Yellowstone – Stuck in Customs

Exploring Yellowstone

And Here is the Best of Yellowstone…

The Old Wild Stampede These horses  came thundering onto the scene while I was walking down the road.  I got myself behind a tree so I would not get trampled like Mufasa.  I was lucky that they started kicking up dust in the right position relative to the sun so that their legs cast shadows through the cloud.  I can't take credit for that one!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.
The Morning Steam Through the Forest in Yellowstone I woke up just before 5 AM today so I could get out there and do some sunrise shooting.  It was a great morning and I found all kinds of interesting spots.  I drove by a bank of trees that had some steam from a nearby river flowing through them... and it looked so cool that I hiked around the forest to find a nice configuration of trees and steamy fog.I was exhausted after shooting most of the day.  I drove over the the Firehole River to have a swim.  There was no one else around, and I didn't have a swimsuit, so I just went in my undies.  This seemed like a great idea until my underwear ripped on a rock.  This, combined with very sensitive feet that make me look crazy when walking on a rocky shore, made for quite a scene.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.
An Evening Stroll Around the Cabin I've had a wonderful week here in Montana.  I've been lucky enough to be invited to this private conference here in Yellowstone.  We get together and talk about science, art, and Libertarianism...  It's a very cool and interesting collection of people!A few nights ago, I took a dusk walk around the main cabin.  The horses come graze all around the meadow in the evening... I finally convinced one of them to stand still for a bit.- 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.
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.
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.
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Beautiful Sunset in Yellowstone

Daily Photo – Beautiful Sunset in Yellowstone

I was out in Yellowstone all by myself on a hike to get this shot. It probably wasn’t the smartest thing in the world because there could have been a grizzly bear or something! But, I figured I had a tripod so that I would have been perfectly fine defending myself.

Beautiful Sunset in Yellowstone

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2008-07-05 21:30:49
  • CameraNIKON D2Xs
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/180
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length20.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Suspicious Mama Fox

Strangest Video on the Internet

I might have found it! (Click the title to see the full video frame.)

This is the most random video on the internet 🤣 from r/funny

Daily Photo – Suspicious Mama Fox

This is the first photo I’ve ever taken while I was super high on weed. I actually like other drugs much better than weed; pot tends to make my head feel dizzy and tired. I was out at a ranch in Yellowstone and one of my friends there had one of those pot pens. Anyway, I tried some and then decided to go take pictures of wild animals. I don’t know why. But I sat in a bush for about an hour and then a mommy fox appeared! Did you know a female fox is called a “vixen”? I didn’t know that but now I do…

Suspicious Mama Fox

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-07-10 00:44:07
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length105.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Up, Up and Away!

Dogs are Amazing

Check out this dog… it knows there is a baby in the belly. Thanks again, reddit, for blowing my mind!

She can sense tiny human in belly from aww

Daily Photo – Up, Up and Away!

In the middle of the summer, I visited my friend’s ranch in Yellowstone. I stayed there for a bit over a week and it was an amazing trip! The ranch holds about 15 people, and every few days, a helicopter would arrive to bring more guests in and take other guests out. The horses on the ranch now are so used to it, they completely ignore the chopper and just chomp away on the grass.

Up, Up and Away!

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-07-09 23:59:18
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Wild Fox in Yellowstone

Daily Photo – Wild Fox in Yellowstone

While I was staying with friends in Yellowstone, there was a new family of foxes that were living under a nearby barn. I went over there one day and sat under a tree like a hunter for about an hour. There were three or four cute little cubs. Is that what you call a baby fox? I did find out what you call a female fox: a vixen! I didn’t know that… Who comes up with the names of these things, anyway? That’s a good one.

Wild Fox in Yellowstone

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-07-10 00:44:13
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length105.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Morning in Angkor Wat

Trey’s 360 Podcast – Fossil Hunting with Dr. Jack Horner in Yellowstone

You’ll probably want to check out the video version of this one but I’ll include the audio option as well. 🙂

Join Dr. Jack Horner (part of the inspiration for Sam Neill’s character in Jurassic Park) and I on a short exploration of Slough Creek where he explains the makeup of the landscape while we hunt for some fossils.

Daily Photo – Morning in Angkor Wat

I made it out to this amazing temple three mornings in a row to take photos. Each one was more beautiful than the last. One of my favorite bits was there were a bunch of young Cambodian boys running all over the place offering to bring me coffee. They have this coffee there that they mix with evaporated milk to make it extra creamy.

Morning in Angkor Wat

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2007-06-02 22:43:40
  • CameraNIKON D2Xs
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/160
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length20.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Renee Robyn Leaves the Ranch

Photography Tips

Did you know there are heaps (as they say here in NZ) of Photography Tips here on this site? Just click on that link to see them all! It’s part of the automatic categorization process… it works the same way as “Montana” or “Yellowstone” in the tag descriptions up there.

Daily Photo – Renee Robyn Leaves the Ranch

We all had a great few days at a remote ranch in Yellowstone at our mini Arcanum retreat! You can see Curtis there sitting beside her… there was a lot of photography with her and Jessica Lark, a lot of adventuring, a lot of good conversations, and amazing fun! As she and Curtis were leaving by wagon train, I grabbed this quick photo of her as she departed… there are a lot more photos from that week too; will share them soon!

Renee Robyn Leaves the Ranch

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-07-20 02:31:42
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

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The Horse, Stirred and Shaken

Riding Horses?

I have a confession to make that I think will upset everyone in the audience that enjoys riding horses. Maybe “confession” is the wrong word, because that makes it sound like I did something untoward to the horse. Anyway, I came to the decision that I don’t actually enjoy riding horses. I was at this ranch below in Yellowstone recently, and it was my fourth time there. Every previous time I go horseback riding. This time, when they asked if I wanted to go, I just said no. I really frankly find it to be very uncomfortable and ungainly. I spent more time feeling uncomfortable and awkward than I do enjoying myself. I just go for hikes instead. That’s about 10% discomfort / 90% pleasure. I’m trying to make sure my leisure activities have this sort of discomfort / pleasure ratio.

Daily Photo – The Horse, Stirred and Shaken

In the late afternoon, they let all the horses run out across the meadow. They often come up near the main lodge here to eat flowers and relax. They’re always covered in flies, which must be mega annoying to horses. I would think that is one of the main purposes of tails is to get those flies away. But it doesn’t really reach up to the neck, so every minute or so, this horse would do this crazy neck-shake thing that I captured here.

The Horse, Stirred and Shaken

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-07-15 13:20:30
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3200
  • Aperture
  • ISO640
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

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The Foggy Mists of Yellowstone

Yellowstone or Yosemite?

Which of these two is your favorite? I’ve only been to Yosemite once, but I’ve been to Yellowstone maybe 9 times. I just don’t know Yosemite that well yet, but I know it is the opposite with many people!

Daily Photo – The Foggy Mists of Yellowstone

This is a very strange area of Yellowstone and I’m not even sure how I found it. But I happened to find it quite early in the morning, just after sunrise. I walked and walked through this forest to find interesting tree shapes. I walked and jumped over tiny hot streams the flowed here and there. As they flowed about, they would kick up more mist and fog to add to the overall scene.

The Foggy Mists of Yellowstone

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2009-06-29 13:02:56
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture22
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length34.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Riding to the Ranch

Tip: Shooting at a low f-stop in the middle of the day

I shot this photo below with the Sony A7r and the Leica 35mm all the way at f/1.4. Whenever you shoot wide-open in the daytime, often there is too much light that gets let in. I usually go into manual mode and make the shutter speed uber-fast, like 1/8000. I let the ISO float with Auto-ISO. This way, the light level is always right and the quick shutter speed ensures a sharp photo!

Daily Photo – Riding to the Ranch

Here’s a photo from my recent trip to Yellowstone. I stayed at an amazing ranch there. But, in order to get to the ranch, you either have to hike for 5 hours, ride a horse for 3 hours, or take a wagon for 1.5 hours. I chose the hiking and got an early start. While walking, some of my other friends came rumbling by on the wagon, and that’s when I got this photo.

Riding to the Ranch

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-07-13 08:39:08
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/5000
  • Aperture
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

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