Yellowstone in Winter

Alan Goldberg

Jim decided to do a photo tour to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons next January -- the best time to see these national parks -- so he thought he'd post a shot he took a few years ago at one of the geothermal areas in early morning light. He has always had mixed feelings about the hexagonal flare caused by reflections off the blades of the aperture inside the lens. Part of him thought they add to the picture in that they underscore how brilliant the light was; the other part thinks they are distracting. Backlit steam in a snowy environment always makes for drama in a photograph, and the texture of the pristine snow, the raised head of the elk, and the blue sky contribute, in his opinion, to the success of this shot. His settings were 1/250, f/16, and 200 ISO. He had never had problems with his camera in extreme cold, but serious planning has to be done to protect fingers and toes when shooting in winter. For his feet, he wore boots rated at minus 100 degrees Fahrenheit. For his fingers, he wore on his right hand only a glove liner for complete manual dexterity. He put 5 or 6 heat packets in the right-hand pocket of his parka, and when his fingers got cold he held the warmer. That replaced the lost heat so he was able to keep shooting. This is the only solution he has found to deal with extreme cold.

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