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Winter

Jackson Hole and Grand Teton Photography Tours

raptors wing tracks, snake river, grand tetons, grand teton national Park
A raptor leaves his mark after harvesting an unsuspecting rodent off the bank of the Snake River

Winter sunrise, pink sky, Grand Tetons, Grand Teton National Park
A pink sunrise over Snake River Overlook in Grand Teton National Park

A frosty sublime; winter in Jackson Hole and Grand Teton Park is a special time.  The snow showed valleys, and towering peaks create an ambiance much different from summer.  Gone are the crowds of summer, buried are the remnants of wildflowers, gone are the leaves of the deciduous trees, replaces by a carpet of snow and an exponential essence of wilderness. Crisp delicious air fills your lungs as you fumble with gloved hands to adjust your equipment to capture a frozen moment of alpenglow of the mountains reflecting brightly against the snowy white canvas of the peaks.

I once marveled at the beauty of winter’s simple beauty, the color spectrum was greatly reduced to the green of the evergreens, the blue or grey of the sky and the white of the snow.   I wondered why!   The conclusion of my pondering resulted in the realization that the white blanket of snow covered all the sharp edges and created smooth lines everywhere you looked.  Clumps of snow grace the branches of the evergreens and juxtaposed beautifully against both, a cobalt blue sky or a raging storm.

Bighorn Sheep, snowstorm, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
A bighorn ram in a heavy snowstorm is a trohy shot in my book, I love finding animals in a heavy snow.

What is a frosty sublime to us, but life and death to the animals of the mountains.  Four hundred inches of snow covers the mountaintops, but a tolerable 2 feet in the valley bottoms so to the valley bottoms the animals go.   Waiting for them at the valley bottoms are we photographers who want to capture the essence of our winter wonderland where the critters of the mountains congregate in hopes of surviving another winter.  Our hope is to capture moments of the survival challenge as well as its moments of defeat.

Gone also are the bears, but in their place the grazing animals of the ecosystem come to the valley bottom buttes and valley were winter forage can be bummed of foraged.  This is when we get to photograph mountain goats and bighorn sheep.  Six thousand elk are on the refuge after their migration from Yellowstone and other mountaintops.  Bald eagles move from the rivers to the elk refuge to clean up the carcasses of elk who have reached their end, golden eagles join them. On lucky days, which are few, wolves come close enough to the roads to be immortalized by our camera sensors.

Yes winter sometimes hides our jagged peaks of the Grand Tetons for days at a time, but the soft light of a stormy day enhances saturation of the mid daylight and gives us more time to photograph our winter wildlife.  Better days hopefully with big fat snowflakes to enhance the scene and mood.

Some photographers don’t like to brave the rigors of winter’s icy challenges; they don’t know what they are missing.

Two wolves, Death Canyon, Grand Teton National Park, winter
One day I was fortunate enough to be in the right spot at the right time to capture these two wolves strolling along a ridge with the Grand Teton's Death Canyon in the background
Fee schedule    

Private half-day photo tour/workshop = $595.00

Trips include breakfast snacks as we start too early for a real breakfast, and lunch.

Other destinations around the region available by arrangement.

Fees based on up to 2 people Book Now

Cancellation policy - full deposit refund if at least 30 days advance notice is given.

 

Instructive articles and funny stories from Daryl's Blog

I am sometimes hired to speak about photography, here I have modified my Power Point presentation for the web.  I show how I shoot, wildlife, landscape, lifestyle and travel.  I present in a simple way, photographic basics such as composition and exposure. Simple graphics drive the lesson home.

In my years of giving half-day wildlife safari and photo tours I have learned to convey essential basic photography skills in a very short amount of time.  I have boiled process down to simplicity, and many appreciate it. Too many instructors try to impress their students with their immense breadth of knowledge, I simply want folks to understand how simple photography can be. ---- See Presentation

Daryl L. Hunter - Photography according to me, photography basics
On Safari, Kruger National Park
On safari in Krugher National Park

 • Africa Photo Safari ~ I have always wanted to go to Africa, but it is a long way away, and it is expensive to get there, I had to figure out a way. ......... rest of story

• Winter Photography in Jackson Hole ~ A  frosty sublime; winter in Jackson Hole and Grand Teton Park is a special time. The snow showed valleys, and towering peaks create an ambiance much different from summer. Gone are the crowds of summer, buried are the remnants of wildflowers, gone are the leaves of the deciduous trees, replaces by a carpet of snow and an exponential essence of wilderness. Crisp delicious air fills your lungs as you fumble with gloved hands to adjust your equipment to capture a frozen moment of alpenglow of the mountains reflecting brightly against the snowy white canvas of the peaks...... rest of article

• Living a richer life without any money ~ Since purchasing my first camera, I have been living a visual feast that has cost me a real estate career in a lucrative Southern California market. My scenery seemed to always be just over the next hill somewhere; cityscapes just were not my kind of inspiration. I soon tired of local beach sunsets and disturbingly enough; the sun bathing beauties scattered about. It wasn't long before I was traveling farther a field................ rest of article

Photographic Composition ~ One of the things that differentiate a great photograph from an ordinary one is composition. You don't take a great photograph you make it. Composition is how objects or subjects are placed in the shot. Good pictures result from careful attention the basic elements of composition   .........  rest of article

• Quick Start Guide for Manual Mode Photography ~ One of the many hats I wear to keep my life afloat is that of Wildlife Safari Guide in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park. Most tours are not photography tours however, everyone brings a camera. Me as a pro photographer and instructor I often teach those willing to listen while we travel between moose, pronghorn and hopefully bears. I have worked out a simple way to communicate intuitive shooting for manual mode I share with my guests. Yes it is abbreviated, yes it is over-simplified, and yes it works. Quick Start Guide for Manual Mode Photography ~ Shooting on the manual mode setting isn't as hard as most people think because they haven't given it any thought. Today's DSLRs have opened the door to shortcuts, I love shortcuts!....................  rest of article

Bear spray really works
Bear spray really works

Bear Spray Really Works • One fine spring afternoon while searching for grizzly bears in Grand Teton National Park, I spotted two grizzlies in a meadow west of the highway. Unfortunately, they were about two hundred yards away, too far for good grizzly pictures so I decided to close the gap a bit.  ...................   rest of story

• Photographic Exposure Basics ~ One of the most important aspects of being able to communicate the essese of our vision through a photograph is the proper use of light. While there are certainly many other aspects of great photography, if the light is wrong, nothing else will work! Nature photographers often speak about seeking out certain light conditions or only shooting in specific types of light. Light has a triple nature for the photographer to factor: color, direction, and quality. Photography is capturing light which is exposure.    .............. rest of article

Hungry Wolves ~ On the tree line ahead I saw a cow elk peacefully grazing across the meadow of sagebrush about one hundred yards away, and I kept watching her as I poked along. Prey animals will tell you by their behavior if predators are near then suddenly she broke into a run for her life. Without seeing them but knowing the wolves were chasing her because of her panic I threw my car into park, jumped out and sat in the sagebrush for a low perspective so I could include the snow capped mountains in the photo and fired toward the action. ...................  rest of story

Search for Serendipity, the photographer's quest ~ Luck favors the prepared mind, as does serendipity. Webster's definition-Serendipity – an apparent aptitude for making fortunate discoveries accidentally. Audacious, is the photographer who chooses to make his living stalking serendipity from one location to another then back again hoping to capture light as it has never been captured before or tougher yet as they may have captured it in the past. But that is what we nature photographers do, and that is what we live for. ...........  rest of article

Three hungry wolves, Grand Teton Natonal Park
What's for breakfast?

Wolf Chase ~ About three quarters around my loop I stopped to photograph a six point bull looking for the ladies and while photographing him a black wolf walked into the frame, stopped, posed then moved out of the frame. How fortuitous, I love it when serendipity smiles upon me! ............. rest of story

Yellowstone Dinner Party – wolves and grizzly bears ~ video ~ A  series of events that doesn't happen that did.  I captured this incredible footage while leading a private tour in Yellowstone. ............ see video

A Cheechaco's Alaska ~ a retrospective ~ A funny retrospective about my first year in Alaska, and my transormation from California kid to dog sled racing Alaskan.  Has nothing to do with photography but a good read published in Mushing Magazine. ............. the story

My Free Horse ~ I am a man of ever changing interests and around 2004 I was transitioning from fly-fishing maniac back to cowboy imposter, horses and trail riding. I had been dwelling around the river valleys and canyon streams chasing trout long enough, it was time to re-acquaint myself with the unpredictable adrenaline rush horses often provide while expediting my exponentially ample ass up the mountain trails to the sublime subalpine regions of our high mountains, a place I am reluctant to propel myself under my own power. I started collecting some horses for the kids and myself. ...................  rest of story

Grand Teton Photography and Field Guide