Discovering New Subjects

Farmhouse, Teton Valley, Idaho by Jay Goodrich

Farmhouse, Teton Valley, Idaho © Jay Goodrich

I spent the last week teaching a workshop with Art Wolfe, Gavriel Jecan, and Rich Reid in Grand Teton National Park. We decided early on that it was going to be important to teach participants that it is not necessarily the destination that is the focus when we travel. We spent two days, driving more than 500 miles, to search out locations that highlighted one of our nations most popular parks and then we looked farther. We dug deep into areas that we new few looked to in this area. We went to areas that none of us have been to, even with our extensive travels to the region.

In addition, we intentionally chose a time of year when there was going to be less to focus on in the park. The wildflowers have long since disappeared and the autumn colors are many weeks from showing up. It was dry with few clouds, and sunsets were almost non-existent. This forced us to look elsewhere and to go beyond the standard iconic compositions. This single concept and focus is something that the four of us believe will teach a photographer to become a true artist. Shooting during the peak colors and flower seasons is a no brainer.

In our travels we discovered some amazing barns and houses located throughout the fields of the western side of the Tetons–the Teton Valley. These old homesteads were offset by the colors of the varying crops in different states of their growth cycle. When we drove up to this scene all four of us immediately decided to stop the car and photograph. Based on what we discovered at that moment, we knew we had a location that would be worthy of our first stop for our workshop participants.