Tag Archives: Yellowstone National Park

Dead trees of Angel Terrace

The lower terraces of Mammoth Hot Springs in
Yellowstone are pretty interesting. It’s a region with
stepping levels of limestone formed by the hot springs
that flow out. And, if there is a tree in it’s way,
the tree will ultimately be surrounded and starved by
the mineral deposits. It makes for an extremely
contrasty sight! But, thanks to modern camera sensors,
I’m able to bring back the color to this image.

In Angel Terrace of Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park, you see these wide spaces that have consumed trees with the minerals of hotsprings that have flowed intermitently over the last several decades.
In Angel Terrace of Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park, you see these wide spaces that have consumed trees with the minerals of hotsprings that have flowed intermitently over the last several decades.

Yellowstone June 2014.

Tower Falls -20140625Memories of good times begin to fade. What remains is what want to keep most. We keep some contrasts, let some go. We keep parts in focus and let other details fade. Colors can be lost, but the structure revealed.

Yellowstone doesn’t solve any questions for me but reveals new challenges, too. I don’t know if Yellowstone as a vacation can ever be considered a “success”. It is the complete essence of the frase “it isn’t the destination but the journey.” The problem is that it is so vast that it always presents new journeys and challenges.

I probably won’t back there this year, but I hope to make it happen next year. More of my memories of this amazing landscape will probably fade in a similar way to this.

Yellowstone’s Tower Falls River

In Yellowstone, particularly along the north side of their “Grand Loop” you can almost get tired of seeing all the waterfalls that this park has! It really is an amazing place to be. This photo I got when I was photographing the river that feeds into the Tower Falls. It’s a great waterfall to see and I highly recommend it. But when I was there, one of the main lookouts was damaged and in the midst of repairs. But the river that feeds into the water falls can be seen from the road. 

I explored the area just a little bit. I also took a long exposure of this same river from the bridge. I’ll probably share that in the future, too. But I wasn’t satisfied with that so I looked for a way to get closer to the river. Sure enough, there was a “little” rain wash gutter for rain water that hits the road to find its way into the river. I walked in (it wasn’t really that little if I could fit!) and set up my tripod at the last possible stable spot before I’d be taking a trip over the waterfall, too. 

This is a cascade as it reaches it's water fall at the Tower Falls in Yellowstone National Park
This is a cascade as it reaches it’s water fall at the Tower Falls in Yellowstone National Park

But on the other side of the river, I could make out what looked like an opening that would be perfect for some hoofed animal to come up to and drink from the river. I took a bracket of photos and got on my way. There were some mosquitoes there that were too happy to have me around. 

I was pretty happy with this view. I cropped it down to focus on the other side of the river. I hope you enjoy.


Sunrise on the Firehole River, Yellowstone National Park.

This was another photo from the first morning I had in Yellowstone National Park this year. The fog in this photo is really steam from the hot springs that feed the Firehole River. There is a wolf in the distance catching it’s breakfast, too.

This proved to be perhaps the best morning of the whole trip. The clouds were great, it wasn’t raining when I woke up, and the wild life was really participating in the show, without having to run into a bear. Take advantage of what you get, because you never know when the show will come to an end!

Sunrise on the firehole river

The morning of the burned and other news…

Today’s photo was from my first morning in Yellowstone this year.  I was on my way to Fairy Falls which is about a 2.7 mile hike from the parking lot that is not far from the Grand Prismatic Spring. If you’ve never gone for a hike at 5 AM, I highly recommend it in the summer. You get to see the pre-sunrise all the way through. There are so many colors in the sky!

But today’s photo wasn’t of the sky, but the reflection of the sky in the hot springs feeding the Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park. The park’s fire history is also reflected here and some of the actual fire history is laying down in the river, too. By the way, the logs did have a blue cast on them. This was in part because of the dark settings, but also because of the mold that grows on them.

Burnt lodgepole pine  in the hot springs feeding the firehole river close to the grand prismatic spring in Yellowstone National Park.
Burnt lodgepole pine in the hot springs feeding the firehole river close to the grand prismatic spring in Yellowstone National Park. Clicking the photo will bring you to http://fullperspectivephotos.smugmug.com

Here’s the other news, I was recently enrolled into The Arcanum. This is a photography and arts education establishment run by Trey Ratcliff (and of course several others!).  I’m actually surprised to be included. It’s run as an apprentice/master style of education. I’ll be learning along 19 other apprentices in my cohort.

I am learning so much from The Arcanum. It’s only been little more than a week and I feel that my approach to photography and the art of image making has been changed for the better. I don’t think I’ll have much to report on this learning process until I’ve gone through my first major critique.

I am seriously honored to be included with this group. The photographers in my cohort have all been doing this craft far longer than I have. While I’m sure that my ‘master’ will impart a fair bit of knowledge, I’m sure I’ll learn just as much from my co-apprentices.

The education style is in many ways like taking a masters level classes at a university. But then, my Bachelors degree is a Bachelor of Arts (History). So, maybe it’s different in the sciences in upper education?

I hope you’ll get to see some significant improvement in my photography in the coming months!

I am back, Happy 4th! My Yellowstone trip.

I am back from visiting the 3 national parks. I went to Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and Arches National Parks. So, for the next several days I’ll be posting photos from there.

Anyways, today’s photo is from Yellowstone. One of the ideas I was wrestling with was the idea of how do you know that the photo is from Yellowstone, or any other place for that matter? I need to add context to the photo. Often time, that context is something in the foreground. When I saw this bison and the mountains and sky, I knew I had that element.

There were actually two bison here, but I decided to wait for the other one to wander out of the frame. He was a little too active and making the image unbalanced.

Bison Landscape in Yellowstone

To process the image, I did HDR processing. A little layering, to make the bison more defined. A little playing with the saturations, sharpening, and so on.

I hope you enjoy!

Where my photography began.

This picture below is where it started for me. 11 months ago I took a trip to Yellowstone National Park, Muir Woods, LA, the Grand Canyon, and then headed home.

This is a picture of Fairy Falls. I had THAT CAMERA (a P&S Nikon P510 w/42x zoom lens). The woman in the photo left the scene not long after taking the picture and I had the entire area to myself. I took my time. There was no rush. My vacation just began!

This photo is a fresh reprocessing of a three shot bracket I took at the time. I didn’t even know how to process HDR at the time! I just knew I needed a bracket of photos! (Full disclosure, some days I still feel like I don’t know how to process HDR.)

Fairy Falls The first time

Ever since then I hadn’t stopped learning. But there’s so much more to learn. I’m really just at the beginning of this journey.

But at the time of taking this photo I do remember remarking to myself how the sun at about the time of the Summer Solstice would rise far enough north (I hope!) to light the falls directly. So far I still think I’m right. Google Earth and other tools make me think I might be right. But there aren’t many photographs of this fall at opportunistic moments.

It’s time I find out how much I really have learned about this photography thing! On Sunday morning I’ll be there.

It’s the start of a two week vacation. It will be awesome!

This also means that starting Friday, updates will be spars as I will be traveling and in very wi-fi unfriendly places.