As a Photographer, and as one who regularly teaches photography, can you imagine the excitement I would feel about going to Yellowstone National Park, USA? Well, my family and I went together this last week, and weekend to see this magnificent park.
There are several things about the park that make it unique. First of all, many people go to this park to see the wildlife:
Another big animal you will see while driving around the park is the buffalo. These huge animals have been roaming this area long before this park even existed. This animal has caused some injury to people this year who got too close to them. They look so docile, yet, they are still wild animals and you should not get close to them. I had my 75-300mm lens to get this shot, so I wouldn’t have to get close to these big animals.
Everyone is hoping to see bears or wolves while they visit Yellowstone, but I think the park Rangers are hoping they don’t come close to the people. On our trip, we did not see any of those animals. Our animal sightings was limited to elk and buffalo.
Of course the other thing that people come to see in Yellowstone is the geysers and hot pots and bubbling pools. That is certainly a fascinating thing in the park. To think that these hot spots, and fountains come from the middle of the earth, and that mother earth has decided to release it’s steam, and pressure in this beautiful park. Of course, I did take a few pictures of these as well.
It was nice to go and see all these amazing natural wonders that exist in Yellowstone Park. That is not the real reason I like to go there. The real reason I went there is because, as the early explorers found, that it was one of the most beautiful places in the world they had ever seen. The large lake (Yellowstone lake) and the many different waterfalls, made this corner of Wyoming, an amazingly beautiful place. In fact, the early explorer Ferdinand V. Hayden, an early Geologist, passing through Yellowstone area, thought that it was so beautiful convinced the U.S. Congress to make this area a National Park. And Yellowstone National Park became the first National Park in 1872.
My timing of going to the park was to capture the autumn leaves changing color, and to make the landscape photos that I took, even more beautiful. But, as I found, this park is about 99.97% pine trees, and there were very little other trees that even turn color during the fall. We were very surprised to find this thick forest almost everywhere we went:
The other thing that would certainly add to the beauty of the landscape photos I wanted to take was the rivers, and the waterfalls that grace this scenery in Yellowstone:
I was looking for some of the rivers to give me one of the most beautiful scenery photos I could get, and, of the many different rivers, the Madison River, I think, seemed to be the most beautiful for scenery. And though, I had very small amounts of autumn leaves up on the mountains, the river, the grasslands around it, and the clouds we had came to a perfect opportunity for the perfect photos:
My impressions of this park are: If you go to see the geysers and the animals of the park, and that’s what your are hoping to see, then you are totally missing what this park is all about. You can drive all around the whole park and see so much totally different types of landscape. When you drive through the park and you find a whole bunch of cars pulled over, you will find that people are out taking pictures of the wildlife. But, pull over to take pictures of the scenery and you will find very few people who stop and see the real beauty of the park. As a photographer, I was grateful that the crowd didn’t get it. I don’t need a crowd to pull over and get in my photos, but, in another way, I thought: that these people don’t get it. This park is just one of the most beautiful scenic places in the whole world.
As a photographer, trying to perfect your talent, make sure you take your tripod, your circular polarizing filter, a couple of good lenses, and you will have the things you need. And you will probably find other photographers there as well doing the same thing. Most photographers I saw there, were still taking photos of geysers and animals, and missing out on the real beauty of what there is there. If I was to go again to Yellowstone, I wouldn’t go to the geysers, I would drive along the roads and take more scenery photos, and if by chance an animal happens to be in the photo, so be it.
Article written by : Lanny Cottrell
All Photos taken by: Lanny Cottrell (Copyright protected)