Upon arrival to the Teton area it was evident that this photo expedition would be faced with an unexpected challenge. I had never seen the remnants of a prescribed burn, nor the smoke that permeated the air. At first, there was a sense of disappointment but as I’ve mentioned in the past, sometimes the bad can turn to something good.
A quick note about prescribed burns: these fires are intentionally set by the U.S. Forest Service to rid the forest of overgrown plants. This allows for fresh growth and helps increases the variety of plant species. Also, without prescribed burns clearing up the detritus, wildfires can be more intense and harder to control
I reminded myself of these facts in an attempt to overcome my dismay at finding the “ugly” field. It felt like I was convincing myself to eat vegetables. Yes, they’re good for me. Yes, prescribed burns are good for the forest. But I couldn’t help feeling like I was munching on broccoli as I looked at the field, imagining the rich forest that should’ve been there with Mt. Moran towering above. But as I viewed the scene I shifted my perspective, as is often required in photography, and began to see the scorched field neither as a good or bad thing; it was simply different than what I had expected. It wouldn’t look any different if the field was preparing for new life after a fire sparked by lightening – also part of Nature’s cycle – and so I got to work.
I chose this composition because the lighter tones in the foreground catch the eyes and contain enough detail to keep them busy for some time (our eyes are naturally attracted to lighter shades). But the strength of the dark tree line and triangular mountain slope on the right eventually move the view up to Mt. Moran, exquisitely lit by the sun and contrasting against the marble of the wispy white clouds.
About the Print of the Month
The Print of the Month is a new print offered at an early-edition discount. Normal pricing must apply once the print is offered by a gallery.
The Print of the Month is a silver gelatin print, each one created by hand using traditional darkroom methods.
Prints are limited to 50 per edition.
Typically the Print of the Month is made from a T-Max 100 negative, which is processed in D-76 mixed 1:1.
Each fine art print is made by hand using Ilford-based double weight paper.
The prints are double fixed and selenium toned for longevity. They are then washed in a vertical print washer to completely eliminate any residue. Prints are carefully allowed to dry for two days. Next, each print is mounted on museum quality archival mat boards with acid-free mounting tissue. Although each print takes a considerable amount of time and meticulous effort, this archival printing and mounting process is the only way to ensure print permanence and collectability. Give it proper care and your print will last hundreds of years without fading.
My signature and the print number are visible on the mat, below the print.
The Print of the Month offers a 50% savings off the normal investment.