Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Yellowstone: A National Park Americans Can Take Pride In

I have not been to Yellowstone since our children were young, and it is still astonishing how breathtaking it is -- and in spite of all the other things the national government does that are sleazy, corrupt, or stupid, Yellowstone is something to be proud of.  The admission charge of $25 is one of the great entertainment bargains of all time.

My wife and I used two different cameras for this expedition: a Pentax K10D with a 28-55mm kit lens (although we made little use of it); some with a 70-200mm Tamron lens; quite a bit with a Pentax 100-300mm lens; and a bit using a 500mm Phoenix lens, for the pictures that you can't get close enough safely to shoot otherwise!

We pretty quickly figured out that it made more sense to use the Canon PowerShot A1400 for everything close.  As long as there was strong sunlight, the Canon did a fine job on landscapes and those wild animals so close that we worried about them ramming the car!  This allowed us to leave the long lens on the Pentax.  In addition, we shot some video with the Canon, and as long as I didn't get stupid on the digital zoom, it turned in some very nice images.

Anyway, we returned with 500+ images and videos, not all of which I am going to show you, partly because I do not have the time, and partly because at least half of all pictures either turned out to be out of focus, badly composed, or out of the range of the lens.  (Remember: a great photographer takes 1000 pictures at least for every masterpiece.)

 As you might expect, my wife was driven just crazy by the little wild animal babies: "the cute-o-meter is in the red zone."  But even before we reached the cute wild animal babies, we were seeing many reminders that the bison have been busy reproducing for the last twenty years, such as this bison with a tracking collar, sensibly using a hard packed surface:

This did not require a long lens!

Everywhere we went: bison babies:

Something that my wife noticed was that the babies were often inside a circle of bisons, rather like the way that musk ox protect their young from wolf packs.  Not surprisingly, she dubbed these "daycare circles."  Although the difference is that the mothers are providing the daycare, not someone else.

I will have more pictures of bighorn sheep, mountain goats, elk, moose, vidoes of erupting geysers, mudpots, etc. over the next few days.

1 comment:

Kirk Parker said...

What's your 500mm Phoenix lens? And what's the sensor size/35mm equivalent?