“Sunset Over the Tetons and Jackson Lake” Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
After a long day of driving and photo scouting around Grand Teton National Park, I was ready for a nice quiet dinner and a good nights rest. Then this gift was given to me. The heavy clouds of the afternoon sky broke open to present this view of the Tetons and sky reflecting off Jackson Lake. I spent a couple of hours just enjoying the beauty in front of me and waiting for the sunset. I wasn’t disappointed, but did miss dinner. It was well worth it!
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.
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.
I told you, the Tetons were behind the barn. The next day the clouds lifted revealing the brilliant mountains. I shot multiple images with different focal lengths and lenses. I did not care for the results with a wide angle because it subjugated the Tetons behind the barn. I did like the perspective of a larger telephoto which brought the mountains up for a dramatic perspective.
Mormon Barn (100mm)
It is amazing what a different feeling this perspective gives. The barn is now dwarfed by the grandeur of the Tetons.
I enjoy working a subject from different perspectives without being rushed to get to the next scene. Sometimes it pays of, sometimes it doesn’t.
The Grand Tetons are really behind this barn. Blustery clouds covered the peaks of the mountains. I was a dark grey afternoon. Perfect for a black and white photo! I added a sepia tone to capture a feeling of an old bygone day.