July 24, 2014, 05:13:13 AM

Author Topic: Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park  (Read 1913 times)

ray5

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Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park
« on: January 01, 2014, 11:09:37 AM »
Hi,
I have been a long time visitor and decided to join. This is such a great site, have learnt a lot and enjoyed your photographs immensely. I could do with some advice. I will be traveling to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons in the spring-summer time frame and could do with some some advice on points of interest and good photographic points. I have been shooting for a few years purely for personal enjoyment. I think I have improved my technique slowly but my ignorance is vast. I currently shoot with
Canon 5D MKIII, 24-70 F/2.8 L, EF 70-200mm F/2.8L IS II and EF 50mm F 1.8.
Filters: B&W KSM circular polarizer and the Singh Ray Vari ND filter.
Tripod: Manfrotto carbon fiber with Kirk BH3 ballhead and a Kirk L bracket
Remote release: Vello

Currently my main areas of interest are landscape, portraits and available light photography.
My questions are three fold:
1) Points of interest in the park where it offers interesting opportunities for photography.
2) Planning to be in Yellowstone for 3 days and Grand Tetons for 2. Is that fine or would you recommend switching the time a bit?
3) Though I feel I have enough equipment, this is a dream trip which I have been thinking of doing for years but have been unable to so I want to maximize my time there. Do I need any wider lenses? Any other filters? I have toyed with the idea of Lee filters but haven't made the jump yet.
Thanks a lot.
Ray
« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 04:39:00 PM by ray5 »

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Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park
« on: January 01, 2014, 11:09:37 AM »

surapon

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Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2014, 11:59:01 AM »
Hi,
I have been a long time visitor and decided to join. This is such a great site, have learnt a lot and enjoyed your photographs immensely. I could do with some advice. I will be traveling to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons in the spring-summer time frame and could do with some some advice on points of interest and good photographic points. I have been shooting for a few years purely for personal enjoyment. I think I have improved my technique slowly but my ignorance is vast. I currently shoot with
Canon 5D MKIII, 24-70 F/2.8 L, EF 70-200mm F/2.8L IS II and EF 50mm F 1.8.
Filters: B&W KSM circular polarizer and the Singh Ray Vari ND filter.
Tripod: Manfrotto carbon fiber with Kirk BH3 ballhead and a Kirk L bracket
Remote release: Vello

Currently my main areas of interest are landscape, portraits and available light photography.
My questions are two fold:
1) Points in the park where it offers interesting opportunities of photographs.
2) Though I feel I have enough equipment, this is a dream trip which I have been thinking of doing for years but have been unable to so I want to maximize my time there. Do I need any wider lenses? Any other filters? I have toyed with the idea of Lee filters but haven't made the jump yet.
Thanks a lot.
Ray


Welcome to the club, CR Club, Dear Ray.
Yes, I will be there too, in this coming  June 2014----One Thing/ 1 Filter that I will use for the Beautiful sky of the park = The Graduated Filter, which I highly recommend.
That will separated your photos/ Your Technique, from  a thousand Photographers near by, at the same place that you shoot.
Please post the Photos that you create for us to enjoy see your difference point of views too---Yes, We learn from each other in every time that we come to visit CR.
Happy holiday.
Surapon
\
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-grads.shtml
« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 12:32:29 PM by surapon »

Zen

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Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2014, 05:12:21 PM »
Hi Ray,

The shots you get will depend on the time of year and the time of day when you are there. Early morning is better for wildlife and mountain flowers. If you enter the park from Jackson, you will drive along the Snake R to the left of the road, and as you approach Teton, watch the left side of the road carefully for free ranging moose. They like to play in the Snake and browse the willows and other shrubs at river's edge. But they like EARLY. Much past 10:30-11 AM, they will be bedded down and more difficult to spot.

If you access from Cody, you will drive along the Shoshone R, on the left of the road. From 2-3 miles east of the Park entrance and into the park at Pahaska Tepee, the area along the river is moose and grizzly bear country. But you must watch sharply to see them.

Inside the park, Hayden Valley is wolf country, and the rangers will tell you if the wolves are active. You will see many buffalo, elk, some antelope, possibly a few mountain goats, coyotes, eagles and other raptors. But you must keep a sharp eye to see them. Take along a pair of good binos and have your passenger scan as you drive. Yellowstone Lake is picturesque and easy to get sweeping panoramic shots, and you'll often see small herds of buffalo and some singles near the water's edge.

As to gear, your 70-200 will be adequate but definitely not enough for the long shots. If you can, try to get your hands on something longer, like a 100-400, and a telextender. A 1.4 is good, but I usually end up using my 2.0. The longer you can get, the more good wildlife shots you will get.

If you are after mountain shots, there are those aplenty. Once again, to get the glacier on the middle Teton, you'll need your longest lens or lens/telextender combo. And, be sure to take along a solid and sturdy tripod for the long shots. If you find a likely spot for wolves, e.g., you'll set up your rig along the road and wait, possibly panning and looking. You'll need the same rig for coyotes, prairie dogs, ground squirrels, too. A hand held 100-400 will be ok for eagles, hawks and falcons on the wing if you have a reasonably steady hand.

I use my 24-105 and/or 24-70 for walking around, but when I go into the park, will always have the 70-200 mounted and sitting on the seat next to me or on my wife's lap - so I can grab it quickly.

Whatever you do, do NOT try to approach buffalo, moose or bull elk. They are dangerous if they get agitated, especially cow moose with calf. That's why you mount the 70-200.

Finally, the gate rangers are well informed on a daily basis regarding good wildlife viewing areas on the days you are there. Sometimes they post notices at the gate, but if not, ask them for that info.

If you are staying at Cody, try the Proud Cut Saloon, right on the main street, which is Sheridan Av, for good food and drinks in a real western atmosphere. In Jackson, look for the Sourdough restaurant, an old log house/restaurant a block off the square.

Have a good trip and enjoy. You will have tons of 'targets of opportunity' in that region.

Zen :)

ray5

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Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2014, 07:05:29 PM »
Hi Surapon and Zen,
Thanks for the suggestions. Please keep them coming. Sometimes I feel that perhaps I should trade in my 24-70 for the 16-35 F/2.8 version II. The 24-70 used to be my default lens but now pretty much its the 70-200. I will be there June 2nd week. Will likely be staying in the OF inn and Mammoth spring inn. I do look forward to getting the 100-400 before I go but was waiting to find out if version II might come out though by the postings here it could be a looong while before that happens!

takesome1

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Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2014, 08:22:04 PM »
Where to shoot is almost everywhere. There are more opportunities than you have time for in five days.

The Teton's are beautiful. Go in the Jackson Lodge for lunch if you are not staying there. The view from the dining room is a rare one.

In Yellowstone if you have not seen the geyser basins plan on spending a day or so with them watching water boil. They are the most unique feature of the park. As far as taking pictures of geysers my favorite is the fountains. Of course any of them can give you a photo opportunity.

When you go past Old Faithful lodge, go in and do go upstairs. It is worth the stop.

If you only have three days it is barely enough to get a good grasp of what is in the park. If you had more time I would suggest taking the upper loop one day and the lower the second. Then the rest of your vacation go back to your favorite spots you find.

If you give us specific types of things you want to see or photograph please share and we can be more specific.
The parks have tons to offer, and they have it to offer everywhere. Landscapes, architecture, geysers, rivers, sheep, moose, bears, elk, buffalo, antelope, wolves, deer and more.
If a certain style of photos, or specific wildlife we could give direction.

Also if you are staying at Mammoth go out the North gate at least once and check out the town. I always take the road to town as it is the most likely place in the park to get close to big horn sheep. Mammoth the last few years has not been as spectacular, the colors seem like they are more washed out.

« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 08:24:30 PM by takesome1 »

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Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2014, 08:51:16 PM »
I took my 70-200 when I went, and ended up stacking 2 TC's, and it still was not enough.  This might be a chance to rent or buy the new Tamron 150-600mm lens.  Take a 1.4X TC as well.  It should AF on your 5D MK III.  A stout tripod is going to be handy as well.

ray5

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Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2014, 09:03:24 AM »
Thanks, am looking into it. Is there a role of getting the 16-35 as well or swapping out the 24-70 for the 16-35? I can't afford the 200-400, but between getting the 100-400 versus a 2X TC with the 70-200, which would be a better choice?

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Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2014, 09:03:24 AM »

takesome1

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Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2014, 09:39:01 AM »
Thanks, am looking into it. Is there a role of getting the 16-35 as well or swapping out the 24-70 for the 16-35? I can't afford the 200-400, but between getting the 100-400 versus a 2X TC with the 70-200, which would be a better choice?

Given the choice between the two I would go with the 2x on the 70-200mm that you already own.
The IQ of the 100-400 in the 100-200mm range is not really close to the 70-200mm. The only reason you would be getting it is for a slight improvement at 400mm.

If you are shooting wildlife and want a longer lens, I would look in to renting one of the big white telephoto's. If this is a once in a life time (or very rare) trip it might be worth the investment. If wildlife isn't your thing then go with the 2x.

I would make the move to the 24-70mm. I always found 24mm to be wide enough for landscape, some may like it wider. The IQ is better and near prime quality from the 24-70mm.


ray5

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Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2014, 04:03:47 PM »
Thanks. I already have the 24-70 F/2.8L version 1. Is there an advantage going wider with the 16-35 II? It seems there are several concerns with that lens?
I don't do wildlife much except for zoos once in a while. Though those are the times I really miss having something longer. I have never used primes as I enjoy the flexibility of zooms.

Zen

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Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2014, 09:00:25 PM »
Ray,

The 16-35 gives you a 33% wider view than your 24-70, while the 17-40 is 'only' 30% wider. I have used both my friend's 16-35 and my own 17-40 and find little difference in overall IQ between the two for most shots. The main differences are the aperture and price. If you think you will shoot lots of low light stuff, then go for the 2.8. But the f4 17-40 is a very nice and very adequate lens. And, since you're shooting a 5D3, with better ISO capability, the 17-40 f4 should handle your low light work easily. Plus, it's only half the price of the 16-35.

Even though you have a 50, don't trade the 24-70 unless you absolutely must, and if you go for the less expensive 17-40, maybe you won't have to.

Re the 70-200 + telextender vs 100-400 + extender, I agree that the 70-200 will give you better IQ, but remember that the 100-400 and the 2.0 extender gives you an 800 mm lens, which you will find useful in Y'stone and Teton. I understand that budget is an issue, as it is with most of us, but you may be able to rent or borrow one or find a used one somewhere. It would be worth it for this trip.

BTW, the 24-70 will be just about perfect for the hot springs, mud flats and sulfur pots near Mammoth. The 16-35 or 17-40 would do well for those shots, too. Ditto for the geisers.

Also, don't leave your polarizer at home, you'll need it. I assume your tripod has a hook on the bottom of the head so you can add the weight of your bag to it to get a little more stability, but if not, I'd suggest you jury rig something for that purpose. There is often a bit of a breeze in the open spaces out there, and if you're shooting long, every bit of weight will help.

Good luck.

Zen :)

ray5

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Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2014, 11:52:50 AM »
Excellent suggestions,thanks!
I never travel without my polarizer. But now with the newer lenses and changing filter sizes am thinking of getting the Lee filters. Have never used them so don't know if there is a learning curve or not.
I could definitely afford to get the 100-400 now but like many, have been holding off hearing the rumors about version II coming out. I am sure it will be substantially more expensive than the current one though.
Thanks for the suggestion of keeping the 24-70. I really like it and the only reason to think about trading it in for the wider angle lens was that I didn't really want to accumulate too many lenses. Though I think if I get a wider angle, either one you suggest or the rumored 14-24 and a longer telephoto my set would be complete.
It looks like you have experience in these two parks. Can you suggest some points to travel in June or some resources/books to pull? I have ordered the expedition guide which would help but nothing to replace personal experience.
My tripod is decent Manfrotto 055CX3PRO. And has served me well, though I haven't shot in difficult terrains, rain or high wind. Thanks a lot.
Surapon,
When are you going? I should be there the week of June 9th.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 02:18:20 PM by ray5 »

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Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2014, 11:22:40 PM »
I wish I had a set of Lee filters with me when I went. Getting an extra stop or two-three from some of the skies would have been nice. I'm not one to do it in post, it never looks as good. I almost want to redo the trip as much because I now have the filters as how beautiful both places are. I was shooting 7D exclusively at the time and used the 24-70 most often followed by an UWA and then a 70-200. I shot more landscape than wildlife though.
Gear: Canon EOS 5DIII | Canon EOS 7D | Canon 24-70 ƒ2.8L | Canon 100 ƒ2.8L | Canon 70-200 ƒ2.8L IS II | 420 EX | Tamrac Evolution 9 | Crumpler 8 MDH | Manfrotto 190QC, 804RC2 head.
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ray5

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Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2014, 09:37:51 AM »
I am too lazy to do any post processing and am very critical of my own work at the same time. The Lee filters are hard to come by but I guess over the next 6 months I could get the imp. ones. I would like the big stopper, what else would you recommend? The 4" by 4", upto what barrel size will it accommodate? I believe it will not be a problem as the filter size on the lenses change as it sits on a holder but how big a lens can it work with?
So, would you recommend the UWA 16-35 or do you think the 24-70 would suffice?
 Thanks

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Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2014, 09:37:51 AM »

takesome1

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Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2014, 09:48:37 AM »
I am too lazy to do any post processing and am very critical of my own work at the same time. The Lee filters are hard to come by but I guess over the next 6 months I could get the imp. ones. I would like the big stopper, what else would you recommend? The 4" by 4", upto what barrel size will it accommodate? I believe it will not be a problem as the filter size on the lenses change as it sits on a holder but how big a lens can it work with?
So, would you recommend the UWA 16-35 or do you think the 24-70 would suffice?
 Thanks

The 24-70 will suffice.
If you can get a Lee holder, and a few nice high quality graduated filters it will help. I have a set of Singh-Ray 4x6 filters and they work great.
The ND filter will be good for the geyser basin, waterfalls and rivers. There are many in Yellowstone.

« Last Edit: January 04, 2014, 09:50:36 AM by takesome1 »

ray5

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Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2014, 01:26:19 PM »
Do you use graduated or hard edge filters? Any specific stops reduction for the filters?

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Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2014, 01:26:19 PM »