As photographers we are gadget oriented people and think we need the latest and greatest to capture the best image. Really it’s about the light! If you are in the right light, any camera can capture a nice image. Sometimes its luck, sometimes its experience, and sometimes it’s both! Many years ago Kevin and I were photographing the Mormon Barns in Jackson Hole. These barns have been photographed in all kinds of weather and light and it is every photographers dream to capture “THE” image of these barns.. We had waited in the darkness for an hour or so waiting for the sun’s first rays of light to shine on the barns. It is this dramatic light that we look for to get those great early morning images.
On this particular day the clouds was hiding those rays of light that we so much wanted to see. After sunrise the group of photographers packed up their gear and headed back to town to eat breakfast or whatever was on their agenda for the day. Kevin and I watched as everyone packed up and left. I had just stood in the 14 degree cold listing to coyotes howl at us in the early morning hours to get nothing? Kevin and I are stubborn when it comes to waiting for the light, and we did just that. Weather and clouds move very quickly in the Tetons so you never know when that ray of light might pop through the clouds.
We were ready and waiting. We watched as the rays of light rolled across the landscape in a distance. They were headed our way! Just maybe we might get to take a few images of the barn today. As those dramatic rays of light hit the barn, we fired off a couple of frames and then it was gone. This was back in film days and I was rewinding my film and as I was not ready to shoot again for a few minutes, Kevin was able to get a few more images off before the light was gone. The difference in a few minutes and how dramatic the light can be!
Back in 2013 we are here with the same thing before our eyes. What is different is there were 40 to 50 photographers there at the barns and again the light is not favorable. The sun rise is looking favorable, but the clouds are rolling in. We get a good light on the barn, but the photographers are so close that their shadows are casting on parts of the barn. Not a good morning for photographing the barn. Clouds start rolling in and the crowd of photographers starts to go back to their cars and vans. Kevin and I stay put with our cameras framed up with the barn and sky ready to photograph. Other photographers are puzzled and just go on about their business.
Then it happens! The clouds open up and allow a sliver of light to shine on the barns. Kevin and I are the only ones there who got this image. (The image at the top of the blog) This type of waiting for the light paid off many times on our trip. Hope this will inspire you to wait around next time the light goes bad.