art, landscape, nature, photography, travel, writing

guadalupe mountains // an overnighter

Another quick stop I made on the road trip was Guadalupe Mountains National Park, on the border of Texas and New Mexico.

Yet another first for me.  I mean, I’ve passed this park on the long drive from Dallas to El Paso a few times, but never stopped long enough to photograph.

So, on my way from ABQ airport, where I dropped Elle off, to Big Bend National Park, I stopped to stay the night at Pine Springs Campground the Guadalupe Mountains.

I arrived after dark… so the darkened outline of mountains against a big sky full of stars were all I could see…



The Milky Way shone bright and colorful.


I got a few hours of sleep, then woke before the sun to find a spot to photograph what is called “the signature peak” of West Texas, El Capitan.


This exercise reminded me how insanely difficult it is to show up, in the dark, at a brand new location, and expect to find “the perfect” location for a sunrise shot.

I did my very best, but never really felt I came away with the image  wanted.  Oh well… a good excuse to go back and explore this beautiful park!






I tried several locations, and then decided it was time to move on and high tail it to Big Bend!


On the way, the ranches of the Chihuahuan Desert beckoned me to stop frequently to shoot…






I was excited and anxious to get to Big Bend.  Like I’ve said before, I’ve been going to Big Bend every year for the last 10+, with the exception of 2012.

It was high time to get in a good visit to this desert/ mountain/ river paradise.

all images + content © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2013

art, photography, travel

wyoming | the many faces of the tetons

my working title for this post originally was “l’obsession des tetons”…

you know, referencing western wyoming’s french explorer roots.

then, thanks to google translate, i quickly realized it was essential that i think of new title.

needless to say, i don’t speak french.

so last year, i had a photographic obsession with squaretop in the wind river range. this fall, i can’t believe i’m saying this, but i didn’t even visit green river lakes (where squaretop lives).

yes, it’s sad. but i was just too busy. i had a two hunts to attend, a ranch to shoot, lots of hot wings to eat in jackson, many pints to consume at deadman’s bar in signal mountain lodge, etc. so since most of my (very important) activities were near teton park, I decided to spend some much needed quality time with the beloved teton mountain range.

enter my newest photographic obsession.

it started the day we finished at the goosewing ranch shoot.

we had a burger and beer at deadman’s bar, then sat on the edge of jackson lake to watch a phenomenal sunset over the tetons.

i then ventured out on the river road, looking for elk.  and the interesting photographic opportunities expanded.  in the next blog post, i’ll show more of the elk photographs.

the clouds and smoke provided most of the drama for me.  but it is the landscape itself that always draws me in and keeps me coming back for more.

come on… you knew i had to.

a portrait with my subject….

more bull elk in the shadow of the mountain.

where the antelope roam…

i hiked to emma matilda lake for the first time.

and then, of course, oxbow bend.  there is good reason that this is one of the most photographed places in the world.  especially in the fall.

that night the stars were out in full force.  i could see the milky way stretching high above the tetons.

i’ve been going to this part of wyoming at least annually since 2001, which i know in the bigger scheme of things is not a long time.

but for me, it’s over a third of my lifetime, spending some of my favorite moments up there.

and honestly, i can’t wait to find out what gorgeous mountains will capture my obsession next year.

God bless wyoming.

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2012