Yellowstone: Geysers and Hot Springs

This is part two of our trip log to Yellowstone. Probably some of the biggest miracles of Yellowstone are hot springs and geysers that can be found across the park. Different bacteria creates different color textures around hot springs and geysers, bringing lots of contrast and vivid color into the scene. As temperatures change, colors start changing, too, making Yellowstone a truly unique and magical place to be in at different times of the year.

The first image is a hot spring called “Dragon’s Mouth”, which looks like a cave with steam coming out of it. Check out this video on Youtube of Dragon’s Mouth.

Geysers and Hot Springs #1

NIKON D700 @ 24mm, ISO 200, 1/160, f/8.0

A small pool from “Mud volcano”:

Geysers and Hot Springs #2

NIKON D700 @ 48mm, ISO 200, 1/250, f/8.0

Green bacteria transforms the colors of the river

Geysers and Hot Springs #3

NIKON D700 @ 29mm, ISO 400, 1/80, f/16.0

Mammoth Hot Springs:

Geysers and Hot Springs #4

NIKON D700 @ 56mm, ISO 200, 1/250, f/10.0

Geysers and Hot Springs #5

NIKON D700 @ 55mm, ISO 200, 1/320, f/8.0

Geysers and Hot Springs #6

NIKON D700 @ 24mm, ISO 200, 1/320, f/8.0

Geysers and Hot Springs #7

NIKON D700 @ 200mm, ISO 220, 1/200, f/10.0

Geysers and Hot Springs #8

NIKON D700 @ 400mm, ISO 200, 1/2000, f/4.0

You haven’t seen the park if you haven’t spent the time to see the good old “Old Faithful”. I sat my camera on a tripod and shot more than 200 images of this geyser in action. When I started reviewing the images from the trip after we came home, I bumped into this image that has a shape of some odd-looking creature. For some reason, it reminds me of “Fozzie bear” from the “Muppet Show”, but I guess you can use your own imagination :)

Geysers and Hot Springs #9

NIKON D300 @ 52mm, ISO 220, 1/500, f/8.0

More geysers from the Biscuit Basin:

Geysers and Hot Springs #10

NIKON D300 @ 70mm, ISO 200, 1/1000, f/4.0

Geysers and Hot Springs #11

NIKON D700 @ 400mm, ISO 200, 1/2000, f/5.6

Geysers and Hot Springs #12

NIKON D300 @ 24mm, ISO 200, 1/200, f/10.0

This is the “Sapphire pool”, which was my favorite from the park. When I first saw it, I just stood there for 10-15 minutes in awe, staring at the pool and its colors. God’s magnificent creation, this pool is so deep that you cannot see the bottom even if you stand several feet higher. In order to capture this image, I put my camera on a monopod and set it on timer, extended it all the way up and raised it as high as I could. Snapped about 5-6 of these and I like this one the best. As you can see, the bottom is not visible even at this height, which is truly amazing. Don’t be tricked though – this pool might look nice and beautiful, but in fact it boils water at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. I’ve read that 50 years ago people could see geyser eruptions of 100-150 feet high from this pool!

Geysers and Hot Springs #13

NIKON D700 @ 24mm, ISO 200, 1/80, f/14.0

Another sapphire pool, which I thought was inactive until I stuck my finger into the water…it was a bad idea – I almost burned my finger :)

Geysers and Hot Springs #14

NIKON D700 @ 24mm, ISO 400, 1/320, f/9.0

This one is called “Mustard Spring” because the surrounding area looks like mustard. It was sitting nice and quiet when I snapped this picture.

Geysers and Hot Springs #15

NIKON D700 @ 24mm, ISO 400, 1/640, f/8.0

Hot water pouring out of the Excelsior Geyser:

Geysers and Hot Springs #16

NIKON D700 @ 70mm, ISO 100, 16/10, f/22.0


  1. September 3, 2009 at 4:47 am

    beautiful! just beautiful! looking at the pics with my son now and he’s very impressed, as well.

    • September 3, 2009 at 10:00 am

      Sleepless in KL: Thanks so much for your nice comments!

  2. 2) janel
    September 3, 2009 at 9:58 am

    What wonderful photos. I am heading to Yellowstone in a couple of weeks, your photos are inspiring me. Thanks so much!

    • September 3, 2009 at 10:04 am

      Janel: Thank you!

      Just FYI – the road from Madison to Norris Junction is closed for the season, so you might want to plan accordingly :)

      I’m sure you will have lots of fun at Yellowstone, so good luck!

  3. 3) Kolobok
    September 3, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Pictures are amazing. It is incredible that there are such naturally beautiful places on earth, when you live in dusty desert full of cars and useless buildings…

  4. 4) aziza
    September 4, 2009 at 2:26 am

    Hilol vapsheee chiroylii…Rahmat

  5. 5) nick
    September 4, 2009 at 9:55 am

    did you use tripod for the last picture?

    • September 4, 2009 at 11:20 am

      Yes, I did. It was also very bright during the day and decreasing ISO, stopping down aperture still produced shutter speeds of about 1/100, which was too fast, so I had to hand-hold graduating filters by hand to bring down the shutter speed to 1-2 seconds, so that the water looks smooth. The picture is slightly underexposed though. I wanted to fix it in post-production, but Lola says that it looks fine this way. Should I increase the brightness? What do you think?

      • 5.1.1) nick
        September 4, 2009 at 11:43 am

        but dont you have a regime where the main control is shutter speed?

        • Nasim Mansurov
          September 4, 2009 at 11:53 am

          If you are referring to Shutter Priority mode, then yes, I do have it. But since there was so much ambient light, even if I used a very slow shutter speed in shutter priority, it would have been overexposed. So, the only solution is to decrease the amount of light coming in by using a neutral density filter in front of the lens…

  6. 6) bobur-aka
    September 4, 2009 at 10:17 am


    Очень интересная фотография Mammoth Hot Springs – 1-ая фотография. Очень поэтическая и трагичная получилась, прям как кадр из футуристического фильмв про заброшенную планету.

    И очень интересная фотография с гейзером, но я бы стал бы ждать и ловить форму такого гейзера, когда он выстрелит и “зарисует” очертания какого-нибудь известного всем нам предмета – коня на задних копытах, человека, например и еще чего-то там. Тогда бы гейзер действительно “ожил”.

    Ну и самая сильная – самая последняя фотография! Насим лишний раз доказал, что он чертовски хорошо умеет снимать воду в движении и всякие там водопады…

    • September 4, 2009 at 12:24 pm

      bobur-aka: как всегда огромное спасибо за критику наших фотографий! Если честно, я считаю такую критику очень полезной, особенно строгую критику с полезными советами ;) Лучшая критика – это критика другого фотографа и я благодарен что ты уделяешь свое драгоценное время на детальную оценку фотографий и даешь нам полезные советы. Это очень помогает, особенно начинающим фотографам как мы :) Еще раз, огромное спасибо!

      А по поводу гейзера – я фотографировал весь процесс от начала до конца практически без остановки (наверное было бы лучше заснять все это дело на видео камере). Очень надеялся что будет что-нибудь интересное, но получилось просто очень много мусора. Хотелось бы, конечно, получить более интересную форму, но к сожалению, этот гейзер выстреливает только каждые полтора/два часа и весь процесс длится всего несколько минут. А с двумя детьми сидеть и ждать следующего момента в сорокоградусной жаре было не совсем практично :)

  7. 7) SHAMS
    September 5, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Megaz, have the photos been edited or not?
    (some time ago we could read some infos about photos ie, Aperture/Shutter priority… can we still see those info somehow?)

    • September 5, 2009 at 4:26 pm

      Shams, unfortunately, I didn’t really have any time to edit the photos in Photoshop. All of the post-processing was done in Lightroom and I only adjusted white balance, contrast and saturation – the rest is how it came directly out of the camera.

      As far as EXIF information (shutter speed, aperture, etc), you can still view it as I never take it out from my images. Just save the image on your PC, then open the image via a good image viewer such as ACDSee and you will be able to see the attached EXIF information. Another thing you can do is install a Firefox plugin called “Exif Viewer” and you will be able to view this information by simply right-clicking an image.

  8. 8) SHAMS
    September 5, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    thanks Megaz. i’ll do that. (just want to see and learn what functions you mostly use to take your pics)
    your photos are so cool anyway.

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