Today, I Celebrate…

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I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.

-John Burrows-


Story behind the image…

I am drawn to the myriad of colors, patterns, textures and shapes of the thermal features in Yellowstone.  Hours melt away on an enjoyable fall afternoon at the Old Faithful Geyser area.  With a telephoto lens attached, it’s easy to isolate your subject.  Temperatures and wind direction can make or break a photo shoot around the thermals.  Too cold and you can’t see through the steam.  Wind blowing towards you not only blocks your view of the thermals but, it coats you and your lens in steam which could eat the coatings right off your lens and in the more immediate time, steam your lens up rendering it useless.  Wind blowing away. on the other hand, provides a clear view of the thermal features.

I have photographed the thermals in all kinds of weather and light and while I have never gone away without some wonderful images, my preference for conditions would be a windless, sunny day that brings out the brilliant, warm colors of the travertine against the turquoise blue of the water.  Add a polarizer and the colors really pop!

Another issue when photographing tele-macro scenes is depth of field.  Even with a still subject and the camera locked down on a tripod, I can’t dial the aperture down far enough to render front to back in sharp focus so, with a little trick up my sleeve, I mounted my Nikon D3S with AF-S 70-200mm 2.8 VR II and TC-20E III on the tripod, composed the image, established the exposure of ISO 200 f8 @ 1/125 sec and then…here’s the important part…I set my focus to manual!  Beginning at the closest part of the image, I focus…click, focus in a bit farther…click, repeating this until I have “focused” through the image.

Back at my computer I merged the multiple images together in Photoshop using Russell Brown’s Tutorial’s on Focus Blending Techniques.