You're right. There is nothing especially imaginative, creative or technically challenging about this image. This scene has been photographed millions of times before. So much so that I nearly passed it up during a recent trip to the Tetons. I rarely shoot landscape images during the mid-morning hour. But near-peak autumn colors, fresh snow on Mt. Moran, breaking storm clouds - and some hard news from home- conspired to pull me in. There are reasons why certain locations become photographic icons. At the right moments in time, they are simply breathtakingly beautiful. And so it was on Sunday morning, September 25, at Oxbow Bend.
Postscript: Thirty minutes before I made this image, I walked along the banks of the Snake River not far from here after spending the wee hours searching for bugling elk in the deliciously mysterious light that accompanies the autumnal dawn. My phone pinged and I stopped to read a text from home. It was sad and shocking news. The kind that flushes warmth from your body and drops you to your knees. A seemingly happy-go-lucky friend of 27 years - an "action man" of the highest order - had taken his own life. As I write these words I hear his laughter. I remember the joke he shared at a late-night party - so delectably delivered in his native Australian accent. I taste white smoke billowing from beneath his skis as we play chase through tall aspen on a deep powder morning.
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