After my Grand Teton Workshop ended last week I encountered crystal clear skies on what was to be my last shoot before catching an early flight the next morning. Not wanting to waste any opportunities to make an image, myself and Richard Bernabe headed north into Yellowstone National Park to work the geothermal geyser basins knowing that the clear light mixed with the steam from the geysers would produce great atmospherics. The hardest part about shooting the geysers are the fact that you have to stay on the boardwalk with the other tourists. This is not a problem at sunrise of course, but in the afternoon and towards sunset the popular park locations are overrun with people. All I can offer is be patient, ignore the litany of stupid platitudes thrown your way and wait till no one is walking around your tripod, or otherwise the images just will not be sharp. This was especially a big problem for this image. I was shooting about one hour before sunset and the light was still pretty bright. I wanted to create an image with motion so I used a ten stop ND filter with my Circular Polarizer to run a 15 second exposure. Every time I would start the exposure either the smoke was to think, would blow towards the camera covering my lens in an inch thick of condensation or s group would walk by shaking the boardwalk and blurring the image. I was lucky enough to come away with one single image, properly exposed with the smoke blowing in the right direction and of course no shake from passerby’s.
Originally Published September 26, 2011