Photographing Jackson Hole Wildlife With the Sony a7R IV and 200-600mm

In late September 2019, I joined up with three other wildlife and landscape photographers to take on Jackson Hole, Wyoming for a few days surrounding the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) WildSpeak West symposium. In this video I review my best images taken with my new gear from this short but productive three-day trip to the Tetons.

My fellow talented companions were Nick PageCharly Savely, and Mark Smith. Page is a Washington-based landscape photographer who also runs a popular YouTube channel and teaches workshops where he shares his knowledge and passion of creating fine art-style imagery. Savely focuses her lens on minimalistic wildlife and landscape photography and is a member of the Sony Alpha Imaging Collective team. Just recently she moved into a van with her husband to take their exploration and content creation to the next level. Smith is based out of Florida and is one of the top bird photographers in the U.S. He shares his enthusiastic passion for photography through storytelling on his YouTube channel.

While these three have been to Jackson Hole before, it was a first-time experience for me. Traveling with a group who has seen it before gave the trip a little more focus. I would have likely been content in doing all the tourist traps to check a few boxes on the “everyone needs a photo of this” list (Mormon Row barns at sunrise, anyone?), but with others to pull me out of blind excitement I think we made better use of our time searching out unique opportunities.

Check out the video from my YouTube channel above where I review my favorite wildlife photos taken with the new Sony a7R IV and FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS in beautiful Jackson Hole.

Ryan Mense's picture

Ryan Mense is a wildlife cameraperson specializing in birds. Alongside gear reviews and news, Ryan heads selection for the Fstoppers Photo of the Day.

Log in or register to post comments

I was out there from Sept 21st to the 28th, second year in a row I have gone out there at that time of year. I split time between the Tetons and Yellowstone, it's a wildlife photographers playground.

I learned after the first trip to avoid the circus that is Moose Wilson rd.The way people chase after the black bear is ridiculous, they had the road closed for a couple days because of the activity. I hit the game trails off of the rd and was able to see so much more than the people who don't get out of their cars and stay on the rd.

I want to go back out in February to Yellowstone, I'll probably start looking into it just after the new year. I want to see the bison with all the snow and ice on them and maybe get lucky and see the wolfs, I still haven't seen them.

I don't know the area too well but they did have one of the roads shut down for an extensive portion of it due to bear activity. Weren't even allowed to hike it. I was there the 19th and flew out before sunrise on the 22nd, so I'm guessing that's the road you're talking about. I'm a little bummed that I didn't see any bears, but apparently there are much better times of the year for that. I'm open to all excuses to bring me back there.

Where's your favorite spot in Yellowstone? I still haven't been there...

Last year I didn't see any bear until my last day there when I was out taking landscape shots and had left the 600mm in the car. I only had a 16-35 and 70-200 with me so the shots I got were not great.

This year I had much better luck with black bears in the Tetons and two brown bears in Yellowstone off of the road to the east entrance.

I've had my best luck with the roads on the east side and the north, northeast side of Yellowstone. The west side from old faithful up to Gardiner is beautiful but the past two years I had no luck with wildlife.

You defiantly have to go back, and late September early October is a great time because all the summer tourist are gone and it's not as crowded and not to cold yet.

I worked at Grand Teton as a ranger this season (and got some great photo time as well), and definitely the best time for bears is spring (mid april to early june). If you're back out there, I can tell you about some of the more likely areas

Used to live there back before Jackson blew up. It was the 80's so the only camera I owned was a 5x7. Now I just read lots of posts about how cameras have to fit in your backpack or pocket.