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Archive 2012 · Yellowstone , Grand Tetons Advice
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Yellowstone , Grand Tetons Advice

Making a trip last week of September to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons . Is this a good time of year ? I have heard its a good idea to use a protective filter around geysers and hot springs ? Any other other advice would be appreciated !

Aug 30, 2012 at 02:11 PM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Yellowstone , Grand Tetons Advice

Around geysers is about the only time I use a filter. We'll be there about a week later but am hearing the leaves are turning in GTNP making me think I might be too later for the fall colors. Hopefully it will get a bit cooler and bring the animals down from the high country.

We're old and not hikers so everything we photograph is within a few feet of the road.



Aug 30, 2012 at 02:58 PM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Yellowstone , Grand Tetons Advice

Make sure you have enough focal length.

Loved my time in the Tetons last summer, can only imagine what it will be like late Septemeber. Fortunately, I'll be in Glacier around then.

Aug 30, 2012 at 03:34 PM

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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Yellowstone , Grand Tetons Advice

I will be there the 2nd week in September and I'm already counting the days..

Aug 30, 2012 at 05:33 PM
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Yellowstone , Grand Tetons Advice

I will be there the last 10 days of Sep, before moving down to GTNP for 4 days. This is my normal fall vacation trip. In another 6 years or so I should exhaust this time frame and move to early spring or late winter.

Fall Colors in Yellowstone are never as brilliant (nor as widespread) as in GTNP, so if you are looking for that, you might try visiting GTNP first then moving up to Yellowstone.

Everything I have seen this year shows extremely dry, above average temps, and quite a few fires in YNP. As rprouty indicated, colors may be changing early this year.

Photographically, Many of the geysers and hot springs have mists associated with them which contain corrosives. Whenever possible in those areas I use a filter on the face of my higher priced lenses. If you keep your camera clean and dry and your lens clean using any of the better lens cleaning solutions (not just a micro-fiber cloth) you most likely won't have a problem, as steam and mists which are really bad for your camera/lens will drive you off the site pretty quickly.

I enjoy this time of year simply becuase of the weather (and its chance for cool/cold temps and occassionally snow) and the reduced "people count" as compared to earlier in the year. Lodging is tight because about 3/4 of the campsites and lodges are already closed (hint, hope you already have reservations!).

I can recomend the following:

(either the deluxe trip planner or the iphone app)

(second best photoguide I have seen, buy it as an ebook and transfer to your iphone)

(best photoguide for Yellowstone I have seen)

My working gear for daytime includes an FX camera body, a 300 f/4 with 1.7 converter (I simply can't afford one of the big 500s), a 70-200 with 1.4 teleconverter, a 24-85 f/2.8 zoom and a 17-35 f/2.8 zoom. I lug around a set of neutral density and soft edge grad filters and a polarizer, and a heavy tripod.

Hope all this helps.........post any questions you might have and someone will jump on them pretty quick, I think.


Aug 30, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Steve Walker

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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Yellowstone , Grand Tetons Advice

I think late September is a great time of the year. Spring may be better for the young critters, but late September is wonderful for the elk rut.

Landscape photography may be challenging this year due to haze from the fires and the early fall colors.

For many years I have gone to Yellowstone every fall and will be there the last two weeks of September this year. I have more recently been spending a week there in the spring as well. Both are wonderful times to go. Crowds are down in both the spring and the fall. The weather seems a bit nicer (though it can be cold and snowy). I find the animals I am interested in are more difficult to locate during the summer, so spring and fall are best for me.

I have never used protective filters around hot springs or geysers. I do use a polarizing filter to cut the reflections of the many pools I photograph. I do clean my gear appropriately when necessary.

If you are interested in wildlife, I encourage you to have a long lens. You may get lucky and find wildlife right next to the road, but I find that a long lens is just about a necessity for Yellowstone wildlife.

I do most of my wildlife photography from near the car. Mostly because I have found the best way to find wildlife is to simply drive the roads...a lot. I like the Lamar Valley, Hayden Valley, and Madison Valley in the fall. But really, there is no place in the park that is bad!

And, finally, there is something special about getting a mile or two off the beaten track. Hiking in a bit can open up some wonderful opportunities for pictures.

Have a great trip. Perhaps I will run into you there.

Aug 31, 2012 at 12:47 AM

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