Grand Teton National Park draws an average of 2.5 million visitors each year. So, as many as…ten million(!) cameras, smart phones and other imaging devices may have been pointed at this mountain range, from this specific viewpoint, since I was there in the Fall of 2009. Ten million (assuming that a good portion of said visitors would respond to the words “Snake River Overlook” on the Wyoming road sign which points to the parking lot next to the concrete paved vantage point.) (continue below)


I wasn’t there in 1942 –wasn’t even born then– but I don’t think this “Snake River Overlook” was paved at the time when Ansel Adams made it famous with a black and white photographic composition of the same name.

So yes, “it’s been done before”–the viewpoint that is– perhaps over 100 million times (no exaggeration) since 1942, but I still wanted to try my hand at it. I especially appreciated the serious technical challenge generated by the setting sun. Namely, how to draw out any visual detail in the shadow side of the mountains, while preserving the brilliant dominance of the sun as it was setting behind them.

Yes, I appreciated the challenge of dealing with this enormous “dynamic range” as it is known among digital imaging craftspeople; the range of light from deep shadows to direct sunlight… It took some effort to develop my image to this point, working with the tools of the “digital darkroom,” both in 2009 and re-working it again this last weekend.

Worth the effort, I think.