My photo blog… visual thoughts around me.

” Grand Teton NP…. and much more “

“Four Points Of View”


How do you decide upon a destination? I ask myself that question almost every time I embark on a new shooting adventure. I find the most apprehensive part is just meeting my group for the first time. Our guides (teachers) become the focus during this initial meeting. It is make or break time, and then I find out they both share the same name, Doug. Although the names were similar, what becomes very apparent, is that these two individuals are as unique as the place we are about to shoot in.

The place was β€œGrand Teton NP” and our two teachers were Doug Johnson and Doug Ness. You know you are in a good place when you are met with a smile and a fantastic sense of humor. Doug and Doug would guide, advise, and lead by example through the next six days. Both had a sense of place and a very personal attachment, having been here many times before. I had signed up with Rocky Mountain School of Photography before, and they should be commended for their choice of instructors.

We divided into groups to make it easier to car pool around the many destinations in the park. My group consisted of Michael and Lisa and can you believe, they were teachers like myself. Our banter between shoots was as wide-ranging as the park itself. Rants about the world, our profession, likes and dislikes flowed like the streams we were about to see. Intimate talks about family and life brought us full circle.

Throughout the days, we visited and revisited sites within the park. Up before sunrise to catch that perfect glow on the Teton mountain peeks. The reflections found at String and Jenny lake were not to be missed. Mormon Row drew us back many times and the experience was as special and distinct as the people around me.

A place can, and usually does, produce a bond that is both exceptional and singular. But what makes this journey special were the bonds, camaraderie and lasting friendships that were cultivated throughout this trip… only unparalleled by the magical beauty of the Grand Tetons.

30 responses

  1. Mighty fine work, Mike. These take me back to one of the inspirations that initially helped to fuel my growing interest in photography, the old Sierra Club books and calendars. It has been many years since I was able to visit this part of the country, and your gift urges me to push it well up on my growing wish list. Many really excellent works here, but oh, that #10!


    July 29, 2012 at 5:21 pm

  2. So Mike, Every picture is breath taking, but I would like to share a few of my favorites with you. I love the images with the clouds as the subject. My rule of thumb is do not include the sky unless the sky is the subject. And you certainly had a reason to include the sky. I also liked the window washer and the view through the fence. Both were unexpected. Glad you are back safely.


    July 19, 2012 at 4:53 pm

  3. outstanding photos, you got some amazing shots!


    July 15, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    • Thanks Nick… you never know what a shooting excursion will bring. I was more than happy as I try and come back with one or two fav’s, and this time a bonus.


      July 16, 2012 at 12:11 am

  4. Well … you’ve done it again. This is a wonderful set of ‘grand’ landscapes. Favorites are: Tetons 4, 5, 9, 13 & 16!


    July 12, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    • Thanks ‘D’… as you know I am just trying to keep up with your wonderfully unique shooting style πŸ™‚
      Really appreciate you stopping by.


      July 14, 2012 at 7:37 am

  5. Really, really nice work, Mike. There are a couple of b/w and sepia-toned images that I found particularly haunting.

    It’s been ages (more than 20 years) since I’ve been to GTNP/YNP. One of these days I need to get back to that neck of the woods…


    July 11, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    • Hey Kerry… thanks for the kind words….I love experimenting with b/w. But as you know sometimes it works and sometimes pretty flat.


      July 14, 2012 at 7:34 am

      • Mike–re b/w experimentation, absolutely. My general rule of thumb is that high contrast originals are good candidates for conversion, but it’s hardly foolproof. And sometimes things that aren’t particularly high contrast do work in mononchrome.


        July 14, 2012 at 12:13 pm

  6. Your images makes me wish I was there to marvel at this amazing park myself. Just breathtaking. Beautiful colors and effects. Like being in a unforgettable journey. Thanks for sharing this side of the world with us. Perhaps someday I’ll get lucky and see this in person. Best wishes to you and your family.


    July 10, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    • Remember that saying “Good things come to those who wait” Well you never know, and I had waited all year to go on this trip. I am so glad that my pics brought you a lil closer to your journey.


      July 11, 2012 at 10:31 pm

  7. Hmm. Your post got me thinking. I’ve done black and white and color side by side in a post. I’ve done posts in sepia. Now I’m going to mix it up and do all three in one post. Thanks for the beautiful pictures and the interesting idea.


    July 10, 2012 at 9:09 am

    • Anytime “CC”… I get ideas from other bloggers all the time. Thanks for stopping by.


      July 11, 2012 at 10:22 pm

  8. I think these shots are glorious! Seriously, you’re getting better and better with each post. I love reading about all your experiences when you’re on these photo trips πŸ™‚


    July 9, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    • Stephan… I feel those experiences are what drives me and hopefully that emotional response comes out in my pics. Thanks so much for the comments.


      July 11, 2012 at 10:20 pm

  9. Fantastic series of photos. Stunning reflections and a nature full of wonders waiting to be photographed. Wish I had taken part in this amazing trip too πŸ™‚


    July 9, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    • Truels… when I first started this trip I thought all I was going to do was to take sweeping landscapes. So glad you like the reflections because to me they seem more intimate.


      July 11, 2012 at 10:18 pm

  10. Mike, stunning images that just made me go back several times to view them!!! Hard to choose a favorite. You are a very talented photographer and a great story teller. So happy to be your friend and share your adventures.


    July 8, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    • Love to share Kathleen… I think at times that is what drives me, both at work and in my hobby.


      July 11, 2012 at 10:12 pm

  11. What a great emotional experience you must have had, and such great images to treasure. (BTW, please do not submit Tetons 2,5,6 or 18 in SJCC competitions.)


    July 8, 2012 at 9:59 am

    • LOL… I am writing those numbers down… forgive me if I get them wrong πŸ™‚
      You know Ralph, I still feel blessed that I am able to travel a little …but most of all is the sharing of emotions and the relationships that are built.


      July 11, 2012 at 10:10 pm

  12. Pat

    Stunning images! I think my favorite is the barn, framed by the trees in the foreground, with those gorgeous peaks beyond.


    July 8, 2012 at 8:15 am

    • Hey Pat… that barn was hard to shoot. So many have done so before, so I tried a lil different perspective. Real happy you liked it.


      July 11, 2012 at 10:06 pm

  13. Jo Walter

    Beautiful! Brings back many memories for me…horseback riding in the Tetons…hope you made it to the Indian Museum in the GTNP…they had the. Most stunning bead work I had ever seen…Your descriptions make me want to go again


    July 8, 2012 at 7:24 am

    • Sorry Jo was so busy driving and shooting… thank you for your story. i am happy my pics brought back those memories.


      July 11, 2012 at 10:04 pm

  14. you are a magnificent talent Mike.. wooww!! oooh wooww!!! amazing


    July 8, 2012 at 6:30 am

    • Many thanks Abby…glad they affected you.


      July 11, 2012 at 10:01 pm

  15. Oh man! Makes me wanna pack my bag and head out West for an adventure. Gorgeous, every one. Have considered doing a trip like that before and enjoyed reading about the experience.


    July 8, 2012 at 5:59 am

    • Thanks Cathy… for me I only get to travel in the summer, so I try and make the most of it.


      July 11, 2012 at 10:00 pm

      • I’m a teacher, too, so I understand the calendar restraints.


        July 12, 2012 at 5:08 am

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