull Moose: Captured along the Gros Ventre River. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC ON.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle: Taken on the Snake River near Wilson. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

Morning Clouds

Morning Clouds: Taken from the gravel road north of Kelly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

Ford Pickup

Ford Pickup: Captured along the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Handheld.

Cordell at the Fair

Cordell at the Fair: Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Handheld.

Fresh, Hot Pizza

Fresh, Hot Fair Pizza: Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Handheld.

Kevin at the Fair

Kevin at the Fair: Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Handheld.

Teton County Fair

Teton County Fair: Taken from atop the Ferris Wheel. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Handheld.

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July 27th, 2017:  Thursday

Brightest Meteor Shower In The Recorded Human History: Everyone knows about the Solar Eclipse that will occur on August 21, how about a big meteor shower on August 12th! Click the link for more info.

Fair Time!

Teton County Fair

Teton County Fair: The rides and midway opened at 5:00 pm on Wednesday. Over the weekend, they begin at 1:00 pm to Midnight. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

Crescent Moon

Crescent Moon: I took these two photos Wednesday night. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

2017 Fair Notes: Vertigo and the Carousel rides are missing this year, making room for two new rides. The Zipper has been revamped, but it is missing the lights over the main sign. You’ll probably like this year’s layout! Entry to the Teton County Fair midway is FREE. See you at the Fair!

Zipper

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

Ferris Wheel

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

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July 26th, 2017:  Wednesday

Remember the Road Closure on the Gravel Section of the Moose-Wilson Road today. It will reopen at 8:00 am Thursday! Also know the bridge over the Gros Ventre on Spring Gulch Road will be closed all summer! Pilgrim Creek Road is open again.

Sunrise Bull Bison

Sunrise Bull Bison: During the Winter months, I drive down the Snake River Canyon looking for “one good goat” in good light and in a nice perch on a shear cliff (Mountain Goats of the Snake River Canyon:). It never hurts to find dozens of them, but it only takes one to have a great day and come home with lots of photos. That was the case today! I found one nice looking bull Bison coming off a bluff near the south end of Blacktail Butte. I stayed with him for about an hour of the best light of the morning. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

Morning Bison

Morning Bison: Grasses are still green across the valley but are changing and “dulling” gradually. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

Sunrise Bison

The Hay Fields: Early settlers cleared sagebrush from large tracts of land near Kelly. The “hay fields” are still visible in the area, attracting Bison and Pronghorns. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

Sunrise Bison

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

TA Moulton Barn

TA Moulton Barn: Clouds looked nice, so I stopped by the Mormon Row barns for a couple of quick photos. This is a two shot stitched Pano. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Handheld.

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July 25th, 2017:  Tuesday

Cowboy Bar Sign

Cowboy Bar Sign: Late evening in downtown Jackson. It is fairly common to see a crane truck and sign maintenance crew working on the Cowboy Bar’s vintage neon sign. I wish I had the money the Cowboy Bar owners spend each year maintaining it! Looks like they need to come back to Jackson for another service call! Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld, VR On.

Remember the Road Closure on the Gravel Section of the Moose-Wilson Road today and Wednesday. It will reopen at 8:00 am Thursday!

I had a One-On-One Photography Excursion today. It was a productive, instructional tour—even though I didn’t take many photos to post here today.

2015 Fair

As I was driving home, I noticed the Teton County Fair is now in operation. Frazier Shows showed up yesterday with the rides and midway attractions. They appear to be ready to rock and roll, but possibly not until tomorrow? Check out some of these earlier posts!

The Hole Hiking Experience – Jackson Hole Hiking You might enjoy a back country hiking tour with one of the longest running CUA permit holders in Grand Teton National Park.

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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.

Mule Deer Buck

Mule Deer Buck: One of three bucks captured on Spring Gulch Road late in the afternoon. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm Lens, Handheld, VR On.

Spring Gulch Road

Sunset along Spring Gulch Road: Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld, VR On.

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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.

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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.

    Working in 16 Bit Mode

    Memory is Cheap — Memories are Priceless!

    I typically shoot in 14 bit and process in 16 bit in Photoshop as long as I can. Here’s why…

    16 Bit Clobber and Recovery

    The issue is not what you can see, or what your monitor can display, or what your printer can print—but what is under the hood of the file! I believe you will be amazed by the examples! (For this article, 8 bit vs 16 bit refers to Color Bit Depth while using Lightroom and Photoshop.)

    14 Bit Capture 16 Bit Image

    16 Bit Export

    The image above was captured with a Nikon D810 in 14 bit mode. I set that in the camera’s menus long ago and never looked back! The files are much larger, so they fill cards faster, fill the buffer quicker, and possibly slow down the frame rate on some cameras. You might consider these issues up front. You can always “downgrade” a capture during your workflow, but you can’t “upgrade” one. As seen in the screen grab, I export images from Lightroom to Photoshop by selecting the 16 bits/component option.

    5 percent Output

    For this example, I am going to CLOBBER the image by bringing the output levels to 5, darkening it to almost black. I’ll be doing the same commands to an 8 bit image in a minute.

    16 bit at 5 Output

    It doesn’t look like there is much data here. Now comes the magic!

    Adjust Input to 5 percent

    I adjusted the Levels on the “black image” by dragging the white slider in the Input Levels to 5 and hit OK.

    Results After Input

    Wow! It looks darned good! The tiny bit of data in the “clobbered” image’s histogram has been “stretched” to fill the entire histogram.

    5 percent output

    If I open the Levels box again, I still have a good histogram. Personally, I think this is amazing! Now watch what happens with an 8 bit file.

    8 Bit Clobber and Recovery

    8 bit File

    8 bit Export

    This is the same 14 bit image, exported this time at 8 bits. (You won’t be able to see any differences in an 8 bit JPG web image).

    5 percent Output

    Just as before, I dragged the Output Levels to 5, which darkened the entire image.

    8 bit at 5 Output

    Same 8 bit image at 5 Output. It looks that same as the first 16 bit image.

    5 percent Output

    To recover the dark image, I opened the Input Levels adjustment tool and dragged the white slider all the way to the left to 5 and hit the OK button.

    8 bit File

    This shows the results of the Input slider at 5.

    Results on 8 Bit File

    The Histogram on this recovered 8 bit file looks terrible and the sky is severely posterized. This 8 bit file NEVER had the same amount of data that was stored in the 16 bit version.

    The Real World

    Underexposed Image

    No one would ever “clobber” an image like I did in the two previous examples, but everyone takes an underexposed image once in a while…or often. It might look a lot like the one above.

    Levels Adjustment

    The common, and easy fix, is to drag the white slider in the Input Levels to the left until it touches the right edge of the histogram. (Note: you can do this with Curves, too)

    Adjusted Image

    After the quick Levels adjustment, the underexposed image looks correct again, and if you followed along with the previous examples, it’s histogram will have been slightly “stretched”, but still have plenty of data if I had been working with a 16 bit file.

    Should you shoot in 12 bit or 14 bit for your raw files? This debate can get hot and hostile!

    First, let me grab a quote from John Sherman at Photography Life. “12-bit image files can store up to 68 billion different shades of color. 14-bit image files store up to 4 trillion shades. That’s an enormous difference, so shouldn’t we always choose 14-bit when shooting RAW? Here’s a landscape I snapped, then found out later I had shot it in 12-bit RAW. Better toss this one out, right?”

    14-bit vs 12-bit RAW – Can You Tell The Difference?

    John’s conclusions seem to indicate he couldn’t find much difference. I found sites that landed on both sides of the answer.

    The Wrap Up

    Each day, there are countless numbers of photos taken with point and shoot cameras, iPhones, and even professional level camera bodies in (8 bit) JPG format. Some shoot in RAW + JPG, giving them quick access to their process JPG files and full control later with RAW files. JPGs are small in file size, and in most cases have been processed using the camera’s software for hue,  saturation, contrast and sharpening. But, they are almost always JPGs with 8 bits.

    I seldom shoot anything but 14 bit RAW files—knowing I can convert them to JPGs at any time. I also know I have options to export my 14 bit captures to 8 or 16 bit images. Again, I can downgrade the files but not upgrade them after capture. Also consider…at this moment in time, some people cannot see the difference in files shot at 12 bit and 14 bit, but technology is changing fast! I sometimes look at some of my oldest images captured as JPGs and wish I had taken them as RAW files. I have a tendency to think of them as primitive images, or not up to par. A few years from now, I might think the same thing about 12 bit RAW captures?

    While I process a lot of the images seen on Best of the Tetons with only Lightroom adjustments, my “important” images always go through Photoshop, even if the heavy lifting was executed in Lightroom. Photoshop is definitely a player if I plan on adding textures or compositing images.

    Many people work in 16 bit in Photoshop “as long as they can” before being forced to work in 8 bit. Sometimes, converting to 8 bit is the very last step when a web sized JPG image is required. Other times, third party filters require the conversion to 8 bit. I watched a web cast a while back featuring many of the Photoshop filter packages that were available for purchase. Throughout the web cast, web audience members were writing in to find out if the filters were 16 bit. Many are 16 bit of course, but unfortunately not all of them! Interestingly, even with Adobe Photoshop CC 2017’s Filter Gallery functions only on 8 bit files.

    I definitely shoot in 14 bit for sunrise, sunset, and night shots. In other words, the tough captures may need the benefit of all of the data, while captures in bright, sunny days may not. I might switch back to 12 bit if it looked like I was running out of space on my memory cards. Memory cards are relatively cheap and hard drives are constantly getting cheaper, so staying in 14 bit when I can makes sense to me. My current lineup of cameras don’t seem to be adversely affected by shooting in 14 bit, but my older D300 dropped from 7 FPS to 2.5 FPS when shooting in 14 bit. Your camera may or may not have similar issues.

    Out of curiosity, I dug through my Lightroom Catalog and found a similar photo to the example image, shot in 2011 using a Nikon D300 in 12 bit. I put that shot through the same Photoshop routine as the example image. That file looked fine—without gaps in the histogram nor did it have a posterized sky. Worth mentioning!

    Lastly, you can do Internet searches for “14 bit vs 12 bit” and “8 bit vs 16 bit”. If someone tells you that 14 bit files can contain 4 trillion “shades” of color and 12 bit files can contain “only” 68 billion colors, you might be impressed, or not?

    12-bit RAW file can contain 4096 colors per RGB channel or over 68 billion colors. When you combine the RGB channels you have: 4096 x 4096 x 4096 = 68,719,476,736 colors.

    14-bit RAW file can contain 16,385 colors per RGB channel or over 4 trillion shades. When you combine the RGB channels you have: 16385 x 16385 x 16385 = 4,398,851,866,625 colors.

    Impressed by the math?  If not, scroll back to the top of this page and go through the images again!  Think of the differences as “potential” color data, along with the possibility of more dynamic range, less banding, and more detail in the darkest part of the image. Maybe you will see it? Maybe you will need it? For me, for now, it’s only a matter if file size and storage costs.

    If you like Charts and Graphs, check out this site. And, check out Thom Hogan’s page on RAW Conversions.

    MJ

    20th Time Results

    July 27th Update: I was impressed with my original test image after cutting the output levels to 5 and then adjusting the input levels to 5 to fill the histogram. Out of curiosity, I put the results of that “clobbering” through the test again. It still looked good. I ran that file through the routine and it looked good. The image above is #20! There’s a little loss of detail in the clouds, but overall the image still looks pretty good. After doing a screen grab of #20, I reverted the file to its original, then ran the test again, but this time setting the output level to 1 (the scale goes from 1 to 255). When adjusting the input levels, I received a notice the entry had to be between 2 and 255, so I reverted the image and set the output setting to 2 and then the input slider to 2. I copied the results to the clipboard, reverted the file, and then pasted the clipboard contents on top of the original image. I could turn off the visibility of the pasted layer and never see the difference when flipping back and forth.


     

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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 a Solar Eclipse |Fred Espenak

    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

    Light Painting Without Lights

    Lightroom and Photoshop to the Rescue!

    Recently, the Park Service announced slight changes in the enforcement of a few rules already on the books. The change involved a restriction on the use of artificial lights to illuminate a subject for the purpose of photography. Flashlights are still allowed for safety and wayfinding. I posted a new page on the subject a week or so ago. Check out this page: Artificial Light for Photography in Grand Teton National Park.

    Night Barn Original Capture

    I thought it might an interesting challenge to attempt to imitate a light painted shot. This is a screen grab of an image as it was captured on a Nikon D5 body and a Nikon 14-24mm lens. You can see the shooting data near the top corner: 20 seconds at F/2.8, with ISO 2500 at 18mm. The photo was taken during the “blue light” period, which can often appear too blue. I set the White Balance to a Custom setting of 6800k. (This is just a starting point for LR and not set in stone).  Of course, I was using a tripod.

    This page will show a lot of steps and tools that might spark some ideas of your own. I am using Lightroom CC 2015 (the current version) which contains a nice set of features that are not included in the boxed LR6 version. One of the recent additions is the Guided Transform tools, which work similarly to the Perspective Crop tool. It has been in Photoshop for quite a few revisions. Lightroom can do a lot of the heavy lifting on most images—and can even do all of the work on many images—but a project like this one still needs Photoshop.

    Transform Tab There was a taper in the image caused by aiming up using a wide angle lens. It might be difficult to see in the image above, but I wanted to get this issue resolved first thing. I used the Guided Transform tool in my base image, aligning one guide over one of the posts on the left side of the barn and another on one of the faint tree trunks on the right side.

    Guided

    After applying the transformation, I used the Crop tool to end up with my final image frame. I allowed the two bottom corners to be white, knowing I could fill them later in Photoshop. This cropped version became the base image for the other three images. I made three “virtual copies” of this image. I used the keyboard shortcut of Control+’, but you can always use the menus: Photo>Create Virtual Copy. (On a Mac, the shortcut is Command+’).