David Barthel - North Shore Images PhotographyDavid Barthel North Shore Images Photography
David Barthel

Photo Journal & News

Monday, September 3, 2012

Teton Dawn

The Rocky Mountains traverse much of the western interior of North America, but few of its peaks match the beauty of the Grand Tetons. The highest of the distinctly sharp peaks of the Tetons exceed an elevation of 14,000 feet, or 7000 feet above the valley of Jackson Hole. While this mountain range alone is magnificent, icons of the Old West, including near-century-old barns, chapels, and buckrail fence dot the valley landscape.

One of the most iconic of these landmarks is the historic Thomas A. Moulton Barn. This barn is part of the Mormon Row Historic District, a cluster of homesteads, including barns, corrals, and drainage ditches, built by Mormon settlers during the early part of the 20th century. The barn is all that remains of Moulton's homestead.

One day this past spring, as the early morning light from the rising sun first struck the Teton peaks and barn, I made this panorama by taking eight consecutive vertical exposures and later blending them digitally to create a very high resolution image. I could print this image on canvas to a length of 14 feet with little loss of detail. If you look very closely, you'll see a couple of horses in the far distance drinking from the stream on the left.

Another morning at Grand Teton National Park brought me to the banks of the Snake River at Schwabacher Landing. This particular location along the river is basically a beaver pond and typically calm, offering nice reflections of the Cathedral group of the Tetons. Again, I was rewarded with the best light just as the first rays of sunlight hit the peaks of the mountains.

I was drawn to this composition due to the many forms of symmetry present. The most obvious element of symmetry is due to the reflection in the river. There is also an approximate symmetry vertically down the center involving the peaks of the Cathedral group as well as the arrangement of the trees on the opposite bank of the river. Particularly interesting is the inverse relationship of the apparent size of these trees to the distant peaks moving from the center of the image to the side edges.

I captured many more photographs of this majestic national park this past spring and look forward to sharing more in the near future . . .