Best of: Yellowstone – Stuck in Customs

Best of: Yellowstone

Continuing the Best Of series, here we go into Yellowstone!

A Soft Summer Night in the Marsh My shoes have never been the same since I started tromping through this muck.  That part didn't bother me so much, but I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to make a hasty escape if something started running after me.  I didn't see anything that would start a chase... there was a herd of about 14 elk about 300 meters away.  I had never seen them stampede randomly in the direction of a photographer, so I felt kinda good about that.  Remember, all of these were just half-fleeting thoughts that were only half-baked...  I was mostly just peacefully staring at the sunset and listening to my iPod alone in the wilderness.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Long Road in MontanaThis is the road I got stuck on after my 4-wheeler caught on fire.  Now, of course, I had all my photography equipment with me... who wouldn't take a whole host of photo equipment on a 4-wheeler joyride?  I don't know!  I mean, you gotta be ready just in case the dang thing catches on fire!- Trey RatcliffRead more, including some info on how to snag a Google+ invite, here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Morning. Coffee. Yellowstone. Fog. My poor family.  I dragged them all out of bed at 5 AM and put them in the car so I could go take this photo.  I did load up on plenty of coffee to keep things fresh and warm on this cool morning, but my kids zonked out in the back of the car anyway.  Well, if they're not asleep, they're whining, "Dad???  You stopping again!" ... I rush out the door and trail off, muttering into the wind, "Yes but art must be made, you see..."This spot is not too far from the entrance to West Yellowstone.  The warm water that comes from the earth mixes with the cool morning sky.  It creates a surreal layer of fog that simply rests on top of the river.  It flows up, around, and through the neighboring trees.  It reminds me of the dry ice that comes out of cauldrons on Halloween.To take this shot, I set up with a tripod and grabbed 7 exposures from +3 to -3.  I always anchor at even zero for these "sun shots."  I also set up for matrix metering, since you can't figure out where in the dynamic range to hang your spot.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

A View With my Coffee Thank God McDonald's opened around 5 AM!I woke up just before to put on my photo-ninja outfit to be sure to get the sunrise in Yellowstone. Once you are in the park, there’s not a lot of food or drink options, and it’s not a good idea to take a bag o’ food out into the wild. But, it was a good idea to stop at McDonald's in West Yellowstone to get a giant coffee.The rivers in Yellowstone are fed by both rain and geothermal sources, so the water is a bit more warm than you would expect. The cool mornings, even in July, brings fresh steam off the tops. Once the sun finally comes up, it gives everything a golden hue.I know that many of you have used my World of Textures Tutorial (thanks!) to try some different things with your photography. I still do this a lot too. Obviously, I did it here as well, and used three different textures to achieve this.Tomorrow, stay tuned for a new video that shot while at another location in Yellowstone. I gave a sneak peak of it to people that got the Newsletter… I tried to set low expectations, and that seemed to work because people liked it! Ah well… let me try to reset low expectations… it’s not that good.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Atomic Explosion and Mushroom Fallout at Sunset If you want to see how I made this (and how you can too!), visit my HDR Tutorial. I hope it gives you some new tricks!I think about all the sunsets I miss. I always seem to be out and about somewhere, noticing a great sunset whilst noticing that I am not even close to my camera and tripod. It's just unacceptable!This day and evening I was in Yellowstone alone. I had just seen a grizzly bear and a black bear about 30 minutes before this shot, both of which are pretty rare to see. They went on their way and I was left in the middle of this area with just a few elk meandering a few hundred feet from me. I tried to not get overly "sucked into" the sunset, trying to remember those bears that were lurking about. The ground was pretty marshy here, so I was not in optimal conditions for running from a bear.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.