a teatray in the sky

up the wrong tree

Posted in 5D Mark II, Animals, Birds, Grand Teton National Park, National Parks, Photography by firthefirst on October 7, 2010

people always tell you it’s not about the gear, it’s about the photographer.  which is true … up to a point.  I mean, try taking a wedding portrait with an 8mm fisheye.  you’ll find very quickly you’re barking up the wrong tree.  birding is one of the more specialized forms of photography, involving lenses that cost as much as a major surgery, crawling on your stomach through marsh grass and cold mud, and strange tripod attachments that look like they were meant for cruel and unusual punishment.

but that’s because birds are tiny and fickle, it just can’t be done any other way.  right?  right? (more…)

six months later

at some point during the yellowstone trip, my camera’s counter ticked up past 9,999 and struck 0,000 for the first time.  my 10,000th photo with the new[ish] camera.  almost exactly 6 months to the day that I first opened the red white and black box from Canon USA, the day that I decided to start this blog.  how much can happen in six months? (more…)

grand teton sunrise, or on the importance of arriving early

there are two types of people who travel with cameras.  on one hand you have your vanilla tourists, folks who are out to enjoy themselves, see some scenery, and live to write home about it.  on the other you have photographers, folks who are hell-bent on ruining vacation for themselves, rising at ungodly times, mucking about during the daylight hours, wearing goofy looking vests, and spending more time staring at the back of their 920K dot LCDs than the actual mountain in front of them.

or so I thought.  the truth is, there’s something to be gleaned from the eccentric lifestyle of the photographer.  any veteran true-blooded football fan, or any architecture studio student, would recognize the rules of the game: come early, stay late.  but why?  why is the rule not “sleep late, drink early”? (more…)

look out jackson town, and on the sigma 100-300mm f/4

Posted in 5D Mark II, Grand Teton National Park, National Parks, Photography by firthefirst on October 1, 2010

nobody knows if Johnny Cash had the town of jackson wyoming in mind when he wrote “jackson” but I like to think so.  sure makes for a good excuse to play the song while rolling through the golden valley better known as jackson hole.  I really want to come back sometime in late november/early december, when there’s three things in jackson: snow on the ground, elk in the fields, and skiing to be done.  it was a huge surprise to me to find out that peak season in jackson is actually the summer, with winter being the quiet months.  seriously?  4000+ ft vertical drop on the slopes.  116 trails on two mountains.  cross-country trails that take you around the valley. (more…)