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Subject: "Yellowstone in the winter" Previous topic | Next topic
bobpilot Silver Member Nikonian since 08th May 2007Sat 26-Jan-13 11:11 PM
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"Yellowstone in the winter"
Sat 26-Jan-13 11:15 PM by bobpilot

Washington, US
          

I don't like cold weather; not fond of snow, don't like wearing layers of clothes. So, for what reason did I make a reservation at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel in February? I guess I am bored and wanted a challenge. So, leave in a few weeks.

I've been told that there is a road open so I can drive to an area to view wildlife in the Lamar Valley. Other than this, I've made no plans.

Photo Equipment:

600mm
70-200
180 macro
105
28-70

D3s
D3x

Tripods


Will Snowshoes be useful? I'd like to get a short distance off the road.


  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Yellowstone in the winter
dm1dave Administrator
27th Jan 2013
1
Reply message RE: Yellowstone in the winter
bobpilot Silver Member
27th Jan 2013
4
     Reply message RE: Yellowstone in the winter
dm1dave Administrator
28th Jan 2013
9
          Reply message RE: Yellowstone in the winter
bobpilot Silver Member
28th Jan 2013
11
Reply message RE: Yellowstone in the winter
bobpilot Silver Member
27th Jan 2013
2
Reply message RE: Yellowstone in the winter
Triple Productions Gold Member
27th Jan 2013
3
Reply message RE: Yellowstone in the winter
bobpilot Silver Member
28th Jan 2013
5
     Reply message RE: Yellowstone in the winter
Triple Productions Gold Member
28th Jan 2013
6
     Reply message RE: Yellowstone in the winter
bobpilot Silver Member
28th Jan 2013
8
     Reply message RE: Yellowstone in the winter
Triple Productions Gold Member
28th Jan 2013
13
          Reply message RE: Yellowstone in the winter
bobpilot Silver Member
28th Jan 2013
14
               Reply message RE: Yellowstone in the winter
Triple Productions Gold Member
28th Jan 2013
15
     Reply message RE: Yellowstone in the winter
dm1dave Administrator
28th Jan 2013
10
     Reply message RE: Yellowstone in the winter
coolmom42 Silver Member
28th Jan 2013
7
          Reply message RE: Yellowstone in the winter
bobpilot Silver Member
28th Jan 2013
12
Reply message RE: Yellowstone in the winter
rwk48 Silver Member
30th Jan 2013
16
Reply message RE: Yellowstone in the winter
bobpilot Silver Member
30th Jan 2013
17
     Reply message RE: Yellowstone in the winter
rwk48 Silver Member
30th Jan 2013
18

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006Sun 27-Jan-13 12:18 AM
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#1. "RE: Yellowstone in the winter"
In response to Reply # 0


Lowden, US
          

I would check into finding a guide that can take you in on snowmobile. They can get you off of the road and they know where to find the best wildlife opportunities from day to day.

Good luck – Stay warm!

Dave Summers
Lowden, Iowa
Nikonians Photo Contest Director

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bobpilot Silver Member Nikonian since 08th May 2007Sun 27-Jan-13 11:56 PM
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#4. "RE: Yellowstone in the winter"
In response to Reply # 1


Washington, US
          

I heeded your advice and contacted a guide. He will take me on a private tour. Gave me a discount if I book three days or more. I will be in Yellowstone eight days, and now wish I had a planned for more time, but after eight days in the cold, that will probably be enough.

Thank you.

  

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dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006Mon 28-Jan-13 12:52 AM
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#9. "RE: Yellowstone in the winter"
In response to Reply # 4


Lowden, US
          

Outsatnding! That sounds like a fun trip – you should be able to get some awesome shots.

Dave Summers
Lowden, Iowa
Nikonians Photo Contest Director

Nikonians membership -
"My most important photographic investment, after the camera"

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bobpilot Silver Member Nikonian since 08th May 2007Mon 28-Jan-13 12:58 AM
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#11. "RE: Yellowstone in the winter"
In response to Reply # 9


Washington, US
          

Getting good images is always a challenge for me. I spend a lot of money on camera equipment (so I can't use that as an excuse), spend a lot of money on travel expenses (gotta get to where the shots are), more money on clothes (so far I've spent over $1,000 in warm clothes, didn't need any before this trip)and yet I often come back disappointed.

For example, I went to Zion on Christmas day, used the 600mm, and the shots are not as sharp as I want. I need to figure out the reason. I will be unhappy if I come back from Yellowstone with images that are less that good.

  

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bobpilot Silver Member Nikonian since 08th May 2007Sun 27-Jan-13 12:21 AM
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#2. "RE: Yellowstone in the winter"
In response to Reply # 0


Washington, US
          

Good idea, I'd not thought about this.

  

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Triple Productions Gold Member Nikonian since 05th Oct 2011Sun 27-Jan-13 10:46 PM
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#3. "RE: Yellowstone in the winter"
In response to Reply # 0
Sun 27-Jan-13 11:11 PM by Triple Productions

Three Forks, US
          

Hi, say i live in Montana and try to go to Yellowstone once or twice a year. Check out www.yellowstoneassociation.org also 406-848-2400. If you like you can get in on a group tour or private tour for a cost. In Feb they have 1. Wolves of Yellowstone 2. Winter photography in Yellowstone 3. Three dog day 4. Coyote and Raven 5. Wildlife Photography and it goes on. While on these tours you will see other animals.
ALL vehicles including snowmobiles stay on trails and roads. You don't just take off in Yellowstone. You will make the Rangers mad at you. The majority of your pictures will be from or very close to a road. If you are taking your car or truck, 4x4 i hope, you can drive into the Lamar Valley and get great pictures. The Lamar is active in Feb for wolves. Tatonka, as we call them, will also be in the area.
Snowshoes??? Can you out snowshoe a buffalo, wolf or Griz?
I see you have a 600mm, great, you will want to take it with you. I would put that on one body and the 70-200 on the other, you will be ready!
My summer picture in Yellowstone i added was taken with a D3s 200-400VRII with a 1.4 added. Hand held braced against a tree and about 20 feet from my vehicle. Remember they can run 25+ MPH.
Have a GREAT time.
Robert




Triple Productions
R Ploen

Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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bobpilot Silver Member Nikonian since 08th May 2007Mon 28-Jan-13 12:05 AM
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#5. "RE: Yellowstone in the winter"
In response to Reply # 3


Washington, US
          

The organization looks good, I will study this more. I am a day's drive from Yellowstone, so this will not be my lasts trip, at least I hope not.

Am I allowed to be on a trail in the winter?

Will a bear track a human just to eat him? I heard that the only two animals who track a human for food is the polar bear and tiger. Even so, as you said, I can't outrun a bear. But if I am walking, is there a danger of being attacked? I know enough not to have food with me, but won't they leave us humans alone?

I am excited to put my 600 to good use.


I like your photo,

  

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Triple Productions Gold Member Nikonian since 05th Oct 2011Mon 28-Jan-13 12:40 AM
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#6. "RE: Yellowstone in the winter"
In response to Reply # 5


Three Forks, US
          

It is a good organization. I belong to it for info and it helps out the park.
I would advise you to have a good discussion with the Park Rangers on what you hope to accomplish, start at the gate where you buy your pass.
As fare as bears, they should be asleep this time of year, but it is possible for one to be out because of dead winter kill game. Sows with cubs in the spring are the most dangerous.
Now wolves will kill for sport and they are not afraid of humans because they are not hunted there. They usually run in a pac of 20+- Just one wolf will consume 20 or more elk per year. They are a killing machine. Rangers keep a close eye on them and the photographers. Hopefully you will see and get great pictures of wolves. A 600mm is KING for this. Wish i had one.
Also watch out for the buffalo (tatonka) they charge for now reason at all and no warning.
Keep your distance, be smart and enjoy!
Wish i was there.
Robert

Triple Productions
R Ploen

  

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bobpilot Silver Member Nikonian since 08th May 2007Mon 28-Jan-13 12:44 AM
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#8. "RE: Yellowstone in the winter"
In response to Reply # 6


Washington, US
          

Any chance you could join me for a day?

  

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Triple Productions Gold Member Nikonian since 05th Oct 2011Mon 28-Jan-13 01:09 AM
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#13. "RE: Yellowstone in the winter"
In response to Reply # 8


Three Forks, US
          

Wish i could join in on your adventure but i am in Houston TX on business right now.

Triple Productions
R Ploen

  

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bobpilot Silver Member Nikonian since 08th May 2007Mon 28-Jan-13 01:19 AM
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#14. "RE: Yellowstone in the winter"
In response to Reply # 13


Washington, US
          

Houston is not a bad place to be in January.

Now that I have the guide selected, and the safety awareness enhanced, I want to give some attention to techniques for photographing wildlife. This is new for me.

I will read through some threads on this. Am I strange to not buy all the books and study about wildlife photography? For some reason I just want to go out and take photos and let my own eye be the guide. Is that a bad idea?

  

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Triple Productions Gold Member Nikonian since 05th Oct 2011Mon 28-Jan-13 01:28 AM
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#15. "RE: Yellowstone in the winter"
In response to Reply # 14


Three Forks, US
          

Try this out.
http://www.moosepeterson.com/blog/2011/04/21/af-settings-practice-sharp/

It is from Moose Peterson, i fallow his blog and i have my D3s on the settings that are in this article. I had my D3s set this way on my summer trip to Yellowstone and had great results. I took 1300 pictures there and through out many but not because of focus. I always moved the red square on the eye if possible. Hope this helps.

I am not a pro and always learning. That is why i am a Nikonian.

Triple Productions
R Ploen

  

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dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006Mon 28-Jan-13 12:58 AM
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#10. "RE: Yellowstone in the winter"
In response to Reply # 6


Lowden, US
          

Hi Robert,

Thank you for providing such good info.

Dave Summers
Lowden, Iowa
Nikonians Photo Contest Director

Nikonians membership -
"My most important photographic investment, after the camera"

My Nikonians Gallery | SummersPhotoGraphic.com | My Crated Gallery
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coolmom42 Silver Member Awarded for her enthusiastic support of the community and exemplifying the Nikonian mission “Share, Learn and Inspire” Nikonian since 30th Nov 2011Mon 28-Jan-13 12:43 AM
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#7. "RE: Yellowstone in the winter"
In response to Reply # 5


McEwen, US
          

The earliest bears to emerge from dens are the male adults, typically not until early March. So you are highly unlikely to see a bear in Yellowstone in February.

To be blunt about it, Yellowstone in winter is a good place to die if you are lost. It is NOT a human-friendly environment. I would stick close to a group expedition in your shoes. Your guide can advise you on proper clothing.

This page can tell you all about bears in Yellowstone. 2 visitors were killed by bears in 2011.

http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/bearenc.htm#bearsafe



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bobpilot Silver Member Nikonian since 08th May 2007Mon 28-Jan-13 12:59 AM
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#12. "RE: Yellowstone in the winter"
In response to Reply # 7


Washington, US
          

Alright, I'll stay near the road.

  

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rwk48 Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Feb 2012Wed 30-Jan-13 01:53 AM
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#16. "RE: Yellowstone in the winter"
In response to Reply # 0


Powell, US
          

The road from Gardiner to Cooke City is open year round -- except when storms roll through, of course. It's a 50 mile drive -- about an hour and a half, no stopping -- that runs through the Lamar Valley. There are restaurants and other facilities open year round in Cooke City.

I'd echo what other folks have noted. I'd be pretty careful about heading off on snow shoes. I don't know that the benefit would be worth the hassle.

You should be able to drive to the upper terrace at Mammoth, but I think the loop up there is reserved for cross country skiing in winter. The steam from the thermal pools can be both a blessing and an aggravation when it comes to getting a good shot.

I don't usually get in the Park until March, and I've been on that stretch through the Lamar Valley and not seen a thing. On the other hand, buffalo are pretty common, and the elk can be thick around Mammoth. Bighorns also hang around there. A friend of mine got some shots of wolves in that area a couple of weeks ago. The landscapes along the drive can be terrific.

My daughter spent four summers working in the Park and spent one winter at Canyon. She said that of all the animals in the Park, she was most nervous around buffalo (although in the last couple of years I think five or six people have been killed by griz in the Yellowstone ecosystem). The problem with buffalo is that they are all over the place and they like to use the roads in the winter. They can also be unpredictable. I just try to take it easy when I ease past them in the car.

Finally, if you need a break from roughing it, Chico Hot Springs is 40 miles north. The restaurant and the Hot Springs are first rate. I'm heading there in March.

Have a good trip.
Rob
PS Always look behind you.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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bobpilot Silver Member Nikonian since 08th May 2007Wed 30-Jan-13 03:30 AM
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#17. "RE: Yellowstone in the winter"
In response to Reply # 16


Washington, US
          

>The road from Gardiner to Cooke City is open year round --
>except when storms roll through, of course. It's a 50 mile
>drive -- about an hour and a half, no stopping -- that runs
>through the Lamar Valley. There are restaurants and other
>facilities open year round in Cooke City.


With no stopping, how do I get photos?


>
>I'd echo what other folks have noted. I'd be pretty careful
>about heading off on snow shoes. I don't know that the benefit
>would be worth the hassle.

I hired a guide for three days; I will ask him his thoughts on this. I have never been to Yellowstone in the winter and only once after high school (a long, long, time ago). So, when I read about no stopping, I thought I could go on a trail, like the cross-country skiers, and set up where I choose. Let me ask again: how do I get the photos from the road if I can' stop my car? Also, I don't have a four wheel drive vehicle, so I thought I could snowshoe on the trails near Mammoth. I have no intention of trekking into the wilderness.

>
>You should be able to drive to the upper terrace at Mammoth,
>but I think the loop up there is reserved for cross country
>skiing in winter. The steam from the thermal pools can be both
>a blessing and an aggravation when it comes to getting a good
>shot.

Yeah, all depends on the wind and the sun. I have eight days to figure it out.

>
>I don't usually get in the Park until March, and I've been on
>that stretch through the Lamar Valley and not seen a thing. On
>the other hand, buffalo are pretty common, and the elk can be
>thick around Mammoth. Bighorns also hang around there. A
>friend of mine got some shots of wolves in that area a couple
>of weeks ago. The landscapes along the drive can be terrific.

Yes, I've seen some beautiful images, but again, how? With no stopping what do people do to get the images?

>
>My daughter spent four summers working in the Park and spent
>one winter at Canyon. She said that of all the animals in the
>Park, she was most nervous around buffalo (although in the
>last couple of years I think five or six people have been
>killed by griz in the Yellowstone ecosystem). The problem with
>buffalo is that they are all over the place and they like to
>use the roads in the winter. They can also be unpredictable. I
>just try to take it easy when I ease past them in the car.

Bears will not be out much, as has been pointed out, and they seem to ignore unless they want our food. Bison, on the other hand, will charge if they feel like it, or so I've been told; never seen one up close.

>
>Finally, if you need a break from roughing it, Chico Hot
>Springs is 40 miles north. The restaurant and the Hot Springs
>are first rate. I'm heading there in March.
>
I will make a note of this, thank you.

  

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rwk48 Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Feb 2012Wed 30-Jan-13 04:44 AM
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#18. "RE: Yellowstone in the winter"
In response to Reply # 17


Powell, US
          

I wasn't very clear on the no stopping comment. I just meant that's about as fast as you could make the drive if you don't stop. There are pull offs they clear out so you can get off the road. Sorry for the confusion.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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