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Photo Feature: Yellowstone Park in Winter

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I took a short pause from shooting Oregon basketball to travel with a photography group to Yellowstone Park to shoot landscapes, thermals, geysers, and wildlife. What an awesome journey it was. The weather cooporated as we only had one day of snow and mid-day temps were in the mid 30’s. We had a couple of days when we started out in – 12 degrees but that didn’t slow the group down in the slightest. (Note: the group that came in behind us dealt with -30 degree temps and significant snow).

Photo - Dave Peaks
Photo – Dave Peaks

The group stayed in West Yellowstone and ventured into the park at 6:45 every morning. Most days, we were the first snow coach at the gate. You must have a guide to enter the park in the wintertime. I would venture to say we had the best guides and leaders for a photography adventure. Our Photography leaders were Bob Harvey and Diane Kelsay-Harvey located in Ava, Missouri. They own and operate Nature Photography Adventures. They have been photographing Yellowstone Park in the winter time since 1987. They take three to four groups a year into Yellowstone during the month of January.

Photo - Dave Peaks
(nope, not Eugene) | Photo – Dave Peaks

Our day would start off driving along the Madison River looking for signs of wildlife. On our first morning out, we saw a small herd of Elk standing in the middle of the river. We were told this is a sign predators were near by. The predators were most likely wolves. We drove on because many of the scenery photos need to be taken before mid-day. In the early morning, there is steam rising up from the river plus the steam from nearby thermals. In addition, because of the super saturated steam from the thermals, there is a lot of rime ice on the trees and animals. The rime ice will be gone by afternoon. We were presented with so many photo opportunities early in the day it would be hard to post them all here.

Photo - Dave Peaks
Photo – Dave Peaks

I will start with some of the landscape photos and create other posts to show photos of thermals, and wildlife. This is my first trip into Yellowstone and some of the conditions made it difficult to get stunning photos. I will certainly be going back another year and I now have some experience under my belt. This is my attempt to show the beauty of Yellowstone in the winter.

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