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Thread: Yellowstone and Tetons

  1. #11
    Senior Member Jayson's Avatar
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    Never been myself, but definitely saving this for when I do. Hope your trip is awesome!

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayaker72 View Post
    Thanks everyone.

    I agree, I think my travel tripod makes the most sense.
    I use the Monopod to keep the camera up and convenient, not really for support. Waiting for a bird or animal to move it is a good way to be in position for extended periods. Most people hunt out of their cars but seldom do you take shots out of the windows. It is rude to block traffic. You should pull over, and when you do there is inevitably a little walk to get position. Last year the Rangers were forcing people to move to pull outs and not letting them park on the shoulders. In general the Lamar Valley you will see quit a bit of wildlife and it will offer few quality opportunities. If you get one really good photo opportunity a day you will be doing good.

    Yellowstone is just like any other opportunity, you get what you put in to it. If you just car hunt you will get that quality of results and everyone in a vehicle behind you get the same results. Walking and stalking give you a better chance for unique pictures but on family trips it is hard to do.

    If you want pictures of Eagles close up and in flight go to the West Yellowstone entrance. The Madison as you enter the park for the first few miles before the mountains will give you the chance to be close. Outside the park just out of West Yellowstone headed South you can turn west just after crossing the Madison, drive in to the National Forest and work the trails next to the lake. Sometimes the Eagles will perch in the trees on the cliffs next to the lake. You can get really close to them but it is hit and miss.

    Another bird spot would be the Hayden Valley along the Yellowstone River. You might get to see the Trumpeter Swans.

  3. #13
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    So, a few impressions from the trip. First, I took (% used out of ~2,200 images):
    • 5DIV (52%)
    • M6 II (48%)
    • 16-35 f/4 IS (2%)
    • 24-70 II (45%)
    • 85 f/1.4 IS (3%)
    • 500 f/4 II (48%)
    • EF-m 28 macro (not used)
    • 1.4x TC and 2x TC (not used)
    • Travel tripod


    The % used are approximate for unedited pictures. It will be more interesting in how many "keepers" there are, but you can see the general trend. I also "borrowed" the 100-400 II that I had lent to my wife for ~6% of my shots).

    Inside the parks, I mostly shot the 5DIV with the 24-70 II and the M6 II on the 500 f/4 II. I occasionally swapped out lenses on the M6 II, but mostly it stayed on the 500 f/4. While I have many shots with it, I can tell you already most of my favorite images have a bit of landscape with the animals, so they usually came from something a bit wider. As for next time, I'll debate the 500. Unless it is something specific, I can see maybe using the 100-400 II and, if I want more reach, add on the 1.4x TC. That said, I could see some specific instances where I would want it.

    Tripod was used for some waterfalls, sunrise/sunset images. I did not need my larger tripod, the travel was perfect for this.

    One main takeaway, but places like Yellowstone, you can get good images with almost any focal length. The animals can be very close, very far and almost every distance in between. So, you will get good images with whatever you bring...and, no matter what, there will be images you do not get because a particular focal length is in the bag and not on your camera at that specific instance.
    Last edited by Kayaker72; 08-24-2020 at 06:26 PM.

  4. #14
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    I was debating if I should add images to other current threads, but I think I will populate this thread for ideas for future trips.

    Moulton Barn, Tetons National Park

    In Explore--6S0A9798 by kayaker72, on Flickr

    6S0A9905-Pano by kayaker72, on Flickr

  5. #15
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Moose- Grant Teton's National Park

    6S0A9945 by kayaker72, on Flickr

    6S0A0019 by kayaker72, on Flickr

    6S0A0053 by kayaker72, on Flickr

    6S0A0086 by kayaker72, on Flickr

    IMG_9517 by kayaker72, on Flickr

    IMG_9563 by kayaker72, on Flickr

    These are all from Schwabacher Landing. It was my second stop after shooting sunrise at Moulton Barn. After shooting some reflections in the water, I noticed some excited people from around the corner. As I walked around a corner to see a small crowd gathered around the moose family. I got there after the others and actually tried to keep some distance, so my angles are a bit off. After it was all over, I was definitely more impressed with the moose as some people were probably 5-10 ft away (on trail with moose in small bog just off trail). In the end, the moose grazed calmly, and then exited away from the small crowd. That said, this is one of those, "in retrospect" thoughts, but just because others are doing it does not make it smart or right. A second example of this happened two days later as we say ~6 cars pulled over. As we drove by, we asked and they had just seen a grizzly run across the road and they were going to go try to find it in the thick brush. As we drove away we saw about 10 of them head off into the woods with their camera phones out.
    Last edited by Kayaker72; 08-24-2020 at 01:49 PM.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Jonathan Huyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayaker72 View Post
    A second example of this happened two days later as we say ~6 cars pulled over. As we drove by, we asked and they had just seen a grizzly run across the road and they were going to go try to find it in the thick brush. As we drove away we saw about 10 of them head off into the woods with their camera phones out.
    Firstly, nice shots! And good job getting decent shots without bothering the moose. I like #1 and #4 the best (the wider angle views) because they give a great sense of place. So it goes to show that there's no big advantage in getting close. With regards to the grizzly gang, that sort of behaviour just makes me cringe but I know it happens all the time. Out here there is pretty good patrolling being done, and when a bear is hanging out near a road then parks personnel will be on site to police the crowds. That very thing happened to me two weeks ago when I was on my road bike (on a road that is presently closed to traffic) --- a park ranger told me there was a grizzly up ahead. Sure enough, I went past and there he was, 10 metres off the road in the grass. Needless to say I did not stop to grab a shot, and in fact I made a new PR on the Strava segment for that part!

  7. #17
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    Oh yeah, these are great. #1 is a gem.

    Chasing down a griz in the woods is the definition of insanity. I know it goes on, but still amazes me when I hear this stuff.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayaker72 View Post
    A second example of this happened two days later as we say ~6 cars pulled over. As we drove by, we asked and they had just seen a grizzly run across the road and they were going to go try to find it in the thick brush. As we drove away we saw about 10 of them head off into the woods with their camera phones out.

    This is why you take the 500mm. The cell phone people are always eaten first. The 500mm keeps you at the safest distance.

  9. #19
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Ha....all I can say is that I never saw them again.

    I am thinking of creating a bit of a photo record of places to visit, so, these are actually what I was photographing before I knew about the moose.

    Schwabacher Landing

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    And then I came back for sunset (also entering in the weekly contest):

    6S0A0132-Pano-1 by kayaker72, on Flickr

    I would love to make it for a sunrise, I opted for Moulton Barn as there were no clouds. But, with some clouds, this could be a great sunrise location....BTW...the cow and calf moose are actually in the sunset shoot, all the way at the end of the water. I haven't processed those shots yet.

  10. #20
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    A few other stopping points in Grand Teton NP that could easily be worth a sunrise/sunset even though that didn't work out for m.

    Snake River Overlook was made famous by Ansel Adams. Literally just a pull off the HWY. The trees have grown so the S-curve in the Snake isn't visable.

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    Teton Point Turnout (again, just of HWY 191):

    6S0A9842 by kayaker72, on Flickr

    Oxbow Turn out (really working hard here, a third just off the road):
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    Finally, I found this in a guidebook I bought, but Hendrick Pond Overlook is down some dirt roads and then a short hike as the last road was gated off:

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    Jenny Lake was a mess with people and that was one of our promises we made to do this trip during the pandemic, so we kept driving. But there are plenty of views, waterfalls, short hikes, etc from the Jenny Lake area and other lakes up against the mountains themselves.

    Finally, heading north, Colter bay from the beach...I feel like there is a better composition from this location, but did not work it much as this was our travel day, rain, etc.
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