Thursday, May 26, 2011

Yellowstone in Storm Light

This is the year for nearly continuous storms in our part of the country.  When we visit Yellowstone, we prefer to take photos in great light, but we certainly aren't going to put the cameras away if the weather doesn't cooperate.  So, what can be done to get decent photos in storm light?

One option is to use the storm clouds as part of the composition.  Here at the Upper Terrace at Mammoth Hot Springs I think the storm complements the steam.


Images with a more graphic composition may work better if the sky is excluded.  This tree at the Upper Terrace seems more dramatic with the subdued folds of black hills in the background.

Lower Falls and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone are normally shown with gorgeous yellow color in the canyon walls.  But, we were there in light snow and bald skies which erased much of the dramatic color.  Without color, one approach is to try to capture the atmosperic conditions while retaining the sweep of the canyon walls and the falls.  To do this, one option is to minimize the uninteresting sky, showing just enough to retain the shape of the horizon.  That way, the light snow softens the mountain and trees in the background so the viewer can understand the stormy conditions.

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