Grizzly Night BW
Grizzly Night BW
Grizzly Night BW
Grizzly Night BW
Grizzly Night BW
Grizzly Night BW
Grizzly Night BW
Grizzly Night BW
Grizzly Night BW

Grizzly Night BW

Illuminating a cluster of snow-stacked pine trees within Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. This photograph was created via a 4 minute exposure, utilizing aerial light painting via a drone and powerful headlamp, along with a Graduated Neutral Density filter to darken the twilight sky and balance the exposure with artificial lighting.

To capture this image, I utilized a powerful headlamp strapped to the bottom of a drone positioned directly above the trees. With the headlamp angled slightly outward (not perfectly straight down), it allows me to toggle the drone controls left and right, to rotate the drone left and right in the air, thus painting light onto a small group of trees for 20-30 seconds. After painting one group of trees, I move onto the next. I'm never precisely aware of the exact spots I'm hitting, or with how much light. However, throughout my career of shooting complex exposures with natural lighting or artificial lighting, I have a good idea of where to start. Typically, I can come pretty close to the perfect exposure within the first few tries, and each setting is important, especially exposure length. I need the exposure to be long enough that I can fly around and illuminate each section of trees, yet without overexposing one area of the image.

There's roughly a 20 minute period, where this twilight light is perfect. Also, drones don't like to operate in the cold, so there are many tricks and tips I've learned to hopefully avoid crashing the drones and having to search for it in the snow. This particular image was two years in the making. From first scouting potential landscape compositions, then returning to shoot this location in 2020 at sunrise, in the summer of 2020 I imagined this concept...illuminating this grouping of trees with the epic backdrop of Mt. Superior.

In 2021 I kept my eyes on the weather, but perfect conditions and my schedule didn't line up. Fast forward to December of 2022. Little Cottonwood Canyon had received a ton of snow early on in the season, and there was a huge storm that was clearing. With little wind (rare in the mountains with big storms), the trees within the frame were stacked with snow (just what I needed, and was waiting for). Loading up my pack with all the heavy gear, I ventured up into the mountains of Alta before sunset to position myself, and hope the conditions were right.

There were some skin tracks in the foreground of the shot that forced me to frame this composition differently, but I'm very proud of it. Over the course of three nights, I returned, battling the freezing cold temperatures, and waiting for storm clouds to clear. From crashed drones and searching for them in the snow, to hunkering down in pain do to extremely cold temperatures affecting my spine and rib cage that was compressed with a heavy pack, I'd hike 100 yards at a time through the snow behind the frame to stay warm. A couple of the nights I was literally in tears. The first night, I captured "Grizzly Canyon Glow"...a beautiful shot, but not exactly what I wanted. The second night, I didn't even shoot one frame as the clouds were so socked in. And finally, on the third night I was able to capture this.

To say the least, there's a lot of expertise, planning, effort, and execution that goes into creating and capturing imagery like this. Stoked to share this with y'all! 

This is a limited edition of 100 pieces. Limited edition pieces are assigned a fixed edition number that doesn't change. The first piece printed is assigned no. 1, and consecutively numbered until the last piece in the edition is sold (regardless of print size or artwork style). The pieces will never be printed again upon edition completion.

*BiPanel & Color pieces available, select picture to view sizing. 

BiPanel Artwork Available

BiPanel Artwork Design Available

Color Version Available


Regular price$574.00
  • Larger Sizes Available (60"plus): Quote Required
  • Triptych Pieces (3x Panels): Quote Required
  • Free shipping within contiguous U.S. on artwork pieces up to 60" x 40" *excluding merchandise.
  • In stock, ready to ship
  • Inventory on the way

The Wetzel Gallery is proud to offer free shipping within the contiguous US (lower 48 states) on all artwork sized 60" x 40" and smaller (*excluding merchandise). We do ship worldwide, however orders requiring shipping to other locations and or artwork pieces sized above 60" x 40" will require a custom quote:

Estimated Completion & Delivery:

Each artwork piece is made and completed at the time of your order. Each artwork order is carefully processed with attention to every detail, often requiring test prints to ensure the artwork meets the highest standards of quality. Please expect 4-7 weeks for your piece to arrive. 

Installation & Handling

PRINTS:  Upon receiving an artwork print, do not remove the print for personal inspection. Please consult your local framing expert when you're ready to frame, thus preventing creases and scratches.

Each print includes a white border that can either be matted over during the framing process, or a portion of the border utilized to your liking. Typically a double matte of varying thickness acheives the best framing results, matting over the white border edge. Regardless, consult your local framing expert to acheive the best results.

SHOWCASING ARTWORK:  Display artwork in a well lit area, and never display in direct sunlight for archival longevity. 

Artwork Returns:

The Wetzel Gallery will only accept returns if an artwork piece is damaged upon shipment, or if a mistake was made within the printing process resulting in a photograph that doesn't accurately match the correlating product order. If shipping damages are experienced, please document the damages immediately with the shipping carrier, and reach out to our team for further instruction. We are dedicated to ensuring your artwork arrives absolutely perfect.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.