Planning an African photo safari

Africa - the dream of a lifetime but how do you plan for an extended photo safari? [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="944"]Kruger-3715-Edit African lion in Kruger National Park[/caption] Kruger-3715-EditBig cats of South Africa   I recently returned from a two month photo safari in South Africa, truly a trip of a lifetime and want to share many of the things I learned in the planning, execution, and photography of this adventure. This is part one of a multi-part series of posts about South Africa and its photographic treasures. Continue reading "Planning an African photo safari"

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"

Fort Henry Rendezvous 2017

Photos from the 28th Annual Rendezvous held near Rexburg, ID.

Mountain Man Rendezvous are held all over the country, but head to the Northern Rockies if you want to be where it actually happened! Rifle Range If you were attend a Mountain Man Rendezvous, you’d find an eclectic mix of individuals that share an interest in American History. The Mountain Man era spanned from roughly 1825 to 1840—a blink of the eye in US History. Hardy trappers roamed the Rocky Mountain West in search of beaver pelts—trapping them in late fall and early winter to be used for fashionable European top hats. Lack of demand and depleted supplies of beavers resulted in the demise of the Mountain Man period. Continue reading "Fort Henry Rendezvous 2017"

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:"

Old West Days Parade 2017: Kids, Horses, Dogs and Magic Memories

The Old West Days Parade may not resemble parades in most cities. Horses make up a large portion of the entries. Why not? There are lots of them in the valley being used for trail rides, rodeos, dude ranches, back country outfitters, covered wagon cookouts, search and rescue—and of course as pets. I went to the Old West Days Parade again this morning and came home with the normal amount of images. This page contains just a small cross section of the captures! Photographer and Tiny Model Kids are a major attraction at a parade. Only a few of them are actually in the parade, but there are always a lot of them hugging the road and occasionally holding still long enough for a photo. Continue reading "Old West Days Parade 2017: Kids, Horses, Dogs and Magic Memories"

Newborn Moose!

Baby Moose Newborns are exciting harbingers of the Spring and Summer seasons.  I’ve seen a few baby Canada Geese, a few baby Bison, and I’ve heard of several Fox dens with Kits making their first appearances. Soon, we might be seeing baby Owls, Eagles, Deer, and Elk. Click HERE to watch my wife’s video on Facebook: Today, my wife called me to let me know of a Moose giving birth to a single calf. When she called, the calf was still slimy and the cow was in the process of cleaning it. By the time I arrived, the Mother Moose had cleaned the beautiful little calf. The proud Mother looked exhausted. The calf was trying to stand up but would fall over when she licked it. The photo above was the calf’s first attempts to nurse. Continue reading "Newborn Moose!"

One Day in May: Back Yard Birding

This page consists of images I captured in one day…May 15th, 2017.

Western Tanager This morning, I went out my back door to see my first Western Tanager of the year. I grabbed my Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm lens and set up in my makeshift blind. I had a steady flow of colorful birds passing through my back yard in Jackson Hole. The photos on this page were selected from over 2500 images I captured today! Continue reading "One Day in May: Back Yard Birding"

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
Continue reading "Telephoto Lenses For Landscapes"