Old Faithful Sunrise

 On our last morning in the Old Faithful area of Yellowstone National Park, I decided to get up extra early (and that is very difficult to do when the outdoor temps are below 0°F!) and shoot a sunrise looking out over the thermal pools.

To get an “environmental” shot of the area, I walked west (I think!) of Old Faithful for about 15 minutes. Along the way, in the very low light, I noticed some movement paralleling my travel. After a few seconds of watching this, I realized a coyote was about 100 feet away from me, apparently out for an early morning breakfast hunt. Way too dark to try to photograph it, so I just watched and savored being in the wilderness! Shortly after, I arrived at my destination and set up my tripod and camera. Sunrise was still a good 15 minutes away, so my main activity was just trying to stay warm!

Once the sun started rising, the show was nothing less than spectacular … quite a way to send me on my way home! Here are 3 of my favorite images of the Old Faithful sunrise. In this first image, the sun is still behind the mountains in the background, but you can see some color starting to develop in the steam of Old Faithful geyser (that’s Old Faithful towards the center of the image, in the background):


Old Faithful (Yellowstone NP) Sunrise


In this next image, as the sun rises, the color is definitely starting to saturate in the steam clouds:

Old Faithful (Yellowstone NP) Sunrise


When teaching my “Landscapes & Moonscapes” photography class, I always punctuate the statement of “never stop watching/shooting once the sun’s risen … you never know what’s going to happen next”. This is a very good example of what can happen:


Old Faithful (Yellowstone NP) Sunrise

In this last image, Old Faithful, as well as some other area geysers, have just become active, sending an abundant amount of steam into the air. The low-rising sun does it’s fair share, illuminating the steam cloud for a really nice image. Note the sun can be seen through the steam cloud as it rises above the mountains. What a nice “Good Bye” from Old Faithful!

Monday’s post will feature some wildlife that we encountered on our snowcoach ride back to Mammoth Hot Springs.


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