Greetings and Welcome!

I've been photographing Wyoming and all of its wild residents for my entire 38 year career, and it never gets old or tiring. If the good Lord gave me several lifetimes I could not accomplish all that I dream of or visit all of the places in this state I've called home for 57 years.

I have two websites currently that showcase my work at and There you will see galleries of landscape images, Wyoming's wildlife and wildflowers and special galleries of my favorite place, Yellowstone National Park and my favorite large mammal, Bison Bison or the buffalo as many call them. There is a special gallery dedicated to this fascinating creature and I've even made a special tribute print called 'Tatanka and the Iron Horse - the Decimations Haunting Specter' remembering the near extinction of this most significant symbol of the west. My intrigue for this wonderful animal will continue for as long as I can make trips to photograph them.

You can read all about my work, my career and individual pictures by visiting the website, but here I will share with you special places that have particular interest to me, see how I travel and shoot my images, read about some of my past and present experiences, meet friends that have shared special times with me, hear my ramblings about equipment, and hopefully respond to some of your comments.

Well, that is enough of an introduction. Welcome to my world - Images of Wyoming.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Frontier Days Now History

Well, it is Monday morning following 10 days of Cheyenne Frontier Days celebrations. This year marked the 112th anniversary. Vendors and people involved in the celebration have been very interested to see how the struggling economy would impact sales from visitors to our area. After all, tourism is a major producer of income for people in our state.

From my personal observations being downtown for the entire duration of parades, pancake breakfasts, and rodeos, the numbers were way down. Though I met many from areas all over the country, the majority of people visiting Cheyenne were more regional. And sales of non-essential, luxury items were very small compared to years past. Even the largest western art show, the Western Spirit Art Show which attracts buyers from all over the world was a dismal disappointmemt. Organizers of the event were stunned by the poor results. I think it is a trend that will be with us for awhile until people come to know what to expect from our national economy.

I spent the majority of those 10 days in the gallery meeting people and talking to them about my prints and large panoramas. I talked to hundreds of folks and though sales were not what I had hoped for, I did make some great contacts and hope to follow up on those in the next couple of weeks. Art is no exception to those areas that will continue to struggle, but we will adapt and continue to work hard. To those I did meet and who are reading this blog, I wanted to tell you again that it was my pleasure to meet you and shake your hand. My best to you and yours. Jerry

Friday, July 18, 2008

Magazine Article Now Online

The July issue of Around Cheyenne featured a two-page spread about me and my work. The release of the article was to be in conjunction with the opening reception at Deselms Fine Art Gallery on July 12th, but due to some unforeseen printing problems the release date was delayed.

The magazine has now been mailed and can be found at many locations around the city and state. If you are unable to find the magazine for a first hand look, just go to this link to get the Around Cheyenne Magazine article. I was pleased with the story and there are quotes from several clients who have used my work in their businesses. You can see some good examples of my wildlife portraits as well as two panorama images. If you like what you read, the editor has agreed to host an image with a brief story about how it was made in upcoming issues. I intend to keep the print descriptions short and hopefully, entertaining. Let me know what you think of the article and the pictures. I'm always looking for feedback and would love to hear your comments. Watch for the next issue. I think it will be a wildlife picture and you will love the story behind it - Jerry

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Traveling in Wyoming for Photographers - Part 2

When I left you last time, I suggested that staying in motels created a lot of logistical problems that made getting the best images in their finest light a more difficult task. I'd like to start exploring some other alternatives with you in this section. In the last installment, I'll share my current outfit with you and tell you how I think my travel rig will evolve.

One thing I tried several times that got me closer to the 'action' so to speak was tent camping. It was in the early days of my outdoor career. It took care of one problem, but several new issues arose. Setting up a camp was a time consuming chore, then the issue of cooking, cleanup and all things that had to do with that activity. It is fine for the camping enthusiast that has nothing much more to do than hike, sight see, or just relax and enjoy the experience. Compound that with all the equipment you must deal with as a professional photographer and things take a turn for the worse.

Security is no small issue. A professionals livelihood depends on his equipment. If a motel is not a safe place for your belongings, how secure is a tent? You can leave it in the car, but still have to use some of it at days end to download images, etc., then the repacking – still a problem as far as I'm concerned. Then comes the issue of power. Generally speaking, campsites that put you closer to where you need to be don't have AC outlets nearby. Unfortunately, we live and work with equipment that has batteries that need to charged. Consider your laptop, portable storage device ( I use an Epson P5000), external hard drives, camera batteries, portable DVD players, and the list goes on according to your personal needs. You can carry a small generator, but they are just something else to be concerned with, let alone the time use restrictions in National Parks and the need to carry and transport gasoline. If you are out for more than a couple of days you will need to address this issue. There are also restrictions about where you can tent camp in certain locations like Yellowstone. Hard sided campers are required in places like the Lake Area and Lewis Lake. Tent camping is not a good choice for the non-backpacking or back country photographer.

The next alternative that I considered was a small bumper pull trailer. My first was a 16 foot tandem axle trailer. Wow, what a step up from a tent. It had many advantages. Let me run down the list. This is very workable solution and one that a couple of my photographer friends still use to this day. First, I was able to get close to my working sites. I had most of the conveniences of a motel room in a portable package. I had hot and cold running water, a shower and toilet, a comfortable bed that I didn't have to roll up every morning, and all the facilities to carry my own food and cook it conveniently. Clean up was snap and I could stand up to dress in privacy, It was warmer and drier, and after a couple of hours setup, I was set to stay as long as I wanted with no real maintenance or security issues. I could leave my equipment locked up in security boxes so packing and unpacking was less of an issue. A generator was loaded on the truck semi-permanently so I had power on demand as well as the on-board batteries for lighting, the furnace, water pumps, etc. It was convenient and very, very comfortable to boot.

So were there any downsides to trailer life? Yes, a few of them. Here are some of the things that eventually moved me away from trailer camping. These are not big issues to my friends for the way they work, but they affected some of the things I waned to do. It wasn't always easy to find camping spots in more remote areas that were accessible to the truck and trailer. Since I like to work in the transitional seasons when weather is very fickle, muddy roads and deep snow became huge obstacles. I must say that when I got a 4WD truck that helped, but it wasn't a cure-all. To maximize the trailers effectiveness you need to pick a spot to work from and make that your base camp, otherwise you have to set up and take down the rig too frequently and you've robbed yourself of its benefits. If it was set up as a base camp, you then needed to use your tow vehicle to get to places you wanted to work. I may travel upwards of 100 miles from my base camp depending on where in the state I'm working. That is expensive. It was back then: now it would be prohibitive with the cost of fuel hitting the $5.00 per gallon price for diesel. Plus, most pickups are not the ideal vehicle for all situations you might run into as a photographer, room being a major issue for me. The bed space is normally not secure and wet conditions can create havoc.

I worked this way for years and learned to deal with some of the inconveniences, but it was a huge step up from the hassles of tent camping and the expense and distance issues of staying in a motel. Could I stop here with the recommendation of buying or renting a trailer? Absolutely. It works for many, but in the next issue, I'd like to offer up a couple of more alternatives for you to consider. Be patient, then make your decision. Each has its good points and downsides, but surely one will be a near perfect fit for you. If you considering any of these possibilities, the good news is you don't have to make a huge investment that you may not like. You can rent trailers for a short time to give it a try. You will only be out the cost of a receiver hitch and wiring for your vehicle. If you don't have a truck, you can lease a complete outfit. Give it whirl and enjoy the outdoors in all the luxury of a motel suite. It's a great life. Keep shooting. Until next time – Jerry.

PS - the first of the two images shown was of a camp we (Larry Roop and I) made when bear trapping. This was our base camp. The picture was taken near Sunlight Peak in 1982. The second image was provided by a photographer friend of mine named John Browning. His group regularly travels to the Red Desert in early spring. They use 4 wheelers for local travel. Their preferred lodging is trailer camping.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Art Show Opening

Well, some long weeks of preparation and a couple of restless nights preceded the opening afternoon reception for our art show at Deselms Fine-art Gallery, but the day finally arrived. The reception was held between noon and 4pm on Saturday. Lots was going on in and around Cheyenne, including a motorcycle rally, a mandatory work day for all the Frontier Days volunteers, a meet the candidate reception for mayoral candidates and the list goes on. Inspite of all this and the absolutely beautiful day, an opportunity for locals to get out and enjoy the fine weather, we had a nice turnout.

I met many new folks, even some from out of town, and spent almost four continuous hours talking about the large panorama prints that were on display. You can see hints of the pictures behind me in the accompanying image. Thanks to all who came in support of me and my work. Thanks to Jo and Pat who helped host the reception and to my wife who spent three nights making treats to add to the nice spread provided by Harvey.

What's next? Well Frontier Days starts in just a week and I'll be spending a lot of time at the gallery on the mornings of the parades and pancake breakfasts to meet and talk to visitors about my work . If you were unable to attend the show opening, don't worry. The display will hang until the end of August. I'm almost always available to come to the gallery on request to answer any questions. Just have the staff give me a call and I'll try to accommodate you. Again, my thanks to everyone for their wonderful support.

Friday, July 11, 2008

TV Spot Aired Thursday July 10th

Hope you got to see the TV show about my work. It was quite flattering. I requested a tape of the show to share with you all, but got a note from the host of the show that CBS would not allow me to post any of their work on my blog. Sorry, I really wanted to share the show with those of you that could not watch, but I did get this comment from Anne Lauricello, the host of the early show. Here are her comments from an email I received this morning.

"I truly meant what I said to Annie -- you have some of the most beautiful photography I have ever seen and I don't believe that seeing it on film does it justice. Good luck with your showings, I'm sure you are getting a fantastic response."

Thanks Anne. I was at the gallery getting ready for tomorrows opening reception and a few of the people that saw the TV segment came in to take a look for themselves. The response to the very large panoramas has been quite positive. Hope you all can make the reception tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

New Panoramas at FrameMaster

FrameMasters has just added a few new panorama images to their growing selection of Jerry Geist photographs. In celebration of the new shop and showroom at 137 Kornegay Ct. in Cheyenne, WY., Myra Jolly, the owner has custom framed two large panoramas from Jerry's collection. Shown here is one of the 7' wide pictures he took in October of 2007 in the Clarks Fork Canyon country of northwestern Wyoming.

The second image is a 6'6" tall vertical panorama of Granite Creek in the Bighorn Mountains. This striking image was made in the early spring during a snowstorm. The trees are frosted and new spring foliage is peeking out from the blanket of white frost in a heavy fog. It is a dynamic image. Both of these new images plus several wildlife portraits and two other panorama images are also on display in the gallery. Stop by and take a look at Framemasters new shop and these very special, original panorama images by Jerry Geist.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Traveling in Wyoming for Photographers -Part 1

I'm addressing this article to the more serious photographers, rather than the casual Wyoming tourist who just likes making pictures. So with that in mind, let's get started talking about some of the issues that confront professionals and serious amateurs alike.

When I worked for the state of Wyoming, I was expected to get great images of historic places or iconic images of Wyoming's outstanding scenery for publication in a variety of travel oriented brochures and publications. I was given a state vehicle to get to and from various locations in the state and had a budget for lodging and food. I had no out of pocket expenses, and that was great. The downside! Nothing I shot was mine to keep: it belonged to the state and that is ultimately why I quit and started shooting for myself after a long 16 years, but that is another story.

My job required me to get great shots, but there was little consideration for the logistics of getting from my point of lodging to the greatest locations in a timely fashion to take advantage of the best light, the earliest light of dawn. Because of where I had to stay, it sometimes involved predawn treks that might be upwards of 70 or 80 miles from my motel. It was doable sometimes, and downright impossible at others. My days often started at 3 or 4 am and I normally worked until dark to maximize the time allowed which was always a five day trip. I left on a Monday after staff meeting and got back before quiting time on Friday. That schedule alone deprived me of many opportunities as Wyoming weather and seasons are so very unpredictable. More times than not, I was fortunate enough to catch things in optimum conditions on those prescheduled and timed trips. They were extremely limiting conditions to work in and try to get the expected great images.

That brings me to suggestion number one for taking advantage of the best opportunities. Don't use a motel! If at all possible, buy or rent a camp trailer, motorhome or truck camper. Why? You can get much closer to the places you want to be, whether staying in commercial campgrounds or more primitive forest service or national park campgrounds. Either option is usually much closer to the best locations than traveling to a nearby town, paying for expensive rooms and having to get up early and arrive back at the room very late, after a long days shooting.

A case in point. I led a photo workshop to Yellowstone for a seven day trip, taking nine of my seasoned and experienced photographic workshop students. Obviously we couldn't afford to rent enough motorhomes for the week long trip to accommodate all nine people so I booked rooms in several locations that would put us fairly close to the areas we were going to photograph. The trip took place in late fall, but even then the days started at 4:30 am, often to drive over 50 miles to arrive at our sunrise locations. We would go all day long, often walking on six to eight mile hikes carrying our equipment, then staying out until after dark to make night time photographs. That would put us back in the motels at 11pm, only to start the process over for the next six days. Many of the attendees wanted nothing to do with 'professional photography' after that experience. Imagine how early the days would start in the summertime. I've gotten out of bed at 2:30 am on many occasions to make my appointed location on time for sunrise. That gets very, very old in a hurry.

The one exception to my dislike for motels is my wintertime photography. When I visit Yellowstone in the winter, I stay in a motel in Gardner, MT. Since sunrise doesn't happen until about 8am, I have plenty of time to get to my desired locations. An added benefit is that sundown comes early so there is ample time for a good nights rest in a warm, comfortable bed. The off season rates are much more affordable, as well. Even with these added benefits, one of the major problems is the constant loading and unloading of equipment into a room and the vehicle. I don't care what time of year, the rate, or location, that is a major pain and after a very long day, it is one of the last things you want to deal with. With digital photography, there is always additional work to do after the days shooting. You all know what that is don't you? I don't know of a photographer who would leave any equipment in a motel room, especially things like laptops, extra lenses, etc., so the alternative is to repack the entire vehicle each morning, with things you may not have need of during the day. That is just more unnecessary work. Motels are great for the tourist, but in my experience they are a big nuisance to the one who must work in the field day after day. There are better alternatives.

Well, in the next installment of this topic, I'll suggest some other options and tell you about my solutions, arrived at after much trial and error. Every alternative has its positive and negative points and I'll try to share some of those with you, too. After some thought you should have several choices from which to choose. One should fit your working style better than others. Keep on shooting and please feel free to comment on your experiences about photography, travel and lodging. Until next time – Jerry.

Monday, July 7, 2008

TV News Crew Promotes Show

CBS News Channel 5 film crew visited Deselms Fine Art Gallery to film some of the large format panorama images that will be in the art show called Panorama Images of Wyoming by photographer Jerry W. Geist, for the opening day reception July 12th, 2008 from noon to four pm.

The interview will be aired on the morning show on July 10th and will be hosted by Ann Lauricello of KGWN-TV and Annie Wood, marketing specialist with the Wyoming Made program of the Wyoming Business Council. Get up early and flip on TV channel 5 to see what they have to say about the images that will be displayed in the show. If you cannot come to visit us at the gallery on the opening day, please stop by and take a look at the display throughout the summer, then drop us a note at Images of Wyoming and tell us what you think about the panoramas.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Digital or Film?

One of the first questions I'm always asked is I'm shooting film or digital and what equipment I use, so this post will be dedicated to answering that question. Well first of all, I went totally digital about three years ago. Up to that point I had been using Nikon 35mm film cameras and medium format film cameras. When I started researching digital I quickly came to the conclusion that I wanted a digital camera with a full frame sensor for a variety of reasons, but primarily because of low noise and superior quality.

I made the difficult decision to abandon my Nikon system and switched to Canon. I had been using Nikons for over 30 years starting with the venerable Nikon F. I've kept about 5 of my Nikkor lenses, but made a total investment in a complete Canon system. Here's the list of hardware that is my stable:

Canon EOS 1D Mark IIn's
Canon EOS 10D (for backup and IR)
16-35 zoom
24-70 zoom
70-200 zoom
100-400 zoom
24mm tilt shift
45mm tilt shift
90mm tilt shift
1.4X teleconverter

I have 5 different Gitzo tripods with a variety of heads from Wimberley, Kirk, RRS, Graf Studioball, Arca Swiss and Gitzo.

I use Really Right Stuff panorama equipment.

My Compact Flash and SD cards are all SanDisk Extreme III's and IV's.

Am I happy with Canon? Absolutely! It is superior equipment in every way and there is nothing I can imagine not being able to do with it. The results are absolutely stunning and I have run into no shortcomings. I can say this however. Had Nikon made the decision early on to adopt the full-frame sensor, I would have never considered changing systems. Only recently did Nikon decide to offer a full frame digital camera in the D3. These are remarkable cameras and may prompt many users to return to the Nikon system. It is just too little, too late for me. But as always, here's the bottom line. It doesn't matter what you use as much as the vision and technical expertise you exercise when making your images. Let the battle about hardware be engaged by those who can't make great images or have too much time on their hands. Their time could be better spent making pictures than arguing about what system to use.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My Favorite Place in Wyoming

There are special places in Wyoming that I like to visit often. Wyoming's diversity is what fascinates me so very much. But if I were forced to pick only one area of the state I could live and work it would be the Clarks Fork Country northwest of Cody, WY. There is no other country in the state that is as absolutely breathtaking to me. It is wild, untamed country. This is Grizzly and wolf country. It was here that I spent some time trapping Grizzly bears with my best friend Larry Roop. Before diesel prices soared to over $5 a gallon, I was making three or four trips a year to this area, and the short two week trips always left me wanting more.

I've made several good friends that I always look forward to seeing. If you are ever near Crandall, don't miss the opportunity to stop in and meet some great people at the Painter Outpost. It is owned and operated by Richard and Carol Lunger and Carol's brother Lee. They are the friendliest people I've ever met and Richard makes a mean beef stew, one of my favorite things to eat when its on the menu.

This is an old-fashioned, hometown friendly kind of place with a lot of regulars stopping in for a nightly brew after a long days work. There's Luis a guest ranch owner that looks and acts like he stepped out of a western novel. He always has tales to tell about bears or wolves they encounter on their pack trips, or that get into trouble around the ranch. And there is Ron, a great friend to all the folks at Painters. He cooks for them at times and helps with everything around the operation. He's a big fella that loves to talk hunting and telling of his numerous outdoor experiences. He's given me lots of ideas and help concerning my work in the surrounding country.

Lee, well he is the most congenial, down home kind of guy I've ever met. He has always, and I mean always gone out of his way to help me. Everything from setting up my displays to loading my vehicles in the trailer to guiding me to special places for certain images. He is just one of the many experts who have a vast knowledge of the area. Lee has become a good friend to me.

Richard, a retired physician cooks and tends bar and is perfectly comfortable sitting down with a perfect stranger and having a wonderful conversation. His wife Carol a retired military command nurse pretty much runs the place taking care of most everything to do with the store and restaurant. Together these and others that frequent Painters like Sam and Bill make this one of the friendliest places I've every visited. They are the best kind of western, down home hospitable people you'd ever meet. If you stop by for a visit tell them I sent you.

As for pictures look at my website and visit the galleries of the Absarokas, Clarks Fork Country, the Beartooths and Sunlight/Dead Indian. You will see lots of diverse country and beautiful scenery in the different seasons of the year. If you spend enough time there you will no doubt see Grizzly bears, Mountain Goats and wolves. Elk are everywhere as are Mule Deer. Moose frequent many places along the Clarks Fork River and the ponds below Cathedral Cliffs. You won't get a more spectacular vista than the overlook at Dead Indian looking down into the canyon country. And my favorite is Pilot Peak. It reminds me of the Matterhorn and is the most dramatic peak in Wyoming. It has more character than the Grand Teton and the weather there is always changing, offering up the dramatic for those who will wait.

There you have it, my favorite place in Wyoming. Keep an eye for my rig and maybe one day we will meet. I'll tell you about my outfit on a later post.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Gallery Opening

We're excited to be showing some of our large panorama prints at Deselms' Origninal Fine Art Gallery at their new downtown location at 124 W. Lincolnway, across from Depot Square. Harvey has given us a very large space for some of the large panorama images of Wyoming. We've been very busy getting images printed and hung for a gallery opening day reception scheduled for July 12th from noon to four pm. If you are able I'd love to have you stop by and see some of these special images; be sure to introduce yourself. I'll be there to talk with you and I hope to have some of the other proof sheets of nearly a hundred panoramas that I have completed to date.

We will have 10 large panorama prints on display including the limited-edition 'Teton / Snake River Panorama'. Other panorama prints will include the Tetons, Chimney Rock, Tensleep Canyon, Vedauwoo, Yellowstone in Winter, Snowy Range, a vertical panorama of a waterfall in the Beartooth Mountains and a closeup of an Aspen Forest to name a few.

In addition to the large panoramas, we'll have several standard format images like the snowy faced Bison pictured above. You can see some of the other 'smaller' images on the wall behind this buffalo picture. There will be lots to see, including a larger 12' panorama of the Tetons. For more information, check out the News and Events page on Jerry Geist's website. There you can also get some additional information on our specialty, large print panoramas of Wyoming. You will be reading much more about this in future posts, so keep tuned in.