July 11, 2011

Yellowstone June 30th & July 1st

Two bull Bison cross the flooded Lamar River as the sun rises above the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park. Captured with a Canon 5DII with 70-200/2.8L IS II in aperture priority mode with an exposure bias of - 2/3 (+-1) at ISO200, f/11, and HDRM adjustments for a three shot image. The camera was mounted on an Induro CT214 and Acratech GP ball head.


All of you who follow along with my trips on Facebook and Twitter know how great of a trip I had in Yellowstone. For those who are not following along, and are the kind of person who would enjoy the play by play during my trips... well it is simple to follow me on one of those social networks.

Early Thursday morning I was off to slip into the park via the Beartooth Pass; there is still tons of snow up there. I hiked up to Trout Lake to check on the Cutthroat Trout and Otters; but the flow was still a bit strong, and they were nowhere to be found. I continued through the Lamar Valley where the Bison were out in full force. I continued through the park checking on lots of nests including a stop at the Osprey nests around Tower Fall, one of them was still sitting on eggs. By afternoon there were a number of Bear jams; but none of them were really ideal for photography, the only one that really had some promise were two cinnamon Black Bears on the way up Dunraven; but the rangers would not let folks continue along the road, so Landis and I were left sitting and hoping that they would come our way; but they didn't. I drove over Dunraven Pass and all the way down to Sedge Bay and all that was going on was the Grizzly sow and her two cubs quite a ways out near Mary Mountain. On my way return trip North I decided to stop at the bear family; but I got distracted by four of the Canyon Wolves chasing a group of cow Elk. The Wolves made the kill; but it was behind the hill, so no photos of the take down. I was in the area until sunset and a storm was rolling in as I drove north for a nice night in camp.

Morning comes early in the summer, and most people sleep in too late; but not me. I was up around 4 am, so that I could be in the green Lamar Valley at sunrise. As happens frequently, mother nature rewarded me for my dedication and as the sun was rising a pair of bull Bison decided they needed to cross the Lamar River. The river was and is running fast, so the Bison ended up quite a ways downstream from their entry point; but they made it, and I think that is all that mattered to the pair. As I turned to walk back to my car a cinnamon Black Bear made its way out into the valley searching for birds nests to raid. As it moved off into the distance I took my long lens back to spend some time watching a nearby Osprey nest; the male was coming back and forth to his family of three often, and I got to photograph his return.

I drove out to Thunderer Trailhead where I have been filming time lapse driving sequences from. This time I could not help stopping to photograph a Barrows Goldeneye family on a seasonal pond, that is what I am doing as the time lapse sequence shows off ducklings, Bison, and clouds as they move around the Lamar Valley. I drove around waited for a decent show at a Dunraven Pass bear jam; but as the day drew to an end I was tiered of the crowds and heat. The forecast for the fast approaching holiday weekend was hot and sunny, so i decided to drive home rather than deal with more crowds and heat.

I drove just over 550 mile on the trip; but managed an average of over 29mpg.

I love Yellowstone National Park; but I do not love the crowds this summer.

Make the jump to go through the online gallery, I ask that you leave comments/criticism or at least give your favorites a thumbs up... THANKS!

If you have questions, ask... I published the camera information with each image and have added full keywords to share just about anything you would want to know about the images.

Happy shooting

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