02 January 2019

Light on the Land

Certainly, no photographic journey to the Tetons would be complete without a sunrise visit to the iconic “Oxbow”. The Oxbow can be beautiful at any time of day but the light at sunrise can be especially spectacular.

As all of you know, Landscape Photography is all about the light. So, we were all very disappointed when we arrived on this… our second visit to the Oxbow, to find it once again completely socked in and in fact, it was actually raining. But unlike the day before, the clouds were moving, and they had some holes in them, so we decided to stick it out, put in some time, and see what developed.

So, as virtually dozens of other photographers were leaving, our group pulled out their gear and started making images. We used long lenses to dissect the scene into smaller vignettes. We made pattern shots of leaves on the ground. We listened to elk bugling in the valley around us. We talked photography. We talked gear…. And we waited.

After about an hour and a half, the holes in the sky above started to paint their light across the landscape before us. Suddenly that optimism that kept us there in the first place started to become hope. We brought out our wide-angle lenses and started framing up the compositions we wanted if “the magic happened” and we waited some more, watching the beautiful soft light paint the landscape in front of our cameras.

Then a little over two hours in – it happened – it started as the light hit just the point of the Cottonwood grove before us, and we could not believe our luck as the light slowly spread across the entire stand of trees, while leaving the rest of the landscape in soft open shade. That was it! The magic moment we had been waiting for it was over in less than fifteen seconds, but in the end, it was certainly worth the wait.

Good Luck and Good Light!

Steve and Nicole