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Grand Teton NP Fall Photo Shoot

By Marc Bowen

My favorite time of the year is fall. It’s also one of the busiest times of the year for me. So I don’t always get the opportunity to get over into the parks to photograph fall color. In Grand Teton NP the autumn colors usually peak the 2nd, 3rd or 4th week in September and unless you live in the valley near the park the timing can be difficult. I live about 60 miles from the park. It’s a beautiful drive over the mountain from home but it’s still a 2-hour drive each way.

In late September my friend Scott and I spent all day, sunrise to sunset shooting different areas in the park. Two months ago in July we were here for about three days photographing some of the same areas. If you are interested in reading more about our summer photo shoot go to Grand Teton NP Summer Photo Shoot.

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Photo by: Marc Bowen – Snake River Overlook

One of the first locations we stopped to photograph was the Snake River Overlook, a scene made famous by Ansel Adams. The texture of the clouds in the sky added interest to this scene as the early morning light brought a rosy glow to the Teton range.

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Photo by: Marc Bowen – Snake River Overlook

A lot of the trees in this area had already lost most of their leaves especially those along the river.

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Photo by: Marc Bowen – Snake River Overlook (late fall)
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Photo by: Marc Bowen – Snake River Overlook (summer)

I thought it would be fun to compare the two photos (above) which show the change of seasons.

From the Snake River Overlook we moved on up the river to Oxbow Bend.

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Photo by: Marc Bowen – Oxbow Bend

It was interesting to see that most of the trees in this area still had their leaves and some of those leaves were still green. The above image was captured from the ridge above the highway. Mt. Moran is the most prominent peak on the horizon.

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Photo by: Marc Bowen – Oxbow Bend

As we hiked that same ridge east we had several different shooting angles of the bend in the river. In the above photo you can just see a sliver of Jackson Lake at the base of  Mt. Moran in the distance.

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Photo by: Marc Bowen

(Above photo) looking southeast from that same ridge.

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Photo by: Marc Bowen – Oxbow Bend

From here we dropped off the ridge, crossed the highway and walked the shore of the Snake River.

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Photo by: Marc Bowen – Oxbow Bend

The air was fairly cool with little to no wind. This enabled me to get this shot (above) of the river with a nice reflection of the mountains and autumn color.

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Photo by: Marc Bowen – Oxbow Bend (summer shot taken 2-months ago)

Similar shot (above). But this was shot two months ago in July just before sundown.

 

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Photo by: Marc Bowen – Schwabacher Landing

Next we drove back down the river to Schwabacher Landing. The colors were not as bright here but you can still see the contrast in color between the above photo taken in September and the photo below taken in July.

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Photo by: Marc Bowen – Schwabacher Landing (taken 2-months ago)

 

In the afternoon we drove east up towards Lower Slide Lake for a different view of the Teton Mountains.

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Photo by: Marc Bowen – The Wedding Tree

A nice drive and a short hike later brought us to what is called the Wedding Tree by the locals in the area. In the lower right-hand corner of the above image above you can see a bouquet of flowers left there from the last wedding ceremony performed under the tree.

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Photo by: Marc Bowen – Scott under the Wedding Tree

We had a little fun with the wedding bouquet (above) and yes we did keep with tradition, placing the bouquet back at the base of the tree when Scott was finished mugging with it.

In the evening we headed back to Oxbow Bend to wait for the sun to set.

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Photo by: Marc Bowen – Oxbow Bend at sunset

While sitting on the ridge above Oxbow Bend we enjoyed watching the changes in light and color at sunset. Like sunrises, sunsets are always different and we never really know what we are going to see. This sunset didn’t disappoint…a fitting end to an enjoyable fall day in the Tetons!

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