LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY > GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK – USA > Grand Tetons Sunrise Panorama (South Fork, Grand Teton National Park)

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This panorama photograph of sunrise over the Grand Tetons was taken near Hurricane Pass in the Cascade Canyon South Fork. I think the mountain in the background may be Table Mountain.

Grand Teton National Park is located in northwestern USA just 10 miles (16 km) south of Yellowstone National Park. The jagged peaks of the Teton Range rise dramatically out of the Great Plains to an altitude of 13,800′ (4200m). Grand Teton’s pristinely preserved wilderness features valleys covered with Columbine and Indian Paintbrush wildflowers, raging mountain rivers and rugged, snow-covered peaks. The park is home to many different kinds of animals including grizzly bears, elk, moose and marmots. Due to its stunning beauty, Grand Teton National Park is one of America’s most popular national parks.

Photographer’s Reflection:

“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” (James 5:16-18)

I had just arrived at my campsite at the top of the South Fork camping zone after a decent day of climbing in Grand Teton National Park. I was praising the Lord for giving me the grace and strength to make it this far and was admiring the fantastic view when, all of a sudden, I was startled by a clap of thunder. Sure enough, a big band of ominous, dark rainclouds were rolling over the jagged peaks in my direction. I knew I only had about 5 minutes before one of those classic, notorious Grand Teton thunderstorms was upon me.

I had experienced these Grand Teton thunderstorms before, including the day before around the same time, so chances were I was going to get hammered again. I really wanted to get my tent set up before the rain hit so that I and all of my gear, especially my camera gear, would be sheltered before I got pelted.

Bolstered by some amazing answers to specific prayers earlier that day, I was already charged with faith. I remembered the above Scripture about how the mighty prophet Elijah earnestly prayed that it would not rain. The Scriptures told me that Elijah was a man just like little, unimportant me. The Bible tells us that God is no respecter of persons (seemingly important or unimportant) (Acts 15:8-9, Mark 12:14), but that he honors those with faith (Hebrews 11:6) (which, in itself, is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8-9).

I also thought back to the time when my Christian friends and I stood on a beach and earnestly prayed God would part the rainclouds, which covered the entire sky, so that we could see the aurora caused by one of the biggest geomagnetic storms in our lifetime. And he did! (And I even managed to get some great photos of it! (Please see: Aurora Australis Over Seven Mile Beach (Hobart) (Aurora Australis, Milky Way and Bioluminescence – TASMANIA))

With no time to waste, I earnestly prayed and believed that God would hold off the rain until I could get my tent up and get safely inside. Although that was my main prayer, I also asked God I he could *please* hold off the rain until I had time to change, stretch, get my bed set up and eat something, (which was basically asking him for another half hour).

Amazingly, the advancing thunderstorm seemed to halt in its tracks. The thunder greatly increased, but the advancing clouds pretty much stopped and stayed exactly where they were.

But literally as soon as I had set up my tent and my bed, changed, stretched and had something to eat (everything I had requested from God) the wind whipped up, the rain came down and the thunderstorm was fully unleashed.

With a heart full of thanks and praise to God for answering my prayer, I laid down in my tent to read my Bible and listen to the beautiful thunder rumbling like surround sound all around me.

This is a photo taken after it had cleared.

“Praise awaits you, O God, in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled. O you who hear prayer, to you all men will come.” (Psalm 65:1-2)

Landscape Photography