Old Faithful

I drove from Mammoth down the western side of Yellowstone toward the Firehole River and Old Faithful.  One of the things you notice on the west side of the park is how big the fire damage was here in 1988.  It seems the entire western side of the park is all new growth trees.

The earlier cloud cover had given way to only a few puffy clouds moving past and I only made a few images.  I finally got close to Old Faithful about 3pm and drove up to the visitor center.  Old Faithful along with Yosemite Valley are the two epicenters on the national parks.  Famous area and vast crowds.  The wonderful old lodge is still there along with a big visitor center and man does it get visitors!

I arrived with about 20 minutes until Old Faithful would erupt so I grabbed my tripod and went to set up a shot.  Of course about 1000 other people were there with me.  The hardest thing about the shot was really trying to find a spot where you had a clear view and would not be bumped by people, yes it is that crowded.

I set up my shot and decided to add a solid ND filter so I could make a 30 second exposure.  This way I could capture the geyser eruption and hopefully get some moving clouds.  While waiting for the magic moment, I ran a test shot and the exposure looked good.  

The suddenly, Old Faithful lives up to its name and put on a two minute show.  Impressive. It is one of those sights everyone ought to see.  The image worked out better than I thought, especially for a middle of the day shot.  I had my Old Faithful image.

My goal had actually been to to stay nearby and come back at 3 am to try a night shot, but that did not work out.  See the epic journey for finding a campsite in Yellowstone in my next post.


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