Fire Lake in Yellowstone

Before I get started, I finally had a chance to comment (#184!) on the “The Moments Between” post from a few days ago. I’m very happy people are actively guessing and experimenting to do the same thing! I think that’s very healthy and much better than just getting an answer (but I will give an answer in the future !! ).

It reminds me of last night. I was in San Francisco with a bunch of very nice people from Peachpit, the company that is publishing the upcoming book. After Indian food, we all went out to walk the streets of San Francisco so I could give them a few tips on HDR shooting. One of the gals, holding her D60 without a tripod, was asking me about “What happens if I set the ISO down to 100?” I said. “Hmm… I wonder what would happen… Why don’t you try?” (of course I knew the answer)… but better that she finds out herself. (she did).

This photo below is from Fire Lake. Yes, I dipped my hand in. I had to! I could not resist. It was really hot. Oh god was it hot. I had to do it twice just because I couldn’t believe how hot it was the first time.

Fire Lake in Yellowstone

The Hot Stream Through the Morning Forest

I finished up one of the bonus videos tonight for new textures tutorial. I was very pleased with the way this one turned out, so I wanted to upload it! There is not much on this one… just a few secret effects.

This forest was all steamy and foggy in the morning. Part of the steam was caused by this little stream flowing through here. It had been a few days since I had seen my family, so I pulled out my Flip and made a little video. I went over to the steaming water and dunked my hand in there. It was pretty hot, but not burning hot. If I had more time, I probably would have crawled inside… so… I was trying to explain to my kids they should not touch steamy water at Yellowstone… but sending them mixed messages as I was dunking my own body parts in the middle of them, showing them how awesome it was!

I think we might be able to get a new video up for you tomorrow that was shot by my friend Scott in Atlanta. The newsletter is almost finished too, and it will include a special link to the longer, 45-minute uncut video. Scott was nice enough to share that one too!

The Hot Stream Through the Morning Forest

The Old Wild Stampede

I am still working on this new Stuck In Customs Textures Tutorial. This is one I edited this evening while recording the how-to video. I commented in the beginning of the video that the initial photo was good and there may not be a need to add textures! But, then you end up with something that is also good, just different. It’s like deciding which of your kids you like better! They are all different and good! (Well, most of the time).

These horses came thundering onto the scene while I was walking down the road. I got myself behind a tree so I would not get trampled like Mufasa. I was lucky that they started kicking up dust in the right position relative to the sun so that their legs cast shadows through the cloud. I can’t take credit for that one!

The Old Wild Stampede (by Stuck in Customs)

The Skeletons at Sunrise

At one point when driving through Yellowstone a few weeks ago, I got out of the car and started walking right into the forest on the edge of the road. There was a thick fog and the morning sun was low, creating an unexpected box of light. I kept walking and walking until I found this area. It just felt right for whatever reason, so I set up to take this HDR.

In other news, I found out today the exact meeting location for our upcoming PhotoWalk at Sunset here in Austin. We will be meeting in the Victorian Room inside the Driskill Hotel on 6th street to gather before the walk. It’s nice and air-conditioned in there, so we can save all the fun summer Texas sweatbox for the walk itself! Feel free to gather there between 7 and 7:30 PM on Thursday evening, August 6th. Once we’re all gathered, I’ll set the groundrules and then we’ll be off! By the way, a few people have asked if they can bring their kids, and that should be just fine… no problemo.

The Skeletons at Sunrise

The Lone Rider

Every morning in at the ranch, the horses would come running in through the pasture with a few cowboys leading the charge. I’d have to be quick to run out there with my camera and get in the right position. Luckily, since it happened each day, I had plenty of mornings to make mistakes until I finally got in the right position.

I remember reading about Degas and his horse paintings. Right at that time (early Impressionist period) is when photography really got started. No one ever really know what a horse looked like when it was running because its legs were too fast. Photography allowed Degas to be one of the first painters to get it right. You can see some of his horse paintings on this Google image search.

I got a question on Facebook about how I made this. It is an HDR, but I also used Lucis Pro. I have a Lucis Pro review here on the site if you want to find out more.

The Lone Rider

A little video for you

I put together this video while in Yellowstone. As I have said before, it’s kind of shaky and lots of bits are out of focus. A whole lotta bits in fact!

If this is the kind of thing you’d like to see more of in the future, let me know.

After you follow the link above, you’ll see that it shows the conditions I was in and a bit of the approach for taking the following photo. Enjoy! :)

Ice Lake in the Summer

A view with my coffee

Thank God McDonalds opened around 5 AM!

I woke up just before to put on my photo-ninja outfit to be sure to get the sunrise in Yellowstone. Once you are in the park, there’s not a lot of food or drink options, and it’s not a good idea to take a bag o’ food out into the wild. But, it was a good idea to stop at McDonalds in West Yellowstone to get a giant coffee.

The rivers in Yellowstone are fed by both rain and geothermal sources, so the water is a bit more warm than you would expect. The cool mornings, even in July, brings fresh steam off the tops. Once the sun finally comes up, it gives everything a golden hue.

I know that many of you have used my World of Textures Tutorial (thanks!) to try some different things with your photography. I still do this a lot too. Obviously, I did it here as well, and used three different textures to achieve this.

Tomorrow, stay tuned for a new video that shot while at another location in Yellowstone. I gave a sneak peak of it to people that got the Newsletter… I tried to set low expectations, and that seemed to work because people liked it! Ah well… let me try to reset low expectations… it’s not that good.

A view with my coffee (by Stuck in Customs)

An Evening Stroll Around the Cabin

I’ve had a wonderful week here in Montana. I’ve been lucky enough to be invited to this private conference here in Yellowstone. We get together and talk about science, art, and Libertarianism… It’s a very cool and interesting collection of people!

A few nights ago, I took a dusk walk around the main cabin. The horses come graze all around the meadow in the evening… I finally convinced one of them to stand still for a bit.

An Evening Stroll Around the Cabin

The Ice Lake in Summer

I made a video! When I took this shot a few days ago in Yellowstone, I had a little video camera to record the process. It’s not the highest quality thing in the world, but at least you guys and gals will be able to see a little bit about how I took the shot in the field. I’ll probably include the video in the next newsletter, which is free and I invite you to subscribe.

This place is called the Ice Lake. I saw it on the map and it sounded like a cool hiking destination. I didn’t expect it to be icy, so I wasn’t disappointed.

Ice Lake in the Summer

The Morning Steam Through the Forest in Yellowstone

I woke up just before 5 AM today so I could get out there and do some sunrise shooting. It was a great morning and I found all kinds of interesting spots. I drove by a bank of trees that had some steam from a nearby river flowing through them… and it looked so cool that I hiked around the forest to find a nice configuration of trees and steamy fog.

I was exhausted after shooting most of the day. I drove over the the Firehole River to have a swim. There was no one else around, and I didn’t have a swimsuit, so I just went in my undies. This seemed like a great idea until my underwear ripped on a rock. This, combined with very sensitive feet that make me look crazy when walking on a rocky shore, made for quite a scene.

The Morning Steam Through the Forest in Yellowstone (by Stuck in Customs)

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