The Nature, Wildlife and Pet Photography Forum - Fine Art Landscape Photography

Finally, I truly am getting to Yellowstone.

Posted By: jamesdak

Finally, I truly am getting to Yellowstone. - 09/02/08 09:16 PM

Leave is in and reservations are made. 3 days of shooting in the middle of September! This means that I may be a bit early for color and I'm not sure on the rut but it was then or not for awhile. My main goal this trip will be to shoot as much wildlife as possible and to scout the park for further trips. This time I'll be staying at West Yellowstone.

What I'm after this trip will be bears, wolves and oddly enough porcupines. Plenty of Elk and Moose where I live but the bears are real elusive and the once plenty porcupines here in northern Utah seemed to have dwindled out. So, any hints on where to go would be appreciated. I realize the wolves will be super tough but I haven't seen one in the wild for ages so just a glimpse would be great.

I'll have a 560mm with me that coupled with a cropped DSLR will give me some decent range. I just hope the weather is good as it's a f/6.8 lens and manual focus so good light is required. Otherwise I'm down to the 400/5.6 and relying on the autofocus.

Anyway I am so stoked about finally getting there. I'll got through the old posts on Yellowstone for info but any little tibits you experts have on the location will be greatly appreciated.

Jim
Posted By: Dale Forrest

Re: Finally, I truly am getting to Yellowstone. - 09/03/08 12:31 AM

HI Jim,

Glad to see you're getting to go to Yellowstone.

I always stay in West Yellowstone when I get to go because you can be
in the park in a couple of minutes.

I find myself getting into the park just before sunrise and I travel what I refer
to as the loop around yellowstone to see what I can find.

Have you been there before?

Do you already have a place in West Yellowstone?

I can help you with any questions you may have since Yellowstone is
my favorite place to shoot......

If you want wolves, you will probably see more in the Lamar Valley
between Gardiner and Cooke City.

They usually can be seen at quite a distance from the main road and you
will see a lot of people with spotting scopes to view them.

I would check with the rangers to see about the best place to photograph them.

Will you be hiking alone? If so, be careful.....I'm always concerned when
I hike alone because you never know what could happen unexpectedly etc.

Just be careful....

Enjoy every aspect of Yellowstone....You will love it

I usually enter the park from West Yellowstone and go left through the Gibbon Valley and up to Canyon, or Gardiner.

My best images have been early before the sun breaks over the trees etc.
and just as the sun is setting. Light is always an issue and since I don't have a 2.8 telephoto, I'm always starving for light and film speed etc.

Feel free to ask me any questions and I'll be glad to share my experiences
capturing the wildlife etc.

I don't have any images of the bears yet, I always seem to miss them
when I go later in the year.


Dale
Posted By: dave_lines

Re: Finally, I truly am getting to Yellowstone. - 09/03/08 02:18 AM

we were in yellowstone in july,, wolves in lamar valley, a long distance away though. Bears between mammoth and canyon by way of tower, Have never seen porkies in yellowstone, would ask a ranger there. Good luck and have fun, DAve
Posted By: jamesdak

Re: Finally, I truly am getting to Yellowstone. - 09/03/08 12:44 PM

Dale,

This is actually my first trip to the park despite living about 4 hours away. I always seem to gravitate towards Glacier when I have free time.

I will be alone and this has been the norm for me for all my life. I'm am used to the woods and do take the usual precautions when hiking alone in bear country. Truth is though that I am disable now and this one time marathoner is only good for a few miles of hiking these days so I don't get deep into backcountry anymore.

I am staying at West Glacier for $109 a night, best I could find but open to any possible cheaper solutions. I may even cancel the reservations, throw a mattress in the back of the minivan and stay at a campground. Still this old body appreciates a real bed and shower more nowdays, LOL!!

Seems a lot of the wildlife I'm hoping to shoot is up the the north east section of the park. I too head out before light and call it a day after the sun sets. I'll use the middle of the day to explore the park for family oriented stuff in anticipation of bringing them up next time.

I nailed some good Grizzly shots in Glacier last year but most of my black bears are taken in poor light. So any hints on where to best capture them would be helpful

I do plan on contacting the rangers for wildlife info too. It's always good to get local insight.

I too am a bit "apertue" limited. Plenty of shorter fast primes but can't afford the fast telephotos. That's one reason I like to use the 560/6.8 on my 5D versus the same reach with a 400/5.6 on my 40D. The 5D gives me better performance at the higher ISOs.

I'll probably have a few more questions for you after I do a bit more research,

thanks,
Jim
Posted By: jamesdak

Re: Finally, I truly am getting to Yellowstone. - 09/03/08 12:46 PM

Quote:

we were in yellowstone in july,, wolves in lamar valley, a long distance away though. Bears between mammoth and canyon by way of tower, Have never seen porkies in yellowstone, would ask a ranger there. Good luck and have fun, DAve




Thanks Dave!

The porcupines should be in their mating season and more active during this time frame. My experience has been that they are more prevalent in area with lots of evergreens.
Posted By: dave_lines

Re: Finally, I truly am getting to Yellowstone. - 09/03/08 03:57 PM

If your going to want to shoot in the northern part of the park,, why not see about staying in Gardner, MT. DAve
Posted By: Dale Forrest

Re: Finally, I truly am getting to Yellowstone. - 09/04/08 01:20 AM

Hi Jim,

You might try these people for a place to stay.
They have a nice campground and also camping cabins as well
as nicely furnished cabins etc.

http://www.wyellowstone.com/wagonwheel/rates.htm

If you call, talk to Dorit, She will be very helpful.

They are located in West Yellowstone a few streets off the main street
about in the center of town.

Dale
Posted By: James Morrissey

Re: Finally, I truly am getting to Yellowstone. - 09/08/08 04:16 AM

...you can also stay at my friends at the Buckrail Lodge. The proprietor is Janet Colonel (or just "The Colonel." They are right in Jackson Hole.

www.buckraillodge.com

Cheers,
James

PS Most moose I have seen over the years have been by Grand Teton, not in Yellowstone itself. The northern section of the park is great because I have seen tons of Elk, Pronghorn Antelope, and some wolves. Last year, we also heard a cat in the not to far distance.
Posted By: jamesdak

Re: Finally, I truly am getting to Yellowstone. - 09/15/08 01:04 PM

Decided to add a pass to the Tetons to the trip. FIgure I'll leave real early my last morning at Yellowstone and shoot the Tetons as the sun rises. Can't wait!
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