Ten minutes. That's the time that elapsed between getting my shot low in the sagebrush on a steep hill overlooking the Snake River and when I returned to the side of the road, only to see a grizzly bear gallop through the very same area. Yikes! Hello, Grand Teton National Park!
I was spending a week in the park on a group photography workshop with Andy Cook, of Rocky Mountain Reflections. He's the best in my book; an inspiring photographer and enthusiastic teacher. He helps us in the field and on the computer, patiently coaching us through Adobe Camera Raw, Photoshop and other software programs that are necessary for processing our RAW images. The level of camaraderie is high on a workshop, especially since we're giggly and somewhat slap-happy from little sleep, jazzed from caffeine and riding the wave of photographer's euphoria from the stunning scenery.
We were lucky with the weather during the week, particularly for our sunrise shots. Overcast or rainy skies would begin to break up as the sun rose, adding beautiful color to the scenes. At Oxbow Bend, rain showers turned into veils of pink and peach, reflected in the water. While I was shooting, I thought of Alfred Bierstadt and his romanticized paintings of the West, concluding that he wasn't exaggerating very much.
Mormon Row is famous for the iconic barns of the Moulton family barns pictured below. The combination of warm sunrise light on the barns and the unusual rising cloud make these images engaging. While not as wildly popular with photographers as Colorado's Maroon Bells, if you're coming to take pictures here, set up before dawn to frame your shot and claim your spot.
I stayed a couple of days longer after the workshop finished to have more time to enjoy the Tetons. I was driving past Jackson Lake when the clouds above the mountains caught my eye. As I waited, the cloud pattern became more defined in the sky and on the water. I love the blue and white colors of the scene and the flow of the clouds.