Off to Yellowstone

Hello. My name is Les Picker and I’ve never been to Yellowstone. There, I said it! This is like AA for a landscape photographer like me. For 20 years Yellowstone National Park naturally comes up in conversations with my colleagues and I have to say I’ve never been.

“You’ve never been to Yellowstone?” they’ll ask, wide-eyed, all the while backing away as if I have a communicable disease.

It’s not that I never wanted to go. Honest. It’s been on my must-see list for years. It’s just that life gets in the way and I’ve never carved out the time. Well, that will change next week. I needed to be in Denver for a family event and I decided to use that as a take-off point for a 5-day jaunt into Yellowstone’s winter landscapes.

While it will be my first trip there, I usually do not travel to a place unless I plan on coming back. That’s because it takes me a while to get a lay of the land, to see what angles I’d like to take, to get the weather conditions right, and to understand the compositions inherent in the landscape. For me, that usually doesn’t happen on one short trip.

On this trip I’ll be taking my two trusty camera systems; Hasselblad and Nikon. For the Hassy H4D I decided to take my 28mm, tilt-shift attachment, 50-110mm, and 300mm. For my Nikon system I’ll be taking my D800, 24mm tilt-shift, 70-200mm and 200-400mm. Of course I’ll also have with me various filters and tons of batteries. I’m limiting my gear because I also have to pack snowshoes, and many layers of clothing.

My plan is to shoot early morning and dusk landscapes and animals, but also night shots, so sleep will have to wait until I get back. My hope is that I’ll also be able to grab an aurora image or two.

Anyway, please stay tuned as I will try to post a blog or two during my stay. And, if you’ve already visited Yellowstone in winter, I would love to get your recommendations on places to shoot.

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