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ANPW Day 3

September 30, 2008

This morning we met at 5:30. To start, the entire group went to shoot the sunrise over the valley.  I hopped in Scott Stulberg’s Jeep along with Richard, another ANPW winner.  When we reached the shooting location the whole group set up and waited for sunrise.  Now, sunrise isn’t a “flip-the-switch” type of activity.  You see this coming.  Common sense would have kept me in a warm car until the light of day was coming over the eastern hills.  But, no…  We all stood out in the 20-something degree weather, in the dark and waited.  And waited. 🙂  No complaints, but I certainly learned something.  It’s better to be warm and on time than early and cold!  I attempted my first HDR panoramic.  It still needs some clean up, but here are the results:

Panoramic of the Tetons Range

Panoramic of the Tetons Range

Next, the group headed towards Mormon Row.  This was one of my favorite places in the Tetons and the location of two of my favorite images from last year – Moulton Barn and Moulton House).  As is typical of this location in the morning, it was packed full of photographers.  I shot this HDR of a small barn:

This was a good time to chat with the others and we soon were in a small lighting technique lesson by Scott Stulberg.  He showed us how to properly use reflectors and natural light to light the side of a model – in this case Lisa Bettany.  I wish I had pictures, but I was the guy holding the reflector.  I’m hoping Lisa or someone else posts the images.  It was interesting.  After a failed attempt to find some animals to photograph, it was off to lunch and our last day in the classroom.

In class we learned additional ways to create in Aperture and looked at some of the new plug-in technology.  Martin reviewed books, cards, slide shows and more.  I’m even more impressed and excited by the things I’ll be able to do with Aperture.  I’ve wanted to find a way to show pictures to family and friends without sitting around a laptop or viewing a typical photo album.  I love the book feature and the amount of options you  have with them.  This is something I’ll definitely look in to for sharing my pictures going forward.

Lastly, we were given a taste of some of Steve Simon’s photography in the form of Aperture presentations.  Set to music, we sat in awe as we viewed the solemn aftermath of 9/11 to the funny, but thought-provoking Big Cow to the captivating images from the Republican and Democratic conventions.  Steve is one of the best photojournalists around.  Visit Steve’s site to get a sampling of his talent.

As Scott Bourne brought in more “gifts” for us to see (one year subscriptions to training site Lynda.com and a certificate for Lensbaby equipment) we learned that the evening shoot was wildlife.  I have to say, when Scott gets prizes, he doesn’t mess around.  Everything was the top-of-the-line including the Drobo (Firewire, not the USB model), subscription to Lynda.com (premium all-access for one year), the certificate to Lensbaby (so we could get the latest Lensbaby creation), the ThinkTank 360 Backpack (their latest creation) and the PeachPress books (all photography related books).  Plus a copy of Aperture and a lifetime subscription to Photrade.com.  It’s amazing that he put this all together and I’m extremely grateful.

Teaming up again with Martin, with Brian in the car, we took off for the place we found elk the day before.  Unknown to us, it was also private property.  While we did manage to see another herd of elk, property management also found us and escorted us off the property.  Hey, sometimes it’s better to ask forgiveness then permission! 🙂  Caravan in tow, Martin took off looking for more wildlife.

We drove for a while heading towards the place were we had seen the bison the evening before.  As we did, light was fading fast.  We noticed that Scott Stulberg had dropped from the caravan.  Still we searched for wildlife.  Scott Bourne dropped off as well.  It was just Martin’s car with Martin, Brian and I inside.  Around the next courner and BINGO!  A large heard of bison.  Fantastic.

This again proves that you have to keep going to find what you’re looking for and to MAKE YOUR SHOTS.  Also, shooting in dim light isn’t a bad option.  Sometimes you need to get the shots the clients looking for and you can’t wait for perfect light or anything else.  Make your shots.  Sometimes they don’t always come during the “golden hours”.

Heading back towards the hotel, we were in contact with Scott Stulberg’s car.  They had pulled on to Mormon Row and were looking to make some astro shots.  We joined them and I captured one of my favorite pictures from the trip – Big Dipper over Grand Teton

This one also:

You can see a very thin line towards the bottom of the picture.  This isn’t a plane or shooting star – it’s a satellite.  Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either, but you can see satellites with your naked eye provided there isn’t any light pollution.  It was one of the most interesting things I’ve ever seen.

As we were getting ready to leave another group approached.  It was David Black a legend in the Nikon world.  He was shooting with a National Geographic team in the surrounding mountains.

One last picture before I turn in.  This one is Jupiter (the large point of light), the Milky Way and the light from Jackson Hole.  Oh… and a stop sign!  Enjoy!

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