Spring in Teton National Park
It’s just about that time of year again, time for our annual Teton National Park photo tour based out of the beautifully set Heart Six guest Ranch located just outside the Park. This will be our 4th year for this very popular tour which in the spring includes a visit to photograph the action at the Jackson Hole Rodeo as well as an optional trail-ride in the nearby National Forest to break up the day and to venture higher for dramatic view of the Tetons and valley below.
The Heart Six Ranch is a working guest ranch, open all year, and this is where we stay and where we’ll spend time testing our skills at photographing horses and even the wranglers. They offer trail rides at the ranch and so each morning near sunrise the wranglers are out in the pastures rounding up the horses to prepare them for rides later in the morning. The action happens very quickly and it might take a day or two before you get good results. Much can depend on how cooperative the horses are as well as the weather conditions. Of course weather is a big part of any form of nature photography so we make do and try again if needed. At the end of the day the horses are released to the pasture giving us a different photo opportunity.
When we’re not photographing the horses at the ranch we’ll be out looking for wildlife in the nearby National Forest as well as in Grand Teton National Park which is just a few miles down the road and clearly visible from the ranch. It’s a great time to capture images of the newborns, including fox, moose and bison. Throw in a mix of wildflowers and the spectacular peaks of the Tetons and it’s hard to not come back each day with plenty of quality images. Editing everything you’ve captured cam be a bit overwhelming! During and prior to the tours I stay in touch with local guides and scout locations so we’ll have a better opportunity to locate any recent wildlife spotting. Grizzles with their newborn cubs are active this time of year as well so we’ll keep our fingers crossed, and bear spray handy!
One evening we will be shuttled to Jackson Hole for dinner and then spend a few hours photographing the Jackson Hole Rodeo. This is great fun to watch and a completely new experience for many when it comes to photographing this kind of action. Low stadium lighting and fast, unpredictable, action will test everyone’s skill and allow you the opportunity to try much different camera settings as well as techniques like panning.
At the end of most days we’ll be out in the Park looking for the best location for sunset shooting. Some of where we go depends on the clouds and overall weather. Seldom, if ever, will we pack up the gear prior to the actual sunset as it’s not at all uncommon for some spectacular light to happen long after the sun has dipped below the mountains.
We do offer an optional private trail-ride one morning which last about 4 hours and is scheduled during a time of day when the light typically is not great for shooting. We head into the National Forest to a spot to enjoy both our boxed lunch as well as a beautiful view of the Tetons way in the distance.
Since we cover so many areas of photography, fast action with the round-ups and the rodeo, landscapes to wildlife there’s a bit of something on these tours for everyone. Even for a friend or spouse that’s not interested in photography! Your equipment, regarding what lenses to bring will possibly be broad, from 16mm to 400mm or even 600mm. Much depends on what you currently own or may be considering and what you really have an interest in photographing. I do recommend looking into renting gear such as a lens you might not really need in the future or might wish to demo for a purchase later. Also I highly recommend have a back-up camera which could also be rented. Night sky shooting is also a possibility and I can go over details regarding equipment needed for this type of shooting after you register, which can be done at this link where you’ll find a more detailed itinerary.
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