Archive for Grand Tetons National Park

Happy Father’s Day

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2017 by lilybug1960

Happy Father’s Day.
 
Evelyn and I made it back to our beloved Bear Woods about 2 a.m. this morning. We left behind Wyoming, a state we feel is our second home at times. I look back on the trip and didn’t really get to shoot many images, or nearly the number of images I would normally have made, but I walk away with many memories of my first trip there with my Dad in 1976. I remember on that trip seeing a landscape for the first time. On this trip I spent time discovering, for me, the Shoshone National Forest and the Apsaroka Mountains. It was so quiet and untouched that it made me feel like that 15 year old wandering in the woods. A Dad can guide you and help to form the man you will become. My Dad guided me to love photography, and to love the land among many other things. All of my trips out there make me thing some 41 years back, but this one was special in my memories. Thank you Gunny for all of my life’s lessons and for introducing me to Wyoming.
 
Tamron SP 10-24mm Di-II VC HLD lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f16, ISO 100, shutter speed of 4 seconds, Sirui N3204X tripod and K30X tripod, Sirui 3 stop Graduated Neutral Density filter and holder, MindShift Gear FirstLight 30L backpack, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronImageMaster, #TamronUSA, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #MIndShiftGear
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The National Parks, Then and Now

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2017 by lilybug1960

The National Parks, Then and Now.
 
I am doing the final preparations for my lecture this Friday to the Southeastern Photographic Society on “Celebrating 100 years of the National Parks”. While I looked at many of my images that were made over 20 years ago vs more recent images, some changes were very dramatic. One of the most dramatic is at probably my single most favorite place, Schwabacher’s Landing. The first image was made on slide film in 1994, the second image was made 20 years later in 2014. The beaver dams that form the pond have washed away, moved, and expanded over the years. Through all of that, the location is still incredible. I remember when there weren’t trails out to the location from the parking area, you wandered through sage brush and pines on alert for sleeping bison and bears. I used to walk out in the dark often by myself armed with nothing more than my sharp wit and camera gear. With the increase of bears, now I tend to carry spray with me if I am in wild areas. I have been enjoying seeing the differences, and hopefully you will join me Friday night and see some of the changes as well.
 
The second image’s information is: Tamron 16-300mm Di-II VC PZD lens on a Canon 7D, Aperture Priority mode, f11, ISO 100, -1 stop of exposure compensation, resulting in a shutter speed of 1/6th of a second, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronImageMaster.

“Lefty”

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2017 by lilybug1960

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“Lefty”
 
One question I hear often when photographing moose, deer and elk is regarding their antlers. “How come we never see males in the winter or spring?” Well you do, but it isn’t simple to identify them unless you know that males lose their antlers each winter and grow new ones each year. The difference between moose, deer and elk vs. Pronghorn Antelope and Bighorn Sheep is they have horns, like cows. Each year the horn continues to grow and don’t fall off. Each year antler will grow while covered in “velvet” then near the beginning of the mating season or “rut”, the velvet drops off revealing beautiful antlers. Males battle rivals to earn the title of dominant bull and mate with the females in the area, or with elk, the harem. Antlers can grow at almost an inch each day with large bull elk.
 
This young bull has lost one of his antlers and the other isn’t too far off from falling off as well. When the antler drops, it is rich in calcium and will provide nourishment for carnivores and rodents. The size of the antlers are determined by age, genetics and the amount of proper nourishment the male gets as they grow.
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 1600, shutter speed 1/500th of a second, handheld utilizing the Vibration Compensation, VC, feature of the lens in Mode 1, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronImageMasters, #SiruiPro

That Circle

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2017 by lilybug1960

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That Circle.
 
I am referring to the circle of life of course. Winter in the Tetons, as well as many other areas, can be harsh and deadly. The strongest survive the winter until spring. While we were visiting the National Elk Refuge, we saw several carcasses in the snow. Often, as our guide told us, it is one of the big older bulls that came into the Refuge after a challenging rut and just never was able to build up the energy to fight off the cold temps. He pointed one carcass out that looked like the big bull simply laid down to sleep and never got back up. I am always saddened to see such a beautiful animal pass but it is what keeps all the predators and scavengers alive through the tough winter. First your larger predators feed, the wolves, then coyotes, and foxes. After that Eagles, Ravens and other scavengers pick at the remains. Lastly you will have rodents that will eat the bones and any fat that is still around. The death is sad, but it is necessary for the continuance of the other animals in the environment. This Bald Eagle is simply scanning the field below for parts of a recent carcass wolves and coyotes have started spreading out.
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 1600, shutter speed 1/500th of a second, handheld utilizing the VC feature of the lens in Mode 1, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronImageMasters, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiPro

Photographing in Extreme Cold

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2017 by lilybug1960

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Photographing in Extreme Cold.
 
I have been wanting to post about our experiences in the Grand Tetons and the effects of the cold temps on our gear. First, the gear wasn’t the biggest issue, it was wearing enough clothing in the right places to work comfortably in the cold. Most folks had issues with cold fingers, toes and their faces. This not only made operating the camera difficult, but it made thinking about things became distractions from the scene and settings. I typically wear a thin glove liner with a fleece glove on top of it. That way it allows me to set up the camera and when necessary make changes quickly by removing the out glove on my right hand. Wearing a good warm hat that covers your head and ears is the answer for your face as well. Finding the right set of boots is the answer for your feet. I wore snow boots with a wool sock underneath and still got a chill in my toes. I am going to look at better boots before the next trip.
 
As for my camera, I had no issues. A few folks suffered quick battery power loss. I kept my camera under my jacket, but away from my body, between shooting sets. I carried several extra batteries, freshly charged, in my pocket close to my body heat to keep them warm and ready. One person did have an issue where their camera locked up, but it may or may not have been from the cold. We simply reset it later at the ranch and it was fine. Tripods seemed to work fine. I did find that people with twist locks had less issues adjusting their tripods than flip locks. Adjusting the ballhead was one noticeable chore. The cold temps made the ballhead stiff but all was fine. Any type of grease or lubricant gets very stiff, but returned to normal once we got into warm temperatures again. All in all, everything worked great. The people felt the effects more so than the gear.
 
Tamron 16-300mm Di-II VC PZD lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 100, shutter speed 1/15th of a second, Sirui W2204X waterproof tripod and K20X ballhead, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronImageMasters, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiPro

Working with Challenging Exposures

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2017 by lilybug1960

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Working with Challenging Exposures.
 
If you were faced with this exposure, a black horse in snow, could you get the exposure right in one shot? I tell my students to concentrate on composition but understand your camera. In a situation like this, shooting in a matrix or multi-segment metering will give you fits. Back in my early days I was lucky enough to have learned the technical side of photography from John Shaw. There are none better at understanding exposure for nature images than John. We used to do exercises in the field where he would constantly ask me as he pointed at an object, “what’s the exposure?” At times it would be frustrating but it taught me how to properly calculate exposure. Today in digital, we aren’t often faced with a situation where we have to flip over to spot metering and manual exposure. I’m not saying it isn’t right to always shoot in manual mode and spot metering, just that it isn’t always necessary. The exposure latitude of film vs. digital was very limited and post processing allows you to make up for the difference often. If you can get it right out of camera, even better.
 
So, knowing the horse was black and the snow was white, I spot metered the horse and adjusted the meter to be 1 stop below zero. This means, since the camera always wants to zero things out, make everything a medium tone, I wanted it to be darker, so I made my shutter speed faster to allow less light to strike the sensor, thus making it darker than zero or medium (for those old film guys…18% gray). I purposely made it a little lighter than it should be in reality because I wanted to capture the detail in the horse. This is the very short version of how to do exposure, if you want a longer one, please visit my website BearWoodsPhotography.com and check out the workshops…we would love to have you join us.
 
Tamron 16-300mm Di-II VC PZD lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 400, shutter speed 1/80th of a second, spot metering, VC active, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronImageMasters, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiPro

“The Beast”

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2017 by lilybug1960

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“The Beast”
 
Last Thursday, when the roads reopened and we were no longer confined to the beautiful ranch, those of us that were still in Jackson Hole, went to the National Elk Refuge for a sleigh ride. We loaded up onto a sleigh with our guide Jason and our 5,000 pounds of horse power named Sam and Elliot. As we rode out we all spotted the largest Elk I have ever personally seen. We all agreed that the name Beast was fitting. It was a great opportunity to simply see this magnificent animal much less photograph him. There were about 6,500 Elk at the Refuge, there were many huge Elk, but clearly he was the biggest. Capturing an image of him in front of the Tetons was really neat for us. Of course a top strap breaking on Elliot’s harness and having to be rescued by “Cowboy AAA” is a story for another day…
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 200 varying shutter speeds, Vibration Compensation active Mode 1, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronImageMasters, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiPro