This view of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone was made famous by Thomas Moran in his painting “Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone” in 1871. The beauty that Moran portrayed in his paintings of Yellowstone Canyon were thought to be instrumental in getting congress to establish Yellowstone as our first national park in 1872. The Lower Falls of the Yellowstone at Artist Point is still one of the most popular tourist destinations in Yellowstone, and for good reason. Before you even encounters the grandeur of the falls, you can hear the roaring waters as they plunge 308 feet to the canyon floor.
I’ve seen and photographed the falls many times, but its splendor never fails to amaze me. Spring is the best time to photograph the falls since winter snowmelt swells the water volume to peak levels. On this particular morning in May, a brief snow squall blew through, dusting the evergreen trees in the inner canyon with a light coating of snow. Navigating some icy patches along the paved walkway, I set up my tripod and Nikon D300 to try to effectively capture the scene. Using an 18-200mm zoom lens and camera settings of ISO 200 with a moderate depth of field at f/11, the falls and surrounding canyon were rendered in sharp focus with the background evergreens moving progressively out of focus. The lens was set at 50mm to exclude the gray, cloudy sky that was above the evergreen trees. The final image was shot using a cable release at a shutter speed of 1/100th second. – Sandy Sisti
Nikon D300, AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G zoom lens
You can find Sisti’s photography at WildatHeartImages.com and this image is available for sale as a print and greeting card at this link. Stay updated on her work by following her on Flickr, Twitter and Facebook.