Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lower Geyser Basin - Yellowstone National Park

The Firehole River provides some excellent photographic opportunities from various locations between Madison and Upper Geyser Basin. This sunrise was caught not far from the Madison Campground near a bridge crossing. A short meadow stroll lead me to this composition.

There were many other opportunities to capture the snaking Firehole River as well, including having the bonus of early morning fog hovering just above it.

Fountain Flat offers another opportunity for morning and evening photography. Here, still morning waters hold the reflection of clouds above.

Further along the road a herd of bison can be carefully watched and photographed from the road. Definitely have awareness of your surroundings here. While I photographed a couple of bison from the safety of the opposite side of my truck, I caught the approach of two large bison coming up behind me - much too close for my comfort level - and quickly moved to my trucks opposite side!

Further south is Lower Geyser Basin, punctuated by more geysers and of course, the Fountain Paint Pots. The Paint Pots are an active pool of errupting mud, and are very pretty in color. Late afternoon light brings out the color and texture of the mud, making it the ideal time to photograph them. Unfortunately, I had cloudy skies during my visit, subduing the colors.

The Paint Pots are the most accessible and colorful example of such a thermal example withing the park. Mud pots differ from hot springs in that they have a very limited supply of ground water available. Also, they do not overflow, but rather errupt in the form of steam bubbles. Iron oxides give the mud at Fountain Paint Pots their pink and red shades of color.

The Paint Pots are fun to watch and even more fun to photograph. Trying to time the burst of the mud bubbles is challenging indeed and will test your reaction time! A good telephoto lens will be needed to test this skill.

A wider lens will allow you to include the interesting mounds of mud along the edges. Lots of opportunities await the imaginitive photographer!

Futher along the boardwalk are a group of small geysers, highlighted by Clepsydra Geyser. Clepsydra is best photographed in late morning, not late afternoon when I photographed it! Here I tried to backlight it against a sky filled with looming storm clouds.

This is the last of a series of posts from a trip to Yellowstone National Park last June. I hope you have enjoyed them and found some of my information useful for your own planning.

I just returned from an extended trip to Death Valley, and hope to have posts from this wonderful trip soon! Of course, I have many other projects taxing my time, including the launching of a brand new web site. I will do my best to get them up soon!

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