Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA
Time / Date:
7:44 PM / August 27, 2013
Camera Body: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikon Nikon 14-28mm f/2.8
Shutter Speed: 1/800s
Focal Length: 18mm
This image was made during a shoot for Nikon USA. I wanted to showcase both the beautiful landscape in Jackson Hole and also the amazingly fun lifestyle that we have here. R Lazy S Ranch is an authentic working ranch at the foot of the Tetons and they were kind enough to let our team work with several of their wranglers. This scene was a part of the last shoot from a two day long production. The weather had not been cooperating and I was in need of a small miracle to wrap things up strongly.
When we arrived at the ranch the wranglers were excited, which helped re-energize our team. There is a beautiful meadow where they keep the horses so I knew if we could get the wranglers out and let them do their thing that we would find some great photo opportunities. Just about the time we got situated, the clouds began to break and the late evening light turned on in full brilliance. The rain-saturated meadow picked up the color of the light and I directed Maggie (one of the wranglers) to start riding through the puddles. It was exactly what we needed. Maggie is a wonderful rider and was able to follow my requests and get in just the right positions with her horse, Coolio. (Yes, the horse’s name is Coolio). The light just continued to get better and we were able to make some amazing pictures. It was a surreal experience, one of the most amazing few minutes I have ever had with a camera in my hand. We all worked so hard to pull this shoot off and it came together for us in the last few minutes.
Since we were working with Nikon I had a pretty amazing selection of cameras and lenses on hand, but this shot was about as simple as could be. The 14-24 f2.8 Nikon lens is so sharp and the D800 creates such beautiful files. Because I was using such a wide angle I had to be in really close to the action. On several of these passes, Maggie and Coolio were just feet away from me. It was pretty exciting.
Making the Shot:
As much as we tried to plan for every situation possible, I also had to let go and respond to the conditions that were presented. This is always a challenge when working outdoors with a lot of factors you can’t control and many moving parts. You just can’t control everything. But then an opportunity comes along and you have to be ready to seize it. The window of time we had for this light was no more than 10 minutes. It was over as quick as it happened and thankfully we were prepared to take advantage of it.
Editing & Processing:
I do all of my post production with Lightroom and Photoshop. Lightroom is so good that I do the majority of work with it and then refine any details in Photoshop. The processing here is minimal and only used to try and represent the scene as closely as how I saw it in that moment.
I really love this image for a lot of reasons but mostly because it reminds me of how important it is to keep pushing and not give up because that next amazing capture is always just around the corner. My team and I worked so hard on this shoot and I am really proud of what we created together.
Never stop. Work at it every single day. Surround yourself with like-minded and passionate people. And be prepared, because you never know when that next great moment will present itself.
I find inspiration in so many places, it’s hard to put in a few sentences. I love being outdoors. I love visiting museums, traveling, and meeting new people. I also love discovering photographers and other artists across the web, much like I found The Image Story. I think it’s my curiosity for the world and the human experience that continues to push me and my photography.
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