Every year I visit the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming in Winter to photograph wildlife and landscape, and to run my final photo workshop of the year. For this year, I travelled to the park a couple of days early to beat the storms rolling into the area and put me in the location as the dramatic weather came through.
As I was travelling around the park scouting photo locations, I travelled down towards the famous barns along Mormon Row. The snow was falling heavily and the clouds were all the way down to ground level. Typically not the best photographic conditions for most, but it is these conditions that sometimes. yield the best images. Believe it or not, behind these trees, hidden by the clouds, are some of the most beautiful mountains in the U.S., the Tetons! Of course, on this day, they were nowhere to be seen.
Just West of the barns is a couple of trees standing in a large open field. As I drove up on the scene, these trees and the low clouds instantly caught my attention. I saw a lot of potential for creating minimalist images using the trees as my subject. Since there were no parking areas due to a large amount of snow on the ground, I parked on the road and got out my camera and tripod.
I spent roughly 30 minutes photographing this tree, and one other, shooting in landscape and portrait orientation and experimenting with different placements within the composition. Walking up and down the road to get different angles and present different "faces" of the tree, I finally had my fill and packed up my snow-encrusted gear. Once home, this image is the one I initially selected as my favorite of the bunch and did some small processing to bring out the blacks in the tree to contrast against the white background.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor