Wayne Stelk  

Teton Storm by Wayne Stelk

November 2019 - Teton Storm

November 2019 - Wayne Stelk


About the Image(s)

Camera & Settings: Sony RX100 VI, Shutter 1/1000, f/4.5, 28mm equiv, hand-held.

June in the Grand Teton NP brings lots of stormy weather and this image captures one of them. I shot this from the rear of the Jackson Lodge with the storm over the mountains and strong winds around the lodge whipping the tree. It wasn’t until post-processing that I noticed what resembles a person standing next to the tree in the right-lower FG. Having blown-up the image, I can’t tell if it's a person or bush, so I’ll let the viewers decide for themselves.

I converted the image to B&W and used an inverted radial filter to tone-down a few of the bright spots in the mid-level clouds. Cropping was minimal and with some contrast adjustments, the overall post-processing was minimal. I don’t typically use the B&W format, so I’ll be interested in feedback about whether the contrast and “coloring” are good enough. I played with temperature adjustments, but ultimately left the temperature as it was shot (around 6400).

16 comments posted

Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
(Group 32)
Looks great to me, and far better in b/w. See Group 71 this month where John Zhu is working on a similar shot.   Posted: 11/06/2019 17:32:25
Wayne Stelk   Wayne Stelk
Thanks for the reference to John Zhu's work in Group 71. Having done a lot of pre-digital B&W (many years ago), I favor color images. But some scenes just lend themselves to B&W, like stormy weather that dulls most colors by virtue of restricted light.   Posted: 11/11/2019 15:36:05

Michael Weatherford   Michael Weatherford
Very nice! IMO in black and white landscapes contrast is king. I would try adding more contrast. Thanks.   Posted: 11/07/2019 08:26:01
Wayne Stelk   Wayne Stelk
I agree! Like the contrasty renderings done by Michael and Todd. Thanks!   Posted: 11/11/2019 15:37:56

Mark Winter   Mark Winter

I think that B&W works well for this shot. It adds to the drama and I think draws the viewer in more. My eyes are drawn to the river, which look to be highlighted by the lighter clouds. I think that it is a good start of a leading line to the mountains. My only suggestion, and I am not sure you could have even done this, is to get to a little higher vantage point so that the river is more prevalent and works better as a leading line. Nice capture!   Posted: 11/07/2019 11:56:31
Wayne Stelk   Wayne Stelk
Thanks, Mark. Yeah, I would have had to climb onto the roof of the Jackson Lodge to get higher. That's Jackson Lake on the left and it would have been nice to get more of the lake into the shot. I hope to get back to Teton NP before too long - and maybe get another dramatic storm!   Posted: 11/11/2019 15:41:48

Michael Weatherford   Michael Weatherford
Here's my take on the image. In Lightroom I decreased exposure, increased contrast and clarity, added texture and dehazed, then used a sharpening mask to further define the clouds. My first time to try this, hope it works. Humbly submitted.   Posted: 11/07/2019 19:03:56
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Wayne Stelk   Wayne Stelk
Michael, I appreciate you playing with this image. It's always interesting to me to see others' interpretation of an image. I like the greater contrast that you have given it - especially in the center/lighter clouds. I also like the way you've lightened the tree, which makes it stand out from the storm.   Posted: 11/11/2019 15:44:35

Madhusudhan Srinivasan   Madhusudhan Srinivasan
Great capture of the stormy weather Wayne. I think b/w is apt to show the climatic conditions and the rugged stance of the mountains & lonely tree. However, I would be curious to see the color version too just to see the greens.
Imo, the tree can come a bit more to the left for 2 reasons: 1. Can fit into the rule of thirds better 2. Giving breathing space towards right as the tree is leaning that side.
I agree with a little bit of dehazing (only on the mountains in the extreme left and not completely like in Michael's edit). Michael's edit enhances the feel of the clouds definitely. However, the highlights around the tree makes me think the editing is incomplete for some reason.
Overall, I liked the image showing the weather conditions. Lastly, I wouldn't have even noticed that man under the tree had you not mentioned assuming it to be a small bush/shrub :-)   Posted: 11/09/2019 21:27:16
Wayne Stelk   Wayne Stelk
Madhusudhan, thanks for your comments. Re moving the frame to the right to give the tree more room, you've made an interesting observation. I chose the position of the tree to allow for the lake to have some presence. I couldn't shoot wider and I wanted the tree and the lake to frame the mountains and the clouds. I regret that I didn't have my wide-angle lens with me! And BTW, I didn't see the "shrub" next to the tree until post-processing. I'd like to think it was a human observer of the storm, but I'm pretty sure it's a shrub. Oh well....   Posted: 11/11/2019 15:57:47

Richard Matheny   Richard Matheny
You sure have captured the stormy weather. I think the wind blown tree on the right really adds to the effect. Great image for a black an white offering. You could have placed the tree on the rule of thirds line but I do not have a problem with where it is at. The subject of you image is the storm and the sight line goes from left to right into the photo, so the tree is a great stopping point for the viewer. Without tree there would your eye would continue off the page.Really nice image.
  Posted: 11/10/2019 05:57:16
Wayne Stelk   Wayne Stelk
Thanks, Richard. As I noted in my reply to Madhusudhan, my frame for the line-of-sight (driven by the direction of the wind) was from the lake to the tree. As you correctly noticed, the tree is my anchoring stop-point.   Posted: 11/11/2019 16:02:10

Todd Grivetti   Todd Grivetti

I really like the composition of this image. I can see why you cropped the bottom out and the right side. with the sidewalk.

I to played with your image a bit and kept it B&W. Looking closer as the object in lower right corner, it is a person, which I have cloned out and add the right side back to image. I also cropped down the sky. Pretty much everything above the tree was dead space and disctracting. The focal is the tree in this image and it will draw your eyes to the mountains as well. In lightroom, kept is monochrome, contrast +21, Highlights -49, shadows +29, whites +36, blacks +27. Effects sliders: texture +34, clarity +23, dehaze +48, vignette -8. I also added two linear gradients to the image both vertical and horizontal. I agree with your decision to keep the temperature as shot. Anything greater really brightens it up.

This is a beautiful shot. Using a tripod may have allowed you to use a lower shutter speed with the ISO of 125 (metadata). It obviously was windy as seen with the leaves/branches of the tree. Your f-stop is wide open allowing for the additional light, but with some loss of clarity, especially hand-held even though the exposure time is 1/1000 sec.   Posted: 11/10/2019 07:24:46
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Wayne Stelk   Wayne Stelk
Todd, thanks for your work on my image. I like your rendition a lot. By cropping the upper clouds and bringing out the contrast in the mid-level white clouds, you revealed a greater upward turbulence that give the photo a good effect. And like Micheal's rendering, I like the brightening around the tree. It give a nice balance to the brighter clouds on the left. You've also made good points about my shot settings. I got this image while having dinner in the lodge with friends and running outside, so no tripod at the dinner table! :) If I had a tripod, a longer exposure might have given the clouds even more drama. Again, thanks for the re-work.   Posted: 11/11/2019 16:14:34

Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Stormy weather often look quite good in B&W so I feel you made a fine choice. I think your crop is good, but I like Todd's crop even better. The real story here is the clouds and Todd's crop makes you look at them. Madhusudhan is also right about the position of the tree. Moving it to the left just a bit would a line it more with the rule of thirds since as it is it seems to be falling out of the frame.

My thought is that perhaps you should be lower. That river or lake on the far left really draws the eye. If you were lower it would disappear and then the total focus would be on the sky and the wind tossed tree. You are right about the tree---it certainly looks wind tossed and I can actually feel the wind blowing.   Posted: 11/11/2019 09:47:59
Wayne Stelk   Wayne Stelk
Larry, you've made some interesting points about the capture. I agree that the lake is bright and draws the eye. I wasn't sure how to deal with that. I thought about darkening the water a few notches. Ultimately, I left the lake as shot since the brighter clouds, with the lake, are together on the left. If I understand your comment about being lower, I might have lowered the horizon line, although I didn't want to lower the base of the tree to bring it too close to the bottom of the image. But it's worth trying, along with the post-processing suggestions from Michael and Todd.   Posted: 11/11/2019 16:25:57


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