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High Plains Drifter

disclaimer:  "The meteorological views/forecast thinking expressed are those solely of the author of this blog
and do not necessarily represent those of official National Weather Service forecast products,
therefore read and enjoy at your own risk and edification!"

September 19, 2006

Yellowstone Day 5: Magic of Morning Light

Filed under: Yellowstone Trip 2006 — Mike U @ 8:56 pm

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone in awesome morning light.  Taken at Artist Point.326 images today.  And almost zilch wildlife.  This is actually a really impressive feat, given the fact that for landscape photography, you aren’t usually shooting in rapid-burst mode like wildlife in action (especially birds).  I departed Jay’s dorm at 4:30am to arrive at Artist Point near Canyon.  This is the spot that many of the classic Yellowstone waterfall images come from.  I was hoping for some brilliant morning light and I got it!  Some high, streaming cirrus in the western and southwestern sky added a magnificent backdrop to a magnificent landscape that is the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.  I was at this one spot for about one hour from just after 6:00am until around 7:00am.  I was the only photographer here until the very end of my shoot… and this one photographer missed the brilliant pinks of the cirrus.  So while this shot is a shot taken many times before, the sky I had is one that few photographers will get I would think… so I’m pretty excited about that.  After that, I headed south just a bit to catch some incredible backlight landscape stuff with rising mist from the Yellowstone River and Alum Creek… in the north side of the Hayden Valley.  In a few of my shots, I had a small group of geese fly into my landscape scene at just the right time.  Just awesome stuff.  I can’t wait to share these incredible scenes with you all :)   But it’s gonna take awhile to go through all these photos, LOL, and I’m only half way done with the trip.  So anyways, after that, I headed down into the geothermal areas, mainly the Upper Geyser Basin.  Here, the photography was not as superb, but the hot spring pools were vivid in the mostly blue sky… that is until about mid-afternoon.  More clouds were moving in ahead of the next storm system, killing the good light.  I just missed Grand Geyser going off, which is like a 12 hour interval eruption.  I then waited for about an hour for Great Fountain Geyser farther north… reason being there was information from others that this geyser was about to go up, so I stuck it out with some of the geyser fanatics.  Well, as it turned out, apparently the stupid thing blew just before everyone got there, meaning it must have gone up in the first part of the 4-hour window this particular geyser had.  There are a couple of pretty awesome 9-15 hour interval geysers that shoot up to 75 to 200 feet, and the predictibility of them is about (+) or (-) 1 to 2 hours.  Oh well, geyser hunting isn’t the main focus of my trip to Yellowstone anyway, so I’m not dissapointed.  Overall, a very good day.  Tomorrow’s weather looks pretty foul in terms of clouds and showers, so I’ll probably sleep in past 5:00am and skip a sunrise shoot.

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