Sunrise shoot at Classic Jackson Hole Barns

Leah Klase and I have been thinking about going for a sunrise photography shoot sometime, and that day has finally come. We chose the location of Mormon Row's famous barns with the Tetons in the background. Sunrise here has been right around 5:45am, and the barns are about 45 minutes away from where we are at Jackson Hole Bible College.

So it was an early start this morning for sure, waking up around 4:30 to leave the parking lot at about 4:50 or so. It was Leah, Josh Stafford, and I who were eager enough to wake up that early for sunrise. We drove out to the location just before sunrise light started getting really good, with enough time to look around and get set up in the spots we wanted. I chose to move down to the less-photographed barns where I deemed there was better light. I'm glad I did, and I actually think I prefer the barns I chose.

I set up my Canon 40D to do a time-lapse of the whole sunrise while I kept my Canon G12 point-and-shoot to just take photos here and there. So the time-lapse actually shows me moving around taking photos a bit. Here it is:

Once again using music from Cort Tangeman! This time-lapse was set up to take one photo every 3 seconds, and I ended up with something like 735 photos in the sequence.

I actually really liked how the photos turned out from my trusty little Canon point-and-shoot camera. Goes to show that any camera can take great photos, so get out with yours and fear no DSLRs! :) Except in a few situations, but that's not my point here! Here are my photos from the Canon G12:

Early moments of sunrise light! Taken with the G12's built-in HDR mode.

Gorgeous views of the Tetons with nice warm light starting to hit the peaks.

My personal favorite from the day, taken once again in HDR mode.

Loved so many angles for these photos.

Possibly my second favorite shot from the day.

Some pronghorn/antelope running around nearby.

Getting some open field shots with the road and bits of fence.

Cool bit of fence near the barns.

Fence with stream running across the frame.

Closeup of the barbed wire fence, trying to frame the Tetons here.

Another closeup shot of the barn.

Gotta love sunrise! :)

I was quite happy with the results I was getting from the Canon G12. Was using a tripod for most of these shots, which helps get every bit of sharpness I can! If you get the composition and lighting right, this is what even your camera can do! :)

Here are some final shots I took with my Canon 40D, catching a bit more detail and then shooting some barn swallows:

Tight shot of the small barn and a bit of mountain behind.

Little shed.

Closeup of the wood on the big barn. Might use this for some web design projects. :)

Same as above, just with a bit of the roof.

Closeup of the small barn again, from an angle.

Barn swallow peeking out at me.

Flying up with some nest material.

Close to collision? No not really.  :)

There were tons of these birds with nests here!!

Cool shot with full wing extension.

Some of the swarm. :)

So we finally started heading home, and were quickly stopped on the small road with a herd of bison moving through. I had Leah take some pictures with my camera:

Bison with a scruffy coat.

Herd moving through in front of Tetons.

Another scruffy guy. :)

All in all, I'd say it was a good success! Especially since we had tons of fun in the process! Praise the Lord! We are thinking of doing this more often, possibly every week, so stay tuned! :)

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Derrick, you have some really beautiful and clear pictures, and just like you thought the sunrise time lapse is breathtaking. I love watching God paint the golden rays of the sun over His creation.

    1. Thanks Alyssa! I actually made a mistake on the time-lapse, it shouldn't have flickered in light so much. I think another spot might have been cooler too. But I'm glad you liked it! God's creation is awesome!

  2. Truly beautiful photography. And the time lapse was really amazing! :)

  3. Awesome shots, Derrick! Praise God! I love how the lighting and colors are so incredibly rich, yet so beautifully natural looking. You definitely don't need to mess with this kind of scenery to try to make it look better! :) I think the bird shots were some of my favorites, but there was just a beautiful simplicity about all of them that was so cool. Anyway, again, great job. God's given you a really cool talent for capturing His creation... great job using it for His glory! Keep up the good work. -Caela

    1. Thanks Caela! I'm glad you enjoyed them all! :)

  4. I would have LOVED to have been with you all that morning! Wow! I really liked your 2nd favorite. I liked the birds in the photo. I also really liked the single bird nest shot. Very fun! It was amazing to see how many swallows are nesting there. A big happy family! The time lapse was fun. I liked seeing the moving stream and of course, I loved the music! :) Fill your portfolio now, you never know when this opportunity will disappear.
    "Mom T"

    1. Thanks "Mom T"! It was a ton of fun, I'm glad you liked the photos and time-lapse. The music is awesome as always. :)


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