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JHP Newsletter - 2005, No. 9, 14 December

Equipment: Canon EF 24-105 f4 L IS USM

I recently purchased a Canon EF 24-105 f4 L IS USM lens to replace my Canon EF 28-135 f3.5-5.6 IS USM lens. I had been unhappy about the chintzy feel of the 28-135 for quite a while, and had more recently been bothered by some softness in the corners. The 24-105 solves both of those problems. The "L" construction makes the lens feel solid, and the corner sharpness is noticeably better than with the 28-135.

Travel: Grand Teton National Park

I took a really cool trip to Grand Teton National Park last week. Well, "cool" is putting it mildly because I was out shooting in temperatures ranging from -31°F (-35°C) to -3°F (-19°C), and I don't think it ever got above 0°F (-17°C) while I was there. Let me tell you, that's cold!!! Fortunately there was usually no, or only a very slight, breeze, so that made the cold temperatures much easier to handle. It was so cold one morning that a good layer of frost formed on my camera body when I was shooting moose for about half an hour with my face continually near the camera, and after I had been shooting the sunrise on the mountains for about 45 minutes before that to cold-soak the camera.

The main reason I headed into the bitterly cold temperatures was to shoot the landscapes. I had never been to Grand Teton National Park before in the winter, and my collection of winter shots as a whole is considerable smaller than shots in more reasonable conditions. The weather (read clouds and fog) was generally favorable for landscape work, and I had a ball exploring the winter wonderland.

Tetons at Dawn
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Backlit Trees with Hoarfrost
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Gros Ventre River with
Ice, Snow, and Fog
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Tetons with First Light on the Valley
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

I also shot lots of elk at the National Elk Refuge just north of Jackson, and shot several moose in the park. The nice light during the mid morning and late afternoon was perfect for capturing these critters as they grazed in the snow-covered valley.

Bull Elk
National Elk Reserve, Jackson, Wyoming
Bull Moose
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Happy holidays, and happy shooting.

— James

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