Yel­low fever

Mark Warnes cap­tures the rugged beauty of Yel­low­stone Na­tional Park’s geo­ther­mal land­scape with­out fall­ing into the trap of cap­tur­ing clichés

NPhoto - - Mark Warnes -

My dad bought me a cam­era for my birth­day when I was young and I’ve been ad­dicted to pho­tog­ra­phy ever since. I shoot Nikon be­cause I love the stories be­hind the pho­to­graphs. From Don McCullin’s life­sav­ing Nikon F to Thomas Man­gelsen’s de­voted stud­ies of na­ture, the most com­pelling images al­ways seem to fea­ture Nikon. It’s now my turn to tell my Nikon story.

Kit choice is im­por­tant in Yel­low­stone. Tim­ing is crit­i­cal in a harsh en­vi­ron­ment like this – there’s often no sec­ond chance to get the shot. I needed to trust my cam­eras 100%, so I took my trusty Nikon D750. The Grand Pris­matic Spring

[1] is both breath­tak­ing and frus­trat­ing. Its sheer scale, com­bined with the hordes of tourists, nar­row board­walks and bil­low­ing steam, make it chal­leng­ing to pho­to­graph. How­ever, I dis­cov­ered that the hill be­hind the spring pro­vides won­der­fully colour­ful shots as the af­ter­noon light catches the wa­ter. Shoot­ing from here is not con­doned by the Na­tional Park Ser­vice, as there’s a risk of bear en­coun­ters, but it pro­vided the best view of the spring’s geo­ther­mal en­ergy. My sec­ond shot of the spring

[3] was taken with an 1835mm wide an­gle zoom,

Its sheer scale, cou­pled with hordes of tourists, nar­row board­walks and bil­low­ing steam, make it dif­fi­cult to pho­to­graph

to try and cap­ture the sheer size of the spring while re­tain­ing some of the finer de­tails the bac­te­ria mats pro­vided in the fore­ground. A po­lar­iz­ing fil­ter helped re­duce re­flec­tions from the wa­ter whilst en­hanc­ing the vivid colours of the spring. Con­trary to most pho­tog­ra­phy ad­vice around, it’s ac­tu­ally best pho­tographed in the mid­dle of the day, when the over­head sun­light fil­ters deep into the coloured pools.

For Dawn Fish­ing [2], I set up at dawn, hop­ing to catch some elk or bi­son in the morn­ing mist that hung over the Madi­son River. As the sun be­gan to warm the cold air and burn through the mist, sil­hou­ettes of the fish­er­men started to ap­pear in the river. As the mist lifted, the scene be­gan to glow golden.

I’ve al­ways loved the iconic Ansel Adams images of Yel­low­stone. My shot of the Lower Falls [4] was taken from a pop­u­lar vista known as Artist Point. I wanted to fo­cus on the great light bounc­ing off the rugged land­scape in the fore­ground, while still con­vey­ing the power and beauty of the falls them­selves. Us­ing a tri­pod al­lowed me to use a slower shut­ter speed to slightly blur the wa­ter­fall and mist. I felt it en­hanced the move­ment in the scene. I also used a nar­row aper­ture to max­i­mize depth of field, and keep all of the main el­e­ments of the photo in fo­cus.

Grand Pris­matic Spring 1 Nikon D750, 24-70mm f/2.8, 1/125 sec, f/9, ISO100 Dawn Fish­ing Nikon D750, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6, 0.8 sec, f/14, ISO100

Grand Pris­matic Spring 2 Nikon D750, 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5, 1/100 sec, f/13, ISO100 Lower Falls Nikon D750, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6, 1/25 sec, f/16, ISO100

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