Yellow Stone & A Green Fern
“Follow the Light”
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
I had the pleasure to spend some time in Yellowstone National Park this year, with no agenda and camera in hand. I’ll start with being 100% honest, at one time I had no interest in photographing Yellowstone. It didn’t appeal to me. I grew up nearby and have made many trips to the Park, and have vivid memories of seeing the wonderful places there. You’ve seen photos from YNP, it is truly amazing in every way possible. I don’t really know why it didn’t interest me as a photographer but something changed, and I’ve been itching to get back to this special corner of the world.
There are many sections of the Park I hadn’t visited previously and waned to explore. Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone Falls, Tower Falls and many other places had somehow escaped me on previous visits. I wandered Porcelain Basin on a quiet afternoon and this place, without a doubt, is one of my favorite places I’ve ever been. The colors, the variety, the feeling of Earth being so alive is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. It’s a place I can make images of, but you have to go and be there for the feeling to truly set in. I made another stop at the Artist Paint Pots and on my way there, a photographer stopped me on the trail to tell me all the light was gone. “OK” I said and kept going. I made an image that I’m very happy with there and walked back to the car. Most people had left by then and the air was warm and calm. I was just walking along and this stopped me in my tracks.
Light, shape, form, shadow, detail, simplicity, depth, visual motion, stillness. EVERYTHING I look for in an image was in this simple arrangement of ferns at my feet. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I took 4 photos of slightly different arrangements but this was my first one. You’ll quickly notice the entire image isn’t in focus, only certain parts. I feel there are times for an image to be sharp throughout and times for selective focal points. I chose to not have everything sharp in order to create a sense of visual flow. I also knew I wanted the background to be pure black to isolate the shapes. The only technical detail I’ll share is that this was at 276mm (35mm equivalent), chosen to further isolate the focal point.
My overall impression of Yellowstone NP is that it is a place full of perfection, secrets, mysteries and a strong sense of wonder. This simple arrangement of life took me by surprise and helped me realize all these aspects aren’t always in the grand views. Sometimes, they’re literally at your feet.
Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy:)