The Tetons, Revisited

Revisiting Photos

While I was at this hallowed landscape spot in Wyoming, I took a ton of photos. I’d move a little, shoot. Then move a bit more, shoot. Etc. I made many different compositions with small and big changes. These all ended up there in my Lightroom for later processing. I started processing them about 3 years ago, and this is one of my most recent results.

Personally, I think it is better than my previous versions of the Tetons. I don’t realize how I make little improvements in tiny areas of refinement. But, in looking at photos from many years ago, i can detect a difference… so that makes me feel better about the way things are going. I know we get a lot of positive comments on here… that is great… negative ones don’t bother me. I’m already hard enough on myself.

Daily Photo – The Tetons, Revisited

This area is not too far from Yellowstone. Just outside of the south exit, there is a fairly short drive to this area of Wyoming. It’s on the way to Jackson Hole. This is also an amazing place if you are into Bison. There are hundreds and hundred of bison in this area. A free one was roaming about while I took this. They’re actually quite dangerous for something that looks like a giant silly stuffed animal.

HDR Photo

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The Tiny Shack on the Edge of Wyoming

There is a spread of farms in the plains that face the northern face of the Grand Teton mountains in Wyoming. I explored all around the area to find as many wonderful little things that I could find. There was this old little shack sitting alone in the middle of a field, so I had to jump a fence and circumnavigate a few bison to grab a quick shot for you all! :)

The Tiny Shack on the Edge of Wyoming (by Stuck in Customs)

The one below here is one that Flickr deleted!

The Outhouse on the Edge of Wyoming

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The Barn in your Dreams

As many of you know, I have this theory about the way memories are stored, and I suppose I will go off on a little philosophical tangent here. So, in meta-thinking about my brain, the way memory works is nothing like the way photos are stored in your directory on your computer. Since all of us use computers (obviously), and we organize photos into hierarchical directory structures, we tend to assume our memory in our brain kinda works the same way.

I think many of us, especially those of you that are regular and semi-regular visitors, have a mild form of synesthesia, where sensations get cross wired. In extreme cases, people can “taste” shapes, associate colors with days of the week, and that sort of thing. They get by fine, so it shows the brain is perfectly capable of such multi-functional wiring. After talking to many many groups and presenting my kind of art to countless people, I think that about 70-80% of us are comfortable with how these images are presented because their brains store memories like mine. The other 20-30% of people, I notice, reject them outright because it is simply not the way their brain works.

Take for instance this barn. When we think of a barn in our heads, it’s not just a series of shapes and textures… it’s every barn we’ve ever seen – it’s every weather condition we’ve seen the barn encountering – it’s every feeling and emotion we were encountering at the time – it’s imagining living in and around the barn – and it’s also empathizing with the barn itself, imagining what it must be like to be a barn. So most of this is on the subconscious level, and it’s why a boring, plain, predictable photo of a barn, while nice, does not really ever evoke anything deep in the viewer. Once you flip a few bits and allow the brain to make mistakes in interpreting an image, it allows some personal emotional context to come into play, letting the photo become more about the “viewer” and not about the photo itself.

Ahhh that was a long blog post I see… sorry about that… everyone in the house is asleep and I get lost in my thoughts.

The barn in your dreams (by Stuck in Customs)

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The Place You Drew As a Child

This is one of those places I had always been looking for; I think maybe it’s one of those places that we are all looking for. I was happy to grab it and keep it part of my story.

There is a bit of drama to this one, I suppose. I had been adventuring on a little river about a mile from here. I had parked and walked off into the forest here in Wyoming by the Tetons, in search of these kinds of environs. I was shooting a nice part of the river and then I looked up — and a huge bull buffalo had walked up behind me, about ten feet away. These things are kinda dangerous and unpredictable! The bison was not impressed with my camera in the slightest, and he just regarded me for a while… It looked like my path would be blocked, so it gave me another reason to go deeper and further upstream.

After a bit, I found a huge beaver dam, that backed up this little lake, just large enough for me to fit in the frame…

(Oh, and a side note from yesterday’s thread… yes I have the D3X now, and my goal is to post the first shot from that beautiful beast on December 25th, which will thusly be known as D3X Day. I still have a wide myriad of shots from the D2X that I continue to process and post, so the next few years will have a broad mix…)

The Place You Drew As a Child (by Stuck in Customs)

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Congrats to everyone at the photo contest!

I had the pleasure of being invited to be a judge at a regular photo contest here in Austin for the ACC Photography Department. I have spoken there before and I suppose I did just barely an acceptable enough job to be invited back! The students and faculty there are always extremely nice and I enjoyed being with them – a special thanks to William Tolan and Kathryn Watts-Martinez.

I wish I had more ribbons to hand out! There were some outstanding entries… There were about ten or so I almost gave it to, including this one masterful retouching I wish I could get my hands on to show you all. But they were all anonymous and I can’t find any of them!

I ended up giving the award to some gal with the last name Saunders who took a picture of that perfect barn in front of the Grand Tetons. She was not in town to accept the award, so I have no idea who she is! If you are reading this, contact me so I can post your photo here for the world to see… it’s quite amazing, and better than the ones I have taken, which still remain unpublished… I’ll probably get mine up in the next few months, but I don’t think it is as good as hers!

Here is a photo that I took in Wyoming just a few miles south from hers… (which I hope she sends soon!)

The Grand Tetons

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The Grand Tetons

We drove down to the south of Yellowstone near Jackson Hole to explore the Grand Tetons. Just as I was taking this picture, a huge bison came up behind me and caught me unawares… and I barely got the fifth exposure to this HDR! It’s amazing how big those things are and they are still quiet.

The Grand Tetons

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