Winter's First Light
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, 2014
Especially in a place like the Teton Range, clear winter days can seem almost to laugh at the landscape photographer. When the sun is high in the sky, being outside is not only bearable but downright pleasant, but the bright light and stark contrast between sun and shade, snow and tree do not lend themselves to many great image possibilities. On the other hand, dawn and dusk often provide good light, but the photographer pays for it with toes that feel as if they're being held directly over a scorching fire, fingers rendered as unfunctioning blocks of wood, a windburned face with an icicle for a nose. On this particular morning, it was -10 degrees Fahrenheit with a windchill of Something Horrible as I watched the sky turn from a deep, dark blue to purple to a mix of pink and purple, the Belt of Venus, about 15 minutes before the first direct sunrays struck the summit of Grand Teton. Worth it. After all, the best thing about being cold is getting warm again, and I made a good image, too.
Photo © copyright by Greg Owens.