The Forest on the Mega Volcano

Interview on Trip Atlas

I'm making this 200-400mm lens look a lot lighter than it actually is. Shortly after this shot, I collapsed in screaming agony.

There is a new interview at Trip Atlas. We talk about this and that. How’s that for a description?

Nikon 200-400mm Review

I have put up a new Nikon 200-400 Review here on the site and sprinkled many new photos inside! I rented it from last week while I was in Yellowstone. It was a fun lens to use and quite different. I pushed myself to do a few landscapes with it, and one of these is posted below!

Daily Photo – The Forest on the Mega Volcano

I would guess about 50% of people know this, and I should not take it for granted that everyone does.  But Yellowstone sits on top of a giant caldera, and it’s due to go off any time (at least, geologically due!) If you look at a map of Yellowstone from above, you can see the clear outline of the caldera.  When the mega-volcano strikes, it’ll be a doozy!

In the meantime, the ultra-thin crust of this area gives way to some remarkable geothermal events. There is a period of the morning when the air is cool and the earth is hot.  It creates an exceptional amount of steam in some areas.

I woke up about 5 AM to go catch this morning steam.  I use the D3S as my backup camera, and I had the 200-400mm affixed.  I challenged myself to capture some compressed landscapes, and this area seemed just about perfect.
This is a single-shot HDR that came from a RAW file.  These RAW files contain a lot of light information nowadays.

  • casusan

    Awesome shot Trey with all the steam – I’ve never seen this before! You are too funny with your giant lense – I like the collapsing in agony joke! Excellent Trey – keep ’em coming!

  • WOW. That lens is massive!

  • great shot!! and really good review, thanks for both 🙂

  • Cor blimey – look at the size of tat lens. That’s a fantastic shot. I would love to see what a wide angle would have taken at the same spot – what else is around there where you were standing?

    Going to check out the review as well..

  • Cool light/steam shafts coming through the trees on the left – nice!

  • Really nice!

  • Gail in Montana

    Amazing photo, Trey!!! Great job, thanks for getting up early 😉 . As we live pretty close to the monster, we are well aware of what it is capable of. I watch documentaries on it whenever I see one on. Have you seen the massive shoe shaped formation on TV that is under Yellowstone, with lots of magma waiting to exit, yikes. The last time she blew, most of the life on North America was gone. You might be making a wise choice in moving to New Zealand!! But it’s not something to worry about, as we can’t control it. No one knows when it will erupt again. We just live day to day, thankful for every moment of life we have. A little Gail philosophy and a lot of others feel the same way, I’m finding. Count your blessings!!!!!

  • STUNNING shot. Definitely my favorite out of your review. And I love how the steam and tree lines seem to intersect. Great composition!

  • So mysterious. I love it!

  • So much details, great!

  • steam in HDR photography…cool..

  • Thanks everyone — glad you like the review too!

  • You’re right, compressed landscapes are a challenge. Until I can afford a good wide angle lens, that’s all I can capture, and I find it frustrating from time to time. A relatively narrow portion of the wide and wonderful grandeur that I can see is hard to put into context within a single frame, given the limitations of a longer lens. Until that lens comes along for me, I will continue with my more intimate portraits of nature, and enjoy the wide angle shots vicariously through you. Lovely capture of that forest.

  • Salah


  • Rory

    Wow, you’re moving to NZ! Will you be running any sort of workshops or photowalks? It would be great to meet you. In exchange, I could teach you to say ‘chups’ (chips) like a real kiwi, which is of course essential if you’re going to live here…

  • You look like a “real” photographer with that lens, Trey. Just kidding 🙂 I love the mystery in this shot, the unveiling of the trees. Using a long lens for landscape is interesting to me; I might give it a go.

  • thanks !

    Rory – yes indeed – we will have fun in NZ doing that stuff 🙂

  • Bonnie

    Wow! I love it!

  • Jon

    Size does indeed, matter!!!

  • Beautiful.

    Trey, I’m finding that I am liking more and more of your single exposure HDRs these days!

  • It’s funny how tiny a D3X can look with a lens-monster like that ;-]

  • Great shot in yellowstone……..most of them are, but this is one of the best. Would it be possible to give location and where you were standing to take this shot. thanks………..

  • This looks so beautiful. Very nicely done. I love this.Thanks.

  • Hi Trey,

    You may already know about this product but I haven’t seen it discussed anywhere.

    Thought it may be of interest.


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  • Happens that if you look at all the related sciences and historical fact, Yellow stone blows everytime there is a full moon directly over top of it.  This is actually a rare event and only happens every so many 10s of thousands f years.  The next full moon to be at its apeture full moon above Yosemite in September of 2017.  I look for full eruption then.

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