I couldn’t sleep last night. I was too hot. I was too cold. My shoulder hurt. My other shoulder hurt. By 4:30 AM I had pretty much given up. That, and my driver woke up. We looked at each other. “You want to get some pictures?” I nodded.
Everything I’ve read about photography in the Grand Tetons points to sunrise being the best time to capture this mountain range. The Tetons run north to south and Grand Teton Nation Park covers the eastern side of the Tetons. This makes for rubbish photographs after 3PM unless you are looking for a special mood. I was looking for the honey glow of the first rays of sun. So we shifted into the truck cab and drove.
Though I had a certain site in mind, when I saw a herd of buffalo, my first shooting location was set. We pulled into the nearest parking lot and I walked along the fence to where I had the herd aligned beneath Grand Teton. I took the occasional shot as the grey morning twilight began to give way to the first rosy hits of dawn.
Of course, that was when the tourist bus drove in and a bunch of people with their own cameras filed off and trudged to my spot. The buffalo spooked and wandered away. Clouds blocked the even distribution of the early sun. And I was salty…for a few minutes.
Yet, even those tourists couldn’t ruin my morning or fully delude me of the truth that I, too, was a tourist. There were elk and antelope to see. Clouds to capture. And then, breakfast to cook.