Photos from the Snowy Range Scenic Byway, Wyoming
As you may know, I spent the summer of 2015 exploring the Rocky Mountains and most of that time in Wyoming. I got so far behind in my posts that I never did finish telling you about those summer travels. As I’m writing this the east coast of the U.S. is being hammered by a strong winter storm so I’m hoping that you might enjoy seeing some photos of summer wildflowers in a truly beautiful mountain setting! Hopefully it will bring some slight relief from a world of cold and blowing snow!
In my last summer travel post I told you how to get to it and where to camp so I won’t repeat any of that here, check out that post for that information (find it here: https://www.cheaprvliving.com/blog/camping-in-the-snowy-river-range-scenic-byway-wyoming/. Covering that information didn’t leave much room for the many photos I took of the Snowy Range and I was so impressed with its beauty that I really want to share them with you, so this post is mainly to display some of the photos I took there.
I judge my travels by how often I’m forced to stop and take photos and, wow, I was forced to stop many, many times! In fact beautiful subjects were so common that I ended up just parking the van and walking down the road and around the lakes for miles at a time. I’d walk 50-100 feet and suddenly there would be a totally new vista to work as a photo subject.
One of the things I’m constantly looking for in a composition is a beautiful foreground, middle-ground and background. The stronger they each are, the better the photograph. If you can add some great lighting and color then your photo is elevated from a snapshot to work of art. As you look at these photos, notice how often there is a distinct and attractive foreground, middle-ground and background.
What makes the Snowy Range so spectacular is that the three elements are everywhere. The mountain ridge runs east-west nearly the whole length of the road and provides a constant, fabulous background for your shots all day. The best comparison for it is the Grand Tetons which are the single best background in the country and are very visible and usable as a background for about 20 miles. While they are much prettier than the Snowy Range they run north-south which means they are only in good light for half the day.
But the mountains as a background are only part of what makes a great photograph, the foreground and middle ground are nearly as important. In that regards the Snowy Range is superior to the Grand Tetons. The base of the Grand Tetons is predominately high plains sagebrush with a few beautiful spots scattered around. While they make spectacular photos, they have become so commonplace that very often our reaction is “Oh well, another pretty picture of the Tetons in the same old place.”
On the other hand, the Snowy Range is not well known and there are surprisingly few photographs of it in general circulation. That’s very odd because it has such great foregrounds from end to end that you can’t hardly throw a rock without finding a great composition. It’s full of little lakes, streams, forests and trails that give you an endless variety of combinations to put in your foreground and middle-ground. The wildflowers were a little past peak when I was there but they were still wonderful and I’d have to say they were just as good as the Tetons or even a little better.
While I would never suggest skipping the Grand Tetons (I’d be happy to visit it every year for the rest of my life) I would also highly recommend making it a point to see the Snowy Range, even if it meant skipping the Grand Tetons one time. You won’t regret it!
I’m making Videos on my good friends James and Kyndal’s YouTube Channel. See them here:
One problem I had all summer was being able to stay in these remote areas long enough before I had to go into town and buy ice for an ice chest. To solve that this summer I’ll have a 12 volt compressor fridge. Here is a video reviewing five different models:
If you don’t see the video above, either click or cut and paste this link into your browser:
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