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Photograph on Cottonwood Creek

Alta, Wyoming


Added by Brynn Schmidt

This is a unique spot where you don't see many photos from with incredible fall colors with the Tetons. It's easy to access the area since the parking lot is not crowded in the mornings (in the Fall).

If you are looking for a location in the Tetons to take some photos that is a little different, this is a great spot. So many people go to Jenny Lake to hike, take the boat or canoes out and do photography, but not many people spend time along this small stream. The wildflowers around this area are usually beautiful in early summer, so it could be great for photography then too. This is a great spot in the fall (mid-September through mid-October) because of the fall foliage and unique photo opportunities along the creek.

You will want to be at a better location for sunrise photos, but the morning light is still great in the fall until at least 9 a.m. These photos were taken between about 8:30 a.m. and 9 am. Always take into consideration that conditions are always different and settings can not be replicated exactly for photos. The below settings would not be the same with different weather, time and colors.

Gear and settings used: Canon 5D Mark II, Canon EF 24-70 lens, aperture mode on camera, aperture set between F/9-F/15 , ISO between 100 and 125, shot in raw format - edited in iPhoto (better choice is photoshop). Tripod is recommended, but these photos were taken without one. The set-up for photos will really depend on the colors and weather. Framing a photo with trees on each side is a great way to set up a photo here. Also, look for refection opportunities and focus on those spots. You want to frame the Teton view somewhere in the shot and sometimes if it is a little off-set in the photo it can look great. For those of you carrying only your phone, you can still get great photos as long as you follow lighting and set-up. You don't have to have great camera gear to take a great shot.

There are not many people around the area in fall so it is very peaceful and quiet. If the winds are calm, there is an opportunity for some sweet reflections in the creek. Since there are not as many people around, carry bear spray even if you are just down at the creek - you may be alone and bears are very active in this area in fall.

Park in the Jenny Lake Parking lot and you will go to the left of the bridge heading over to the lake. You can easily see at the bridge where the lake turns into the creek.

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Explore Jenny Lake, WY

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