Tag Archives: Yellowstone National Park

Rivers Run Through It

Calcite Springs And The Yellowstone River

Calcite Springs (the steaming part) and the Yellowstone River

No matter where you drive within Yellowstone National Park, you’ll encounter a number of rivers running through the land.  According to a newly-published article in the National Parks Traveler, the rivers of this park are key to understanding the hydrothermal activity there.  Click on any of the photos to be taken to this article, then spend some time reading the other articles, as well.

Early Morning Along The Firehole River

Firehole River in Upper Geyser Basin (where Old Faithful is located)

Overlooking The Lewis River

The Lewis River, seen shortly after driving through the southern entrance to the park

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

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A Quiet Lake In Yellowstone

A Quiet Glassy Lake In Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park is such a large park, and so much more than geysers and wildlife. Really. Sure, all of us who visit this place get the iconic shots – well, if there is parking. And of course, it goes without saying, wildlife shots are always a draw. But, if you are in Yellowstone, even for just a day, try not to overwhelm yourself with trying to get those geyser and bison/wolf/bear shots. You might not be able to, you know. Instead, concentrate on what you observe around you, like this lovely little lake I saw through the trees shortly after entering the south entrance of the park. This image is also a nice example (although I didn’t do it deliberately), of a leading line, where the glassine waters and shoreline reflections lead the eye from the front of the image, to the back. This vertical shot also looks much better for that leading line effect than the horizontal one I also captured.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

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Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park

Boardwalk Leading Line

Boardwalk leading line at Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Travertine Colors

Travertine colors at Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Sunrise Gilding The Terrace CROP

Sunlight gilding the travertine, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park

Killdeer On The Terrace

Killdeer on the travertine, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park

I will be the first to admit that, when I would see photos in books of the Mammoth Hot Springs area, my first thought was “how dull-looking that place is.” In truth, it takes a personal visit to see this amazing sight. Some friends I know still say this is nothing like it used to be, but as a photographer, I can tell you that wonderful images are still there for the camera, as long as you are observant and take some time to put a little thought into your composition.

For instance, the boardwalks around there bring to mind wooden roller coaster rides. Spend some time creating interesting leading line compositions of the boardwalks.

Get some close-up images of the travertine formations you see. The colors are saturated, and if you are there during a sunrise, the formations are gilded with bright gold-yellow.

If there are interesting clouds in the area, include that in your shots.

And look for wildlife – particularly birds. I saw all sorts of killdeer hopping around the terraced springs. Their coloring blends in with the rusty hues of the travertine.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

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Yellowstone Layers

Yellowstone Layers

Layers of grass, trees, rock and mountains, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Whenever someone mentions Yellowstone National Park, you probably picture either Old Faithful or other geysers, colorful thermal springs like Grand Prismatic, or some type of wildlife, close up. What you may not think about are all the other landscapes, textures, colors and patterns that make up this huge national park.
 
While I was driving from Tower Junction over to Upper Geyser Basin, I looked over and saw the tall, bare trees first. After I parked, I took a longer look and saw all the colorful layers of trees, rocks, and distant rolling mountains. Yellowstone is huge, covering 3,472 square miles (2,221,766 acres). That area covers quite a bit of different landscapes, such as this one.
 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Morning Glory Pool

Morning Glory Pool

Morning Glory Pool, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Yes, I now have my own images of a much-photographed park icon. It’s photographed because it is so beautiful. The interesting (and sad) thing, though, is to see how much the colors of this pool have changed over the years, due to people throwing coins, rocks, and other trash into the clear, once deep blue water and lowering the temperature.

I ran a search on the National Parks Traveler site and found a December 2014 article about the changes in color and how efforts to clean the pool weren’t able to reverse the damage done.  To read the article, click on the image above.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

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It’s National Public Lands Day

Sunrise Over Upper Geyser Basin

Sunrise and sunstar over Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

It’s National Public Lands Day, today, Saturday September 22nd, 2018.  Where will you be?  Perhaps visiting a national park, monument, recreation area or historic site?

The image above was not taken during National Public Lands Day, but rather during a very early summer morning while touring the boardwalks around Old Faithful, in Upper Geyser Basin.  The back-lighting very nicely accentuated the steam rising from the geysers and hot springs, and I wanted to try for a sunstar as well, bumping the aperture up to f/18.

During the summer months, cooler mornings are the best times to view lots of steam as well as avoid the inevitable crowds, who usually don’t get out there until sometime starting at 8:00 a.m.  Cool mornings (and wintertime) create more condensation in the air, which makes the landscape steamier than during the hotter portion of the day.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

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Grand Geyser Erupting

Grand Geyser Eruption

Grand Geyser Eruption, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
 
It’s hard not to cheer whenever a geyser erupts. You sit or stand and wait, based upon when the schedule says the geyser *might* erupt. And then, when it does, there is this powerful gush of hot, steaming water reaching high up into the sky, or covering a large swath of area around the opening. It’s evidence reminding us of the geologic forces just beneath our feet. Geysers erupting are truly amazing sights and I felt lucky enough to have witnessed three different geysers erupt on the day I visited the Upper Geyser Basin.
And, here’s a little word of advice for you:  if you are nuts enough to visit an extremely crowded place like Yellowstone National Park in the summer, then the best time for light and few crowds is the early morning, between 6am – 7:30am.  I know, not much of a window there, right?  And, you should only pick one spot at which you want to be that morning.  Because if you have in mind to concentrate on more than one spot, then you are going to have problems trying to find parking, I kid you not.
Another word of advice:  if you want to tour the visitor center in relative peace while you are at Upper Geyser Basin, then do it while the hordes are awaiting the eruption of Old Faithful.  If you wait until after the eruption, you will be elbow-to-elbow with all the crowds merging into the visitor center.
I already knew I wanted to experience all that I could around Old Faithful, so I spent the entire day at Upper Geyser Basin (where Old Faithful is located), and had a wonderful day, despite the crowds (and there were thousands of people there).
 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.
A Chilly Morning At The Upper Geyser Basin
A quiet, pre-sunrise morning overlooking Old Faithful

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