Oxbow Bend Reflection


Northwestern Wyoming is renowned for its scenic landscapes and natural wonders. From pristine alpine meadows to vast expanses of high desert, pastoral homesteads backdropped by jagged peaks to mysterious geysers that hint at the supervolcano below – the region has always attracted my curiosity.

A particular aspect of the greater Yellowstone-Grand Teton region that has always captivated me is the turning of the seasons. The summer months are crowded, the winter is brutally cold, the spring thaw is laden with mud, and the autumn… well… paradise. This spot, located just west of Moran Junction in Grand Teton National Park is one of my all-time favorite spots to photograph. No matter the season, weather, or time of day – you can find inspiration and wonder just by sitting by the headwaters of the Snake River and watching the reflection of Mt. Moran in the distance.

I arrived at the location a little late that autumn morning and the sun was already casting fairly harsh shadows across the Teton Range. You can slightly compensate for this by using a circular polarizer (which brings out the detail in the peaks and adds more contrast to the water and sky). I recommend shooting this shot as close to sunrise as possible to get softer shadows and calmer wind for the reflection. If you are lucky and time it right, you just might see the famous Grizzly 399 and her cubs who frequent the area most years.

Old Faithful at Night


Shot on a cold night in October, 2012, this shot shows the famed Old Faithful geyser at my favorite lighting condition for geysers: a moonless night. During daylight you will find yourself fighting the crowds to get a shot like all the others. After the sun sets, the crowds disperse and you can catch some unobstructed views of Old Faithful. If you can set up the Milky Way or Ursa Major in the shot it adds more to the composition and the geyser appears larger in colder temperatures due to a greater temperature difference between the steam and the outside air.

You can capture this shot with a wide angle lens, a wide aperture, and a 20 second exposure. Get out there and see the icons of the West in a “new” light!