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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Nature & Landscapes Talk 
Thread started 31 Mar 2013 (Sunday) 17:32
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Yellowstone the last week of May

 
benji25
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Mar 31, 2013 17:32 |  #1

Hey guys - I am going on my first real camping trip the last week of May. I am going for a week to Yellowstone/grand Teton. I plan on lugging some gear with me. In order to limit the weight I think I will bring the 60d non-gripped, 18-135 and renting a 100-400. Plus a cheapo tripod. Yes I said it, a cheapo tripod. It is one I already have and is light weight (main concern). I do not plan on using it in water/ under crazy conditions. Mainly just to get some good landscapes.

I am wondering what sort of scenery I will be able to capture with what I have (and wildlife). Have any of you been there in spring and can you offer me some advice? Things you wish you brought/didn't bring. Places to see good wildlife?


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ejenner
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Mar 31, 2013 19:11 |  #2

I haven't done much specific wildlife photography in Yellowstone, but Lamar and Hayden valleys are the obvious places. I would definitely try to talk with someone in the know when you get there. Sometimes the Rangers are useful, but I have found most people standing around with very large lenses tend to be quite approachable and offer more current information. Especially early in the season. Of course you will need to be out there at dawn and dusk.

I have already seen a number of pictures of bears this year, but as with the wolves and other wildlife they tend to move around from week to week. 400mm is not long for wildlife, but it is possible to get quite close to bears and sometimes wolves to the point where it will be enough on a crop. It shouldn't deter you from trying. if your longest lens was 200mm I would suggest a good pair of binoculars instead!

As far as landscapes go, I'm a wide-angle nut, so 18mm on a crop would not really be wide enough for me, but I think it is still good for a lot of general landscapes/geysers.

I think the tripod idea is good. Personally I now have a pretty expensive light rig, but even a cheap light tripod (I guess I consider cheap being ~$150 - $200 for tripod and head) will be a lot better than nothing. As with cameras, the best tripod it the one you have with you. funny you mention rivers - not many people get into the rivers with their tripods, I know you said you wouldn't, but it's a good way to get something a bit different. You are often not allowed to be on the riverbank where there are geothermal features, but you can wade down the river to them.

Seeing a lot of geysers is another trick all to itself. To get the maximum geyser viewing time it helps to know the times and windows they are due and carry a radio set on channel 4.5. The gazers will broadcast times as the geysers erupt. Some may go on long enough for you to get there, or it may just be a case of knowing not to go an wait for that one and move on to the next on your list.


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pleb1024
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Apr 01, 2013 21:25 as a reply to  @ ejenner's post |  #3

I'll be there at that time as well. 3rd visit to Yellowstone. Make sure the cheapo tripod can carry the weight of the 100-400 (including camera!!). Quite a few cant.

100-400 is a good rental option. Be aware that it'll still be too short in yellowstone at times. hell even a 800 is too short sometimes.

You lens combos should allow to capture most situations.

It's my first time in may (both other times have been late jun/july).. so not too sure on locations of the wildlife. Talk with the rangers - they are usually very helpful in where various animals have been spotted recently.

Plan on being on the road early morning and late afternoon as animals are out then.

Also - take the time to enjoy the park not through the lens. It's a beautiful place that deserves some time without the camera.

Daniel


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Scott ­ M
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Apr 04, 2013 11:23 |  #4

I have been to Yellowstone five times, and would go every year if I had the time. As others have said, even 400mm will not be enough reach at times, but you should still be able to get a lot of good shots with that lens. For our last visit, I took a 7D, 100-400L, 17-55 f/2.8 IS and 10-22 lens. I rarely used the 10-22, so you should be fine with just a 18-135mm and 100-400L.

While driving around the park, I highly recommend leaving the 100-400L mounted on the camera, as you never know when a wildlife encounter will occur. Remember -- a mountain or waterfall will wait for you to change lenses, but a grizzly or wolf will not. For our next visit, I plan on taking two bodies to avoid so many lens changes.

For up to date information on wildlife movements, I would suggest checking out http://forums.yellowst​one.net/ (external link) . It's a great site for information on hiking conditions, too.


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benji25
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Apr 04, 2013 16:58 |  #5

Thanks for all of the great info guys. Any thoughts on bring a CPL filter? I don't have one currently but I like the results I see for pictures that have them. Ideally I would like to get the Lee system but not sure if I can afford $300 on a few pieces of glass and metal right now.


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Scott ­ M
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Apr 04, 2013 20:46 |  #6

A CPL filter will be very useful in the thermal areas to cut down on the reflections off the pools.


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rparchen
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Apr 04, 2013 21:07 |  #7

Definitely bring a CPL filter, preferably the best one you can afford. I used to try and get by with cheap filters and switched to a B+W Kasemann Slim MRC and won't turn back now. It'll darken the blue skies and remove the reflections from the pools so you can capture the true color.


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ejenner
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Apr 05, 2013 16:04 as a reply to  @ rparchen's post |  #8

As others have said a CPL is an absolute must for the colorful pools and I would strongly advise even getting yourself some polarized glasses. Last time I was there with extended family I was lending my glasses to everyone and have to find an old polarizer for my brother to put in front of his P&S. Even a cheap one will be 100x better than nothing. I know everyone goes on about cheap filters but given a choice between a $25 CPL and nothing I would choose the CPL every time. It's not like it's going to make your shots 'mushy' and without it there will be almost no color off those pools.

Also, the pools are actually most colorful during the middle(ish) part of the day rather than sunrise and sunset. A nice time to see them when other photography is not very good.


Edward Jenner
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Yellowstone the last week of May
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