March in the Tetons often provides some of the most difficult photography conditions you’ll find, but it also regularly provides the greatest rewards as well. With the weather being what it is in the Tetons, it isn’t uncommon to go from sun to rain to snow and back to sun all in the same day. While unusual weather patterns can make it difficult to dress appropriately, it can do wonders to the landscape and provide spectacular opportunity for the prepared photographer.
Not all landscape images require a wide angle lens, and some of the most interesting images can be found at your feet with a basic macro lens. As melting snow turns pathways and trails to mud, look to locations off the beaten path for inspiration. Wildflowers poking their new buds through melting snow is a classic spring image. We recommend capturing this classic and then moving on to something more unique and in line with your own personal style.
Another option is ice, often found in great supply in the region in winter and early spring. Look to the edges of lakes and streams for interesting compositions, and be sure to bring a polarizer. You’ll find that ice often refracts light and creates interesting colors within your composition. Or better yet, bubbles of air trapped below virtually transparent ice can provide you with great macro images. Juxtapose the bubbles on the back side of the ice with the patterns of river stones in the water beneath. Try to concentrate on color and form as your primary elements when creating images under these conditions.
A technical note – if you don’t have a proper macro lens (or a lens with some macro capability), you can always use extension tubes to turn one of your existing lenses into a capable macro lens. A secondary option is to use a diopter (basically a magnifying glass for the end of your lens) which will increase the magnification of your lens.
Creative and unique images can be found everywhere as winter turns to spring and we yearn for the wildflowers of summer. Open your eyes, let your creative juices flow and get out in the field to see some of the beauty that often goes overlooked just beyond your feet.