February 10, 2016

Photo of the Week - Full Moon Over the Teton Range

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

I didn’t get to see the blood moon on September 27. However, I did witness a full moon over the Teton range the next morning, right before sunrise. The original scene had a bald sky and looked rather ordinary. So I decided to take an artistic approach during the digital editing by adding a texture layer with tiny stars. That simple addition gave the final image a slightly magical look.

February 5, 2016

Ask Donna - Thoughts Behind a Photo Composition

Are you ready for the first “Ask Donna” post? Let jump right in!

Cheryl made the following comment on the last Photo of the Week post:
I have been taking note of your compositions, what you include in your shots, and what the eye is drawn to, the balance. Perhaps this is something you could talk about in an "Ask Donna" post? How do you choose the elements to include in a photo?

Thank you for that great suggestion! Below is the image for your reference, as I go through and give you a peek into what rolls around my wee noggin before clicking the shutter button. This is an interesting composition. It is a careful study of contrasts. I was mentally repeating the word “contrast” as I walked the scene, sizing it up, and figuring out where to set my tripod down and how to frame with a zoom lens.

February 3, 2016

Photo of the Week - Spring at Thomas A. Moulton Barn

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

A little taste of spring-type weather has been teasing east Tennessee residents this week. So I can’t help but remember the beautiful spring season at the Tetons last May. The cottonwood trees were tipping out with light green leaves, yet snow was still plentiful on the mountains. Ribbons of clouds hung low in the valley areas during the morning hours, offering up an extra adornment to landscape scenes such as this one.

January 27, 2016

Photo of the Week - View from Jackson Point Overlook

Signal Mountain, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

During the spring photo tour of the Tetons, I was able to visit many places for the first time. The guide certainly knew various nooks and crannies of the park that get overlooked by traditional visitors.

One of the opportunities for a photo shoot was at the very peak of Signal Mountain. After a short road trip up the mountain, there is a small overlook at the top. The area can be a little bit crowded when several photographers nestle in with their tripods. Extra time and patience are required to get various compositional setups. I did a lot of bracketing here because of a dark foreground and light background.

For this particular image, I combined a set of five different exposures to create an HDR (high dynamic range) image. The purpose of creating an HDR image is to merge the light and dark areas, making the best of all of the exposures. I used a new program, called Aurora HDR Pro. It will take a while for me to understand the program’s full capabilities, but that is the fun of it all. With digital photography, I am always learning new things!

January 20, 2016

Photo of the Week - Dawn Breaking on Lamar Valley

Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

An abundance of wildlife can be found in the beautiful Lamar Valley. The valley is tucked into the northeast section of Yellowstone. On my trip last fall, I saw bison, wolves, pronghorn sheep, and coyotes in this area. Do you see the little black dots in the center of the photo? Those dots are bison, way off in the distance.