Of all the tall tales passed on by the early 19th-century fur trappers who ventured into the unknown reaches of Wyoming, the story of the mythical land of “Fire and Brimstone” must have seemed the most outlandish. Their tales told of a place where fire spews out of the ground and water violently boils, a place more at home in a passage from Dante’s Inferno than any earthly environment. The region’s inaccessibility meant that it was only in the late 1860’s when the first organized expeditions set out to shed light on the area and separate facts from fiction. What they found was nothing short of astounding, a land of glass mountains, boiling rivers, and geysers that spew water into the sky. These lands were so wild, so unspoiled, that many felt it was necessary to protect them from human exploitation. Sure enough, in 1871 the land that got the name “Yellowstone” became the world’s first National Park.
A little less then a year ago I posted an article at PL detailing the itinerary of a day in Yellowstone National Park. Since that article I had the pleasure of revisiting the park during my yearly foray to the land of “fire and brimstone.” The reason I visit the first National Park of the United States history every year is for a project I have undertaken to document the change of seasons that occurs there every autumn. Yellowstone National Park has many faces to go along with its four distinct seasons. The frozen wasteland of winter gives way to new life and the rains of spring, and as May turns into June, the simmering heat of summer overtakes the park. And yet, it is Yellowstone’s shortest season (Fall) which offers the most intrigue with its unpredictable weather patterns and the unique behavior of its wildlife.
In the past month, I have visited more National Parks than in any other time of my life. I have seen some of the most beautiful places in the world under incredible conditions, and I managed to take photos of landscapes that I had heard of since I was a young child. That’s why I am happy to say that today, August 25th, marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in the United States.
Our landscape photography tutorial has taken us from Colorado to Wyoming to Montana, and we have filmed in some amazing locations along the way. Cell coverage is hard to find in this area of the country, but there is no shortage of beautiful landscapes to photograph. After packing up and heading out of Grand Teton National Park, we took a short detour through Yellowstone on the way to Montana. This was the first visit for both John and I, and it did not disappoint – I wish that we had more time to spend in such an amazing place! Still, with our filming schedule, we had to make the most of the couple of days that we had.
Yellowstone National Park. That is really all one needs to say to get the message across. What could very well be the most photographed National Park in the world needs no introductions. Yellowstone harbors all of the elements that make the “West” of the United States such a compelling area for photographers. It’s combination of landscapes, geothermal activity and wildlife is a photographers dream. And yet, for a place with so many splendors, you would think I would not get so many questions on how and when to photograph massive park.
I just got back from a trip to Yellowstone National Park to test out the Nikon D500, Nikon D5 and Pentax K-1 DSLRs (reviews to be posted soon) and I wanted to share my experience, specifically my frustrations with visiting and photographing this amazing location, which has been my top spot for many years for photographing both wildlife and landscapes. I spent a week in Yellowstone and my original plan was to stay there for longer if needed, depending on how much wildlife I would encounter. But I had to cut my trip short, because I was just getting tired of seeing the same behavioral patterns of park visitors over and over again – to the point where it was just getting absurd, abusive and downright stupid.
Here are some photos that I decided to share with you from Yellowstone NP and Glacier NP from my trip across the Western USA. I have not done much processing on these yet, which I am hoping to do during the next few weeks. The images from Yellowstone NP are from the Nikon D5100 that I was testing – all images from my Nikon D3s were on the card that I unfortunately lost somewhere in Yosemite NP. All landscape images of Yellowstone are lost, so I only have some wildlife + wildflower shots to show.
Do you dream of pictures? Most passionate photographers do. Some dream of a beautiful location with the right lighting, while others dream of perhaps a perfect subject in a perfect environment. Whatever the dream is, the goal is to create a unique, beautiful image that will trigger the emotions of the viewer, touching their deepest senses and ultimately creating a very positive experience – a picture worth a thousand words…
I’ll be honest, this part of the Yellowstone tour is probably the most boring one, as I simply do not have any good pictures. I know, it is a shame and it really sucks that I couldn’t capture anything good after coming back from Yellowstone, where wildlife is abundant and all over the place.
Haven’t had much time to go through the images…we’ve been busy shooting all kinds of stuff lately (more to come). Anyway, below are some images of nature that I picked from our trip to Yellowstone.