The Pillars of the Earth

The Pillars of the Earth

In our smallish town of Midway Utah we have a "not so" local celebration over the labor day weekend called Midway Swiss Days. During Swiss Days we get over one hundred thousand visitors.

You can buy just about anything at Swiss days, they have food booths, fine art painting booths, craft booths, Photography booths, one person even sells appointments for his portrait studio, it is amazing what can be bought at Swiss days.

I have a boot at Swiss Days where I sell my fine art photography, one of the images I had in the booth this year to act as a "draw" to get people to come to my boot was "The Pillars of the Earth" shown here. I answered literally thousands of questions about this image, I know I answered that many because I gave away that many business cards, and everyone who came into the booth asked the same question: "Where is that?"! I thought since it had been asked so many times it might make a great story for a blog, when I tell them it is Jackson Lake, near Yellowstone National Park they would tell me something to the effect of "I was just up there and I didn't see that", and so the story begins!

On a trip to Yellowstone, my wife and I were traveling along highway 89, which takes you into the park, along it's way it passes by Jackson Lake. As we drove by the lake I asked my wife, she was driving, to pull into a pull out along the north end of the lake, I wanted to see if I thought it would be worth it to come back later in the evening to get some sunset photos of the Tetons in the distance.

When we got there I got out of the car and walked over to the bank where it dropped off to the beach below, as I stood there looking, there were all of these rock cairns that people with far to much time on their hands had built along the shoreline. I walked down to take a better look at them, and noticed this little bridge that some one had built, standing all of one foot tall, I know in the photo it looks like it is at least fifteen feet tall, it is all a matter of perspective. I thought it was a quite cool little bridge. As I looked around it I noticed that you could see Mount Moran framed in the opening of the bridge if you got down low enough.

 I was not able to make it back that evening to take the photos I wanted, so the next day, after worrying all night long that someone would come along and knock it over I made plans to be there for sunset. As we drove up, almost holding my breath for fear it would be gone I walked to the edge and looked, to my happy surprise it was still there.

To get this photograph I had to take the center post out of my tripod, and turn it upside down so I could mount the camera under the tripod rather than on top of it so as to be low enough to get the shot and still be able to use the tripod. I set up the camera, with a moderate wide angle lens, to wide and it would look like the Tetons were a million miles away. After getting the camera set up I sat in the dirt, getting a few odd looks from passers by, and began to take the photos. I made several exposures thinking I would need to do an HDR of this, but my Sony camera has enough latitude that I was able to get it in a single exposure.

So now you know the secret of why you don't see this bridge as you drive by Jackson Lake on your way to Yellowstone.


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