October 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP

“October is a Dynamic Mix of Fall and Winter”

Monthly Overviews for JH / GTNP .

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October 1st:  Sunday

Wolf Ranch Road Wolf Ranch Road: As you might guess by the photo above, we had snow in Jackson Hole. Town may have only received a few flakes, but most areas north of Snake River Overlook received a big winter blast. Foliage season is roughly 7-14 days later this year than last year. Aspens on the east side of the valley are nearing peak, while some of the other zones are spotty. Cottonwoods along the Gros Ventre and Snake River are changing now. They are not peak, but have a definite Fall appearance. I’ll be adding more photos and foliage updates on this page: Foliage Reports September/October 2017  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. Continue reading "October 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP"

Foliage Reports September/October 2017

Jackson Hole & Grand Teton National Park

Changing LeafDuring September, I’ll work on two pages simultaneously. This September Foliage 2017 post will contain more specific information about the ever changing foliage status in the area. The September 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP Page will contain some foliage information, but will focus more on wildlife and landscapes. You’ll want to go to both regularly. Note: Think of this page as a day to day or week to week resource containing mainly “record shots”. The photos are not intended to be “wall hangers”, but more documentary in nature. Also, this page will grow in size and scope as the month progresses. Check back regularly! Continue reading "Foliage Reports September/October 2017"

Jackson Hole’s Historic Fences

Mormon settlers moved into Jackson Hole in the late 1890’s and began “taming the valley”. It’s difficult to imagine how difficult the century long task must have been while I am sitting in my warm truck—complete with heated seats and steering wheel, and wearing a goose down jacket and insulated boots. But the settlers did it! Along the way, the hardy group built towns, businesses, and farms and ranches. To maintain their horses and cattle, they needed fences. Today, there are numerous styles and kinds of fences remaining in the Jackson Hole valley to remind us of earlier days. Back in 2015, I posted this page: Grand Teton National Park’s Buck Rail Fences. That page featured the area’s distinctive Buck Rail Fences, but there are several other types of fences used by the settlers and homesteaders. A few days ago, I cruised some of the valley in an effort to document some of the remaining fences. Continue reading "Jackson Hole’s Historic Fences"

Local Color and Close-Ups

Photographers are naturally drawn to Jackson Hole’s wildlife and abundant scenic opportunities. Grand Teton National Park and the surrounding area have some of the best of both! While most people pass them by, there are additional “small scene” opportunities. This page is a collection of some of the close-up images I captured in late July and August. Morning Flowers I have a tendency to start my day watching for the “big stuff”, and if that’s not happening, I begin to look down for the “little stuff”. In reality, there’s a lot more of it! Weather plays a big role in most people’s success rate. Rain and fog can “ruin” some photographer’s day, but if you are willing to deal with the weather, you can get shots others don’t. In most cases, it is just a matter of looking down for alternative subjects. Rain drops are a great addition to flowers, leaves, pine cones & spider webs. A duck in a quiet pond with rings from raindrops may be more compelling and memorable than a standard duck on calm water. Continue reading "Local Color and Close-Ups"

August 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP

August 1st, 2017:  Tuesday

Note: The first week or so of August should resemble the last two or three weeks of July. Check out: July 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP Sunrise Pano Sunrise Pano: It’s a tough call when you have a sunrise like this one developing on one side and three Bull Elk on the other side. I took this three shot pano, then concentrated on the Elk! (Click the image to see it much larger) Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld, VR ON.
Continue reading "August 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP"

Working in 16 Bit Mode

Memory is Cheap — Memories are Priceless!

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

16 Bit Clobber and Recovery

The issue is not what you can see, or what your monitor can display, or what your printer can print—but what is under the hood of the file! I believe you will be amazed by the examples! (For this article, 8 bit vs 16 bit refers to Color Bit Depth while using Lightroom and Photoshop.) 14 Bit Capture 16 Bit Image 16 Bit Export The image above was captured with a Nikon D810 in 14 bit mode. I set that in the camera’s menus long ago and never looked back! The files are much larger, so they fill cards faster, fill the buffer quicker, and possibly slow down the frame rate on some cameras. You might consider these issues up front. You can always “downgrade” a capture during your workflow, but you can’t “upgrade” one. As seen in the screen grab, I export images from Lightroom to Photoshop by selecting the 16 bits/component option. Continue reading "Working in 16 Bit Mode"

Light Painting Without Lights

Lightroom and Photoshop to the Rescue!

Recently, the Park Service announced slight changes in the enforcement of a few rules already on the books. The change involved a restriction on the use of artificial lights to illuminate a subject for the purpose of photography. Flashlights are still allowed for safety and wayfinding. I posted a new page on the subject a week or so ago. Check out this page: Artificial Light for Photography in Grand Teton National Park. Night Barn Original Capture I thought it might an interesting challenge to attempt to imitate a light painted shot. This is a screen grab of an image as it was captured on a Nikon D5 body and a Nikon 14-24mm lens. You can see the shooting data near the top corner: 20 seconds at F/2.8, with ISO 2500 at 18mm. The photo was taken during the “blue light” period, which can often appear too blue. I set the White Balance to a Custom setting of 6800k. (This is just a starting point for LR and not set in stone).  Of course, I was using a tripod. This page will show a lot of steps and tools that might spark some ideas of your own. I am using Lightroom CC 2015 (the current version) which contains a nice set of features that are not included in the boxed LR6 version. One of the recent additions is the Guided Transform tools, which work similarly to the Perspective Crop tool. It has been in Photoshop for quite a few revisions. Lightroom can do a lot of the heavy lifting on most images—and can even do all of the work on many images—but a project like this one still needs Photoshop. Continue reading "Light Painting Without Lights"

Artificial Light for Photography in Grand Teton National Park

The Times They Are a Changin’!

How about borrowing a line from Bob Dylan’s 1964 title song?  The days of adding artificial light in Grand Teton National Park (and all National Parks for that matter) are coming to an end. As it turns out, the regulation has always been in GTNP’s rules—they just weren’t being enforced. In essence, it states that no artificial light can be used for night time photography. You can use a flashlight for navigation and safety, but not to light a subject. Photographers have been shining flashlights and popping strobes on trees, barns, footbridges, wagons and so forth for as long as I have been doing digital photography. I heard about “light painting” for a few years before I ever tried it. The concept is simple: during a long exposure, the photographer shines a light on a subject, usually slightly from the side. After that, it’s simply a matter of practice and finesse. March Snowman Over the years, I’ve asked if it was okay to use a flashlight in the Park, and have always been told it’s fine as long as I don’t shine the light on wildlife. I’ve had rangers come up while I was light painting, and each time said I was fine. One time, the Ranger chatted with me while I was light painting a snowman at one of the turnouts. He chuckled at the setup and drove off. As it turns out, I was probably breaking two regulations that night…more on that later. Continue reading "Artificial Light for Photography in Grand Teton National Park"

Another Day at the Office!

Cowboys and Wranglers in Grand Teton National Park.

Three Cowboys and Mt. Moran Each year, Pinto Ranch moves a herd of cattle to one of the leased pastures north of Elk Ranch Flats. In preparation of tomorrow’s cattle drive down the highway, three cowboys saddled up near the historic old cabins and dude ranch. Another Day at the Office 1 I managed to get to the cowboys at about the time they were ready to ride West. I asked if I could take some photos. “Yep, no problem. We are headed that direction”.  I did my best to line up either the Grand or Mt. Moran, moving to my right at a pretty quick pace. From what I understand, their job for the morning was to move bison out of their pasture and then patch up the fences. Jon Holland, broke away from the other two cowboys and then all hell broke loose! Continue reading "Another Day at the Office!"

Beating the Summer Crowds in Grand Teton National Park:

Tips and Strategies to Help Make Your GTNP Visit More Enjoyable!

GTNPVisitation at Grand Teton National Park has been on the incline for several years—each one breaking the previous year’s totals. We are likely on a similar pace this year, and that’s not taking into consideration the extra visitors in August for the Solar Eclipse! Air travel is getting more and more difficult—and less fun. It is probably going to get worse with new restrictions on computers and eventually photo gear. Gasoline prices have remained relatively low and there is a renewed interest in the Parks in general. That’s great for our regional market. It’s great for the tour operators, merchants, galleries, restaurants, dude ranches, and activities! If you are stuck behind a bear jam or waiting to get through the entrance station, it’s not so great! Continue reading "Beating the Summer Crowds in Grand Teton National Park:"