Iconic Locations Assignment Winner Tom Barnwell


Schwabacher's Landing Beaver Ponds by Tom Barnwell

Schwabacher’s Landing Beaver Ponds by Tom Barnwell


Photographer: Tom Barnwell:

Fall color in the Tetons is every photographer’s dream.  Sunrise at Schwabacher’s Landing Beaver Ponds is the classic Tetons image and there are many interpretations.

“It was the last day of a Mountain Light workshop in September of 2012 with Jack Dykinga and Jerry Dodrill leading a group of 10 avid photographers.  We had been chasing the light all week.  Low clouds and smoke from nearby fires had intermittently obscured the peaks but the last day dawned with clear skies. This day, photographers tripods were lined up for 50 yards along the edge of the ponds. As I set up my tripod, I was looking for a unique image from this iconic place. Jack emphasized the importance of strong foreground elements to add depth to an image, so I decided to include the near field aquatic grasses in my image. To accomplish this, I set up for a vertical panorama using a wide setting of 35mm on my 24-105mm lens.

“As we were waiting for first light on the peaks, a beaver decided to swim across the ponds, leaving a wake of ripples disrupting the perfect reflections on the surface.  Fortunately, they dissipated by the time sunlight kissed the peaks, resulting in a perfect reflection in the pond.  I quickly took a 3-frame panorama, which I later imported into Lightroom, then passed to Photoshop to stitch, and back to Lightroom for final touchups.”

Barnwell used a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, Really Right Stuff tripod, leveling base and ballhead.

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