It’s not always Purple and Peaceful

November 8, 2013 4 Comments

Last month, Angel and I spent a few days in Grand Teton National Park to do some fall photography. Heading out, we had visions of the photos we wanted to come home with. I wanted to photograph the famous Moran barn. The iconic shot against the Teton range as they’re painted purple, moments before the sun touches the horizon in the East.

It's not always Purple and Peaceful

But it didn’t go that way. In fact, when we arrived, we experienced a 40 degree temperature drop as an Indian summer gave way to what would be the first snowstorm of the year. A front that lasted three days and kept the majestic peaks out of sight for nearly the entire time. But that certainly didn’t mean lost photography opportunities. We planted our tripod, pointed the camera at the barn and we waited. Other photographers arrived and left during that time. From point-and-shoot tourist to those carrying large tripods, legs extended and cameras attached, perched casually on their shoulder.

The wind was strong enough that we knew things could potentially change very quickly. And they did. For a few moments – surprisingly during a period when no other photographers had ‘stopped by’ – there was a dramatic break in the clouds. The sun pushed through, illuminating the barn and adding contrast to the looming weather. Within minutes, things changed again. By this time, it was already 10 degrees colder than it was when we claimed our spot and set up our tripod.

As we headed back to Jackson for an IPA at the Snake River Brewery, we reflected on our experience. It wasn’t the iconic peaceful and purplish shot we envisioned. In some ways, it was better. A reminder that it doesn’t always go as planned, and you have to make the best of what’s given to you.

4 Comments Leave a Comment

  1. Jamie Thingelstad November 24, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Very nice shot Nik. That could pass as a painting!

  2. Nik Rowell November 24, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Thank you Jamie! Agreed – and I think almost any shot of this barn could as well – it’s hard to take a bad photo of it. Very inspiring place.

  3. Ponara Eng February 28, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    Nick,
    Just found your blog, and totally agree with Jamie, what a great photo! I hope it’s printed x-large and hanging in your home someday.

  4. Nik Rowell February 28, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Thanks Ponara! We’ve talked about printing it – haven’t yet – but I think it will find a spot on the wall soon : )
    Hope all is well!!

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