Today’s photo is from Yellowstone National Park from my 2014 visit. That trip was really about the wildlife, but this image has become one of my favorite and most popular images from that trip.

Firehole Spring, Yellowstone

Firehole spring is an area along Firehole Lake drive. It’s really a small continuous geyser in the lower geyser area between Madison and Old Faithrul. It was also one of the areas I found was fairly quiet even on busy days, so when I wanted to take a break or have lunch and was in the area, I’d wander up that road and explore.

This shot was taken the last day of the trip. I was basically done chasing wildlife and was just kicking back relaxing and exploring and I stopped by the spring for one last visit. I was taken by the spring. It was occasionally sending up an air bubble that burst on the surface; in the background you’ll see a geyser cone that was intermittently steaming. I spend about 30 minutes at the spring looking for the right framing and trying to time an exposure to get both the blurp of the air bubble and the steaming geyer in the background, but they refused to cooperate (and I refuse to fake it in photoshop).

It was here I realized I needed to come back again just to shoot thermal features and focus on landscape instead of wildlife, but I haven’t been able to coordinate a trip since. Maybe 2018. Part of the delay is that the centenial has spiked the crowds in major parks like Yellowstone and Yosemite from crazy to oh-my-god and I just don’t want to fight all of those people and all of that traffic, so I’m hoping maybe it’ll slack off again soon. I love the popularity and that people care about these places, but I don’t love the crowds, and there isn’t really a good solution for the parks. I think they do the best they can.

In some ways this place speaks more to me of what Yellowstone is about than Old Faithful. I’m really hoping that soon I can go back and try to do the geysers and springs justice with my camera.