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April 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP

April: “Spring Unfolds with Wildlife on the Move” 

Daily Updates Archives:
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Monthly Overviews for JH / GTNP .

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April 30, 2017 : Sunday

End of the Month! It’s been busy for me and I managed to capture a few nice images. Tomorrow, May begins and I will be posting a new Daily Journal. Also, tomorrow, the Teton Park Road (Inner Park Loop Road) and the rest of Moose-Wilson Road will open. As of last night, Schwabacher Landing’s gate was still locked. I would expect it to open soon. Dead Man’s Bar access has been blocked, and I would think it should be open to help fishermen and boaters.

Moon and Grand

Moon and Grand: It has been cloudy most afternoons and nights for quite a while. Well, maybe a few days appeared to be mostly clear, but the Grand was shrouded. Last evening it looked like the sky was finally clearing over the mountains, so I went out for a night time shoot. The Moon is in a crescent phase, but was still adding a lot of light. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

Spruce and Grand

Incoming Clouds: Yesterday, I scouted a few areas that have been closed through the winter. This is the same spot I photographed earlier in the day yesterday. 

Moon & Stars Over the Grand

Moon & Stars Over the Grand: I could definitely open up the shadows on the lower section, but I tend to like my night scenes to still look like night scenes. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

Spruce and Stars

Spruce and Stars: Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

Spruce and Stars

Spruce and Stars: I didn’t check Stellarium before I went out, but it might have helped me know when the Milky Way would have been crossing the sky. There were plenty of stars, but the Milky Way was not evident. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

Peach House and Clouds

Peach House and Clouds: I used a small Mag-Lite for this one. Nikon D5 and Nikon 14-24mm Lens.

Peach House and Stars

Peach House and Stars: Nikon D5 and Nikon 14-24mm Lens.

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes: Taken at Willow Flats this morning. Nikon D810 and Nikon 200-500mm  Lens, Handheld, VR OFF

Teton Photo Excursions

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April 29, 2017 : Saturday

Grizzly in Snow

Grizzly in Snow: I drove north today and stayed until around noon. The bears I saw were all too far away for my preferences, but I snapped a few just to show here. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Cinnamon Black Bear

Cinnamon Black Bear: A few of the Black Bears are now out of the dens. This is a very large bear, grazing on the hillside near Oxbow Bend. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Jackson Lake Pano

Jackson Lake Pano: The last time I drove over the Jackson Lake Dam, the lake was still frozen. It’s open now!

Snow Drift

Snow Drift: This abstract image was taken near Snake River Overlook. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Teton Range

Teton Range: There are still many zones with enough snow to make people think a shot was taken in the Winter. Nikon D500 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens

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April 28, 2017 : Friday

Sub-adult Grizzlies

Sub-adult Grizzlies: It took a bit of waiting, but I managed to get a few shots of 610’s sub-adult offspring. 610 apparently kicked them off to fend for themselves last evening. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Oxbow Crossing

Oxbow Crossing: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF

White Pelicans

White Pelicans: Taken at Oxbow Bend. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Sub-adult Grizzlies

Sub-adult Grizzlies: I’ve been told that one of these is a male and the other is a female. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

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April 27, 2017 : Thursday

Elk

Elk: Another snow day! This is a four shot stitched pano taken from the Gros Ventre Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Chambers Homestead

Chambers Homestead: Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm  Lens

Chambers Fences

Chambers Fences: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

TA Moulton Barn

TA Moulton Barn: Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm  Lens

Summer Lightning

Summer Lightning: A couple of days ago, the weather forecast mentioned possible thunderstorms. Seems early for that, especially knowing we had 5″ or 6″ of snow this morning. Even so, I pulled out my two “lightning triggers”, just in case an early thunderstorm enters the valley. Shooting Data: NIKON D4, Nikon 70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8 at 90 mm, 1/4 Second at f/13, Aperture priority Mode, 1/3 EV,  ISO 100, ©2012 Mike R. Jackson, All Rights Reserved

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April 26, 2017 : Wednesday

Elk in Snow

Elk in Snow: It was snowing early today. I was hoping to find a few Bison close to the road and covered in snow. The herds I found were hundreds of yards out. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Chapel of the Transfiguration

Chapel of the Transfiguration: Captured at 1/60th second with VC ON. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON

Cassins Finch

Cassin’s Finch: When I looked out the back door today, I saw my first American Goldfinch. I took the gear out and waited for quite a while, but he never returned. I photographed several Cassin’s Finches in the process. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF

Roads: A recent newspaper report suggested that most of the National Forest roads are going to be either closed or very sloppy when they open on May 1st. The Teton Park Road (Inner Park Loop Road) and the Moose-Wilson Road should be open with no issues.

Cowboy BarNew Post on Teton Textures

This is a thumbnail section of a new post called: Million Dollar Cowboy Bar.

There are several variations of the same image, along with some information about how to do similar projects.

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April 25, 2017 : Tuesday

Cassins Finch

Cassin’s FinchNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF

Tamron 150-600mm G2 Feature: Most telephoto lenses have a Focus Limiter switch that helps reduce the search time when a subject is consistently farther out, such as  photographing Eagles or Osprey. The typical settings are Full and 15m (depending on the lens) to Infinity. The settings on a Tamron G2 are Full, 10m to infinity, and 2.2m to 10m.  Minimum focus on a Tamron 150-600mm G2 is 2.2m (7.2 feet). 10m is roughly 33 feet. When set up, almost all of my back yard shots are in the 7.2-33 foot range—the shorter end of the zoom. Yesterday, I noticed my lens was faster at finding the subject, without having to search past 33 feet. I’d give this new feature a big thumbs up!

Eurasian Collared Doves

Eurasian Collared Doves: Preening and drying out on a golden willow. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF

Wind Turbine

Wind Turbine: I shot this one a 1/25th second to see if I could show the motion blur on the interior spinner. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel: I’ll try to get out to the Park today. This Squirrel has been a regular at my house for several years, but seems to have been pushed off some by the nesting Northern Flickers. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF

Black-billed Magpie

Black-billed Magpie: I made a trip into the park in the afternoon. This shot was taken along Mormon Row. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Swainson's Hawk

Swainson’s Hawk: Also seen along Mormon Row. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Gray Jay with Catepillar

Gray Jay with Catepillar: I found the Gray Jay working along the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Bark and Sap

Bark and Sap: Texture shot taken on the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON Mode 3 at 1/200th second.

River Otter

River Otter: I spotted this critter along the Moose-Wilson Road and followed it upstream at least a half a mile. I kept hoping it would get out of the water, shake, and preen but it kept on truckin’. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

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April 24, 2017 : Monday

Oxbow Roadway

How about a brand new Feature Post to start the week! Check out: Telephoto Lenses For Landscapes. If you already subscribe to Best of the Tetons, you should have already received an email notification. If you would like to start receiving them, sign up now!

It’s a wet, rainy, gray day here in Jackson Hole. I stayed home to finish the new post, and to get a few things ready for the incoming songbirds. Bullock’s Orioles should be here soon. I can hear the Northern Flickers chattering more often now.

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF

Check out this Feature Post from Sept. 2014: Making the Best of a Rainy Day

The recent reports I received suggested that Grizzlies have been a “no show” around Oxbow Bend for the past few days. I stayed in the southern portion of the park over the weekend. I haven’t seen them personally, but I hear a few Long-billed Curlews are in the valley. Additional Osprey are seen everywhere, as they begin prepping their nests. I haven’t received any wolf sightings in a long time. I am sure the Alpha female is in the den by now.

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April 23, 2017 : Sunday

Elk and Tetons

Elk and Tetons: Elk are scattered all over the valley floor right now. I took this shot from the East Boundary Road. Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-180mm Micro Lens, Handheld

Bison and Tetons

Bison and Tetons: The huge herd I saw a few days ago appears to be breaking up and spreading out in the Park. Some are already at Elk Flats and I am sure some are in the river bottoms. Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-180mm Micro Lens, Handheld

Moulton Homestead

Moulton Homestead: I am working on a new Feature Post full of landscape photos taken with a telephoto lens. Sign up to follow this blog if you want the early bird notification! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Elk Migration

Elk Migration: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Elk Crossing

Elk Crossing: Taken on the highway just north of Antelope Flats Junction Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker: Taken in my back yard. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

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April 22, 2017 : Saturday

Bison at Gros Ventre

Bison at Gros Ventre: Taken at first light along the Gros Ventre River with Morning temps at 22° F. I had a good morning with lots of variety of subjects. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF

Elk and Mt. Moran

Elk and Mt. Moran: Huge herds of Elk are moving across the valley right now. Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-180mm Micro Lens, Handheld

Kelly Elk Herd

Kelly Elk: I stitched this shot into a single pano with 8 horizontal images. You’ll need to click the image to see it well. There were probably two thousand Elk in the field south of the Kelly Warm Springs.

Kestrel, Kingfisher, Kestrel:

Kestrel, Kingfisher, Kestrel: This group of three was perched on a power line nest to the Kelly Warm Springs. Both species are very spooky around here. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Osprey

Osprey: I went “up the Gros Ventre” this morning. Four Osprey were hovering over the Gros Ventre at the eastern boundary fence. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Aspens

Aspens: Aspens are at the seed stage in most areas. This one was backlit at first light. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Bighorns

Bighorns: This group was on the hillside above Slide Lake. I’ve seen them there off and on all winter. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Ruffed Grouse

Ruffed Grouse: Taken at the Atherton Creek Campground. The gate is still closed past the campground. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Slide Lake

Slide Lake: Ice is still on most of the lake, but is pulling back along the bank and next to exposed rocks. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Pair of Canada Geese

Pair of Canada Geese: Taken along Flat Creek. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

High Altitude Tourists

High Altitude Tourists: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Bison Bull

Bison Bull: One of half a dozen bulls hanging around the Kelly Warm Springs this afternoon. The bright green grass is attracting Bison and Elk. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Bison by Kelly Warm Springs

Bison by Kelly Warm Springs: Maybe I should mention that most of the images identified as “Handheld” are actually shot over a bean bag across the vehicle’s window or over the hood of my truck.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

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April 21, 2017 : Friday

Approaching Fox

Approaching Fox: Another shot from Thursday. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Yesterday, I had a quick lunch at home, put a few dollars worth of gas in the truck and headed north. It was quiet at Oxbow and around the area, so I drove to the dam in hopes of seeing Pelicans, Otters, Beavers, or other waterfowl. A few people were standing around with cameras waiting for a Moose to reappear by the restrooms below the dam. A lady told me three bears crossed towards the north. That was roughly 12:30 pm. They went into the willows at Willow Flats. The three were visible a couple of times at long distances between 1:00 and 4:00 pm, which attracted a lot of rangers, tourists and photographers. Around 4:00 pm, they finally moved close enough to get some shots for the people with 600mm lenses. They crossed the well guarded road and were visible for another hour, but well out of great shooting distances.

Grizzly Crossing

That’s more or less a day in the life of a bear watcher/photographer.  At any moment, it can be great, but to get those moments, you have to wait and wait and wait. On many days, they never reappear—but you still have to wait and wait and wait. Eventually the dedicated bear photographers get their shots!  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

I hung around for a while, then decided to drive around where I found the Red Fox and later a Northern Goshawk. I would have been perfectly happy with photos of just those two subjects. I happened to drive back by Willow Flats a little while before the Grizzlies moved, so I got some bear shots alongside dozens of other photographers that had been there for hours. Of course, I know I could have easily missed the Grizzly “action” while looking for other subjects.

Afternoon in the Park

Bison

Bison: I spent three hours at Oxbow waiting for Grizzlies to come out, but got skunked. From the report I received, I could have stayed another two hours and still have been skunked! On the way home, I drove around to Kelly and found a large herd of Bison coming out of the Gros Ventre river bottom. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Bison

Bison: The Bison rut isn’t until August. Maybe they are practicing? There were no red dogs in the herd I saw today, but that’s also a bit later here in the Tetons. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

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April 20, 2017 : Thursday

Shane Cabin

Shane Cabin: Short lived morning light at the historic old cabin. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm  Lens, Tripod

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

South Park Barn

South Park Barn: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Red Fox

Red Fox: This Fox was hunting near Christian Creek in Grand Teton National Park. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Red Fox

Red Fox: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Northern Goshawk

Northern Goshawk: I’ve never seen a Northern Goshawk, much less had a chance to be close enough for a shot. This one was near Colter Bay. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON at 1/250 second

Grizzlies

Grizzlies: Taken near Jackson Lake. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF

Grizzly

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

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April 19, 2017 : Wednesday

Carry My SpiritNew Image on Teton Textures: “Carry My Spirit into the Wind”

This site lets me spread my creative wings, creating composite images and using various filters and techniques. If you haven’t visited that site in a while, check it out! I’ve added several images recently.

Elk In Sage

Elk In Sage: Elk were everywhere this morning! This group was about half a mile north of Kelly. There were another thousand or so elk still on the refuge as I was driving back to town. Bison herds were also scattered along the Gros Ventre Road.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk: I stopped along the Gros Ventre Road for this posed hawk. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Swainson's Hawk

Swainson’s Hawk: This beautiful raptor was sitting in a cottonwood at the T.A. Moulton Barn. Swainson’s Hawk on All About Birds Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF

American Kestrel

American Kestrel: These mid-sized raptors are tough to photograph here in the Tetons. I’ve seen a lot of them lately, but most fly as soon as the truck stops. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Bison Bull

Bison Bull: A nice sized herd of Bison were on the North side of Gros Ventre Road. I parked on Mormon Row and waited for them to move closer. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Bison Eyes

Bison Eyes: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Sleeping Indian

Sleeping Indian: There’s snow hanging around the eastern mountains. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Box L Ranch

Box L Ranch: You can probably find lots of red barns in the Midwest, but not many of them will have a backdrop like this! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

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April 18, 2017 : Tuesday

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk: I got a really late start this afternoon after being stuck at home on several projects. The 7:00 pm start gave me a chance to try out the low light VC modes on the Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. This is one of three different Red-tailed Hawks I saw along the National Elk Refuge highway fence. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC On

Ravens

Ravens: Taken along the Gros Ventre Road. I pulled over, hoping the bird on the left would hold for a shot when the second one flew in and landed on the log beside it. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC On

Bison Herd

Bison Herd: There are only a few elk on the National Elk Refuge now, and after today, I can’t imagine many Bison are still on it. A herd of several hundred were moving out of the Gros Ventre River bottom and onto the sage flats. They will likely be regulars around Blacktail Butte for a while. I didn’t see any babies (aka Red Dogs). Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC On

Bison Blur

Bison Blur: I did a few hundred similar images in which I “dragged the shutter” with the Tamron G2 in Mode 2. This one was captured at 1/80th second. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC On

Bison

Bison: This one was taken over the top of my truck’s hood. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC On

Bull Elk

Bull Elk: Many of the large bulls probably shed their antlers on the Refuge. The elk on the left caught my attention since it still had antlers, but the real story is probably the one on the right. That bull already has substantial antler growth. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC On

Three Elk

Three Elk: The Tamron G2 lens did a great job in VC mode while off the tripod. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC On

Grizzly Sow and Cubs

Grizzly Sow and Cubs: Yesterday, I posted a few Grizzly shots in the daily entry. A few people sent emails asking me to include information about exactly where I found them. I’ll try to explain why I don’t do that. First, my local photographer friends don’t want me to disclose the info. I don’t want to be blamed for a lot of people showing up, despite the fact they already show up when bears are out! Many go home and post the info on Facebook and some post to Instagram while actually on location in the Park. I typically post the photos later in the day. Remember, too—they probably won’t be there the next day. They move around and can cover a lot of ground in a day or overnight. Yesterday’s photos were the first time I’ve seen them this year, despite a dozen or so trips. I’ve seen specks a couple of other times, but yesterday was the first time they were close. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF

It’s roughly 40 miles to Jackson Lake. You can drive around that region and cover another 40-50 miles (more if you drive all the way to Flagg Ranch), then have to drive back to Jackson. It’s easy to put 135-150 miles on a vehicle and burn around $12-$20 on gas each time. Some people go there early in the morning and get home late each night, and they do it regularly. They get the shots, but they pay the price!

If you are willing to “read between the lines”, this post will tell you what you need to know: Finding Bears in Grand Teton National Park: Just be in the right zone of the park and watch for bears. You might spot them on your own, but you’ll more likely see a dozen (or three dozen) cars pulled over. In most instances, there will be a couple of Ranger’s vehicles and a few Wildlife Brigade volunteers. In other words, it’s not difficult to find them if they are out!

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April 17, 2017 : Monday

Grizzlies

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

Grizzlies

Young Grizzlies: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF

Grizzlies

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

Osprey Landing

Osprey Landing: The “plan” today was to go down the Hoback Canyon to photograph Granite Falls. It would have been a rough ten miles to the falls from the highway, but there were barricades at the parking area. Too bad! The water in Granite Creek is still running greenish clear and with lots of water. Photography at the falls would have been epic. The Hoback River is muddy brown now and belching its contents into the Snake River. On the way back, I stopped when I saw a pair of Osprey along the Snake River. A pair of Canada Geese took over their traditional nest, so this pair has a lot of work to do on their new nest.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

Osprey and Pine Cones

Osprey and Pine Cones: I stopped at Castlerock to get the oil changed on the Ram Pickup, then headed north. Grizzly 610 were moving about with her two sub adult cubs. She should be kicking them off soon.   Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF

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April 16, 2017 : Easter Sunday

Days of Gold

Days of Gold: This is a small section of an image I created for Teton Textures. Click the image to view the larger version on my sister website.

Yellow Headed Blackbirds

Yellow Headed Blackbirds: I took this photo yesterday afternoon at the small pond north of the Visitor’s Center on North Cache. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, handheld, VC OFF

Stretching Canada Goose

Stretching Canada Goose: Geese are active right now. They usually flap like this after taking a bath. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, handheld, VC OFF

Murphy Barn

Murphy Barn: This is a tight shot of the barn on the far North end of Mormon Row. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, handheld, VC OFF

Teton Range

Teton Range: There’s still quite a bit of snow along the bench of the Teton Range, but it is mostly gone in the valley floor now. The North sections of the Park still has plenty of snow, but it is going fast, too. I took this image from Teton View Overlook, capturing three images on a D810. I stitched them together in Lightroom. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens

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April 15, 2017 : Saturday

Cow in Morning Light

Cow Elk in Morning Light: This morning, I put the (replacement) Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens on my DX crop D500 body. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, handheld, VC OFF

Running Elk

Running Elk: I tried a few slow shutter speed shots using the G2’s (panning) Mode 2 at 1/125th second. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, handheld, VC ON Mode 2

Elk in Sage

Elk in Sage: I overexposed this one a little, but included it here because of the antlers on the bull on the left, and the new growth of the older bull on the right. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, handheld, VC OFF

Moon

Moon: If you scroll down to yesterday’s entry, this photo will make more sense. This is a shot of the full moon at 600mm on a 1.5 crop factor body for an equivalent focal length of 900mm. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, handheld, VC ON Mode 3, 1/250 second, F/16, ISO 160

Old Bison on Ridge

Old Bison on Ridge: Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, handheld, VC OFF

Elk Cow

Elk Cow: Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, handheld, VC OFF

Hunter Ranch

Hunter Ranch: I took this image at a range of about half a mile and probably picked up some heat waves, but I liked the sun lit power line drooping through the scene. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, handheld, VC OFF

Teton Photo Excursions

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April 14, 2017 : Friday

Sagebrush Buttercup

Sagebrush Buttercup: I’ve been seeing these little flowers showing up lately. A single flower is about the size of a dime, found hugging the ground in sagebrush areas. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, handheld

Storm Clouds over Mormon Row

Storm Clouds over Mormon Row: I was looking through a folder of cloud images and ran across this image from last September. If I still lived in Oklahoma, we’d be trying to find a storm shelter!

Hiding in Plain Sight

Hiding in Plain Sight: This is the small preview section of a new post on Teton Textures. Click either link to see the large version! You are invited to sign up to follow that site, too!

The Moon

The Moon: Yesterday, I took this “reference” photo to get a feel how much the Moon and Sun’s halo would fill in a full frame camera and a lens at 600mm. A 1.5 crop sensor, like the one on my D500, would let the moon fill a bit more of the frame, but most eclipse captures at 600mm will need significant cropping to fill a photo. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, handheld, VC OFF

Michael Seiler

Later in the day, I received a note from astrophysisist/photographer Michael Seiler. He has photographed many eclipses—one of which was featured as a full page image in Sky & Telescope Journal. He writes, “The most interesting part in a total eclipse is the two minutes of totality, where you can see the solar corona, the outer layer of the solar atmosphere. During the current phase of the solar activity cycle, coronal streamers might well be visible up to six solar diameters on each side of the sun. Given that, I would not go beyond 600mm on a full frame DSLR for photographing totality. You should also consider shooting bracketed exposures, as the outer layers are very dim, while the inner ones can be extremely bright. Use two stops between exposures and shoot 9 exposures in total. Typically, the solar corona is as bright as the full moon, although it can vary considerably. But this then gives you a good starting value if you remember how long you have exposed your full moon shots.” Michael Seiler

Michael Seiler’s Notes on this Copyrighted photo: Taken image was captured with a Nikon D800 and the 70-200mm back in 2012 at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon at 85mm. Composite of two images. The sun was shot with an ND10 filter, the landscape with a grad filter combo.


EclipseIf you are going to be in Jackson Hole for this summer’s Total Eclipse, you might want to pick up Aaron Linsdau’s new book.

Jackson Hole Total Eclipse Guide: Commemorative Official Guidebook

I bought my copy from Aaron at the February meeting of the Teton Photography Group. Information in this book might help keep you from burning out your eyes or camera’s sensors!

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April 13, 2017 : Thursday

G2After a week of shooting with the replacement Tamron 150-600mm lens, I replaced my original post with new text and photos. In short, the first G2 lens I purchased was a dud and the new one appears to be a very good one. All of the problems I had originally seem to have melted away. During the four months of using the first G2, I learned a lot about using VR/VC/IS lenses, and I tried to include that info on the new write up. When needed, the Vibration Compensation (VC) on this lens is very good. Here’s a link to the modified post:  Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens: My Experiences

Elk on a Ridge

Elk on a Ridge: Elk were migrating out of the National Elk Refuge in large numbers this morning. I captured this one along the Gros Ventre Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, handheld, VC OFF

Elk on The Move

Elk on The Move: There are a lot of spike bulls mixed in with the cows and calves. Most of the large bulls left the Refuge earlier, and usually in smaller groups. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, handheld, VC OFF

Headed North

Headed North: The Elk on the right still has a nice sized rack. Blacktail Butte can be seen on the left. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, handheld, VC OFF

Elk in the Sage

Elk in the Sage: This was taken on “Warm Springs Road”, a two track dirt road going west from the Kelly Warm Springs. The road is open, mostly dry, and rough in places. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, handheld, VC OFF

Elk and Moon

Elk and Moon: The moon above is “actual size” taken at 150mm.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, handheld, VC OFF

Running Elk

Running Elk: I had to hike out from the Shane Cabin to get this shot. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, handheld, VC OFF

The Grand

The Grand: This large herd seemed to be biding time on a ridge, well off the normal roads and human activity. Another large herd speckled the hillsides Southeast of the Kelly Warm Springs. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, handheld, VC OFF

Red Fox

Red Fox: This fox was near Antelope Flats junction this afternoon. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF

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April 12, 2017 : Wednesday

On Winter's Doorstep

On Winter’s Doorstep: I have been so busy posting images and comments here, I’ve neglected Teton Textures. Last night, I worked on a horizontal variant and then a vertical version today. Check out Teton Textures!

Moon Over Cunningham Cabin

Moon Over Cunningham Cabin: Before going to bed last night, I checked the weather report for this morning. The report showed a “Sunny” icon. I set the alarm for 5:00 am and was out the door early enough to be far enough north to place the setting moon near the Grand as it set. Well, it wasn’t clear at sunrise! Clouds obscured the moon before it had a chance to slice towards the Tetons. (Click the image to see it larger) Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-700mm G2 Lens, tripod, VR OFF

Cunningham Cabin

Cunningham Cabin: Clouds filled in over the Grand, so I looked for different angles as the sun came up. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-700mm G2 Lens, tripod, VR OFF

Buckrails

Buck Rail Fence: There aren’t too many buck rail fences left in the Tetons. This one is near the Cunningham Cabin. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-700mm G2 Lens, tripod, VR OFF

Oxbow Bend

Oxbow Bend: The clouds looked much better over Mt. Moran as I drove up. This is a two shot pano, stitched in Lightroom. (Click the image to see it larger) Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-700mm G2 Lens, handheld, VR OFF

Flying Goose

Flying Goose: I stopped in town to see if the Greater White-faced Goose was still around. A few Canada Geese flew through while I was there.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, handheld, VC OFF,

Great White-faced Goose

Great White-faced Goose: This “out of range” goose seems content to hang around the Canada Geese. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, handheld, VC OFF,

While in the “north country”, I looked for the Grizzlies and Foxes, but didn’t see either. A large boar was seen late in the day yesterday.

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April 11, 2017 : Tuesday

 Landing Canada Goose

Landing Canada Goose: I wasn’t out that long this morning, but came home with 1600 photos. (A D5 can fill cards fast if there is action) I captured this image at the Flat Creek observation platform at the north edge of town. At a distance, I saw a Golden Eagle land in the river, much like a goose, then take off again. I don’t believe it came up with a fish but it was fun to watch. A Bald Eagle was also flying over. I could hear and occasionally see Sandhill Cranes on the Refuge. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, hand held, VC OFF

Crossing Elk

Crossing Elk: Some of the images I post on the Daily Journal are intended to show what’s happening here more than attempting to include only “wall hangers”. This is an example. Elk are migrating off the National Elk Refuge and heading north to their summer haunts. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, hand held, VC OFF

Grand Peaks

Grand Peaks: I liked the way the clouds filled the areas above the range. Worth a shot!Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, hand held, VC OFF

Mergansers

Common Mergansers: Taken along Flat Creek. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, hand held, VC OFF

Common Mergansers

Common Mergansers: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, hand held, VC OFF

Greater White-faced Goose

Greater White-faced Goose: I had to look in my Peterson’s Bird App to come up with the species. Apparently, in some areas, these are “fairly common”, but this one is well out of its range. They are about a third smaller than Canada Geese. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, hand held, VC OFF

Greater White-faced Goose

Greater White-faced Goose: This bird was along Flat Creek, north of the Visitor’s Center. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, hand held, VC OFF

Agitated Geese

Agitated Geese: If Canada Geese pair grazes or flies in too close to another pair, one of them usually becomes aggressive. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, hand held, VC OFF

On the Nest

On the Nest: I saw numerous Canada Geese already on their nests. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, hand held, VC OFF

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April 10, 2017 : Monday

Fish Creek

Fish Creek: This Moose was grazing on aquatic vegetation in Fish Creek at the edge of Wilson. Another pair of Osprey recently entered the valley and successfully kicked a pair of Canada Geese off their nest. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, tripod, VC OFF

Full Moon News

  • Full Moon Easter Egg Hunt at the Rendezvous Park on the West bank. 7:00 to 9:00 PM, Tuesday, April 11, 2017
  • RPark Events on Full Moons: go to www.rpark.info for monthly event info.

Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird: I captured this one yesterday along Mormon Row. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, tripod, VC OFF

TA Moulton Barn

T.A. Moulton Barn: Yesterday, I posted a few of the tight shots of objects along Mormon Row. I also captured some landscape images using the Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, tripod, VC OFF

For the Birds

For the Birds: I was focusing on the old barn when a flock of blackbirds flew through the scene. They are out of focus, but I thought the photo was worthy of keeping. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, tripod, VC OFF

Chambers Homestead Pano

Chambers Homestead Pano: I had the place to myself yesterday, so I roamed around to find different angles. This shot was taken with the zoom lens as a series of pano images, later stitched in Lightroom. (Click the image to see it quite a bit larger). Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, tripod, VC OFF

TA Moulton Barn and Distant Homestead

T.A. Moulton Barn and Distant Homesteads: This telephoto capture shows the T.A. Moulton Barn on the right, with the Peach House and John Moulton Barn near the center, and the Murphy Barn in back on the left. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, tripod, VC OFF

Windmill

Windmill: Another of the Mormon Row Homesteads. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, tripod, VC OFF

Elephant Bank

Elephant Bank: While I had my tripod set up, I did this image of a cast iron bank my Dad had as a child. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180mm Zoom Micro lens, tripod.

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April 9, 2017 : Sunday

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Over the past 11 years, the spruce trees at Schwabacher Landing’s classic reflection pool have grown considerably taller. Even though the mountains are the same height, the larger trees are affecting the apparent scale of the Teton Range.

Wheels

Wheels: I drove out to Kelly and ended up at Mormon Row. The clouds were covering the mountains following a night of light snow, so I grabbed my D5 and the new Tamron 150-600mm G2 and walked down Mormon Row. I took lots of landscape photos, but for today’s entry, I’ll include only a few of the tight shots. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, tripod, VC OFF

Loose Ends

Loose Ends: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, tripod, VC OFF

Stove Pipe

Stove Pipe: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, tripod, VC OFF

Axle and Rims

Axle and Rims: On most days of the summer, I might walk right by this subject, but it caught my eye today with the snowy accents. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, tripod, VC OFF

Bike Pedals

Bike Pedals: I muted the colors some on this one. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, tripod, VC OFF

Tractor Engine

Tractor Engine: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, tripod, VC OFF

Elsewhere in the Park, people may have been photographing Grizzlies, Badgers, Foxes and Wolves. Hopefully so, but I had a great morning on Mormon Row with not a single person around!

Another Evening at Home

Evening At Home: I’ve been collecting vintage “stuff” for a long time. Recently, I added several objects that I had envisioned for this still life. eBay is great for finding obscure small items like these! My wife was excited to see a dozen roses in a vase when she returned home (actually there were only 11, but maybe she won’t be counting).  Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180mm Zoom Micro lens, tripod.

Evening at Home

Another Evening at Home: This one uses a different technique. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180mm Zoom Micro lens, tripod.

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April 8, 2017 : Saturday

BroadwayNew Feature Post: Rainy Night In Jackson Hole

The Jackson Hole “Town Square” is fairly well lit on any night of the year, but when it’s raining, reflections can transform normal shots and offer other unique possibilities. Click the image to see quite a few more!

Note: All but one of the images on the new page were captured with the replacement Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Young Moose

Young Moose: I spent a lot of my day around Oxbow Bend hoping to see one of the Grizzlies. It didn’t happen! While waiting, I looked for Foxes, Otters, Pelicans, Weasels, and so forth. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens,hand held, VC OFF, 1/1000th Second.

Coyote

Coyote: I spotted this critter near the road at Elk Flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens,hand held, VC OFF, 1/1250th Second.

Bison Bull

Bison Bull: Captured near the Gros Ventre Junction, Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens,hand held, VC OFF, 1/1250th Second.

Guest Photo! This shot was captured just north of Kelly by George Norsworthy. Nikon D810, hand held. Tamron 150-600 G2 zoomed to 600 mm. ISO 640, 1/1600 at f 9.0. VC on mode 1.

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April 7, 2017 : Friday

No artificial lights in the Tetons? Looks like the writing is one the wall…flashlights and strobes may be a thing of the past in Grand Teton National Park. I added a paragraph at the beginning of the post below, but after speaking with a GTNP Law Enforcement Specialist this morning, it will take a special “Still Photography Permit” (and specific approval) to light the barns, trees, flowers, fences, or landscapes. It is already illegal to spotlight wildlife. Flashlights and headlights can still be used for hiking and night time navigation. The topic is scheduled to be discussed at the CUA permit holders meeting in early May. Here’s a related post: While Most People Were Sleeping

Coyote

Coyote: Captured along the highway near the JH Airport. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens,hand held, VC OFF, 1/800th Second.

Tailgate

Tailgate: Just checking some of the focusing with the G2 lens. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, hand held, VC ON, 1/100th Second

Rust

Rust: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, hand held, VC ON, 1/160th Second

Yurt

Yurt: A long distance capture at Kelly, WY.  Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, on a tripod, VC ON. 1/400th Second.

Wagon Wheel

Wagon Wheel: Another test shot in Kelly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, handheld, VC OFF, 1/1000 second.

Mailboxes

Mailboxes: Captured along Spring Gulch Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, hand held, VC OFF, 1/100th Second.

Chisler

Chisler: This morning, I shot with the Nikon D810. I went out this afternoon to try the replacement Tamron 150-600 G2 lens on a Nikon D500. 1/320 Second, F/7.1, Auto ISO 500.  Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, hand held, VC OFF.

Meadowlark

Meadowlark: 1/1000th Second, F/7.1, Auto ISO 800. Hand held out the window. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, hand held, VC OFF, 1/100th Second.

Distant Barn

Distant Barn: Mormon Row Road is still closed. I parked at the junction at Antelope Flats Road and took this shot, at something like half a mile off. 600mm (900mm on a DC crop D500), hand held out the parked truck. 1/800th second, F/6.3, ISO 450 with VC OFF. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, hand held, VC OFF.

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April 6, 2017 : Thursday

Schwabacher Alpenglow

Schwabacher Alpenglow: I’ve mentioned that Schwabacher Landing, and most of the river bottom along the Snake, opened to human activity on April 1st. It’s technically open, but you have to park along the highway and hike in. I got up at 5:00 am today to be able to be stream side at Alpenglow. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, on a tripod

Schwabacher Reflections

Schwabacher Reflections: Beavers have transformed the Schwabacher side channels over the past four or five years. They’ve added a couple more dams farther downstream over the winter. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, on a tripod

Grand and Mt. Moran

Grand and Mt. Moran: If you are considering going down, I have a couple of suggestions. The S curve road at the top is plowed, but afterwards you will still be hiking across fields of snow. If you go early, following a cold night, you should be able to walk over the frozen snow. If you go later in the day, after the snow thaws, consider taking a pair of snow shoes with you. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, on a tripod

Beaver Dams

Beaver Dams: The Teton Range is still snow covered, making great backdrops for almost any scene. Winter is waning, so if you still desire those kinds of shots, you better hurry! Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, on a tripod

Passing Clouds

Passing Clouds: I stayed longer today than I might have planned, mainly because of the clouds rolling in. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, hand held

Reflected Clouds

Reflected Clouds: Clouds worked in my favor this morning. It’s always a gamble to be up that early and hope for them to be behind the peaks. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, hand held

Beaver Lodge

Beaver Lodge: There was plenty of evidence of wildlife activity at Schwabacher Landing. I saw a set of large Grizzly tracks, several Wolf tracks, and tracks from all of the big game. Eagles flew over. Canada Geese and various ducks were in the beaver ponds and flying over. Another photographer saw Beavers and a Pine Martin. We both heard a Great Gray Owl and Sandhill Cranes. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, hand held

Parking Lot Pool

Parking Lot Pool: This year, the Snake is already flowing fast and there is plenty of water in all basins and side channels. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, on a tripod.

More with the Tamron G2

Black-billed Magpie

Black-billed Magpie: I purposefully shot with the D5 and Tamron 150-600mm on a tripod today, since that’s how I usually work. This one was in my back yard. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, on a tripod, VC OFF

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird: This shot was taken at the pond on the north side of the Visitor’s Center on North Cache. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, on a tripod, VC OFF

Canada Goose

Canada Goose: The replacement G2 lens is performing very well. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, on a tripod, VC OFF

Canada Geese

Canada Geese: Looks like the new lens is keeper. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, on a tripod, VC OFF

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April 5, 2017 : Wednesday

Yesterday, I was in Idaho Falls, where (short story) our Western Region Tamron Sales Manager and Sales Representatives exchanged my Tamron 150-600 G2 lens for a brand new copy of the same lens. This morning, I took it out for a test run. After doing a few AF Fine Tune adjustments, I found a few subjects.

Uinta Ground Squirrel

Uinta Ground Squirrel: I spent the morning changing focal lengths, distance to subject, various apertures, and combinations using a tripod, handheld, and some of the VC options. Tripod, 1/640th Second, VC OFF. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens

Log Ends

Log Ends: Hand Held, 1/250th second with VC ON. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens

Peach House

Peach House: Hand Held 1/320 Second VC ON. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens

Knot

Knot: Hand Held 1/200th Second, VC ON. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens

Homestead Pano

Homestead Pano: (Click the image to see this one larger) Hand Held (3 shots) 1/3200th Second, VC OFF. Stitched in Lightroom. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens

Icicles

Icicles: Hand Held 1/200th Second, VC ON. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens

Gable Ends

Gable: Hand Held 1/320th Second, VC ON. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens

Ornament

Ornament: Hand Held 1/320th Second, VC ON. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens

Afternoon

Bison Bull

Bison: I went out in the afternoon to run the new (replacement) Tamron G2 lens through a few more tests. On most days, I grab the tripod, but this afternoon I shot everything hand held. This one was captured at 1/1250th second and the ISO was 3200. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens,  Hand Held with VC OFF.

Bald Eagle

Maturing Bald Eagle: This image is cropped roughly 50%. 1/1250th second, F/8, ISO 900. I would have loved to move to the right about 15 feet, but I needed to cross a culvert with about three feet of slushy snow. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens   Hand Held with VC OFF.

Bull Elk

Bull Elk: This bull was grazing on some fresh grasses along Spring Gulch Road. The sun had already gone down, so I had some testy conditions. This version was captured at 1/640th second, F/8, and resulting ISO4000. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens   Hand Held with VC OFF.

Bull Elk

Bull Elk: This one pushed the limits of the camera and lens a bit more. The shot was was hand held out the window at 1/160th second, 350mm, F/8, ISO 4000. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens   Hand Held with VC ON, Mode 3.

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April 4, 2017 : Tuesday

Today is Tuesday, but it feels like a Saturday to me! My wife and I did a quick trip to Rexburg and Idaho Falls, ID today, which is something we normally do on a Saturday.

Wilson Barn

Wilson Barn: Overnight, it snowed a couple of inches in town and three or four inches at the base of the mountains. On the way to Idaho, I stopped to take this shot of one of the old barns in the area. Nikon D5 and original Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld with VC off.

Karnes Meadows FoxesI had planned on posting the Red Fox feature post this morning, but at the last moment, decided I wanted to do some editing on the text. The edits I am making should help the post, and I think the nature of the post warrants the extra time. It’s REALLY close now so check back soon.

A month or so ago, I made a post about my experiences with my Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Here’s the post link:  Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens: My Experiences. While in Idaho Falls, I stopped in at Perfect Light Camera and Supply. That’s where I purchased my lens right after they were released. I was telling Chris Balmer, the store owner, that I still wasn’t 100% satisfied with my new G2 lens and explained a few of my issues. As it turned out, two of the Tamron reps were in town and they walked in at exactly the right time. In short, they replaced my G2 lens with a brand new one today. I had a great conversation with Marc Morris, our sales representative about my lenses. He gave me great insights  on how to best use the various VC modes (something not well covered in the manual). I will be anxious to use it and will report back soon.

Reader Question: Nikon D5 and original Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld with VC off. You have probably seen the gray note under a lot of images on this blog. A couple of readers have asked me why I turn OFF VC when hand holding? Most of the shots are handheld with VC off because I am shooting at shutter speeds higher than 1/500th second. Many of the shots with VC off are taken handheld at 1/1000 or 1/1250 second. VC may not help at those speeds and it definitely slows the frame rate when needed. And, the manual says NOT to use VC if shooting on a tripod.

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April 3, 2017 : Monday

Updates and Closures: I have been saying the river bottom along the Snake River is still closed through May 1st, but actually it opened April 1st. You can now hike down to Schwabacher Landing and Blacktail Ponds. A few other roads have been plowed, but have barricades. They include Dead Man’s Bar road and Lost Creek Road. Neither Wolf Ranch Road or Elk Ranch Road are plowed and are still impassible. The road into Cattleman’s Bridge is also snow covered.

Spring Melt

Spring Melt: This pasture at the Walton Ranch is currently flooded with Spring snow melt. Nikon D5 and original Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld with VC off.

Osprey

Ospreys are back in Wilson!  Well…one pair anyway. Sue Ernisse works at the Raptor Center and received a sighting report yesterday. The light was terrible last evening, so I didn’t even try to take a photo. It seems early to me, but Sue told me she has photos of a male in town on April 1st last year. I drove around the area and didn’t see other pairs. Nikon D5 and original Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld with VC off.

Good Nest

Canada Geese usually return to the valley before the Osprey pairs. The Geese have been notorious about “squatting” Osprey nests, forcing the Osprey to find a different nest that year. Nikon D5 and original Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld with VC off.

Goose Excluder

Goose Excluder: That’s the term the Raptor Center uses for this type of nesting unit. The horizontal beams are hinged to allow the nest to be tilted at about a 45° angle for the early Spring period, keeping the Geese off it. Around April 1st, the Raptor Center teams level and brace the nest for the incoming pairs of Osprey. Nikon D5 and original Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld with VC off.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk: Sue Ernisse was at the Wilson nest this morning, too. She drove south on Fall Creek Road and I drove north on Fish Creek Road in search of other pairs of Osprey. The other Osprey nests are still vacant, but the search turned up a beautiful Red-tailed Hawk relatively close to the road. Nikon D5 and original Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld with VC off.

Valley View

Valley View: I took this shot from the top of West Gros Ventre Butte. Nikon D5 and original Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld with VC off.

Single Kit FoxI’m in the process of finishing the new post “Red Foxes of Jackson Hole”. It has a lot of photos and hopefully some helpful information about the cute little critters. Remember to sign up to receive the notice of the new post.

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker: This morning, I noticed the female Northern Flicker’s head protruding from last year’s nesting cavity. Just like last year, she is much more spooky than the male. Nikon D5 and original Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld with VC off.

Cassins Finch

Cassins Finch: I’ve been seeing more of these over the past few days. Nice to see a little color! Nikon D5 and original Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld with VC off.

National Elk Refuge

National Elk Refuge: When driving by the Refuge on the highway, you might not see that many Elk.  However there are several thousand at the southern end and other fairly large herds in the Northeast pastures. Supplemental feeding is over, but it appears they are content to stay a while and graze on the fresh grasses. All of them will soon be moving North! Nikon D5 and original Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld with VC off.

Peach House

Peach House: Evening light grazing the gabled end of the historic old house prompted me to take a few late winter shots. Nikon D5 and original Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld with VC off.

Moose

Moose: It has been a long time since I saw large mammals along the Moose-Wilson Road. This evening, I found three moose grazing on the willows next to the road. Nikon D5 and original Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld with VC off.

Teton Photo Excursions site is back! A phone call to Network Solutions and $60 is all it took to get an error corrected.

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April 2, 2017 : Sunday

I am sitting as my desk this morning, finishing a project I started yesterday—all the while wondering if I am missing something in the Park. The answer to that is probably, “YES!”, there’s always something going on in the park. In town, skies are gray, with low clouds and fog. SeeJH has a page of regional web cams. I created a link to them in the navigation bar, so all you have to do to see what conditions are like in JH, click that link! Here’s one of them: Web Cam at Dornan’s Restaurant. As I write this note, I can see snow flakes passing by the camera. Most of the Web Cams are in real time.

Cross Fox with WingUpcoming Feature Post: Red Foxes of Jackson Hole

This post is long overdue! I’ve been photographing Red Foxes when the opportunity arises for over 8 years and have a nice collection of images. It may still take a couple of days to complete and polish the page, mainly because I have so many photos to pick through! If you haven’t signed up to follow Best of the Tetons, NOW would be a great time. You’ll get an email notification of the post. Of course, you can always just check in!

Sign UpTo sign up, find this box. On a computer, it should be in the upper right corner of the screen. If you are using a phone or small device, it will probably show up near the bottom of the page. Then enter your email address and click the Subscribe NOW! button. That’s it!

If you visited this new page early in the day yesterday, scroll on down. I added a few late day shots. I’ll try to add a few shots from today after I make a loop through the park. Remember to start carrying Bear Spray if you are roaming around!

I recently shared a couple of Best of the Tetons posts on my Facebook account. Antelope Flats Road is now open, giving us vehicular access to the Mormon Row barns and homesteads (until mid-December). If you are a fan of the historic old barns, these posts might be of great interest to you:

Share! Remember, you can SHARE any page on Best of the Tetons on your favorite Social Media sites. There are a set of buttons near the bottom that can make it EASY, and it helps me by spreading news about this site to people I’ve never met.

Barn Screen Grab

As I looked back at yesterday morning’s capture at the TA Moulton Barn, I felt I processed it too brightly. I took the photo at 6:55 am. Official Sunrise was going to be at 7:02 am, but of course, that doesn’t take into consideration the extra 10-15 minutes it takes the sun to clear the eastern mountain range. Each morning (when you can see the mountains), the snow covered range begins to glow against a purple tinged sky. Some days are more vivid than others, but this period is still one of my favorite times of the morning. In Post Processing it is entirely too easy to forget it was still almost dark at the time of capture and brighten the scene too much. I think I did that yesterday. This screen grab shows Curves adjustment I did to yesterdays JPG to modify it. If I were to try to print this capture, I’d make similar adjustments to my RAW file in Lightroom before exporting or printing it. Actually, I would make a “virtual copy” of my first attempt, then make additional adjustments on the virtual copy so I could compare the two side by side.

Chapel of the Transfiguration

Chapel of the Transfiguration: When I went to Moose Junction, it was snowing at a faster pace than what I originally saw on the Web Cam. I shot this one from the window of my truck using a long telephoto lens. There’s a lot of snow between me and the Chapel, and it allowed the distant trees to fill the sky. Nikon D5 and original Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld with VC off.

Chapel of the Transfiguration

Chapel of the Transfiguration: I took this image with a medium length telephoto, along with my shorter 24-70 lens. While these photos aren’t of wildlife subjects, they follow along with much of what I was writing about in this recent post: Snowfall and Wildlife. Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-200 mm Lens, Handheld.

This earlier post might explain more about controlling the scale between two objects. Distance and Scale Relationships in the Tetons (and elsewhere)

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April 1, 2017 : Saturday

Alpenglow Pano

Alpenglow Pano at the TA Moulton Barn: The alarm on my iPhone went off a 5:30 am today, allowing me to be at Mormon Row before Alpenglow. (Click this image to see it much larger) This shot was captured as a set of pano images (6 images), stitched later in Lightroom. Check out: Panoramic Images: Tips for Getting More of the Tetons in a Shot. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, on a tripod.

Beginning of April Notes:

  • Antelope Flats Road is open. Mormon Row is dry, but there is a barricade at the entrance.
  • Blacktail Ponds Overlook and river bottom is open.
  • Schwabacher Landing is OPEN, but the gate is still locked. You can now walk in.
  • Teton Park Road (between Taggart Lake Trailhead and Signal Mtn) is open to hikers and bikers until May 1st.
  • The middle section of the Moose-Wilson Road will remain closed to vehicles until May 1st.
  • As of today, the Sleigh Ride on the National Elk Refuge is still in operation, but may end at any day.
  • Commercial Tours on the National Elk Refuge ended yesterday, but private vehicles are still welcome.
  • The Craig Thomas Visitors Center at Moose is open, but it’s the only one.
  • The Snake River is currently flowing at near record highs.
  • Grizzlies should be appearing in GTNP soon, if not already. Time to begin carrying Bear Spray again!
  • To start the month, sunrise is at 7:02 am and Sunset is at 7:50 pm. Today’s morning temperatures were in the low 20s in the Park.
  • Area gasoline is in the $2.29-$2.39 for Self-Serv Unleaded at most stations.

T.A. Moulton Barn

T.A. Moulton Barn: Snow is melting fast on the valley floor! I bumped into the Peer Mentoring Group at the Barns this morning. They are a part of the Teton Photography Group which meets regularly here in Jackson. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, on a tripod.

Note: If you are new to Best of the Tetons, the first of the month post only sets the table for entries for the remaining days! Check back!

Chambers House

Chambers House: I bumped into Roy Chambers at one of the grocery stores a couple of years ago. I asked him if he had any old photos of the place. He replied, “Hell, just go take them! It looks about the same as it always did. I was born there and have vivid memories of the old air coming through the cracks of the logs”.  Roy owned the homestead we all call “The Shane Cabins” back in 1951 when they filmed the movie and rented it to the production studio. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, on a tripod.

White-tailed Doe

White-tailed Doe: April can be one of the months in which you see the most free roaming animals. (In the Winter, you might see 6,000-8,000 elk on the refuge) Deer, Moose, Bison, Elk, and Bighorns migrate off the National Elk Refuge towards their summer homes. As always, be out early and late for your best chances to spot them. This White-tailed Deer was in a field north of Kelly. Nikon D5 and original Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld with VC off.

Upcoming Feature Post: I am working on a new post about the area’s Red Foxes. It should be loaded with photos! If you want to get an email notification of this, and upcoming posts, simply sign up to follow Best of the Tetons!

Black-billed Magpie

Black-billed Magpie: Activity is my back yard is picking up! The Northern Flicker male seems to stay interested in the nesting cavity they built last year. Pine Siskens and House Finches are more common now. Magpies spend the winter in the valley, but they are often seen carrying small branches and twigs to their nests. This one came to my yard in search of food. Nikon D5 and original Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Tripod with VC off.

Antler Growth

Antler Growth: I spotted quite a few Moose in the sage north of Kelly, but this one was close enough to see the bull’s glistening “antlers”. Nikon D5 and original Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Tripod with VC off.

Sunset

Sunset: Last evening, the sky turned vivid rose and red. I went out for a while at sunset, hoping for a similar sunset, but tonight’s was less vibrant. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, on a tripod.

Welcome to April!


Teton Photo Excursions

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Comments (6)

  1. Stephen M

    Great pics! Love the picture of the white tailed doe!

  2. Glad to see you this morning and thanks for the free advertisement 🙂 for our Peer Mentor Program. I was standing right next to you chatting and didn’t think of taking a pano. I hope a few more years of experience will help me immediately recognize the opportunity for great shots … maybe not just-like-you but at least kinda-like-you. I like the Alpenglow Pano; the snow sets off the barn AND the mountains.

  3. Randy, GTNP is simply “made” for panos. They are everywhere…let me see…there’s a post for that: Panoramic Images: Tips for Getting More of the Tetons in a Shot

  4. Hi, Mike! I used to enjoy your photos and updates on YNet. It’s been 5 years since I’ve been to Yellowstone and the Tetons. We are headed there the last week of May! I refound your sight searching for info and updates. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and talent on your website!! Your work, as always, is brilliant! I will be checking in to see what is going on and enjoying your work. And, if you do not mind, I may ask an occasional question… Thanks, Don

  5. Hi Don, I am so happy you found the site. I haven’t posted at Yellowstone.Net in a long time, but probably should stick my head in once in a while and make a post. Most of my time is spent promoting GTNP, as you can tell by the title of the blog. I like Yellowstone, but LOVE the Tetons! MJ

  6. Michelle

    What a great blog, thanks for sharing! Going to the Tetons for a day at the end of June, have made a lot of notes from your site on different places. Going to keep an eye on the daily notes, especially as the trip gets closer, would love to see a few moose. 🙂

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