Jackson, Wyoming, USA by John Pedersen

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Picture Story

I have been traveling to Jackson Wyoming and Grand Teton National Park every winter for the past 10 years to photograph this amazing landscape in Winter. This time of year, the park is quiet with almost no tourists and the animals are down in the valley from the high country to forage for food, so they are easier to photograph. In Winter, photographing this iconic landscape takes on a whole new perspective as the land is blanketed in snow and ice providing amazing photographic possibilities.

On the day of this particular shot, I had gotten up pre-sunrise and travelled to Mormon row in the park to photograph the iconic barns there with the mountains in the background. Winter is of course an unpredictable time of year and on this morning the clouds lifted for just a brief moment for me to capture the grand landscape. I had shot this location many times and wasn't overly enthusiastic with the results of that shot, so I walked back to my car to pack my gear and head to the next destination.

As I paused in the parking lot before packing my gear, I looked across a large open meadow to a stand of trees in the distance and that's when I saw "the shot". The sun was hidden behind clouds which provided subdued lighting across the scene and the bare trees were crusted in ice. There was a bank of fog behind the trees providing a nice bright canvas for the branches to stand out against. To get the reach I needed to isolate and simplify the scene I put on my Fujinon 100-400mm lens and mounted it to my tripod. I knew from experience that the fog could come and go quickly so I worked fast to zoom in and isolate the trees against the fog before it disappeared. I only took 4 frames of this scene because I knew what I wanted and how I wanted to shoot it, so I took one test frame and 3 frames to know that I had at least one shot that was going to be sharp and composed the way I wanted. All in all I came away happiest about this shot and not the iconic barn shot that so many come to shoot.


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