A favorite time of year, winter wildlife tours in Jackson Hole can offer some unique opportunities. To begin with, the animals are much easier to spot! With a heavy blanket of snow covering the valley and the trees being leafless, the wildlife “pops” off the landscape. The stark snowy backgrounds can also help to isolate the animals in the image by creating some nice negative space. While we do have more overcast days during the winter months, this can provide for some nice, even light on the wildlife. It can also give some reflected light off the snow, keeping shutter speeds fast and lowering ISO numbers which can yield higher quality images. Another benefit to the winter wildlife photographer is the animals are less active. The animals are trying to conserve energy , and by keeping a distance that doesn’t disturb them I’m often able to photograph for a longer period than in summer.
Although some of the summer wildlife have migrated, there are plenty of animals about during winter wildlife tours in Jackson Hole. I seem to find more fox and coyote during the winter, and it’s really nice to have some Bighorn Sheep spend the winter here on the National Elk Refuge. Bison, Elk and Moose winter here, and there is always the possibility of a wolf sighting!
If you need a break from our incredible skiing or are here to experience the Grand Tetons, I hope you can join me for a winter wildlife tour in Jackson Hole.