Long Exposure Assignment Winner • Michael Swindle

We wish to congratulate this month’s assignment winner with this beautiful image, well worth our $100 prize.
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Oxbow Bend, Snake River, Grand Tetons NP, USA

Catching a memorable photograph at Oxbow Bend can be a challenge due to limited space, weather, lighting, wildlife, crowds of photographers and bus-loads of tourists.

The small popular parking pullout in the Grand Teton National Park highlights a view of the meandering Snake River with majestic Mount Moran in the background.

I arrived an hour before sunrise, feeling eager to capture the colors of the sunrise, while hoping to beat the crowds and find a path to the water line for an unobstructed scene.

Having setup my Canon 5D Mk IV with the Canon 24-105mm f/4L lens on my RRS TVC24L tripod, I noticed the clouds hanging really low. I have been shut out before because of the clouds covering up the mountains but I was hoping that the sun would come out before the clouds moved in.

I took some pictures and double checked the composition and camera settings. Then I noticed that the sky had started to turn a magenta color, so I knew the sun was not far from peaking over the mountains. It looked like the clouds would give way once the sun got high enough and then it would turn the mountain peaks to a warm yellow glow with some magenta color in the clouds above the mountain peaks.

Having been to the Grand Teton National Park four times before, I would have to say that this was the most colorful sunrise I have seen there. I have found that the best seasons to visit the Grand Tetons are in the spring and fall, which have for me produced some of my best images.

Michael Swindle, USA

Having been retired from Healthcare IT for the last two years, I have now focused my energy on landscape photography. I enjoy the outdoors and capturing the natural beauty that is all around us.

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