Grand Prismatic

Grand Prismatic

Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park...an incredible sight!

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A tree, a fence and a camera

This is actually an old image that I posted a long time ago.  No, I am not out of new photos to share - in fact I still have thousands to go, and some upcoming travel that will yield me even more.  In this case, I came across this photo and wanted to approach it a little differently than I did the first time - using Nik Silver Efex Pro - which is fairly new to me but which I have quickly decided is awesome!  

I caught this image outside of Jackson Hole, WY several years back while on a guys’ trip up there to see Yellowstone - which was amazing.  It was a fabulous trip and despite having very limited photography knowledge at the time, I came back with some keepers.  This is one of them.

Here is the originally posted version, which was in color:


Grazing through the apocalypse

Ok, I know this image is a little crazy but I was just having fun here, so forgive me for exiting the bounds of reality for a minute!  This is something I took a couple of years back at Yellowstone, while on a trip with 2 of the coolest guys you could ever meet.  We had a heck of a great time, and I took lots of photos on the trip.  I just came across this the other day in my library, and thought I would give it the HDR Efex Pro treatment.  I was sliding things here and there and just having a great time while in my own little world of software - hopefully you have experienced that joy yourself, firsthand.  Anyways, I just thought it was a fun shot, nothing serious, just fun.  Hope you get a laugh or something out of it!  Thanks for looking!

Old Faithful

I was on a guys' trip to Jackson Hole, WY which is a complete blast I might add (both the town and taking a guys' trip) and one of our key destinations was Yellowstone National Park.  It is one of those places that just amazes you at nearly every turn.  Wildlife is abundant and the scenery is spectacular.  I highly recommend that you visit at least once in your lifetime.  Anyways, we spent the whole day going all over the park and at one point made our way to the area full of geysers, where Old Faithful resides.  Now Old Faithful is something that everyone has heard of (right?) and I was looking forward to seeing her in action.  We parked and started walking to where we needed to be.  When you get close, you encounter this sign:

That's it?  That's all you got?  This is a famous place that I had heard of for years, so I guess I expected something a little more dramatic.  No, I didn't expect blinking neon a la Las Vegas but I just assumed it would get a little more than that.  Anyways, the good news is that the sign is NOT indicative of the geyser - Old Faithful is quite a sight and a blast to watch (pun intended).  It was given its name due to the fact that she erupts at fairly regular intervals.  When we got there, the Park Ranger said she was due to erupt again in about 20 minutes - sweet!  Good timing!  So we just hung around, acting like tourists and taking a lot of pictures.  Then you start to see and hear the rumblings and things just start blowing out of the earth - it is pretty interesting to watch.  The average height of the blast is 145 feet - impressive!  Here she is in all her glory:

Dinner in Yellowstone

We spent the entire day in Yellowstone National Park, which is not nearly enough time honestly, as there are many sites and it is a sprawling place.  Nonetheless, it was fabulous.  At one point we arrived in the Lamar Valley, which is billed as the Serengeti of the North, and totally lives up to it billing.  Wildlife seems to be everywhere.  We encountered this coyote just by the side of the road, happily crunching on this hapless varmint and completely ignoring us.  I guess when tourists are gawking at you daily you become a bit numb to it and realize they are not a threat.  Anyways, he enjoyed his meal, we enjoyed watching, so I guess everyone was happy.

Single image at f/11 and some minor adjustments in PSE and Aperture.

 

Taller

We were in Jackson Hole, WY for a guys' trip (which is awesome by the way) and had decided to spend a day in Yellowstone.  This is normally a fairly quick drive, except that we were there while the nearest entrance was still snowed in, so we had to drive for 2+ hours, briefly through Idaho and then enter the park through West Yellowstone, MT.  It was a great drive with a lot of scenery to enjoy all the way.  Shortly after leaving Jackson Hole, we were cruising up through a mountain pass which was pretty near the border with Idaho.  I saw this scene, and really liked that one tall tree standing alone.

This is a single exposure taken at f/10.  I originally was going to post this as a color version, but could never settle on how best to process it.  There was not a lot of color to work with, save for a little blue, and nothing ever looked right.  Finally I got inspired to change it to Black and White, and here it is.  I actually like this version much better than the color, since you can better see the mountain ranges in the distance.  Plus, sometimes these type of landscape shots are best presented in a very simple way, to let the natural beauty speak for itself.  Or something like that. 

Coyote in the wild

Driving through Yellowstone, especially the Lamar Valley, it is darn near impossible NOT to see wildlife.  There are animals everywhere.  I imagine it is like being on the Serengeti or someplace in Africa, except with snow.  In this case, we were driving along and this coyote literally ran across the road in front of us.  Of course, we all immediately dove for our cameras, so I am not sure who had the wheel at that point, but the chances of hitting another car are slim to none when you haven't seen one in hours.  This guy ran up the snow embankment after crossing the road, and I figured my chance to capture him was gone, but he came through some brush and into a little clearing, and...paused.  It was great.  It was like he wanted to get his picture taken, except that he didn't look at us.  I guess he smelled dinner on the wind, and who doesn't want a warm meal when it's so cold outside?

The grandeur of Lamar Valley

Lamar Valley sits in Yellowstone National Park and has been called the Serengeti of the North because there is so much wildlife there to see.  I was only there a short while, but during that time I saw a coyote eating a small animal that he had captured; I saw bison grazing - it's hard to avoid them in Yellowstone; and I saw a black wolf cruising around.  It was amazing.  The valley is surrounded by mountains and is a beautiful place.  There is a single road that winds through the valley where it disappears back into the forest at the other end.  The scenery there is incredible - I highly recommend seeing this place at least once in your lifetime!