Patience is something that every nature photographer must learn. Think about it. We wake up early, we hike in to the location, we get all set up, and then… we wait. We hope (yes hope) that Mother Nature gives us a good morning. Many times, even after all of the hiking, etc. the conditions are not quite right. Therefore, we plan a return trip and hope for the best.

When I visited Grand Teton National Park this past June, one of the subjects I had hoped to capture was the Teton Range itself. If you’ve never seen it in person, it is a true gift of nature and everyone should see it (and experience it) in person.

If our trip to Grand Teton National Park could be summed up in one word, it would be rain. This turn of events, as I have mentioned in previous posts, was a bit of a curveball for a nature and wildlife photographer. What this means, in terms of my aspirations for photographing the Teton Range, was not good. For the most part, the entire range was encompassed in clouds.

One evening, and it was one of the only times this happened, the rain stopped and the clouds broke for about ten minutes. During this time, I was on a hike near Jackson Lake. The clouds broke as the sun was setting in magnificent fashion, and the image above is what I saw.
When I saw the reflection of the Tetons in the water, I was inspired. I tried to let the excitement dissipate and then I got to work; trying to capture the scene before everything became shrouded in clouds again.
The scene had a lot to work with; first, I had the Teton Range (rarely seen that week). Next, I had sunset and the fantastic light accompanying it. Next, there was the reflection of the range off the lake. Lastly, on top of all of that, the light from the sun was lighting this lone tree (on the left of the image) in such a way that the tree was glowing. All of these elements together provided many interesting elements to work with from a photographic level.

I pressed the shutter release on my camera while shading myself from the intense light by hiding behind the trunk of a towering pine tree. The title, ‘Solitude’ really accents what I found interesting in this shot.
Sometimes those multiple hours (or days) of being patient really do pay off.

‘Solitude’, in my opinion, was the best image of 2009.
Happy New Year to you all!

This image is available for purchase here.