While shooting in Grand Teton National Park last summer, my brother and I stopped at the famous Snake River Overlook. The pull-off from Wyoming's Highway 191 has become a tourist attraction in the park, as itís where Ansel Adams made one of his most famous landscape photographs, "The Tetons and Snake River" (below).
Though the spot is well marked and easy to find, reproducing Adamsí vision is now impossible because pine trees have grown to block much of the view. You can see as much by looking at my 2010 take on the scene:
However, natureís edits didnít stop me from having fun seven months later.
While researching the names of the mountain peaks I photographed in the Teton Range, I turned to Google Earth to help pinpoint locations. As great as the software is at rendering three-dimensional reconstructions of topography, it does not (for most locations on the globe) show three-dimensional views of trees.
Therefore, in Google Earth you can see the view from the Snake River Overlook much as Adams did in 1942 ó albeit in a color, virtual-reality rendering.
So I had some fun (in a nerdy photographer sort of way). I did a screen capture of the scene in Google Earth, cropped, converted to black and white, applied appropriate filters and added some clouds. And thus came to be my virtual rendering of Ansel Adamsí famous photo:
I'm sitting at my computer on a Sunday afternoon with Lightroom 3 open on my display, key-wording photos from my 2010 work in Yellowstone National Park.
For the umpteenth time, I'm searching online to try to identify something in a scene. Often it's a mountain, or a flower, or the specific species of an animal. This time it's a tree ó specifically ... well, I can't be specific because I haven't been able to ID it yet.
This is a problem commonplace among photographers who catalog their work. Hours upon hours can be withered away researching the correct names for the things we depict with pixels.
Partial rescue recently came from the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), which last fall released a free National Park Field Guide app for the iPhone, iTouch and iPad.
According to the NPCA, the app "includes all the birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians you'll encounter while visiting a park [and] helps you identify native trees and wildflowers." Fifty parks are covered, including five of my favorites: Acadia, Joshua Tree, Everglades, Great Smoky Mountains and Yellowstone.