David Stubbs – East Gros Ventre Butte

When we made the decision to open up the View22 Project this year to include all visual artists – adding sculptors, photographers, mixed media artists, and jewelers to the talented pool of landscape painters – we were hoping that photographer David Stubbs would sign on. David’s stunning images of Jackson Hole Land Trust protected open spaces have graced the covers of many of our publications, and his cinematography brings our work to life in our Forever Our Valley video.

On location for these shoots, David has had first-hand encounters with the magic of protected lands as well as the stewards of these special places, and we’ve since asked him to join our Open Space Council as he is a natural ambassador of our work. When asked where he would like to shoot for View22, he let us know that his preference was to return to a property that he had previously explored, because he would “love to have more time to produce something truly unique when the conditions present themselves in early summer”.

For photographers, timing and light is everything, and we knew we wouldn’t hear from David until the alchemy was just right. He sent us this message in mid July: “AMAZING morning of fog and light . . .  After many attempts, everything finally aligned today on top of the butte. Amazing. Even, say a mountain lion.”

His final image for View22 was taken from the top of the East Gros Ventre Butte easement (181 acres, protected in November 2013), which protects pristine habitat for sage grouse and wintering mule deer and allows no future development. David says, “The cool, wet summer magic really helped while shooting this image for the Jackson Hole Land Trust’s View 22 project.” In the sunshine, you can see the cliffs above the National Museum of Wildlife Art and the ridgeline of the butte that extends south to the Spring Creek Ranch easement. Snow King and other Forest Service lands are the dark green in the background, and the National Elk Refuge and Town are below the sea of fog. Not many people get to see this particular view – it’s more for the birds and migrating wildlife – so we feel lucky to be able to share this glimpse of magic from David.

– Leslie Steen

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