Archives for January 2009

Yellowstone- West Thumb

A trip to Yellowstone is not complete without a visit to West Thumb, one of my favorite locations in the park.  And we were not disappointed.  We arrived with to a heavy ground fog but knew that if we hung around it would burn off and the scenics would be worth the wait.

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Arriving back at the parking lot the god beams were blasting through the trees as the last of the fog dissapated.

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Images captured with Nikon D3X, AF-S 24-70mm, AF-S 70-300mm VR on Lexar Digital Media

Upper Geyser Basin

Our snowcoach dropped us off at Old Faithful where we will be spending the next four nights exploring the Upper Geyser Basin.  The sky was clear and there was an extra bite in the air that had not been here last week.  We headed to bed with dreams of geysers and snow covered trees dancing in our heads.  Our first day dawned with a hint of sun burning through the fog and off we went for a day of exploration photographing as we went.

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By the time we reached Morning Glory Pool the sun was out, steam was rising from the pool and the colors were as vivid as I remembered.

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Castle Geyser is one of my favorite geysers in the Upper Geyser Basin and knowing that it was due to go off in the late afternoon we made our way over to wait for the eruption.  The temps had climbed into the low thirty’s and we spent a couple of hours enjoying the weather and photographing Castle from several angles.  Castle Geyser constantly shoots little bursts of water into the air and as the afternoon wore on the bursts became bigger and more frequent.  Once it gets going the eruption will last for 25-30 minutes followed by another twenty plus minutes of steam billowing into the air.  We were not disappointed when she began to blow.  With the length of time that the eruption lasts it is easy to capture several compositions from different perspectives.  As the eruption turned to steam, I heard my name and looked up to see my buddies waving at me shouting “Rainbow”!  The conditions had all come together at one time, the sun at the right angle, just the right amount of moisture in the air and no wind.  The photo gods were happy and gave us our rainbow.

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Tired and content we made our way back to the lodge for a delicious dinner and an evening reviewing the images from the day.

Images captured with Nikon D3/D3x, AF-S 14-24mm, AF-S 24-70mm on Lexar Digital Media

A Sunday Drive In YEllowstone

With one amazing week under my belt, I was ready and raring to see what week two would have to offer in the winter wonderland of Yellowstone NP.  We awoke to colder temps (a good sign) and fog which covered the trees in hoarfrost making the world picture postcard beautiful.  Arden, our snowcoach driver, picked us up in West Yellowstone and we drove along the Madison River stopping frequently to photograph.  We took a turn through Firehole Canyon and with the frosted trees, the scene was different than last week.  The sun had yet to reach into the canyon and in my mind I already knew that the image was going to be B&W when I finished it.

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Driving along the Gibbon River, the sun had burned through the fog and was backlighting the trees and steam.

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Images captured with Nikon D3X, AF-S 24-70mm on Lexar Digital Media

On The Way To Mammoth…

I encountered a nice bull elk on the side of the road.

Farther along, near the north entrance to Yellowstone, I saw a herd of pronghorn in the distance so, I grabbed my camera and headed out.  By watching their behavior and moving slowly, I was able to approach to within frame filling range.

And then to within portrait range.

Images captured with Nikon D3, AF-S 200-400mm (hand held) on Lexar Digital Media