Sunset in Jackson Hole

Sunset in Jackson Hole

A lovely sunset in Jackson Hole, WY and I hop out of the car to grab a couple of quick shots!

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Grazing their life away

Grazing their life away

A group of horses just grazing in a field, with a stunning mountain range for a backdrop…

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Grand Prismatic

Grand Prismatic

Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park...an incredible sight!

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A quiet winter scene

I decided to go with a winter image today, as it is a bit colder in Austin and since Christmas is right around the corner...well, it’s feeling like the thing to do! 

This is actually an old image from several years back.  I went with two buddies up to Jackson Hole, WY for a guys’ trip.  We mostly spent our time in Yellowstone, enjoying the scenery and the wildlife.  At the time, I really did not know my way around the camera, but I did come home with a few that I really like, and this is one of them. 

This was shot outside of Jackson Hole somewhere, although I can’t possibly remember where.  We were just driving around (See?  I told you I like to wander!) some back roads and saw this scene.  The snow was blowing and it was just awesome, so I jumped out and grabbed some shots.

Old Faithful

I was on a guys' trip to Jackson Hole, WY which is a complete blast I might add (both the town and taking a guys' trip) and one of our key destinations was Yellowstone National Park.  It is one of those places that just amazes you at nearly every turn.  Wildlife is abundant and the scenery is spectacular.  I highly recommend that you visit at least once in your lifetime.  Anyways, we spent the whole day going all over the park and at one point made our way to the area full of geysers, where Old Faithful resides.  Now Old Faithful is something that everyone has heard of (right?) and I was looking forward to seeing her in action.  We parked and started walking to where we needed to be.  When you get close, you encounter this sign:

That's it?  That's all you got?  This is a famous place that I had heard of for years, so I guess I expected something a little more dramatic.  No, I didn't expect blinking neon a la Las Vegas but I just assumed it would get a little more than that.  Anyways, the good news is that the sign is NOT indicative of the geyser - Old Faithful is quite a sight and a blast to watch (pun intended).  It was given its name due to the fact that she erupts at fairly regular intervals.  When we got there, the Park Ranger said she was due to erupt again in about 20 minutes - sweet!  Good timing!  So we just hung around, acting like tourists and taking a lot of pictures.  Then you start to see and hear the rumblings and things just start blowing out of the earth - it is pretty interesting to watch.  The average height of the blast is 145 feet - impressive!  Here she is in all her glory:

Dinner in Yellowstone

We spent the entire day in Yellowstone National Park, which is not nearly enough time honestly, as there are many sites and it is a sprawling place.  Nonetheless, it was fabulous.  At one point we arrived in the Lamar Valley, which is billed as the Serengeti of the North, and totally lives up to it billing.  Wildlife seems to be everywhere.  We encountered this coyote just by the side of the road, happily crunching on this hapless varmint and completely ignoring us.  I guess when tourists are gawking at you daily you become a bit numb to it and realize they are not a threat.  Anyways, he enjoyed his meal, we enjoyed watching, so I guess everyone was happy.

Single image at f/11 and some minor adjustments in PSE and Aperture.

 

At the end of a hike

I just love taking pictures of landscapes, and when you are in Jackson Hole, WY there is no shortage of beautiful scenes to photograph.  This was taken before I ventured into HDR photography and perhaps I can return again some day to capture that area in all its HDR glory!  In the meantime, I do have some wonderful shots from my trip there that I will continue to sprinkle in here and there, just to keep it fun (at least for me!).  This was taken while on a nice little hike with my buddies.  We were there on a guys trip, so what else are you going to do?  Basically, we walked around in the woods for days.  It was awesome!

This single image was taken at f/10 with no exposure bias.  I made some adjustments to Contrast in PSE and some minor color adjustments in Aperture, and that is all.

Taller

We were in Jackson Hole, WY for a guys' trip (which is awesome by the way) and had decided to spend a day in Yellowstone.  This is normally a fairly quick drive, except that we were there while the nearest entrance was still snowed in, so we had to drive for 2+ hours, briefly through Idaho and then enter the park through West Yellowstone, MT.  It was a great drive with a lot of scenery to enjoy all the way.  Shortly after leaving Jackson Hole, we were cruising up through a mountain pass which was pretty near the border with Idaho.  I saw this scene, and really liked that one tall tree standing alone.

This is a single exposure taken at f/10.  I originally was going to post this as a color version, but could never settle on how best to process it.  There was not a lot of color to work with, save for a little blue, and nothing ever looked right.  Finally I got inspired to change it to Black and White, and here it is.  I actually like this version much better than the color, since you can better see the mountain ranges in the distance.  Plus, sometimes these type of landscape shots are best presented in a very simple way, to let the natural beauty speak for itself.  Or something like that. 

The grandeur of Lamar Valley

Lamar Valley sits in Yellowstone National Park and has been called the Serengeti of the North because there is so much wildlife there to see.  I was only there a short while, but during that time I saw a coyote eating a small animal that he had captured; I saw bison grazing - it's hard to avoid them in Yellowstone; and I saw a black wolf cruising around.  It was amazing.  The valley is surrounded by mountains and is a beautiful place.  There is a single road that winds through the valley where it disappears back into the forest at the other end.  The scenery there is incredible - I highly recommend seeing this place at least once in your lifetime!