Friday, August 13, 2010

Must be some reason Jay Goodrich returns so often to photograph in the Grand Tetons... maybe it's love

"On a recent trip to one of my favorite locations in the world, Grand Teton National Park, I was again greeted with the open arms of amazing light," says Jay Goodrich. "I have traveled to the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem close to 50 times in the last 17 years. It is a home away from home for me. I have yet to figure out why I love it so much, I just know that when I am there I feel like I have found a home like nowhere else. When my wife and I were returning to Washington after a 5-week-long trip that spanned 2 countries, 5 homes, 1 truck, 1 hotel room, 2 mountain bikes and 11 western states, we had to make a stop in Jackson, WY. It was only supposed to be a single night, but we added a few just because we couldn’t leave.

"Grand Teton National Park is one of the amazing locations in the United States that outdoor photographers of all skill levels flock to for the huge variety of subjects. There is everything from the sweeping landscape to the up-close macro to the multitude of wildlife that will keep any photographer busy for more than a lifetime. On this trip, I decided to photograph some locations that I typically avoid due to their great popularity.

"On the first morning I visited the Schwabacher Landing pullout. There were no clouds in the sky, so I was prepared to shoot images that would likely be deleted during the review process. To my delight the alpenglow on the peaks that morning served up some serious orange saturation. I was able to add to the effect using my LB Warming Polarizer and various ND Grads -- ranging from a 2-stop hard-step to a 3-stop soft-step. I have also found that the 3-stop, soft-step filter works best when shooting a strong foreground element coupled with a great reflected image of a subject like the Tetons. To illustrate the effect of these filters, I have included an image taken with the LB Warming Polarizer and 3-stop soft-step ND Grad and one taken without any filter. See any difference?


"Then one evening soon after, I encountered a more problematic image. I was out on Antelope Flats Road with an amazing sunset about to materialize. I was planning to blur the foreground grasses that were just slowly dancing in a light breeze before realizing I had too much light. Even with an ND Grad over the sky, my ISO turned down to “L” and my f-stop maxed at f/22, I still couldn’t pull off the shot. I knew I should have purchased that Vari-ND filter that Singh-Ray makes prior to leaving on this trip. What else to do? I needed less light so I placed my LB Warming Polarizer on the lens to subtract an additional stop or so of light and then I made the exposure at the exact moment the breeze was strongest. Yes, it worked! This experience was enough to make me order the Vari-ND upon returning. Stay tuned for images created with that filter in coming posts.

"Time and time again, I've been amazed at what can be achieved with Singh-Ray filters in the world of digital photography. As I look forward to my upcoming journeys, I reflect back often to the images I have been able to capture with a little creative thinking and being in the right place at the right time. I miss the Tetons, but I already know that in August I will get to return to teach a workshop there showing 12 other people why I love this place so much. And, not that I am notching my bedpost or anything, but that will be visit number 48. I am going to need to do something really special for 50, don’t you think?"

Jay Goodrich is a writer and photographer living in La Conner, Washington. He has recently become one of only nine contributors to the Outdoor Photographer Magazine blog. He will be leading a workshop in Grand Teton National Park at the end of August with fellow photographers Art Wolfe, Gavriel Jecan and Rich Reid.

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