"By wresting a precious particle of the world from time
and space and holding it absolutely still, a great photograph can explode the
totality of our world, such that we never see it quite the same again." -Robert Draper, National Geographic, 150th anniversary
was with this quote in mind that we set off into Yellowstone. Our goal was to
enter into these parks with the attitude of the famous expeditions before us.
To witness this place for the first time. To feel alone on the planet amid the
gurgling and thumping geysers that exhale steam like sleeping dragons. To hold
our breaths as coyotes slink by with noses to an invisible trail. To share in
the rigors of life in the cold alongside frosty bison and ravenous elk. And to
capture this experience in photographs that would transcend their two
dimensional borders. Photographs that capture the sound of bighorn sheep
clambering on the cliffs, the sulfury smell of a hot spring, and the feeling of
the air freezing in your lungs with every breath.
Entering the park with photography in mind allows us to seek out the subtleties in this environment. We search for wolves and moose, but we also sit still, and take in the experience. A great photograph is taken deliberately. Many of the most powerful photographs are taken after days, weeks, or years of soaking in an experience before the lens cap is ever taken off. A wise fortune cookie once said "A problem clearly stated is a problem half-solved." This is true of photography. What, precisely, draws me to this scene? Once the answer crystalizes, turn the camera on.
|Elk along the Gros Ventre River|
|Pines drowned and petrified by geothermal outwash|
|Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone|
|Frosty morning in the Lamar Valley|
|Mammoth hot springs at night|
|Ravens together on an extinct thermal cone|
|Coyote on the trail|
|Bison digging for grass|
|Bald eagle landing|
We were also lucky enough to witness some amazing wolf/elk interactions. A female black wolf has an elk pinned against a cliff in the below video clip.
|Lamar Canyon black female 926F pulling on a carcass|