February 2010



< Month Intro

Next >















Yellowstone Expanse


In January, I spent 5 days in Montana/Wyoming traveling from the little town of West Yellowstone into Yellowstone National Park by snow coach.  This is a great way for photographers to travel in 10 degree F weather conditions with photo equipment.  Snowmobiles may be faster but getting access to photo equipment tied on the back can be time consuming and missed opportunity to shoot wildlife. 


While I was more prepared to photograph scenics and geysers, the trip quickly turned into a wildlife shoot as we found bobcat, bald eagles, geese, swans, elk and buffalo.  We were able to photograph wolves and grizzly bears in a "discovery" park in West Yellowstone.


Looking through the 40+ images I had selected from a few thousand captured to post on this site, I tried to select an image that revealed the massive expanse of the park.  This is not easy to do since Yellowstone is unlike most other national parks, especially Yosemite where all the features are laid out in a 7 mile loop.  In Yellowstone, the features are spread out over an area 70 miles by 70 miles. 


The vastness of Yellowstone is more relevant (politically) today than ever before.  The population of the earth is growing by up to 80 million persons per year and open space is rapidly disappearing.  I can travel 2 hours from my home in Orange County and only see tract homes and strip malls.  In Yellowstone, I can travel 2 hours in any direction and possibly not see another person.  Wow.


The image above was taken on the way from West Yellowstone to Old Faithful.  The small dots are buffalo with some pretty mean storm clouds forming above.  It was a stunning site.  By throwing the sun into the image, I tried to replicate the feeling of the scene. 


The image above was shot with a 24-70 F2.8 zoom on a full frame DSLR mounted on an aluminum tripod with Monoball head.


 Additional images of Yellowstone in Winter can be viewed here