It’s April 19th at dawn, and I’m standing on a bluff trying to capture the Honeycomb Buttes.”

So begins this particular tale of Wyoming-based nature photographer Scott Copeland, a man on a mission.

His task is not easy, either, capturing a glimpse of all that exquisite scenery in one shot: the green grass and multi-hued layers of dirt, the sweeping majesty of Continental Peak, the snow-dusted Wind River Range.

I’m looking for just the right vantage to capture all three. Too far away and the Buttes’ striking colors and textures are lost; too close up and the Winds hide behind them.”

Up with the sun, Scott breathes in the cool, clear air and revels in the soundtrack you only get to hear in moments like this: Pure Wyoming, infused with a morning chorus of horned larks and the careful tread of Scott’s own footfalls. It’s the song of wide-open space and a slow, deliberate pace.

As the first tendrils of early morning begin to stretch out across the rocks, Scott lifts his camera and lines up the shot. And with a few clicks of the shutter on a peaceful April morning, the image—“Red Desert Fire”—is born.

A panorama like this captures the wide openness of the place. The butte details stand out nicely in the foreground and Continental Peak is prominent on the skyline, but the Winds were shadowed behind clouds and a little behind Continental Peak. A beautiful spot and an nice shot, but the hunt for the perfect Honeycomb Buttes image goes on.”

These are the moments that illustrate why we do what we do at the Outdoor Council; why we use our voices, write the letters, make the calls, and show up at events. There’s no other place in the world quite like Wyoming, and we want nothing more than to protect these values for future generations to enjoy.

It’s thanks to photographers like Scott that some of our state’s most stunning moments are captured forever; it’s thanks to passionate members like you that these sacred Wyoming landscapes will be protected. (As well as for Scott to continue trekking, in search of the ever-elusive “perfect” image of the Honeycomb Buttes.)

A large canvas of this photo, featured in our 2014 “Celebrating the Red Desert” calendar, will be up for raffle/auction at our 50th Anniversary Party on Saturday, September 23. Be sure stop in and stake your claim!

To learn more about all the events we have in store for our 50th Anniversary celebration, check out the full schedule here.



Community Engagement Director