art, photography, travel

wyoming | our time

thanks to our clients and friends at the goosewing ranch, and our new ranch HAND | photographic business venture, Elle and i spent nearly a month in wyoming this fall.

we headed up a week before we needed to be at the ranch so we could see our friends in pinedale and backpack a few days in the winds.

well, our plans didn’t exactly work out the way we wanted…. but it was some much needed time rejuvenating ourselves in the mountains….

me getting geared up for a day hike…

it’s weird for me to have photos of myself on here now that Elle is shooting too.

she makes fun of me for my new “fanny pack” camera bag, so i decided to pose for her to prove how useful it would be… especially when backpacking!

i do look pretty nerdy though.

the fall colors were just starting to ignite at soda lake and on the trail to little soda.

my girl exploring the light…

the beautiful wind river range in the distance.

we sat for a while and watched a family of bald eagles at little soda.  i haven’t seen these guys there since 2005.  it was a welcomed sight.

i used to sit and watch them for hours when i lived in pinedale.  it brought back good memories to see these majestic creatures again.

we soon decided to do a three day trek into the winds from the new fork trailhead, up new fork lakes to new fork canyon, then up through palmer canyon and back out doubletop.

not a tremendous feat.  but for some lowlander city dwellers, an accomplishment for having just driven 22 hours up only one day before.

Elle had been feeling awful that day, but we decided to embark in spite of her worsening condition.  and i had already (somehow after only being in hiking country for a little more than 24 hours) developed a few killer blisters on my heels.  no problem, i thought.  i can ignore them.

we got about two miles in.  both of us reeling from carrying too much gear, nursing illness and blisters, and decided to go ahead and set up camp.

Elle tried to sleep off her fever.  and i re-taped my blisters and went for a little day hike.

beautiful view from our tent of new fork canyon.

we were both ready for bed.  “hopefully, we’ll feel better tomorrow.”

the sun rose with purpose.  we did not, however.

we decided to just relax and enjoy our surroundings.  we noticed a slew of woodpeckers all around us.  what a treat.

after a while, we went for a short day hike…

this bald allowed us to get in really close…

new fork canyon is beautiful, and we were really looking forward to getting up into the high country…. but it wasn’t meant to be on this trip.

so we eventually hiked out to the car and headed over to little half moon lake, one of my favorite car camping spots near pinedale.

dusk at little half moon.

stars over little half moon.  that night, the moon never rose… it was VERY dark.

the next day we hiked around, explored a little, made our way to half moon lake, and enjoyed the scenery.

we watched more birds of prey… an osprey this time.

our time around pinedale was coming to an end.  but our wyoming adventure wasn’t even half way done.

we had the privilege to go with our friends on an antelope hunt before we were needed up at the goosewing.

we didn’t hunt, but i documented the whole experience… antelope hunt images coming soon!

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2012

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art, photography, travel

wyoming | summer in the parks

we ended our time at the goosewing and had a week or so to enjoy the scenery of wyoming.

i spend at least 3 or 4 weeks in wyoming every year, but i just never seem to tire of the land, people, and animals.

Elle’s never been to yellowstone, so we spent a few days up there, a few in the tetons, and then a few near pinedale, at soda lake and green river lakes.

it was too short, as always… but we had an appalachian adventure to get to.  so we’ll have to spend extra time up there in september :)

 

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2012

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art, photography, travel

wyoming | winter wanderland

our new business ranch HAND | photographic is taking off quickly.

what began as a love for wildlife, landscape, and outdoor lifestyle photography has turned into a full-scale service that caters to the high-end guest ranching community.

we’ve already been blessed to do work for the largest guest ranch in the U.S., Vermejo Park Ranch.

so this year, we joined the DRA (dude ranchers’ association) and decided to go to the convention in cody, wyoming to get to know some new folks.

well, we did…  we are so thankful to have made a few new clients, and a bunch of new friends!

our newest client, the Goosewing Ranch in jackson, wyoming is a phenomenal guest ranch.  they offer a true western experience from late spring through the gorgeous wyoming indian summer.  they also happen to be at the doorstep of grand teton national park and yellowstone!  not too bad!

we are incredibly excited to visit the Goosewing in june and september of this year!

now, back to our travels…

since we were already heading up to cody, we had to stop by pinedale to see our friends Mike and Ellen, and my favorite mountain town.

elle got to see and walk out on to a frozen fremont lake.

the cracking sounds of the ice create an intensely eerie feeling as you walk out onto the 12 mile long, half a mile wide, 600 foot deep lake (crazy, right?)!!

winter is probably my second favorite season, photographically at least.

elle had fun sledding.

then we made our way up to cody for the convention…

there is quite a bit to see just outside of cody.  it’s beautiful country.

after a few days at the convention, we had to make our way down to telluride, co to shoot a wedding.

but first… we decided to spend a few more days in grand teton national park and pinedale again…

elk crossing the barren, frozen elk winter refuge.

big horn sheep high atop the cliffs.

bison trudging through the snow in the park.

the wild beast known as elle… making some weird version of a snow angel?

we walked out onto a frozen jackson lake.

our time was short.  we needed to make our way to telluride.  so we headed down through flaming gorge in utah.

such fantastic landscapes all the way.  and the snow adds contrast and depth that i rarely get to see.

all in all, we put 4500 miles on my subaru on this trip, and very few of those miles were boring.

i’ll look forward to sharing some of the telluride photos next post!

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2012

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art, photography, random thought, travel

wyoming: day 3 & 4 (a full-fledged squaretop obsession)

i’ve been admiring this view for quite some time now. if any of you know me, and/ or my work, then you’ve seen countless images of this mountain. i just can’t get enough of it.

i think Elle is under the impression that i might try to name our firstborn son (or daughter for that matter) squaretop slaton. that’s not the case… entirely.

but just as the title of this post suggests, i am a little obsessed with this giant slab of granite. at least photographically.

and for those of you that might be curious to know… yes, every single photo in this post has the distinctive profile of squaretop in it, except one.

so we woke up in my favorite campsite again… this time with some nice, dramatic clouds over the winds.

the green river was running high but glassy.

we decided to do an overnighter into beaver park… wait for it… at the base of… wait for it…. SQUARETOP!!

so we set off, with the handsome mountain (as i often call it) as our prize in the distance.

squaretop from the upper lake with an afternoon shower imminent.

the green was overflowing it’s banks at beaver park.

we set up camp very near the base of the mountain. the whole time, i was looking for just the right spot to shoot a star picture that night… think we find the right place… but i would have to wade out into the frigid overflowed green to get the shot i wanted.

the moon was out and slowly moving it’s way right over the plateau of squaretop.

elle enjoyed a front row seat as the moon jostled into position…

it was a spectacular sunset. couldn’t have asked for a prettier evening to spend with my best friend.

oh yeah, and my wife. haha, just kidding honey!

elle and i sat by the fire, under the light of the moon and talked about everything.

i really am lucky… my wife really is my best friend.

squaretop is only a lagging second.

and then, as elle fell asleep, i trudged out into the barely-above-freezing river, and planted my tripod for this 30 minute exposure.

it’s one of my favorites from the whole trip. that’s a pretty good looking model… i couldn’t have screwed that shot up if i tried!!

we woke up the next day with our quiet friend looming over us…

it’s hard to decide whether i like morning light or evening best on squaretop… or even just moonlight…

i guess i just like it all. like i said, i’ll never get sick of photographing the work of art that is squaretop.

we just had to get one last photo with our friend.

sort of felt like an awkward family photo with a shy uncle that just kind of hangs in the back of the photo not really connecting with anyone, unsure of whether he’s even in the shot or not, deer-in-headlights look on his face, and no one that’s actually in the shot smiling, even realizes he’s back there. you know?

but we knew. and if we had had big enough arms, we would have gladly pulled him in close and included him.

then it got creepy… he just stared at us as we kissed…

farewell old friend! i hope to see you again soon… perhaps october…

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2011

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art, family, photography, random thought, travel, writing

wyoming: day 2 (riding the drift, etc.)

we woke before the sun came up… it was a big day.  i made some coffee and we set off to meet Mike and Ellen at kendall bridge.

from there we would follow the horse trailers towards union pass, then off-road in the direction of a cow camp near a bend in the green river.

we finally stopped.  all in all, there were 4 or 5 trailers and about 8-10 cowboys/ cowgirls.

Mike helped saddle pistol pete for Elle, and they were off!  riding the drift…

my Elle was kind of easy to spot with her sombrero and bright green patagonia jacket…

the two Ellens riding together…

now that’s some real cowboyin’!

can’t have a true cattle drive without the iconic western dust haze backlit by a slowly rising sun!

so they rode off deep into the sunrise… and Mike and i decided to go look for bears, like we’ve done so often the last 6 years.

good ol’ squaretop… such a handsome mountain.  i really don’t think i’ll ever get sick of looking at and photographing it.

we ended up seeing more dogs that morning than bears.  and i saw my first ever river rafting dachshund!

the Ellens finished their cattle drive early… round about noon, and my Elle was exhausted.

so after eating a little peanut butter and honey tortilla lunch, she caught  a nice afternoon nap.  much needed.

Mike and Ellen came back again that evening to have dinner with us.  we took a few more campfire photos… like we did the year before.

Elle got a really cool shot of me…

then i got a shot of her, and made a ghostly appearance in it…

and then i got to shoot another squaretop star photo.

it was another great day in our favorite place in the world, doing all sorts of fun things.

man, if you ever hear me complaining about anything at all, just punch me right in the jaw.  seriously.

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2011

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