Our Partner – the Art Association of Jackson Hole

From the beginning, the Teton Photography Group recognized the need for strategic partnerships to become a viable, long-term organization in the greater Teton region.  Discussions with established photographers, community and organization leaders, and existing ‘brick and mortar’ institutions helped us to understand why previous photography ‘clubs’ had struggled and ultimately failed.  We explored many partnerships with existing not-for-profit organizations in the area with a goal of avoiding the expense and time needed to become an independent organization with federal 501(c)3 tax status and to acquire a stable venue for our meetings and programs.  These discussions all pointed to an obvious and critical partnership with the Art Association of Jackson Hole.

The AAJH is a stable, 50-year old organization that has been the community leader supporting the arts in all forms.  They have strong community support, a proven financial base, and a versatile and flexible location that can support activities from small group meetings to large educational programs.  They also have a well-established communication and community education history.  In a word, the AAJH is a perfect partner for the TPG.

Over the past six months the AAJH has hosted our monthly public presentations, planning and organizational meetings, and our first large educational symposium.  They have provided infrastructure, staff, equipment and supplies, and communications to support our activities. They serve as our bank and financial resource to help us pay our bills.  Our partnership sounds good, but over the last month, it has changed – for the better.

Detailed planning for our first Outdoor Photography Symposium exposed some issues with the infrastructure of both organizations and the AAJH immediately stepped up to the plate to address these issues in a very positive way. We have had discussions about the computer equipment and software in the photography lab and the AAJH developed a plan to update hardware and software to a state-of-the-art system that will better serve their educational programs and the needs of our members. The AAJH has carefully listened to the TPG needs for improved video projection and audio systems for large programs. They have found methods to meet our short-term needs and expand their long-term capabilities. We have had discussions about the AAJH membership database that will better support partnering organizations with their communication and financial needs. But more important and longer lasting changes have also begun.

We have entered in strategic planning initiatives with the AAJH that will help optimize community educational goals of both organizations by streamlining and coordinating our respective programs.  This will be evident in the new AAJH catalog to be released this winter.  There will be expanded coverage of the TPG programs and marketing and promotion for our major educational activities. This will start with the support of two new educational symposia in February and April.  Based upon the feedback from members and attendees of our first symposium, we will present a more basic and a more advanced symposium this winter and spring. The basic symposium will address introductory issues of how to make better images with dSLR cameras. The advanced symposium will explore the details of post-processing image editing software.  Additionally, the AAJH has committed to support for our monthly public presentations scheduled on the third Monday of every month. We have a plan to expand the breadth of the photographic subjects presented and expand our membership using resources of the AAJH.  We hope that these initiatives will allow the TPG to explore cutting-edge introductory programs that will lead to expanded educational classroom activities from the AAJH.

Our partnership with the Art Association of Jackson Hole has been a win-win proposition for photographers in the region.  The membership in the TPG has grown steadily from about a dozen last April to more than 150 in October. The partnership is stronger than ever and I hope that every member of the TPG will support the AAJH by becoming a supporting member – only $35 per year – for full membership and all of the benefits provided by the Association as well as full privileges of the TPG.  It is a win for art and photographers in the region, the community, and you as someone who wants to improve photography as an art through education and networking.

Once in a lifetime

Every once in a while life throws something at you that is so unexpected and yet so wonderful that you can't pass it up.  That is what happened to me in mid-August as I was planning my sixth photography trip to Yellowstone National Park since April this year.  Several wildfires were burning in the park and some of the campgrounds were on a short evacuation alert so our plans changed several times but we finally settled on a "safe" campground at Canyon Village. As we packed the RV for the two-week trip we were notified that the road between Fishing Bridge and Canyon was closed due to smoke and the threat of the Alum Creek fire. That meant a two-hour detour and a trip over Craig Pass on the western side of the Grand Loop. Well, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do and we made our plan to leave on a Tuesday.

On Monday I received a call from a friend who is a Regional Director of the Yellowstone Association and who was in need of some part-time help to replace two employees who had to leave on urgent family business. We could come to Yellowstone, bring the RV, camp for next to nothing, and get paid in exchange for working part-time at the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center. It took about 30 milliseconds to say "Yes" and we cancelled our Canyon plans and drove to Old Faithful for a 6-10 week stint living in Yellowstone.

The campground was a hidden gem for employee housing about 1/2 mile from the OF Visitors Center by bike or a 2 mile drive by car. It had full hook-ups, a laundry, the employee's Pub, and its own collection of wildlife from Snowshoe Hare, to Grizzlies, to Bison - every day was an adventure.  Can you imagine calling into work that you will be late because there is a bison blocking the bike path?

Work was generally fun - working with the public and retail sales was far outside my realm of experiences but the Rangers, employees, and a brief orientation made jumping-in a positive learning experience. We worked about 30 hours a week on a schedule that allowed photography for several hours every morning or afternoon and two and a half days off for more extended landscape and nature photography each week.  Needless to say that we had a great time, met some interesting people and shot a lot of photographs.

We had the opportunity to learn more about the history and operation of the park and more about the thermal features at the major geyser basins that we had ever known - that in spite of our combined many months in other parts of the park.  We hiked new trails, saw new geysers erupt, explored back roads, and found new animal locations that were previously unknown to us.  I was able to shoot photos from locations that I had never visited before and travel leisurely in the huge park.  The Yellowstone Association allowed us to purchase maps and books at a discount and see the inner workings of the Association from its Gardiner, MT headquarters to the Lamar Buffalo Ranch.  We were even able to book free courses from the Yellowstone Institute and will be back to the Lamar Buffalo Ranch in January and February to enjoy these employee benefits.  

We had hoped to stay into mid-October or even early November but cold weather, snow, and, finally, the government shut-down and closure of the park shortened our time to "only" 6 1/2 weeks. What a wonderful, unexpected experience that will leave a warm spot in our hearts for the rest of our lives. I am finishing the processing of the photos and hope to have some posted in the National Parks and Public Lands section of this site soon.

Thanks for visiting.

 

Once in a lifetime

Every once in a while life throws something at you that is so unexpected and yet so wonderful that you can’t pass it up.  That is what happened to me in mid-August as I was planning my sixth photography trip to Yellowstone National Park since April this year.  Several wildfires were burning in the park and some of the campgrounds were on a short evacuation alert so our plans changed several times but we finally settled on a “safe” campground at Canyon Village. As we packed the RV for the two-week trip we were notified that the road between Fishing Bridge and Canyon was closed due to smoke and the threat of the Alum Creek fire. That meant a two-hour detour and a trip over Craig Pass on the western side of the Grand Loop. Well, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do and we made our plan to leave on a Tuesday.

On Monday I received a call from a friend who is a Regional Director of the Yellowstone Association and who was in need of some part-time help to replace two employees who had to leave on urgent family business. We could come to Yellowstone, bring the RV, camp for next to nothing, and get paid in exchange for working part-time at the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center. It took about 30 milliseconds to say “Yes” and we cancelled our Canyon plans and drove to Old Faithful for a 6-10 week stint living in Yellowstone.

The campground was a hidden gem for employee housing about 1/2 mile from the OF Visitors Center by bike or a 2 mile drive by car. It had full hook-ups, a laundry, the employee’s Pub, and its own collection of wildlife from Snowshoe Hare, to Grizzlies, to Bison – every day was an adventure.  Can you imagine calling into work that you will be late because there is a bison blocking the bike path?

Work was generally fun – working with the public and retail sales was far outside my realm of experiences but the Rangers, employees, and a brief orientation made jumping-in a positive learning experience. We worked about 30 hours a week on a schedule that allowed photography for several hours every morning or afternoon and two and a half days off for more extended landscape and nature photography each week.  Needless to say that we had a great time, met some interesting people and shot a lot of photographs.

We had the opportunity to learn more about the history and operation of the park and more about the thermal features at the major geyser basins that we had ever known – that in spite of our combined many months in other parts of the park.  We hiked new trails, saw new geysers erupt, explored back roads, and found new animal locations that were previously unknown to us.  I was able to shoot photos from locations that I had never visited before and travel leisurely in the huge park.  The Yellowstone Association allowed us to purchase maps and books at a discount and see the inner workings of the Association from its Gardiner, MT headquarters to the Lamar Buffalo Ranch.  We were even able to book free courses from the Yellowstone Institute and will be back to the Lamar Buffalo Ranch in January and February to enjoy these employee benefits.  

We had hoped to stay into mid-October or even early November but cold weather, snow, and, finally, the government shut-down and closure of the park shortened our time to “only” 6 1/2 weeks. What a wonderful, unexpected experience that will leave a warm spot in our hearts for the rest of our lives. I am finishing the processing of the photos and hope to have some posted in the National Parks and Public Lands section of this site soon.

Thanks for visiting.

 

A visit to Cape Cod

We spent last weekend in Osterville, MA, a small community in what's called the mid-cape.  Just behind our marina the marsh grass in the afternoon light was just perfect.

MSC-CAPE-2013-0936_HDR.jpg

A visit to Cape Cod

We spent last weekend in Osterville, MA, a small community in what's called the mid-cape.  Just behind our marina the marsh grass in the afternoon light was just perfect.

MSC-CAPE-2013-0936_HDR.jpg

A visit to Cape Cod

We spent last weekend in Osterville, MA, a small community in what’s called the mid-cape.  Just behind our marina the marsh grass in the afternoon light was just perfect.

MSC-CAPE-2013-0936_HDR.jpg

Six months old – and going (fairly) strong

It is hard to believe that it's been more than 6 weeks since my last posting but it is even harder to believe that Natural Photography is 6 months old!

It has been a very busy summer shooting and traveling to unique sites and more of our public lands. (That's my excuse and I'm stickin' to it - for the long delay since the last posting.) On the other hand, the website has been extensively updated with a dozen new photo galleries and many additional photos added to previously existing galleries. The revisions add galleries for new national parks and public lands visits but also add many more specific species and settings in which to locate wildlife photos that may be most interesting to you. Specifically, there are new galleries in the Fauna section for mountain goats, bison, and pronghorn and new galleries for waterfowl, wild canines, small mammals, and, a sure favorite, babies and young-in's.

Besides many more photos from Yellowstone, I have added seasonal sections for our Jackson Hole neighbor, Grand Teton National Park. A recent trip to South Dakota allowed shooting at Devil's Tower National Monument, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Crazy Horse Memorial, Wind Cave National Park, Jewel Cave National Monument, Badlands National Park, and the wonderful Custer State Park, South Dakota.

On the business side, I have added password-protected areas for individual clients to view pending orders and requested focused photo catalog previews for easier item selection. I have added a similar feature for commercial clients who want to view specific photos and other products. This area is also password-protected for each commercial client. I am hopeful that these customized folders will help you more efficiently select items that will best meet your specific needs. Both areas allow direct electronic communication to answer your questions and expedite your orders.

Finally, while I have been delinquent in posting to this blog, I have been more diligent in posting to Facebook. (https://www.facebook.com/NaturalPhotographyJackson)  While the Facebook page is more intended for fun and frequent updates on activities, some of the Facebook photos are also available for view or purchase on the website. If you have a specific interest in any of the Facebook photos, they can be made available in a full-size, high-resolution format for any of the products listed on this site.

I hope you are able to get away this summer and enjoy nature close-up in your favorite location but if your travels are limited you can always vicariously join our travel on this site or Facebook. Have a GREAT summer and thanks for visiting Natural Photography.

Loren 

Six months old – and going (fairly) strong

It is hard to believe that it’s been more than 6 weeks since my last posting but it is even harder to believe that Natural Photography is 6 months old!

It has been a very busy summer shooting and traveling to unique sites and more of our public lands. (That’s my excuse and I’m stickin’ to it – for the long delay since the last posting.) On the other hand, the website has been extensively updated with a dozen new photo galleries and many additional photos added to previously existing galleries. The revisions add galleries for new national parks and public lands visits but also add many more specific species and settings in which to locate wildlife photos that may be most interesting to you. Specifically, there are new galleries in the Fauna section for mountain goats, bison, and pronghorn and new galleries for waterfowl, wild canines, small mammals, and, a sure favorite, babies and young-in’s.

Besides many more photos from Yellowstone, I have added seasonal sections for our Jackson Hole neighbor, Grand Teton National Park. A recent trip to South Dakota allowed shooting at Devil’s Tower National Monument, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Crazy Horse Memorial, Wind Cave National Park, Jewel Cave National Monument, Badlands National Park, and the wonderful Custer State Park, South Dakota.

On the business side, I have added password-protected areas for individual clients to view pending orders and requested focused photo catalog previews for easier item selection. I have added a similar feature for commercial clients who want to view specific photos and other products. This area is also password-protected for each commercial client. I am hopeful that these customized folders will help you more efficiently select items that will best meet your specific needs. Both areas allow direct electronic communication to answer your questions and expedite your orders.

Finally, while I have been delinquent in posting to this blog, I have been more diligent in posting to Facebook. (https://www.facebook.com/NaturalPhotographyJackson)  While the Facebook page is more intended for fun and frequent updates on activities, some of the Facebook photos are also available for view or purchase on the website. If you have a specific interest in any of the Facebook photos, they can be made available in a full-size, high-resolution format for any of the products listed on this site.

I hope you are able to get away this summer and enjoy nature close-up in your favorite location but if your travels are limited you can always vicariously join our travel on this site or Facebook. Have a GREAT summer and thanks for visiting Natural Photography.

Loren 

Where do we go from here?

The Teton Photography Group (TPG) has grown in the last five months from a vague concept to a viable organization and partner with the Art Association of Jackson Hole. We have this website managed by Mike Cavaroc, a Facebook page, a Google Plus Community, a Twitter presence, and an active email list. We have somewhere between about 75 and 100 self-declared members, many of whom are regularly active on the electronic media. We have three public programs under our belt and have presenters committed for the next 6 months. In September we will have our first all-day public photography symposium on Outdoor Photography. You must agree that we have come a long way. My question in this posting is “Where do we go in 2014 and beyond?”

The group has chosen an administrative model of loose organization with a volunteer Steering Committee consisting of 8 members with broad photography backgrounds. This model allowed us to avoid the cost and hassle of becoming a free-standing not-for-profit organization under a 501(c)3 umbrella but also put the burden of planning and organization on a small number of members. I would like to solicit input from all members about the direction we should go in the coming year.

The Steering Committee has amassed a list of about a dozen specific topics for presentation next year and several categories of topics we would like to explore in some semi-structured manner. Some of the general categories include: composition and aesthetics, technical aspects of image capture, photography gear and gadgets, post-processing software and techniques, photo critique and commentary, photo travelogues and shooting locations, learning from the greats, and specialized photographic skills. Our 2013 public programs have attempted to sample several of these categories.

The Steering Committee has also discussed many types of activities we would like to pursue beyond the structured public presentations. Some of these activities include a quarterly newsletter, quarterly photo contests or competitions with exhibitions of submitted work, all-day symposia on specific areas of photography, expanded electronic portfolios, syndication of member blogs, a gear swap, photo sales events, an expert discussion forum, a local Teton ‘stock photo’ agency, tag-along local photo shoots, and various social events like pot-luck dinners and wine tastings. We are strong on ideas but will need dedicated help from our members for execution.

So back to my original question – where should the group go in 2014 and beyond? I hope you will share your comments and thoughts on this blog page or on our social media sites. We need specific ideas and specific people to carry-out the ideas. We are all fortunate to live in or visit this beautiful area and to have such tremendous local photographic talent.  Our future as an organization is very bright so long as we have committed members who are willing to share their talents and dreams. Thanks for being a part of the TPG. I hope to hear from you soon.

The Teton Photography Group Steering Committee

Every great organization has great leadership and in this posting I am delighted to introduce you to the Steering Committee of the Teton Photography Group. As the organization evolved in the early months of 2013 we discussed a formal not-for-profit structure with by-laws and several committees to carry out the Group’s business. After significant thought and the partnership with the Art Association of Jackson Hole, we agreed that an informal structure with a single steering committee was a more efficient way to start the organization. The Steering Committee is responsible for program planning, membership, group activities, and general organizational planning for the TPG.  The members of the Steering Committee are volunteers who agreed to give of their time to get the Group up and running and follow the mission and vision of the organization.  The current members of the charter Steering Committee are listed below:

Michael Adler

Mike is an MIT PhD who retired from GE R&D in 2000 as a manager of a laboratory doing research in power electronics. Since then he has served as president of the IEEE , worked as a consultant in energy related power conversion.  At present Mike has been pursuing his hobbies of astronomy and photography as well as traveling on two “trips of a lifetime” each year. Mike has combined his hobbies of astronomy and photography and is taking astro photographs using his 6” and 14” telescopes in Wyoming.

Mike is now a resident of Wyoming and he and his wife, Virginia, split their time, when not traveling, between homes in the Adirondacks and Jackson Hole WY. They enjoy sailing, hiking and camping, and skiing.  Mike has given talks on a number of topics in astronomy and cosmology to groups in NY including Paul Smiths college, GE Global Research,  and the Astronomy and Geology clubs in Jackson Hole. He also gives talks on Virginia and his travels and adventures, most recently of trips to Everest base camp, Spitzbergen and Antarctica. 
His website is:  www.MichaelAdler.photostockplus.com


Michael Cohen

Michael is a winter resident of Jackson Hole and loves all the photographic opportunities here. Michael was an active participant in the pre-organizational work for the TPG.  He has been shooting since he was a kid but took a 25 year hiatus in the middle. “Everyone tells me that I should be here in the summer, but I live on a boat off the coast of Maine in the summer and you’re invited!”
His website is:  www.MSCPix.com

Mac McMillen

Mac is a Software Developer from Boise, Idaho who would rather be working as a wildlife biologist or conservationist. When not trapped in his work cubical, he gets outdoors as much as possible, whether it be to climb mountains or to photograph nature. “These are two of my passions, along with my love of the environment. There is nothing that even comes close to fourth place.”
 
Regarding photography, Mac absolutely loves photographing wildlife. He also enjoy landscapes, particularly mountain landscapes. He is a serious enthusiast who has been photographing for about the past 5 years, though more seriously the last year and a half. “I know a great deal about the technical side of photography, but need more field and post-processing experience to take my photography to the next level.” He has great admiration and respect for those wildlife/nature photographers who are not only excellent in their trade, but also stand-up for wildlife and the environment.

Fereshte Faustini
Fereshte Faustini started photography while a student at the University of Warwick in the UK. After she graduated she spent many years working as a software engineer in Silicon Valley. As a result of her passion for landscape photography she traded life behind a computer for life behind a camera. Today, Fereshte travels throughout the Western States taking photographs of some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes mother nature has to offer. Fereshte currently resides near Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This enables her to be close to two of America’s pristine National Parks (Grand Teton and Yellowstone).
Her website is:  http://sensor19.com

Barbara Hayton
Nature photography is her passion and there’s no better day for her than being out with her camera to capture an amazing landscape or an exciting, fun look at wildlife. She especially loves sharing her work with others in hopes it will help raise awareness of the magnificence and importance of wildlife and wild places to the human soul, thus helping to preserve and protect them for the future.  Barbara was an active participant in the pre-organizational work for the TPG.  
Her website is: www.BarbaraHaytonPhotography.com

Tenley Thompson
Tenley Thompson is a wildlife and landscape photographer out of Jackson Wyoming. She specializes in rare wildlife portraits and aerial photography. Her work as a wildlife guide, wildlife biologist and artist inspire her love for photographing the wilderness of the west. Most of her work centers on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and it is her hope that her images will inspire a great love for one of the most amazing places on earth.
Her website is:   www.tenleythompsonphotography.com

Nick Wheeler

Nick Wheeler began his career in photography in 1969 in San Francisco, after graduating with a B.A. in Architecture from Stanford University. He moved to Massachusetts in 1971 where he resided for the next 33 years. His career focus was commercial architectural photography between 1969 and 1998. In 1998 his interest shifted to personal projects, including a book with Doris Cole,  Architecture of the Boston Public Schools and, more recently, an extensive photographic exploration of the Badlands of North America.
Nick’s commercial clients included many prominent architects, builders, and interior designers. He also worked as a stringer for TIME magazine and Architectural Digest in the late 1970’s. His work has been published in most major architectural magazines worldwide. He was the recipient of the American Institute of Architects Honor Award for career achievement in 1985. More recently his work was the subject of one man shows in Washington, DC and Boston and was favorably reviewed in The Washington Times, The Boston Globe and Art New England.  Nick and his wife Whiteley live in Jackson, Wyoming.

Mike Cavaroc
Mike Cavaroc is the creator, designer, and webmaster for the TPG website and our social media sites.  Mike was an active participant in the pre-organizational work for the TPG.  He is a designer and artist by training and a wildlife and nature photographer living in Kelly, Wyoming, specializing in predators and night photography. He is an award-winning photographer who has been published both locally and nationally. As Webmaster,  Mike is an ex officio member of the Steering Committee.
His website is: www.FreeRoamingPhotography.com

Loren Nelson
Loren is a retired academic and educator who has chosen to pursue his dream of wildlife and nature photography from Jackson Hole.  He has traveled the world in his academic life and held several leadership positions in regional, national and international organizations. During a previous “retirement” he and his wife, Nancy, sailed and lived aboard their catamaran, Feng Shui, and cruised the Caribbean for almost six years.  He has had a camera close by since he was a pre-teenager and for the last 14 years has upgraded through several generations of digital equipment. He settled in Jackson in November 2012 after two years of visiting national parks and public lands in the US and Canada by RV.  He is the current ‘leader’ of the Steering Committee.
His website is: www.NaturalPhotographyJackson.com

Please contact any of the Steering Committee members with comments, suggestions, and ideas to improve our programs and our organization. Our email address is: TetonPhotoGroup@gmail.com.