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I was in Grand Teton National Park in the Fall of 2019 leading a group capturing the Fall colors. We were fortunate to have a wide range of weather conditions during our visit, which made the photography even more special in this amazing landscape.
On this particular morning, we arose for sunrise. Looking out of our rooms we could see clouds in the sky which made our chances for nice sunlight a bit more challenging. As we were traveling in to the park from the nearby town, the cloud cover thickened up and it became very evident a nice sized storm was brewing. Instead of continuing to our planned sunrise location, we ventured to a location where we could use the clouds to our advantage as part of the composition. We normally visit Mormon row a few times on each visit, but on this day, I felt it would be a perfect location to use the clouds to create drama in the scene.
As the sun rose in the east, it cast warm low-level light across the landscape. I chose to compose a shot with the barn and tree in the foreground and the clouds and mountains in the background. The upper level winds were blowing strong, moving the clouds across the scene. I waited to shoot and chose a time when there was a small break in the clouds allowing the mountains to be slightly visible in the background. I shot 4-5 frames at this location before the sun rose too high and changed the "feel" of the shot and how the foreground was illuminated.
I originally shot this in RAW color, along with a black and white Fujifilm jpeg. Seeing the color image with the warm light on the foreground and dark and stormy clouds in the background, there wasn't the harmony through the image that I wanted. So I used NIK Silver Efex to convert the RAW file to monochrome which really brought out a strong story of a stormy tumultuous day.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor