February 24, 2018, 07:25:08 AM

Author Topic: Yellowstone and Grand Teton Photo Advice  (Read 973 times)

ray5

  • EOS 6D Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 435
Yellowstone and Grand Teton Photo Advice
« on: February 12, 2018, 11:09:49 AM »
Hi
I am heading to these parks this summer. I have found many sites in Grand Teton that are consistently mentioned as good spots but not Yellowstone. Could you recommend some sites in both parks and any other pointers to be aware off? Thx
Ray

canon rumors FORUM

Yellowstone and Grand Teton Photo Advice
« on: February 12, 2018, 11:09:49 AM »

reef58

  • EOS Rebel T7i
  • ****
  • Posts: 106
Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton Photo Advice
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2018, 12:26:37 PM »
I am in the same boat as you.  I will be there the end of August for 5 or 6 days.  A lot depends on what you like to shoot and your style.  My overall recommendation would be to beat the crowds.  Start early finish late, but be aware of wildlife.  I have a couple of shots I am looking to get, so I have an idea of where I want to be and where, but it is weather dependent.  I would explore the park and see what happens.  If you are after wildlife shots the eastern side seems to have more volume.

Good luck

monkey44

  • EOS 6D Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 409
Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton Photo Advice
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2018, 11:18:49 PM »
Lamar Valley is great for bison, swans, elk, and we saw a brown bear and a wolf out there ... also, Hayden Valley is great too.  Lots of small animals.  White Pelicans hang out past Fishing Bridge in a small valley ...

If you want great views - mountain pass - head out over the Bear Tooth highway ... it's outside the park - north.

Psyclone

  • PowerShot G7 X Mark II
  • **
  • Posts: 11
  • Storage is cheap - shoot early, shoot often
Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton Photo Advice
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2018, 02:39:12 PM »
Norris Geyser Basin and Porcelain Geyser Basin are very good.
Great Fountain Geyser and Grand Geyser are very good too.

Mammoth hot springs is worth a visit.  The Firehole River canyon is also very neat.

Don't underestimate the distance between points of interest.  Yellowstone is deceptively huge.  And try to avoid driving after dark.  The wildlife likes to use the roads, and they don't have any fear of cars.  I had a hair-raising drive in YNP at night once.  No desire to repeat that.
Too much gear to use all at once.
Never enough time to use too much gear.

mnclayshooter

  • EOS 80D
  • ****
  • Posts: 312
  • I love shooting - clay pigeons and photos!
Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton Photo Advice
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2018, 04:04:40 PM »
Here's the deal:


If you've never been there, it is massive.  HUGE.  The park is laid out in generally a figure 8 shape of roadways and each node is roughly 2 hours separated (once you factor in traffic jams etc). 


There's literally something to photograph at every stretch of the road.  Bison will be present virtually everywhere in the park, but Hayden and Lamar areas are focus points for 4-legged animals in herds.  Elk will be more present in the forest areas, bison, antelope etc in the wider-open areas, but those are strong "Generalites". 


Waterfalls are interesting but expect crowds of tour buses full of people hoping to get a quick selfie a the "Best spots".  You will see what I mean as soon as you try to get to see any of the "major" destinations. 


Geysers and hotsprings are focused mostly on the west side, at Norris and the lower gyeser basin, but there's some cool views and landscape shots with the lake down at the west thumb geyser area. 


Grand prismatic spring is beautiful, especially with early morning or evening sunlight, but the bright colors will show best with direct overhead sun. 


For bears - your best bet is to watch for huge traffic jams and ask around at the gas stations and convenience stores, they are usually listening to traffic radios and will possibly have insights.  You're really lucky if you spot one and nobody else is there, but that's probably not going to happen. 


Mammoth Hot springs are pretty cool, not a LOT of active photography there, other than some historic buildings and the springs themselves.  There will be a few animals around there too, we saw herds of elk just laying in town. 


There's two good photography guide books that I found helpful... I will try to find the titles and share them back here. 

Edit: Guide book 1, Guide Book 2


For some of the best animal viewing - evening - just before dusk seemed to be best when we were there.  Just be mindful if you wander far from your car, that predators are around and might be taking interest in you.  Wolves and Bears are the main risk.  Carry Bear spray and hope not to use it! 







My biggest piece of advice.  Focus on one area or segment of the figure 8 roads per day and spend your time there.  You'll spend your whole day in the car otherwise.  Pack some food/drinks and snacks so you can multi-task... drive and eat at the same time. 


Another piece of advice - be a little "sneaky".  If you show up with a tripod and a 600mm White lens you're going to draw the looky-loos.  Sometimes that's good, you can offer to let someone look through your lens to see something WAY In the distance and make their day.  Other times, you can quickly draw a crowd and ruin your good opportunity for a photo.  I shot my whole trip with 2 lenses.  A 100-400 and a 16-35. 


One area outside of the park that is not often discussed is the northeast entrance and the Beartooth highway.  Some GORGEOUS views up there and WAY less crowding. 





« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 04:26:14 PM by mnclayshooter »
Pull!... click... crap!  Lemme try it again...
Pull!  click... boom... crap! Lemme try it again...
Definition of insanity?

meckley

  • PowerShot G7 X Mark II
  • **
  • Posts: 12
Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton Photo Advice
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2018, 05:02:11 PM »
I highly recommend the Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook. It is a bit of a hike to get up there, but the view and photograph are worth the hike. If you follow the trail out a little longer, you get to Fairy Falls and then to Imperial Geyser. Imperial Geyser was great. We were the only ones there and there was no boardwalk around the geyser.
Canon 7D2 & EOS's M3 & M5

ray5

  • EOS 6D Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 435
Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton Photo Advice
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2018, 06:00:58 PM »
Here's the deal:


If you've never been there, it is massive.  HUGE.  The park is laid out in generally a figure 8 shape of roadways and each node is roughly 2 hours separated (once you factor in traffic jams etc). 


There's literally something to photograph at every stretch of the road.  Bison will be present virtually everywhere in the park, but Hayden and Lamar areas are focus points for 4-legged animals in herds.  Elk will be more present in the forest areas, bison, antelope etc in the wider-open areas, but those are strong "Generalites". 


Waterfalls are interesting but expect crowds of tour buses full of people hoping to get a quick selfie a the "Best spots".  You will see what I mean as soon as you try to get to see any of the "major" destinations. 


Geysers and hotsprings are focused mostly on the west side, at Norris and the lower gyeser basin, but there's some cool views and landscape shots with the lake down at the west thumb geyser area. 


Grand prismatic spring is beautiful, especially with early morning or evening sunlight, but the bright colors will show best with direct overhead sun. 


For bears - your best bet is to watch for huge traffic jams and ask around at the gas stations and convenience stores, they are usually listening to traffic radios and will possibly have insights.  You're really lucky if you spot one and nobody else is there, but that's probably not going to happen. 


Mammoth Hot springs are pretty cool, not a LOT of active photography there, other than some historic buildings and the springs themselves.  There will be a few animals around there too, we saw herds of elk just laying in town. 


There's two good photography guide books that I found helpful... I will try to find the titles and share them back here. 

Edit: Guide book 1, Guide Book 2


For some of the best animal viewing - evening - just before dusk seemed to be best when we were there.  Just be mindful if you wander far from your car, that predators are around and might be taking interest in you.  Wolves and Bears are the main risk.  Carry Bear spray and hope not to use it! 







My biggest piece of advice.  Focus on one area or segment of the figure 8 roads per day and spend your time there.  You'll spend your whole day in the car otherwise.  Pack some food/drinks and snacks so you can multi-task... drive and eat at the same time. 


Another piece of advice - be a little "sneaky".  If you show up with a tripod and a 600mm White lens you're going to draw the looky-loos.  Sometimes that's good, you can offer to let someone look through your lens to see something WAY In the distance and make their day.  Other times, you can quickly draw a crowd and ruin your good opportunity for a photo.  I shot my whole trip with 2 lenses.  A 100-400 and a 16-35. 


One area outside of the park that is not often discussed is the northeast entrance and the Beartooth highway.  Some GORGEOUS views up there and WAY less crowding.

Thanks a bunch! This is going to be my second visit. I realized how massive it was last time I went. We went in the summer and despite that had reasonably lucky with the wild life. Didn't se any grizzlies though. I had my 70-200mm F2.8L II and a 2TC. Good but not enough. Might buy the 100-400 before this time and a 1.4TC.
I had gone to the fairy Falls trail and then hiked up the hill for the Grand Prismatic but I believe there is a formal overlook now?
Seeing the bison for the first time was awe inspiring! Thanks for the resources.
Ray

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton Photo Advice
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2018, 06:00:58 PM »

mnclayshooter

  • EOS 80D
  • ****
  • Posts: 312
  • I love shooting - clay pigeons and photos!
Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton Photo Advice
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2018, 03:35:59 PM »
I highly recommend the Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook. It is a bit of a hike to get up there, but the view and photograph are worth the hike. If you follow the trail out a little longer, you get to Fairy Falls and then to Imperial Geyser. Imperial Geyser was great. We were the only ones there and there was no boardwalk around the geyser.


I'm not 100% sure, but it was under construction last I checked (in other words, not open to public).  Might be worth checking before heading out there.  The trail was completely closed at the time I was there.

Pull!... click... crap!  Lemme try it again...
Pull!  click... boom... crap! Lemme try it again...
Definition of insanity?

ray5

  • EOS 6D Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 435
Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton Photo Advice
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2018, 04:52:11 PM »
It looks like there is a observation platform but not exactly where folks used to scramble up the hill. I make this guess from my shots from three years ago and current google search but close enough.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Yellowstone and Grand Teton Photo Advice
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2018, 04:52:11 PM »