The Beauty of Grand Teton National Park

Author:  Joanne Shipman

When you mix mountains and photography, there’s always that potential for the most beautiful moments. For me, I love the crisp, cool morning air and that feeling of being so small amongst such grand mountains. Hiking on a trail that leads me deep into a forest with blooming wildflowers, rambling streams, breath-taking waterfalls and perhaps an unexpected animal or two.

Recently, I was a volunteer on the Spring in the Tetons workshop with Professional Photographer Henry Holdsworth. With Henry’s long-standing in-depth knowledge of the park, he led our participants to areas such as Schwabacher Landing and Jackson Lake where we captured incredible photographs. Some of those exciting moments included famous Mama bear “399” swimming across the river, an adolescent moose foraging for food, a red fox feeding its kit and a beaver out for an evening swim near its lodge. One of our participants made a fitting comment that, “Henry would need to bring back an extinct animal” to really top off the entire workshop.

Grand Teton National Park is located in northwestern Wyoming outside of Jackson Hole and is a one-of-a-kind place that should not be missed whether you visit to relax and take in the clean air or photograph moments in an awe-inspiring location complete with alpine terrain, lakes and Snake River. The park is open year-round with varying daytime temperatures from 26 degrees in January to 80 degrees in July.

Be sure to check out future workshops at this location: Fall in the Tetons scheduled for October 2-6, 2016 and Spring in the Tetons scheduled for June 3-7, 2017.

What do you love most about the mountains? I’d love to read your thoughts.

For now, let me leave you with a few inspirational quotes to ponder with photos of a Bison, Yellow-Bellied Marmot, Horse and landscape in Moose, Wyoming taken using a Canon 5DMIII and 28-300mm L lens…

Happiness is having a scratch for every itch - Ogden Nash

Happiness is having a scratch for every itch – Ogden Nash

Learn from yesterday, live for today, look to tomorrow, rest this afternoon - Charles M. Schultz

Learn from yesterday, live for today, look to tomorrow, rest this afternoon – Charles M. Schultz

There on the tips of fair fresh flowers feedeth he How joyous is his neigh There in the midst of sacred pollen hidden all hidden he How joyous is his neigh -Navajo Song

There on the tips of fair fresh flowers feedeth he
How joyous is his neigh
There in the midst of sacred pollen hidden all hidden he
How joyous is his neigh
– Navajo Song

It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves - Sir Edmund Hillary

It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves – Sir Edmund Hillary

Joanne Shipman is a Volunteer Trip Leader with Arizona Highways Photo Workshops.
Twitter: @Telluride_Bride
Instagram: telluride_bride

Happy 100 Years, National Parks

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Author: Ivan Martinez

As a Volunteer Trip Leader with Arizona Highways Photo Workshops for the past 8 years, I have had the great opportunity to capture the great beauty of many of our national parks.  I feel incredible fortunate to be part of a dedicated group that share a very strong passion for helping others develop their creative skills through photography. Seeing the beauty that many of our national parks have to offer is one thing. Spending time with talented photographers that know the parks like the palm of their hand is another. Being able to be at the perfect location at the right time is a great value Arizona Highways Photo Workshops provides. Here are some of my favorites from the Grand Canyon, Tetons, Yellowstone, Acadia and Joshua Tree.  Let’s hope that these national parks will be able to celebrate 100 again.  Happy 100th birthday National Parks.

Keys to Photographing Wildlife

Author:  Megan Galope

There are many keys to photographing wildlife, including being in the right place at the right time, configuring your settings (higher ISO and open aperture to make sure you have a fast enough shutter speed), and a long telephoto lens. But possibly the most important key is patience.

I recently attended the Arizona Highways Photo Workshop in the Grand Tetons to photograph wildlife. We spent quite a bit of time driving around to find the animals, and at times were very lucky. One evening, we saw many cars parked on the side of the road, which usually means a large animal is nearby. It turned out to be a grizzly and her cub. When we first arrived, they were quite a ways in the distance. We tried getting some photos, but nothing to write home about.

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They didn’t appear to be moving in our direction, but with a little patience, we waited to see what they would do. And it’s a good thing we did! Before we knew it, they were crossing the road right in front of us.

wildlife2

Later we went looking for the elusive fox. We finally found one hiding out in the sage brush. She had some kits with her and kept fairly well hidden for a while. Again, my photos of the fox were not all that great.

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But after a little time and patience, the fox came into an opening so that we could get a much better view of her.

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Having patience while photographing wildlife can make a world of difference.

Megan Galope is a Trip Leader with Arizona Highways Photo Workshops.

 

 

The Predators Among Us

Author Henry H. Holdsworth/Wild by Nature Gallery

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The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is one of the largest remaining, nearly intact ecosystems in the northern temperate zone of our planet. With Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks at its core, the GYE covers over 28,000 square miles, in three states and is home to over half the worlds geysers and a myriad of beautiful mountain ranges, rivers and lakes.   For all the scenic beauty the area possesses, the true heartbeat of the ecosystem is measured by its abundant wildlife.  And with the comeback of the grizzly bear and the reintroduction of wolves in 1995, it is the predators that have re-established Yellowstone as a truly wild place.   It is a place where all the major species once again roam freely, as they did before the turn of the last century, marking the Greater Yellowstone as Holdsworth_Grand_Teton__023one of the few places in the lower 48 states where that scenario exists today.

Simply put, predators make the wilderness wild. With predators in the equation, hiking, camping and wildlife viewing are experienced on a different level than in other natural places.  Your senses are heightened; your awareness of your surroundings more keen and your anticipation of what you might hear or see is more intense.

The definition of the word predator is simply stated as “an animal that naturally preys on others”.   Predators come in all shapes and sizes in Yellowstone, as do the animals that they prey on, and they inhabit many different niches throughout the parks.    Of course the predators at the top of the food chain, such as wolves and bears, garner much _MG_8335_-_Version_2of the attention among wildlife viewers, but there are many others that go about their business in a less noticeable fashion.  Eagles, osprey, pelicans and river otters all patrol the parks waterways searching for fish.  Hawks, owls, coyotes and fox help keep the rodent populations in check.  Kestrels, bluebirds, tanagers and swallows take in large quantities of insects such as grasshoppers and mosquitos.  Seeing an elusive predator such as a mountain lion, bobcat, weasel or pine marten can really make any trip a more memorable one or a once in a lifetime experience.

Once looked at as menaces or competitors by man, predators are now known to play a vital roll in the health and balance of the natural system.  Without predators to keep prey species at their natural carrying capacity, the system is soon altered and other species may suffer the consequences.   Since the elimination of wolves from the area in the Holdsworth_Yellowstone__0531930’s, elk numbers began to grow to some four times their natural population.  Outcompeting other animals for the same vegetation, other species, both plant an animal, diminished as the elk population soared.   With the return of the wolf, and the subsequent decline in elk numbers, researchers have seen changes in the ecosystem that favor diversity.   The growth of more cottonwood, willow and aspen have improved habitat for animals such as moose and beaver.  The comeback of beavers has led to new habitat for waterfowl and songbirds.  The decline of coyotes, a natural enemy of wolves, has also led to an increase in the pronghorn population and more sightings of red fox, both adversaries of coyotes.   Every animal plays a part in the jigsaw puzzle we call the web of life and all the pieces need to be accounted for in Holdsworth_Grand_Teton__017order for natural cycles to run as they were intended.

It has now been twenty years since wolves were returned to Yellowstone and scientists are just beginning to discover the change this has brought to the ecosystem.  After all, this top predator had been absent for almost one hundred years, and it may take another hundred years to truly understand the importance of the predators that live among us.

Henry H. Holdsworth has spent over thirty years photographing and living in the Yellowstone Ecosystem. Educated as a biologist with a background in animal behavior and environmental education, Henry has traveled extensively, but there is no place he enjoys photographing more than his own backyard, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.

Nationally recognized for his work in such publications as National Geographic, National Wildlife and Wildlife Conservation, Henry work has also been displayed in museums such as the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. and the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole. His first book on grizzlies was published in 1997, and has been followed by 16 additional photographic books on the wildlife and scenery of Yellowstone and Tetons.

Henry now divides his time between running his Wild by Nature Gallery in downtown Jackson and leading workshops for Arizona Highways Photo Workshops and photographic safaris in Grand Teton National Park.