Hello from Grand Teton National Park: the Old Patriarch Tree

 In Newsletter

Just a quick note from Grand Teton National Park. The other day, I hiked (bushwhacked) into the Old Patriarch Tree. The Old Patriarch Tree is a limber pine and an iconic tree that stands alone in the sagebrush flats. The park road used to go past the tree, but it’s now a 3/4 mile hike to get to it. I wasn’t excited about hauling lighting gear and camera gear 3/4 of a mile into the sagebrush, but I recruited several friends to help me get the shot.

The hike in the dark to the Old Patriarch Tree was exciting especially since we heard that a 900-pound grizzly gear had recently taken down bison and had feasted on it for four days. It was in a different part of the park, but still that was in the back of the mind while traveling under pitch dark skies.

Once at the Old Patriarch Tree and the lighting setup, it was a quick session because by the time I got back to my lodging I’d only get two hours of sleep before I had to teach a workshop at sunrise. Despite the lack of sleep the next day, the shot was worth it.

While photographing this tree isn’t part of it, I’m teaching another workshop in the Tetons next year. You should come to my Grand Teton National Park Photo Workshop.

Shooting info: Nikon D810, 14-24mm f/2.8 at 20mm, f/2.8, ISO 6,400, 30 seconds, lit with two LED light panels and the light was controlled with barn doors used as a snoot.

Grand Teton The Old Patriarch Tree under Milky Way


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