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A Walk to Taggart Lake

It's been drizzling rain for days. Typically, I would appreciate photographing in the even, moody light provided by overcast days. But after days of hiking in the rain, a little sun would do much to warm my face and lift my spirits.

We're driving south on highway 191, winding downhill from Yellowstone to Jackson Hole. Hannah is driving, and I'm gaping in awe. The clouds shift from a uniform, gray ceiling into billowing, moody islands, as if being shattered by the warmth above. Shafts of sunlight stream down. The light, delighted to greet land, kisses a spotlight on Shadow Mountain to the east. Through the clouds, there are hints of jagged, snow covered monoliths to my right. I can make out the base of a mountains, the Grand Tetons. But they are shrouded in mist, looming...hiding.

There's public land up in Shadow Mountain, where you can camp freely for up to sixteen days at a time. Just north of Moose Junction, turn east on Antelope Flats, past the bison herd and up a dirt road through pines and aspens. We find a spot to park the camper van, but there's a half eaten deer carcass nearby. After the bison encounter at Yellowstone, there's no need to be around when a bear or coyotes return. We drive on and find a spot overlooking the valley and the Grand Tetons beyond.

We wake up to snow. Wonderful, cleansing snow blankets all we can see. The clouds are back, but this time I don't care.

I love taking pictures in the snow. In a way, it feels like cheating. The snow simplifies the landscape. I can compose images considering the foreground, and the background is automatically uncluttered, clean and whitewashed.

We drove into the Grand Tetons and hiked a trail to Taggart Lake. As we walked, I imagined creating a portfolio of images from just one walk. I took about around a hundred pictures that day, more than usual. After editing, would I have enough images for a worthwhile portfolio? I could hope.

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Reader Comments (1)

[...] at Kellar Mahaney Gallery. All the images are from one day in the Grand Tetons. I previously wrote about that day here. Here’s the [...]

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