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.


Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hospital Purchase of Large Panoramas

The Cheyenne Regional Medical Center will open its new Transitional Care Unit to patients on September 3rd. The patients and staff will be treated to special views of Wyoming scenery. CRMC purchased 8 large panoramas and some smaller prints to decorate the long hallways and dining areas of the TCU.

Patients that will be walking the hallways of TCU will pass by the long panoramas and enjoy Wyoming's spectacular scenery while recuperating. They will enjoy vistas of magnificent red rock country standing in the shadows of snow-capped mountains in a large 8 foot wide panorama of Chimney Rock. Continue along the hallway to see a print called 'The Way to the Burning Bush,' a photograph made in southeastern Wyoming of bewitching sandstone formations.

If you continued your walk around the corridors you would turn the corner to be greeted by a fabulous fall vista of Tensleep Canyon in the southern Bighorn Mountains. Further down the hallway you will see a large panorama of Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton National Park. The panorama was made in the early spring of 2007 just after the new foliage appeared on the aspens and is highlighted by the brilliant red colors of the willows along the shores of the Snake River.

If you cross the area of the nurses station and continue down the hallway towards the dining room, you will pass by another 8 foot wide panorama of an aspen forest floor. The panorama was made in the Sierra Madres of southern Wyoming. You almost feel like you could take a step into the scene and enjoy the beauty and smells of the fresh foliage of the forest. If you take a side step into the dining room, you will find a vertical panorama of a waterall taken in the Beartooth Mountains of northwest Wyoming.

Move back into the hallways and continue your journey around the state and at the northeast corner you will see a smaller print of Beartooth Butte overlooking Beartooth Lake. This is magnificent country and the Rocky Mountains at their finest. If you look around the corner from this print you will see a panorama print taken in the Snowy Range. It is a vista of the rugged cliffs overlooking the three lakes that highlight this mountain scene. The panorama was taken at sunrise and overlooks Bellamy Lake. It was taken in June of 2006. Look closely and you will see ice still on the lake even in the middle of June.

Next you will take a left turn to see something really special. Walk a short way down the hallway and look at a magnificent 12 foot wide panorama of the Tetons. This is a two section panorama that was made in the late afternoon from Togwotee Pass east of Jackson Hole. It shows the entire expanse of this magnificent mountain range.

If you look back over your shoulder, you will see the large Teton panorama and the Snowy Range panorama at the end of the hallway. Continue down toward the nurses station and on your left is a special print of Vedauwoo and the rock formation called Potato Chip Rock. This is a special piece made on one of those rare days in the early spring when the new foliage is covered in hoar frost. It is a fairyland kind of scene of this hauntingly beautiful area close to home for many of us. It was a prize winning panorama in last years Southeast Wyoming Art Show.

Finally, if you cross the nurses station area once again, and head back to our starting place, you will see a small panorama of the Black Hills. It was made last fall in an area near Devils Tower and is typical of the the scenery in this part of Wyoming.

Well there you have the complete tour of the new Transitional Care Unit of Cheyenne Regional Medical Center. We hope the patients and staff will enjoy these panorama images of Wyoming during their stay to full recovery, then have opportunity to go out and enjoy these places for themselves. Thanks to CRMC for giving these gifts to their paitents and staff.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Parade of Homes Displays Panoramas

Last Saturday was the first day of the annual Parade of Homes show for builders in the Cheyenne area. One of the builders requested the use of three of my panoramas for their display home. One is a 7' wide panorama taken in the Clarks Fork Canyon area of northwestern Wyoming. It is shown here displayed in the formal dining room.

In the living room they have chosen to display a six and a half foot tall vertical panorama above the fireplace. The cathedral ceilings lend themselves to the display of this large vertical panorama taken in the Bighorn Mountains. It is a shot of Granite Creek in the early spring with new foliage and frost covered trees in a heavy fog. This is a very favorite shot of mine.

And finally is another vertical waterfall panorama taken in the Beartooth Mountains. I call it Hazardous Falls, but it is actually a picture of Lake Creek Falls. The picture hangs in the area separating the kitchen from the living room and dining room area. Vertical panoramas lend themselves to very high ceiling areas or smaller walls with limited space.

The panorama images have garnered a lot of comments and you can get some great ideas for decorating your home by walking through these show homes. All the panoramas were framed by Framemaster of Cheyenne. After the Parade of Homes, you can see these images for yourself by visiting the Framemaster gallery.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Renewal in the Black Hills

I had planned a two week trip to make photographs in northwest Wyoming. All the arrangements were made and I kissed my wife goodbye. The vehicles were packed and all I had to do was fuel the truck. Normally when heading to this part of the state I travel through Laramie and then up north through Lander, Thermopolis, Cody and on to the Clarks Fork country, but for some reason I headed to Cheyenne for my first stop. That kind of obligated me to a different route up through Casper, but I made a very unusual decision when arriving in Douglas – I took off towards Gillette knowing I was going to visit Devils Tower after a several year hiatus from this wonderful area of Wyoming.

It was early October of 2007. It had been a very warm summer and fall arrived later than normal. I didn't have much expectation that the colors would be changing at this much lower elevation, but off I headed anyway. As I neared Gillette, I passed areas like Pumpkin Buttes, an area that I had photographed from the air. My heart started to quicken its beat as I reacquainted myself with these places that held special places in my memories. I stopped to refuel in Gillette and treat myself to a lunch at Long John Silvers. I enjoyed an A&W Root beer and planned what I wanted to do when I got to my destination. I had given no thought to even coming this way, but I was excited to see the Devils Tower again.

When I got to a place to where I first saw Devils Tower from a distance, I knew that I was where I was meant to be. It was quietly exhilarating. I didn't know what to expect but I knew I was to be here. I picked a campsite in the Devils Tower campground, then gathered my equipment for my first trip out to take a look around. It was much more relaxing than most of my planned excursions. I normally have lots that I want to accomplish and I'm usually wired to make images – not here, not yet.

I spent the afternoon driving around the area scouting out locations that might produce great images in better light. There were some areas that I had not explored before that I wanted to see. This was sounding more like a vacation than work, but off I went anyway. For the next day and a half I visited some new places like The Black Hills National Forest on dirt roads between Hulett and Alva and Aladdin, then I made my way to the Vore Buffalo jump site south of Aladdin. Since the Bison is so very important to me, the history of this site was a special attraction. I made a wonderful drive one afternoon north from Hulett up to Alzada on the Montana/Wyoming border, then on the way back took a detour through New Haven down to Oshoto. There I discovered places I had never seen before and found a location with one of the most spectacular views I could ever imagine, looking out through vast areas to the west and the Bighorn Mountains in the far distance. No other state in the union short of Alaska could produce such uncluttered, unspoiled vistas. I was so psyched. This was absolutely magnificent country and new I wanted to photograph it. Just east of Oshoto I made a very special panorama image of scenery typical of the Black Hills, now I was getting into the swing of things.

It was late in the afternoon and I headed back to Devils Tower. I always kept that place in mind for early morning and late evening images. Now I had some focus. It took two days of mind clearing to get to this point, but I knew what I wanted. Usually I work in a frenzy trying to make the best use of my time, but this time the work was at a more controlled and focused level – that was new! It was great and all the while I was making images that had some special meaning to me.

Well, as it turned out, I spent three days in the Black Hills. The last day was extraordinary. The light had been somewhat flat and 'ordinary' for the first couple of days but my final evening prepared me for the rest of my two week trip. I was in the Joyner Ridge area to the northwest of Devils Tower. I made many great images including a large panorama that will have a special place in our home. I walked all around the area looking for something new in the wonderful late afternoon light, keeping a close eye on what was happening with the Tower. I saw it happening - something that I've witnessed many times before. Magic light, great skies and perfect conditions were unfolding. I didn't have much time, but picked a lens that I felt would be a good choice, put the camera on the tripod, shouldered the entire rig and took off cross country at a hurried pace. I wasn't in great shape, but I felt new energy pumping into my legs and lungs as I hurried up the hill to a place where I could frame the Tower as I had envisioned. I found my place, set up the camera and started making images. I photographed Devils Tower for several minutes until the light was gone, then just sat down for awhile to enjoy the quiet solitude in the presence of this stately monolith. It was a perfect ending to the wonderful day. I was refreshed and revitalized. I walked the ¾ mile back to my vehicle in the twilight shadows of Devils Tower, then returned to my campsite in quiet reflection of all I had experienced.

The next day before packing my rig, I stopped at the visitor center at the base of Devils Tower, and went in to spend some time reading what others had experienced when they visited this magic place. I was struck by something written by a native American. Here is what it said.

"If a man was starving, he was poor in spirit and in body, he went to the Black Hills. The next spring he would come out, his life and body would be renewed. So, to our grandfather, the Black Hills was the center of life, and those areas all around it were considered sacred, and were kept in the light of reverence."

I didn't spend an entire season in the Black Hills, but found refreshment and a new vision for the things I would experience in my work. The native Americans believed this was sacred country that gave them new life. It is indeed a magical and wonderful part of Wyoming. It is a place where I was able to reconnect with the Creator of the Black Hills. I came away with new vision and focus, and the 10 days to follow gave me opportunity to produce some of the best work I've done in a long time. I did get to my originally planned location in northwest Wyoming, but via a different route. That detour opened my eyes to the wonders of serendipity. God was good to me on that trip and I found my much needed renewal in the Black Hills of Wyoming.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Tribune Eagle Newspaper Story Now Online

On July 10th, 2008, the Cheyenne Tribune Eagle Newspaper ran a story about me and my large format panorama work that will be displayed at Deselms Original Fine Art Gallery through the month of August. The story gives some background about my work, insights into the things that motivate me to produce such large pieces, and shows some of the images that are on display in the gallery.

To read the complete article, you can click on this link. The pdf file will be downloaded to your computer. I would love to hear your comments.

Reprinted from the archives of the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle by permission of Cheyenne Newspapers, Inc. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

Traveling in Wyoming for Photographers - Part 3

We've started to narrow down some of the suggestions for effective ways to travel as a photographer in Wyoming. Have you got some ideas yet? Well here are a couple of more options to consider. Don't buy anything just yet.

In part 2 of this article I left off with the idea of considering a travel trailer – a good and effective option for some. After some trial and error I found that for my type of work there were just too many limitations, so here is another good option. A motor home is a great choice, especially if you make one addition that creates a wonderful travel combination, but before I get to that, lets look at some of the major benefits.

First, you are driving one vehicle. It makes maneuvering in tight quarters a whole lot easier, but you have all the benefits of a trailer. These type of units can have all the amenities and sometimes more luxury than the finest motel rooms. Sizes can rage from small to outfits that exceed 40' in length. That is approaching the size of a small mobile home, and they can have things like washers and driers, large screen televisions, recliners, etc. - you name it. Does a working photographer need all of that? How nice to think about the luxury, but remember we are here to work, not lounge around in the lap of luxury.

Motor homes come in two basic flavors – Class A and Class C. The Class A motor homes are the units that look like a small Greyhound buses. They often do not have a door that the driver can exit from, but use a side entrance just like a passenger bus. This feature alone greatly reduces egress from the vehicle when unplanned circumstances and opportunities arise. Not only that, their shear size necessitates special consideration for parking. You can't just pull off the side of a busy road, hop out and make some images. They require large parking spaces and are not suitable for off road travel. Almost all of the Class A motor homes available now are diesel pushers. Diesels are much more costly to feed this day and age. I've seen these large motor homes get severely stuck just trying to make a turn and getting slightly off the shoulder of a paved road. These units are great for very extended travels as the large living space provides some space to move around, and that can be very important during long stays away from home. Would I consider these a truly practical way for a working photographer to travel in our state? Probably not.

The Class C motor home is much more adaptable to some of the variables we may encounter. First, they are usually built on a van body and thus have an individual driver side door. You can get in and out much more easily. These units are usually much smaller, though I've seen some pretty large units. These big Class C's have some of the same problems as the large Class A's. My comments in the remainder of this article is to the small and medium size Class C motor homes. They have all the amenities, are quite secure, can be used in colder climates with minimal concern, and are the perfect balance between the comfort of motel rooms and accessibility to the remote areas we like to work in. You can get them with generators, tubs and showers, televisions, if you think that is necessary, and cooking conveniences like microwave ovens. Just about anything you can imagine (and afford) is available. Well that all sounds just about perfect, don't you think? Are there some downsides? Yes, I think a few.

First of all, these units, even the smaller ones are low slung and fairly long, so true off road travel has to be tempered with some sound judgment. Van chassis' are not as durable as truck chassis so continued hard use in the back country will greatly reduce the life expectancy of a motor home. If you stick to more developed areas, then these limitations are mitigated. Motor homes, at least none that I've ever seen, are available in 4WD, so extreme weather conditions and off road travel is not recommended. Of course there are some who will try anything. Be prepared for a very expensive towing charge if you are one of those individuals. If this is your sole vehicle, the problem of getting around to areas apart from your campsite is a very expensive proposition and parking the beast is always a more difficult task. Spontaneous opportunities can pretty much be discounted. But there is a great workaround for photographers who like the idea of a motor home and here it is.

Add a tow vehicle behind the rig and you've got a near perfect outfit. It can be a jeep type vehicle for true off road capability or if you don't need that, a smaller economy vehicle might be ideal. It would sure reduce some of the fuel expenses we face now. Unfortunately, you have to deal with an even longer rig than the already long motor home. I've seen outfits that run well over 60' long. That can be a logistical nightmare. You almost need the experience of a commercial driver to handle outfits this large. It is like driving a semi. Is that what you want to deal with? Of course if you opt for one of the smaller Class C's the rig would be much easier to handle. You have all the benefits of a base to operate from plus all the benefits of towing a second vehicle that will get you to those remote locations. It could even be a 4 wheeler instead of another car. Another option for photographers is towing a boat. A boat? Yes, consider some of the amazing places you could only get to via watercraft. Ever seen Bighorn National Recreation Area - the Bighorn Canyon north of Yellowtail Reservoir? It is a truly remarkable area only accessible via boat. How about other places like Flaming Gorge or Yellowstone Lake. A boat could give you access to areas inaccessible any other way unless you can carry a very heavy pack and have unlimited amounts of time. Any kind of vehicle that affords you more flexibility is a great addition to a base camp consisting of a motor home. Sounds pretty neat, huh?

This outfit is starting to sound like just the ticket in my mind, but I still have some other ideas that we'll consider next time. Then I'll share my ideal rig, at least the one I'm currently using. I think there may still be one more incarnation before I finally arrive at my dream vehicle, but I'm getting close. Keep thinking about what will work best for you and we'll see if we are both on the same page. If this outfit sounds just right for you, go ahead and rent one and give it a try. There are places like RV4rent and RV America which have all kinds of rigs to try. Here's another benefit to those considering a purchase in this economy. If you think this is the best way to go, many folks are getting rid of their RV's at bargain basement prices. Just spend a little time shopping and you can get a real deal. For photograhers the purchase price is tax deductible. Let me know what you think. Until the final installment – Jerry