January 18, 2012

End of the Year in Yellowstone

A gray member of the Lamar Canyon Wolf Pack chases a cow elk from Soda Butte Cone clear across to Hitching Post in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park. Captured with a Canon7D and 500/4.0L IS + 1.4TC III in aperture priority mode with an exposure bias of - 1 at ISO400, f/7.1, and 1/1250th of a second. The camera was handheld.
I have made many trips to Yellowstone from the end of October through present, and all but my most recent are online, but I have been too busy to get individual posts online.

Yellowstone, October 29 & 30, 2011
This trip was made with students from ART243 and ART247 photography courses. We had a good time, with plenty of learning (and that is why I take them to YNP), but the subjects were few and not completely cooperative. Other than landscape images of thermal features (Fountain Geyser erupted for us) most of my shooting was of birds (Bald Eagles, Tundra Swans, Trumpeter Swans, American Dippers, etc.)

Yellowstone, November 5 & 6, 2011
This trip, like the one before, was made with students from ART243 and ART247 photography courses. We had a really good time, with plenty of learning, and that is why I take them to YNP. The big difference between the last trip and this one is that we were able to find a number of cooperative subjects. We had the great fortune to be the only ones photographing a Red Fox around Tower (for about an hour), we had a friendly Coyote near Lower Geyser Basin, a pair of calm Bull Elk near dynamite curve, and we got another Fountain Geyser eruption.

Yellowstone, November 18 - 20, 2011
I had one student who was in both ART243 and ART247, but he could not make either of the previous trips, so the two of us made a trip to the park. Things were fairly slow, and there was almost as much snow then as there is in the park now. We did get to see an Ermine (run across the road), there were plenty of cooperative Mule Deer (buck and doe pairs), we found a few Coyotes, and the snow made for some nice landscapes. 

Yellowstone, December 9 - 11, 2011
With classes finished and a three week trip to Chicago looming I decided to make a three day ski trip to the park. It was cold (-10) and there was plenty of snow (more then than now), but I had some new skis and plenty of ambition. I photographed the full lunar eclipse from above Blacktail Lakes, I photographed the Lamar Canyon Pack as they crossed the road in the Lamar Valley, I photographed an American Bald Eagle in a frosted tree, I spent time with a few Coyotes, spent plenty of time on my skis, and even more time in my tent. Did I mention that I took numerous photos of the full moon? 

Yellowstone, January 7 & 8, 2012
After three weeks in Chicago I needed to return to Yellowstone, add in a full moon and there is little that can keep me from making a trip. Things were incredibly slow in the park, but I did end up with two good Wolf encounters. The first encounter was two black members of the Mollies Pack run directly below me along the Lamar River in the Lamar Canyon. The second was a Gray member of the Lamar Canyon Pack chasing a cow Elk near the road in the Lamar Valley. Beyond those encounters and a few shots of the moonrise/sunset I took virtually no other photographs. 

Yellowstone, January 14 - 17, 2012
I just returned from this trip, but I have not finished editing photos yet. I did cut the 1602 images down to 331 very quickly. The trip was slow, but I found one or two things each day to photograph, and I made sure to snap lots of photos of everything I could. I have a feeling that I'll actually write a real blog post for this trip when I have the photos ready. 

I am sorry for the delay, and for the rather brief report from each of these trips. 

p.s. we had a good amount of snow to start off the year, but then much of that melted and we failed to receive any more snow, but as of today it is snowing, and the forecast is for it to stay at or below zero with heavy snow falling for the next few days, so here's to winter finally arriving in the mountains. 

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