Grand Tetons – Oxbow Bend
This is one of those “Iconic Views” of the Grand Tetons taken from Oxbow Bend of the Snake River. I think every photographer who has visited the Tetons has taken an image from here.
In the early morning when I drove by this spot, the mountains were covered with clouds. I came back in the early afternoon when the landscape was covered with mid day sun, Even though the lighting was not the best, I saw tonality differences between the trees, river, mountains, and sky. I thought B&W would work.
Grand Tetons and Snake River
Ansel Adams shot one of his great photographs from this spot. His image showed much more of the Snake River. The trees have grown significantly to block part of the view that Ansel witnessed.
I shot this in mid-afternoon in hard sunlight. The colors in the scene were all washed out. Bus loads of people were wandering all about taking snapshots. I had to wait until the busses loaded up to get to a good vantage point. I was in no hurry I knew that I could still get a good black and white image, so I took my time. I shot multiple exposures focusing on the sky, mountains, and foreground trees. I blended the different exposures together to get this image. I am no Ansel, but I bet he did similar dodging and burning to create his image.
For reference, below is Ansel’s original print.
ANSEL ADAMS (1902-1984)
Grand Tetons and the Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, 1942
gelatin silver print, printed 1960s, flush-mounted on wood
30 5/8 x 45 1/8in. (77.8 x 114.5cm.)
According to current research, this is one of nine mural prints of this image in existence and one of only six in this size, with print dates ranging from 1952 to 1973. This magnificent, extraordinarily rare example was probably printed in the early 1960s. In 2010, this photograph realized $338,500 in a Christie’s auction.
Fuji X-T1, XF10-24mm @24mm. f/22. 1/13 sec, ISO 1600
The sky was very dark and covered with clouds. The landscape was very dark and covered with shadows. Then for a few seconds the sun popped out in a small gap in the clouds. The landscape opened up its arms for me to enjoy. The three hour drive starting at 3:00 AM to catch the sunrise was worth it!
Fuji X-T1, EF 18-135mm @ 31mm, f/16, 1/110 sec, ISO 800
I walked down into the basin of the Badlands and looked up to see the towering, eroded hills behind me. I processed this image to separate the foreground from the background by adding a touch of NIK’s Color EFEX Pro graduated fog to the background. I should have shot this image at a wider aperture to produce a natural effect. Lesson Learned: Take my time, work the image from different settings and exposures to create the effects that bring out specific elements of the subject.
Canon 7D MkII, EF100-400mm @ 117mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec, ISO 400
It was a dark and dreary morning at the Anacortes ferry dock. The sun broke through the clouds to display its golden rays behind Mt. Baker. Even though it was raining at the dock, I felt that it was going to be a beautiful day. By the time we reached Friday Harbor, the clouds had burned off and the sky was bright blue. It was a beautiful day. Each day is a gift!!!
Just turn around and see a whole different world. The last 3 posts looking West showed peaceful images without a cloud in the sky. Looking East was a totally different story. These clouds were just flying across the sky along the eastern horizon. I was intrigued by the wispiness of the clouds. There must have been quite a high jet stream up there. B&W provided the sharp contrast between the clouds and the bright blue sky.
These steep vertical spires of Smith Rocks separated the view between the images on my previous two posts. Looking at these massive rocks jutting out of the landscape makes me realize just how amazing Nature is. I attempted to use black and white to emphasize the drama of these spires. An early morning sunrise will make this image spectacular. I can’t wait to go back!
This is another image that I will use as a reference for coming back to Smith Rocks for a Sunset photo shoot. A sunset over Mt. Bachelor and the Crooked River should be interesting. In this image I tried to line up the Crooked River so it would lead to Mt. Bachelor in the distance.
We visited Smith Rocks (near Bend, OR) with a couple of great friends in early July at mid-day. Not the best time for great breath-taking images. So I focused on finding good compositions that I can come back to during another trip, at sunrise. This image frames Broken Top between two spires of Smith Rocks. The round boulder in the middle provides a little interest. I removed houses that were located along the tree-lined ridge in Photoshop. If you look close you can still see a few remnants.
While walking back to the car after a long and productive day, I glanced up and saw the silhouette of multiple mountain ridges. A great way to end a great day.
As March is ending, this will be my last post on Death Valley … at least for a little while. The workshop gave me a much better understanding on what it takes to “see in Black and White”. John Barclay and Dan Sniffen put together a great workshop. Chuck Kimmerle provided a view into B&W photography that can’t be duplicated. The workshop participants included many great photographers on their own merits. My car pool mates, Arthur Ransome and Chuck Robinson are especially talented. I learned much from them as well. Thanks to all, leaders and participants, for making this a great workshop and experience!