The one location that everyone thinks of in Yellowstone: Old Faithful. One of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. When we arrived at the lodge — which was immense, mind you — a light drizzle was starting and the guys were hungry. We huddled in the woods where some picnic tables were placed and set up shop to make some food. Meanwhile, Joey was knocked out in the car, Shea and Sam were out doing…something, i really don’t know for sure. Alex and I were left at the table making food for when they got back and joey woke up.
After eating and the rain settled down, we drove closer to the lodge and went in to have some ice cream and wait until the next eruption of the geyser. Even in early May, before major tourism season, the place was packed. The five of us ended up taking up an entire sitting room to charge our cameras, use wifi for the first time in a week — which is when I learned that the beloved Mary Anne’s diner in Uptown Normal closed overnight (I’m still beat-up about it) — and we were “those annoying college kids.” We needed some laughs and a good time as our trip was coming close to the end. We didn’t care if people were annoyed, we didn’t care if we were taking up an entire sitting room to ourselves. We deserved it, after all.
As Old Faithful was getting close to its next eruption time, the five of us grabbed our gear and walked over to the boardwalk that circulates the geyser. The surrounding landscape was nothing like what I expected. It’s hard to put in to words, so you’ll just have to wait to see the next couple Ones that Didn’t Make It.
Hundreds of people were around getting ready to photograph, video, or just witness the geyser erupt. There are two ways you can go about photographing Old Faithful: long exposure, or take a ton of photos on drive mode and chose your favorite. I did the latter.
Along with that, there really isn’t a ton of variety in composition. You’re limited by the boardwalk (unless you want a fat fine thrown at you), a telephoto lens is too long, so you’re stuck with standard and wide-angle lenses. Now, these aren’t objective things (with the exception of the boardwalk). There are definitely ways you can work your way around Old Faithful and come up with a less common composition of the water spout. I, however, actually wanted the “iconic” composition.
This was another one of those photographs that while I was making it, I knew it wouldn’t be one of my final photos. I wanted to photograph it to have that experience. To try out this kind of landscape photography — using drive mode? That’s unheard of.
As the geyser started to spit up more, the five of us were ready. The tower of water ascended and shutters clicked left and right, hoping to God that at least one of them turned out good. I ended up with a large handful of variants, and settled with this one. The perfect cone of water, the dense and contrasted clouds above. It all worked. But I’ve said it time and time again, I’m not one for iconic photographs.