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.
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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:"

Flat Creek Wetlands: My St. Vrain

Jackson’s Year Round, But Often Overlooked Asset!

Flat Creek Wetlands sits on the north edge of the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Area Visitor’s Center. It couldn’t be more convenient for any Jackson Hole visitor or resident, yet most people drive right by it! Yep, I get it! People are lured to Grand Teton National Park with hopes of seeing a Grizzly, Moose, bugling Elk, Wolf or Bison (short list). Flat Creek Wetlands is my “St. Vrain”. I’ll explain that near the end of the page! Flat Creek Westlands Spring is usually a very active time at Flat Creek Wetlands, but actually it seems that something is going on there all year. While I take photos at Flat Creek Wetlands year round, photos on this page were all taken on May 2nd, 2017. To be more specific, I spent roughly an hour in the morning and another hour in the mid-afternoon. I came home with a couple thousand photos! You might call it a “target rich” environment, yet I was the only person there taking photos! In the photo above, I captured several Canada Geese, a pair of Trumpeter Swans and a group of Yellow-headed Blackbirds. Continue reading "Flat Creek Wetlands: My St. Vrain"

Telephoto Lenses For Landscapes

More than likely, most photographers purchase a telephoto lens for wildlife photography. It’s totally logical, and I use my telephoto lenses for wildlife, too. A telephoto lens gets the photographer “close”, even when it is either impossible or illegal to do so otherwise. Moulton Barn
Shooting Data: NIKON D5, Tamron 150-600 mm f/5.0-6.3 at 340 mm, 1/800 Second at f/8, Manual Mode, -1/3 EV,  ISO 180
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Rainy Night In Jackson Hole

Center Street Last night, I came out of the movie theater to find rain falling in Jackson Hole. I grabbed some gear and headed back downtown to see what I could capture with the rain covered streets. Spring Break began two weeks ago and will end on Sunday. It’s traditionally a “sleepy” time after the World Championship Hill Climb at Snow King. Many of the locals head to tropical locations, but we hung around this year. The photo above was taken at the corner of Broadway and Center Street, looking north.  Shooting Data: NIKON D5, Nikon 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 at 56 mm, 6 Second at f/14, Manual Mode, -1 2/3 EV,  ISO 100 Continue reading "Rainy Night In Jackson Hole"

Wyoming Total Eclipse Guide

wyoming total eclipse guideSastrugi Press is super excited for our new book to come out this month: Wyoming Total Eclipse Guide, the Commemorative Official Keepsake Guidebook. It’s loaded with eclipse photography specifics, safety info, and locations to shoot from.
If you want to photograph the eclipse over Wyoming, this book has specific locations to shoot from. It has specific locations to be in on August 21, 2017.
This book is a keepsake. Get a copy for each of your family members.
Each can write down their emotions and remember this unique and once-in-a-lifetime event in Wyoming. The back of the book has prompts for notes. Write down your personal experience with the total solar eclipse, the first in the US since 1979.
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