Hope everyone has recovered from the holidays! With my back going out just in time for Christmas, I have had some time to ponder on the year that has just passed and remembered I needed to share my tour report from Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons! The image above of Great Fountain Geyser is a good representation of why, as a landscape photographer, I love going back to the same locations. I have stood at that spot countless times over the years and am always amazed how every day is different and this allows me to look for different or unusual compositions and even take some risks. Photographing into the sun is always challenging, but my job was made a bit easier by simply using a 3 f/stop, soft step graduated split neutral density filter and the Darryl Benson reverse graduated neutral density filter; both by Singh Ray. This allowed me to keep the sun and sky in check and expose for the foreground and bring out all the details in it.
This year we had many more opportunities with the moose. While the biggest bull we came upon never got to a good light angle, the youngster shown above gave the group a bit of a scare/thrill as he ran into the open among a herd of buffalo! We even had a bit of time to follow him along the river as he made a dash for a female that was about ½ mile away. The two images below show the same young bull jumping over a tiny creek and then ”sniffing” the scent of the nearby female who wanted nothing to do with the youngster!
A few moments before the moose came charging out, a pronghorn sheep bull came casually sneaking up on us to within 30 feet! The Sigma 300-800mm was way too much lens at that range but we did get many more opportunities to photograph them at a bit more comfortable distance.
As usual in Yellowstone and the Tetons at that time of year, we had many opportunities for both the elk and buffalo although I have noticed that they have moved away from their usual locations from the past.
What always makes the Yellowstone ecosystem so unique is the variety of subjects you have to photograph; from dramatic landscape to wildlife and even birds……that tour always lands on the top of my list for favorite tours! Below is an example of some of the variety we had in photographing the landscapes but no tour would be complete without at least one nighttime shoot!!! I used DxO Labs Optics Pro 8 to reduce the noise in the night image. I look forward to using it a bit more and reviewing it in the near future.
The Yellowstone/Tetons tour is one of my least demanding physically as most of the shooting is done close to the car. I hope you can join me on the 2013 tour and let me share my years of experience and knowledge of this magical place. As always if you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at; firstname.lastname@example.org