Omnipresent, the Tetons provide the backdrop to the Teton Valley Museum north of Driggs. On any given clear day, scores of photos are taken of the iconic mountains.

Imagine being the first person with a camera to gaze upon the Grand Teton.

William Henry Jackson, a photographer and artist accompanying the 1871 Hayden Survey, is credited with being that person.

He was the first to click that shutter and develop images of the Tetons.

Images he and his assistants created show the survey party camped in Teton Canyon, with a straight shot view of those jagged mountains.

They also show Jackson himself with his bulky photographic equipment, perched on Table Mountain to capture close-up images of the Grand, Middle and South Tetons to the east.

Those images were not Jackson’s most famous. He also captured the first published photos of Old Faithful and the falls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, photos that in turn would capture the imagination of a curious public.

His photos and the art of fellow survey party member Thomas Moran are credited with motivating the creation of Yellowstone Park, the first national park, in 1872.

The Teton Valley Museum has a small exhibit of a brief history of Jackson’s role in “discovering” the Tetons and copies of some of Jackson’s Teton photos courtesy of the Jackson Hole Historical Society.

Many of Jackson’s photos remain copyrighted in a variety of collections. But the Tetons he captured with his large-format camera are not copyrighted.

Anybody dare guess how many millions photos have been taken of the Tetons since Jackson hiked out of the canyons and moved on to other adventures?