Archive for January, 2011

Almost There — Yellowstone 2011

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Bison - Old Faithful Geyser

After a very fun workshop last February in Yellowstone National Park, I decided to plan a trip back to the park for this winter. Last year’s workshop was a great introduction and overview of the park thanks to our instructors and guides, David Marx and George Wuerthner.

At the end of the workshop, I asked two of the other participants in the workshop if they’d like to come back for a reprise, but with our own itinerary and a smaller group. They were all for it and that began a several month process to find a couple more photographers to split the costs. We recruited a couple of other photo enthusiasts here in Minnesota to join us.

If you remember, last year I took a snow coach tour out of West Yellowstone with my fishing guide friend, Jake Chutz. It was a great time and the coach was much more comfortable then the Xanterra or Days Inn coaches we used during the workshop.

I contacted Jake and we setup up a tour chartering through his company, Yellowstone Alpen Guides. The Bombardier snow coaches are refurbished from the original design with modern power-plants. They feature “galley” rather than row seating, which is much more comfortable and engaging for the passengers. There is a co-pilot seat, too. One of the great features is the sun-roof that you can stand up in and take pictures while still in the coach.

The planning has included arranging accommodations in West Yellowstone, Old Faithful, and Gardiner. We’ll actually be in Old Faithful the same time as this year’s RMSP workshop, so we’ll be able to see this year’s instructors, David Marx and Doug Johnson. We’re planning on having photo sharing sessions in the evening to see what great images we’ve captured. We’re also hoping to share some of our Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop techniques and workflows.

Weather permitting, we’re hoping to continue our exploration of star photography. Doug has been very progressive in this field and I’m hoping to learn more about it. I’m bringing a small, off-camera flash with some colored gels to play with. The moon will be new to a waxing crescent during the tour, so it probably won’t be a prominent subject or light source.

I setup an online forum for the tour participants and, I think, it has been very helpful in sharing ideas and info about the tour. I hope that we’ll be able to continue to share ideas in the forum even after the tour is over. Three of us from Minnesota got together one night a couple of weeks at my home to share equipment ideas and just share our excitement about the tour (also to have a couple of beers, too!!!).

Just a few more days of prepping and gear sorting/packing and then off on another great adventure!!!