Magic in the Tetons, Part II

storm clouds with sunset glow and reflection in water

The June Magic in the Tetons Ladies Retreat started with a meet & greet in Kristen’s cabin. There were 8 ladies including Kristen and I was meeting them all for the first time. I had taken several online courses from Kristen so I felt like we knew each other but we had never met. It was relaxing and cozy as we did brief introductions then we were off to sunset! If you missed Part I of this series, you can find it here.

Our first sunset was at Schwabacher’s Landing on a stormy evening. We made it down to the water and had time for a few images before the rain started. This was my first up close view of the Grand Tetons and the storm clouds provided such drama against the rugged peaks.

Grand Teton mountains at Schwabacher Landing

I tried to get some behind the scene images so I could remember the ladies on this retreat and the fun times we had! Kristen and Bea capturing the beauty.

two lady photographers taking pictures of mountains

We had to run back to our cars as the rain became a downpour with thunder and lightning. But were rewarded with a faint double rainbow as the storm passed.

Double rainbow

Once the skies cleared and the water stilled the reflection was perfect.

Grand Teton mountains reflected at Schwabacher Landing

One of the first lessons you learn when taking photographs of nature is to turn around. You never know what the view behind you will bring. Look at how the sunset illuminates the storm clouds!

storm clouds with sunset glow and reflection in water

The next morning we rose early for sunrise at Oxbow Bend. It was about a 40 minute drive from our cabins so we left around 4:40am. We parked and negotiated a fairly steep incline to the waters edge but were rewarded with stunning views! I had heard the term alpenglow but had never witnessed it until this morning. The mountains are bathed in warm tones that change as the sun rises. The peak of the Grand Teton was just visible behind the trees.

Grand Teton peak awash in alpenglow

The view from Oxbow Bend

Grand Teton range viewed from Oxbow Bend at sunrise

I watched the colors change as the sun rose higher in the sky.

Grand Tetons with orange alpenglow at sunrise Oxbow Bend

The wildlife were starting to stir so as my main camera was taking a series of bracketed images on the tripod, I used my backup camera with my Sigma 150-600mm lens to capture wildlife. I watched this heron land in a very tall pine tree and this cute muskrat swim by several times. I love the glow of the sun reflected in the ripples around the muskrat.

One of the most rewarding parts of a photography retreat is being able to work on techniques with your mentor right there to answer questions. I’ve done long exposures before but not often enough to feel comfortable with the technique. The below image is 30 seconds and then processed in black and white, something else that I don’t do that often but I love the end result!

Black and White Grand Tetons at Oxbow Bend long exposure

And a color version exposed for 25 seconds.

Grand Tetons at Oxbow Bend long exposure

Next week I’ll share more of Magic in the Tetons in Part III.

Photograph what brings you Joy!

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