Read what's been happening on Salvatore's Horizon

Read what's been happening on Salvatore's Horizon
Jordan Pond, Acadia National Park, Maine Workshops

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Delaware Water Gap- Wilderness Return

The Delaware Water Gap (DWG) has always been an area I've considered part of my homeland since I first started coming here with my Father some 50 years ago. Soon after I received my driver's license this was the one place that was on my list to explore. Recently, I walked back to the point of my first aborted hiking trip. There are just a few terminated hikes that I can think of and most of them were in the west where a trip into the backcountry when a snowstorm might strand you for weeks or for the whole winter. This abortion was while I was on my first long Appalachian hike. That was back in 74 during the Tock's Island days of the DWP's tumultuous beginning soon after the Feds condemned hundreds if not over a thousand homes and a few farms though eminent domain to make way for the damning of the longest and last undamned river east of the Mississippi.

Today, one could never know how developed with homes the DWP was back then. While on this recent hike it was totally obscured of it past development history. I can remember that aborted hike day long ago quite well. A friend and I were a week and one hundred miles into a hike on the Appalachian Trail. A hike that began at Bear Mountain near the Hudson River. My dad had dropped us off on a comfortable late spring day with clear skies. We made it through the Highlands of Harriman State Park of NY and Waywayanda State Park of NJ then across the great valley of the Wallkill River with it's permeated smell of onion fields.

Everything was going fine until we got on the great ridge of Kittatinny Mountain. Then the rains came and it rained for days and we were soaked- Gore Tex was in it's infancy and they had not learned to tape the seams! So cold were the nights that we could not dry out our clothing even with a good fire. The next morning, we once again woke to freezing rain then marched through it. Later that day, sick of the constant downfall, we came to the area around Crater Lake in DWP and found a very enticing condemned A-Frame home to spend the night. A much better choice then sleeping in our soggy wet tent. There was no heat but it was dry. Again the next day we woke to rain and ice. We decided it wasn't fun hiking in a near hypothermic state. Now 35 years later, as we walked the roads and driveways removed of its asphalt except for a few pieces here and there, we could not even find the smallest remnant of foundations of that A-Frame or of the many other homes in this past development estate. The wilderness has returned to Delaware Water Gap.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

William Brennen Court House Shoot

Recently, I had the pleasure discovering the fantastic William Brennan County Court House in Jersey City, New Jersey, for a client's print renovation of their New York/ New Jersey offices. The court house is built in the Beaux-Arts architectural style. Its exterior only vaguely hints at the art wonders inside. Italian white/pink marble floor, walls and columns all in the Italianate style adore the interiors. Large colorful Murals or Lunettes cover the third floor walls depict the early history of New York/ New Jersey region and are of the finest art works found in any museum on that period. Ornate roman columns surround the great court of the rotunda.

Photographing it was an lesson in extreme panoramic digital photography. Picking the right perspective in Photomerge was a part of that lesson. Making panoramic landscapes with Photomerge (a feature found in Photoshop) is basically easy but in a interior with many vertical tapered columns is much more difficult! In many cases, many of the Photomerge's settings would just end up so distorted that they would unusable as prints. But, success was accomplished and the client was wholly thrilled!

If you get the chance while in the New York City area, take a ferry to Liberty Island and take a taxi to the court house. You don't need permission to visit, but you do need permission and clearance to photograph in the post 9/11 environment. When I first scouted out the location, I was disappointed to find that the exterior was under restoration with its windows covered in plastic, but once inside I was awe struck. I have been in court houses and state capitals before but this place was amazing. You will be too!

Below is an excerpt from Wikipedia:

"Roberts delegated the assignment of artwork to the muralist Francis David Millet, noted for his work as decorations director for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago; Millet assigned himself two lunettes on the third floor and a dozen small panels in the second floor corridors. Also on the third floor, Millet assigned two lunettes to Charles Yardley Turner, as well as eight more to Kenyon Cox. Cox also provided the groined ceilings. Edwin Blashfield painted the glass dome and the four pendentives between its supporting arches. The Tudor-style legislative chamber of the Board of Freeholders on the second floor was adorned with murals by Howard Pyle depicting early life of the Dutch and English in New Jersey. This room has been called "one of the handsomest legislative chambers in the United States."

David G. Lowe, writing in American Heritage magazine, described the interior of the building:

"The courthouse interior is a rush of color—pearl gray and green-veined marbles, golden light fixtures, yellow, green, and blue paint. Standing in the great central court, one looks up the three stories of the magnificent rotunda to a dome whose outer rim is painted with the signs of the zodiac and whose center is an eye of stained glass worthy of Tiffany. One feels—as one does in the rotunda at the heart of the Capitol in Washington—the dignity of government and the permanence of law."

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Yellowstone: the introspective landscape Part XXIII

Elk Just Want To Have Fun

The final chapter of Yellowstone: The Introspective Landscape.

Considered one of the largest alpine lakes of its size in North America, the serenity and beauty of Yellowstone Lake is internationally known. There is an abundance of flowers along its shore in early summer. By this time, the snow showers have taken a break and the warmth of the sun begins to warm its coves. There is nothing that sooths the wintered weathered mind like photographing the hot springs and flowers along one of the world’s largest and most gorgeous alpine lakes. It was a great day to be alive or at least it seemed so at the time?

This day, the Lupines and Indian Paintbrush blooms caught my eye amongst the steam of the hot springs near the lake’s shoreline. Other people too were caught up with the bloom here as well. Some were closer to the shoreline taking photographs of an Elk Bull in velvet horns. I was not interested in the elk. Elk in velvet images are not that much in demand and I had enough of them in my files for the time being. The flowers and hot springs with a lake backdrop would be a better inclusion for my next Yellowstone calendar. After shooting flowers a good distance above the people and the calmly grazing elk, I threw my camera with tripod over my shoulder then began to head to the shoreline. As I got closer to the water, this elk which was safely beyond the safe zone for elk in rut season started to gallop toward me passing though the tourists that were between us. Immediately, I looked for something to put between me and the elk. First, I ran behind a fire scarred fallen tree. When the elk moved to one side or the other I ran in the opposite direction always staying on the other side much like Charlie Chaplin and the Keystone Cops in a silent comedy film. Meanwhile, the other tourists just ran up the hill to their cars. In my mind, I could hear the children shriek and protective parent shout, “Mad Elk! Run For Your Lives Children!”
When I thought the elk was tired of trying to trap me and started to graze, I started to walk away slowly. Again, the elk gave chase this time and drives me down to the shoreline with only enough time to jump off the ledge. I landed on the gravel below with the lake behind me. Now the elk towered over me: His hoofs at eye level. I had no where to go except a cold swim. I was bewildered as to why was this elk behaved like this. Was it sick? This was summer not the rut season when this type of behavior was expected. The elk was also in velvet. This was a time when his horns are too soft and sensitive for impaling snap shooting tourists.
Then it dawned on me. This elk wants to play make believe horn jostling. Yes, this was a playful rut behavior triggered when I placed my extended tripod legs over my shoulder projecting over and behind my head. The elk thought that I too was an elk, a very strange elk indeed! As I now realized this, I did something that an elk in velvet could never do. I slammed my tripod on the ledge above me near the hoofs of the elk. Right then, this once playful elk became a horrified elk as it ran for its life up the hill, past the tourists in their car, over the road and disappeared into the forest. Playtime was over.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Yellowstone: the introspective landscape Part XXII

from the new book on Yellowstone NP-

Chapter 9-Chased by Maidens- ...continued

Knowing these bison are not going to stop until they stomp my little body into dirt, I needed a diversion and soon found one in a group of tourists parked along the road to take pictures of the main herd in the valley. I make a beeline to the group of tourists. The tourists see me coming. They also see the bison coming up from behind me. I’m sure the tourists saying things like, “Hey, honey check out this guy, he’s going to get gored to death! Let’s take a picture of him gored to death.” Now I’m not usually a vindictive person, but these wildlife watchers are in store for some “Wild-Life”!
As I make it to the cars, the intended diversion unfolds as I walk between the cars. My eyes are now focused to the other side of the road and freedom. Behind me are hear gasps and screams. The screams from tourists who are now confronted with the dilemma were they once laughed at my expense. Slams of car doors and metal thumps indicate the tourists have either jumped into them or on top of them. Knowing the bison are now focused on the tourists. I then circle around the cars and return back to my focusing cloth and flowers. Those flower bloom photographs came out just great. I was treated to one of those beautiful purple-pink sunset after-glows later that day. One of them, “Lupines, Lamar Valley” is presented in this book.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Yellowstone: the introspective landscape Part XXI

from the new book on Yellowstone NP-

Chapter 9-Chased by Maidens- ...continued

Now old maid bison are either older cows without calves or cows too young or unable to bear offspring. Their job is to be sentinels on the outlook for sneaky predators. So here I am, crouched low to the ground with a cloth over me not too far from the main herd. I am that sneaky predator! They think I am that wolf or bear stalking their babies and now they are coming after me- diligently!

Quickly, I throw my 4x5 and film into my pack. In the need to maintain a safe distance from them in case they charge and I leave my focusing cloth behind in haste. As I quickly walk from them, I try talking softly to them hoping to turn off their “protect and defend” mode to “it’s just a stupid human” mode, but it’s does not work on this day. These bison are a bit overzealous in their protective duties like many novice cops are on occasions. Now they are not galloping, nor are they trotting after me, which I recognize that they are a bit befuddled with their discovery of me not being a wolf in disguise. I feel their diligent sole purpose is to drive me out of the park perhaps all the way to Bozeman, Montana.

to be continued...

Friday, February 5, 2010

Yellowstone: the introspective landscape Part XX

from the new book on Yellowstone NP-

Chapter 9-Chased by Maidens- ...continued

It was a beautiful July day; the wildflower bloom was at its height. Carpets of Elephant Head, Shooting Stars and Blue Irises blanketed the wet areas and Lupines, Balsam Leaved and Mule-Eared flowers covered the dryer locations. After scouting out the hillsides above the valley floor, I found a thick group of Elephant Heads perfectly positioned with the Bison herd below me. Happily, I began to set up my 4X5 camera. This can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes depending on how close my foreground subject may. In this case the flowers were fairly close being within 24 inches. Elephant Heads are not very tall nor are they large; some were 18 inches or shorter so the camera was positioned close to the ground. So close, I was sitting on the grasses with my focusing cloth over me.
After doing this for about 10 minutes or I peered out from under the cloth to take a scan of my surroundings. Off to my right, I could see that a group of 3 maid bison were walking on the valley floor towards me. They walked with a diligence much like the diligence of Tim Cahill.

to be continued...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Yellowstone: the introspective landscape Part XIX

from the new book on Yellowstone NP-

Chapter 9-Chased by Maidens

One of the most picturesque valleys of the west is Lamar Valley. The 13 mile long broad sage covered valley sits at about 6,600 feet with mountains rising to 9,700 feet or more above it. A sinuous Lamar River divides it. Situated in an east-west position, storms are funneled up through it drop their loads as they slam into high peaks of the Absaroka mountains. These storms provide a generous annual rainfall water some of the most prodigious grasses and wildflower blooms in the park. Lamar Valley is the home of the Lamar Bison herd. One of Yellowstone’s largest and oldest reestablished herds, the Lamar bison roams freely throughout the valley and along its mountain sides. The oldest reestablished wolf pack resides here as well. Wolf feed on the bison and elk. Grizzly feed on the kills of the wolf. Fox, coyote and scavenger feed on the scraps. A cycle that is as old as the Yellowstone volcano. New to this cycle of life is the amassing along it roads of the wolf watchers- the interlopers.

to be continued...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Yellowstone: the introspective landscape Part XVIII

from the new book on Yellowstone NP

Chapter 8-

Harassed by Wildlife-

As a wildlife photographer, you might say that I’m an opportunist wildlife photographer. As I mentioned earlier, I have owned a photographic blind for almost eighteen years, but never used it. My philosophy runs along this line. If an animal is stupid enough to stand there long enough, I’ll take its picture. I’m not big on wildlife models either. Their actions and habits are more like submissive pets then wild noble animals. Besides I have a lot of respect for real wildlife photographers that head out into the field, position their blinds, hidden cameras and take the time to profile these beasts for days, weeks or months. First, I don’t photograph grizzlies because I’m not stupid. I do not own a 500mm lens so I could stay at a safe distance away. If a grizzly is in an area that I might be hiking though, I usually just hike noisily, “Beir Hear! etc, etc..” Though, I know I am not scaring them away more like warning them of an unappetizing bony meal. No reason to put my life in jeopardy for a photograph that I will sell and never see alive. Besides, the only photographs that make money on most animals are close-up portraiture work. Only when I’m in my car and a grizzly is in a meadow and I have a lens that could close in on an animal or at least get a good habitat image with the animal in a prominent position then I might then get out and shoot next to my car knowing I have a safe haven a few feet away. As I said I’m an opportunist, not nuts! But even then, most of my incidents with wildlife were when I was not even photographing them having been, well, bizarre to say the least. The stories that follow are from my experiences in the park. Stories in which I have done all to avoid an incident, yet still encounters with wildlife could have resulted in dire consequences- I have been harassed by animals!

to be continued...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Yellowstone: the introspective landscape Part XVII

Chapter 7-

Widow Makers- continued...

It was on the return trip from here that I had experienced perhaps my most dangerous moment ever in Yellowstone. It had been just a few years since the Great Fires of 1988. Given enough time, standing charred trees start to rot to the point that strong high winds could blow them over and that is just what began to happen. A weather front moved in and caught me by surprise. If there had been a rainstorm associated with the front, I could have started back sooner to make it back to the unburned forest on the caldera rim. But on this occasion the wind picked up to speeds about 35-45 mph or more. I found myself bounded in by widow makers. Every few seconds one of them would crash down near me. On this day, I had my tape recorder with me- an interest of mine is recording the sounds of Yellowstone on a high quality mono tape recorder. When I got to an open clearing free of a having a tree fall on me, I pulled out the recorder to begin taping trees crash down one after another. for every 10 or 20 seconds! Almost as abrupt as the storm started, the wind subsided to the point I could safely hike back to the trailhead making it there just before dark. I have hiked around and grizzlies, through bison herds and mad tourists but never before have I been this scared. This day Witch Creek became the Black Witch Creek!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Yellowstone: the introspective landscape- Part XVI

excerpts from my new book NOW AVAILABLE!-

Chapter 7-

Widow Makers- continued...

..As you move lower though a maze of depressions, as each one becomes wetter then the last, the closer you get to Witch Creek, you will find hot springs with muddy waters and openings of fumaroles expiring superheated steam. A few of the springs are brightly colored red from iron oxides. But, be very careful as you traveling here. Witch Creek is well known for its thin crust formations. It was near here that Truman C Everts, a member of the 1870 Washburn Expedition, badly scalded himself that he spent over a month in the wilderness without his pack horse and supplies. He survived on thistle roots..

...Because of its remote location, if a hiker breaks though here and severely burns himself, it could be life threatening as what occurred to Mr. Everts such a long ago. Every once in awhile someone manages to boils themselves to death!

to be continued

Yellowstone: the introspective landscape is now available! Click on the book link!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Yellowstone: the introspective landscape- Part XV

excerpts from my new book-

Chapter 7-

Widow Makers-

About 7 years before my backpack trip to Heart Lake, and on the same Continental Divide Trail that leads to Heart Lake Geyser Basin, the intended point of interest was not Heart Lake, but the Witch Creek geothermal area which is about 2 ½ miles before Heart Lake. The Witch Creek geothermal area runs much of the length of Witch Creek. It is one of Yellowstone’s most interesting areas because of its altitude change of four hundred or more feet. If you make it to bottom of the valley the reward is a visible fissure that belongs to a fault line that circumvents the base of Mount Sheridan. Along it, geysers erupt. The features found along the creek correspondently change the geothermal water’s ph levels with the altitude: acidic at the top portion and alkaline near the bottom portion. This change in ph makes for some very interesting features...

...Once you drop of the rim, in top portion in the acidic region, you will find depressions from where the rock has been eroded by the acid leaving basins filled with an almost white to yellowish mud (this is broken down Rhyolite). As this mud pot area become drier, they form mud cones. This area, I call the “Valley of the Cones” because there can be quite many of them. More then I have found anywhere else in the park.

to be continued...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Yellowstone: the introspective landscape- Part XIV

excerpts from my new book-

Chapter 6- continued...

Reincarnated Geyser!Yellowstone geology is living. It can change in days. An earthquake might create a new spring or make a geyser pop out of an old spring and dormant geysers spring back to life. Once such feature that was slipping into a dormant or extinct stage but now erupting once again was Rustic Geyser found in Heart Lake Geyser Basin. Learning of this, I planned to hike in and spend an overnighter or two camping near it and hoped to capture it at sunrise or sunset while in splendid eruption...

...In 1996, park geologist Bill Hutchinson was busy unclogging debris from Rustic’s underground plumbing. Many times, park visitors are the cause of damage to geysers and hotspring, but nature too can be the assailant like a runoff channel that flows into Rustic. Sadly, during the winter of 96-97, Bill and an associate died in an avalanche near here while on a backcountry ski trip. Later that spring, backpackers witnessed Rustic Geyser erupting for the first time in many years...

...Sadly he never saw it erupt after all his work. As I watched, Rustic erupt under dramatic sunset lit thunder clouds in the distance, I couldn’t help think that it was more then just Bill’s action of pumping out the debris that got Rustic to erupt as it did long ago, but perhaps Bill’s spirit behind the force of that eruption. Bill had reincarnated as the geyser guardian.

to be continued...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Yellowstone: the introspective landscape- Part XIII

excerpts from my new book-

Chapter 6-

Reincarnated Geyser!

Geothermal areas are beautiful and strange. Like sirens, they beckon the visitor to satisfy his curiosity with their puffs of ephemeral ether. Without boardwalks to safely guide you, they can be lethal. Every summer someone is boiled. A few get just get third degree burns. On occasions some die. Most do so from stupidity. Some just from standing in the wrong place at the wrong time like what happened to a nearly scalded to death fly fisherman while casting next to Flood Geyser as it began to eject 10,000 gallons on top of him. People have been scalded while on the presumed safety of the boardwalk. In the event that worlds biggest geyser, Steamboat, blows, there might not be a safe haven within several tenths of a miles as an ejecta of cannonball-like boulders and other geologic shrapnel fall around you: sometimes no place is safe. Backcountry geothermal areas have no boardwalks. Here there no rangers to warn you when you are on dangerous ground. So why go boil yourself to death where no one can see you die? You do it to experience the natural Yellowstone! A Yellowstone as it was before the lodges, boardwalks, roads and crowds. Explore the backcountry in the hope to discover new and different features as each geyser, hot spring or geothermal feature has its own character as each person has their own personality.

to be continued...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Yellowstone: the introspective landscape- Part XI

Chapter 5 continued...

The Luck of the Shoshone-

excerpts from my new photographic book-

...Finally, the trail begins to flatten out. Steam rising off to the side of the basin. We’ve made it to Shoshone. Now Shoshone is not just another geyser basin though it is to some people when they compare to the Upper, Mid, Lower Geyser Basins and Norris Geyser Basin. If the fifth largest basin in Yellowstone was located anywhere outside of the park, it would be the second largest geyser area in the world behind Yellowstone. Shoshone also does not have the two major distractions of those others. First there are no tourists except for a lone hiker, group of hikers or canoeists (Shoshone Lake is a canoeist’s destination as well) and subsequently no boardwalks! Even as tired as we were, we were thrilled to finally have made our destination. Now we just had to set up camp then begin our exploration after dinner. It was then that I realized that the park service had moved the campsite to the far south side of the basin lengthening our hike another mile! Probably a good thing since the last time I camped there a problem grizzly was stealing food- off the bones of hikers! After a few curses directed at the whole National Park Service, we grudgingly marched across the geyser basin. Finally, we found our designated campsite just before the swampy delta mouth of the Shoshone River. Too tired after dinner, we just slept. Finally, we found our designated campsite just before the swampy delta mouth of the Shoshone River and made camp.

The next morning we were awoken by the sound of Sandhill Cranes flying over head on a beautiful late summer day. Frost covered the grass. We were briefly visited by a flock of Crossbills- a species I’ve been trying to find for my birders life list for some time and here, they fly in for morning coffee. I love birding made easy! Once on a trip to southern Arizona to find a rare humming bird, I drove to the only know place where its range juts into the states from Mexico, step out of my truck in a red tee shirt and this rare elusive bird I drove hundreds of miles to find flew almost into my face. As I say, “Birding Make Easy!”


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Yellowstone: the introspective landscape- Part X

The Luck of the Shoshone-

excerpts from my new photographic book-

Chapter 5 continued...

We discussed our back country plan for our assault on Shoshone Geyser Basin. This would be my second trip into Shoshone named after the Native American tribe that once was lucky enough to claim this area their homeland until their luck had changed driven out by the “Progress” of the people of Europa. My first trip here was back in 1980 with a college girlfriend during my first visit to Yellowstone. The trip to Shoshone involves about an eight mile hike along the Continental Divide Trail. Most of the hike follows the meandering upper portion of the Firehole River as it makes it way though flat-wet meadow valley pocketed with geothermal areas. There is a gentle several hundred foot gain in elevation to the top of Grants Pass along the Continental Divide. It’s a nice quite serene hike, except if you’re with Tim. “Beir Hear! Get cha Beir Hear!: in his Chicago faux accent. Tim would repeat this call before he entered the thickets as on our way out of them as we ascended and descended Grants Pass. Actually, Tim practiced good bear country behavior with diligence.

to be continued...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Yellowstone: the introspective landscape- Part IX

The Luck of the Shoshone-

excerpts from my new photographic book-

Chapter 5- continued...

Owning a bicycle shop in Livingston had some perks other then a great place to ride. It was a good place to meet friends. Especially well known transplants from the east and west that came out to Montana to live the good life. Some of these people are famous. Writers, actors, TV personalities and other paparazzi of the outside world as well as famous magazine editor and writer, Tim Cahill, editor of Rolling Stone magazine and co-editorial-founder of Outside Magazine He was not only a good customer, but also a good friend at the time. Tim not only a big man, but a big man with a big heart. When I was starting my bicycle business, Tim helped me out and helped to introduce the community to me. After seven years or so, he also knew that I wanted to get out of the bike business and back into the creative fields. Deep down, he might have thought it would be a good way to get me off his back from trying to get him onto the bike for a much needed workout on my daily shop rides. Well, one day he needed something to do so he could write about it- no, he didn’t make up all those great Outside magazine stories! They’re true. So one day, after dinner at his house, he invited me along to shoot this trip he had thought about doing. He would then mail the slides along with the story and maybe they might be picked by the photo editor. Thusly, project me on my way to a successful editorial photographer. Of course I jumped at the chance.

to be continued...

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Yellowstone: the introspective landscape- Part VIII

Park Photography: a new approach-

excerpts from my new photographic book-

Chapter 4- continued...

Great photography is rare! Sure there are a lot of great photographers that do great work, but what percentage of their work is actually great? Even the best have far fewer great images then good ones. They also have waste paper baskets full of ones that you will never see. So to find a new angle or a truly unique composition is many times rarer. One such feature is Old Faithful Geyser. You might say that it’s a Meat-And-Potatoes shot for a Yellowstone photographer. It is the image in most demand that editors will use to depict Yellowstone. Artists go nuts trying to capture a new look. I’ve gone crazy in the process- you just don’t notice it! You say that you have photographed Yellowstone, but if you don’t have a good shot of Old Faithful you have not really haven’t shot Yellowstone. For me, and I have good images of Old Faithful, but I never felt that I had the “Iconic” Old Faithful shot. Ansel Adams has two great images of Old Faithful partly because of dark room magic, partly because he was so prolifically published and quite frankly, they are of Old Faithful’s two best angles. One is between the visitor center and the geyser. The other is from the east between Old Faithful Lodge and the geyser. It’s has the only tree in a composition that works. The tree is still there as Ansel photographed it and it doesn’t look at it has grown much. To me, its Mr. Adams tree, but not his geyser. If you take your photo from any other point on the boardwalk the encompasses it, you are either too far away or too low of an angle. Luckily, he only photographed them in Black and White. I did take on image from across the Firehole River on Geyser Hill that work well enough to become a two-page spread in a book. It worked out because I used 200mm lens and conveniently a group of photographers stop right in between the geyser and me. Otherwise is would have been just another nice photo of Old Faithful- Humans are Homocentric. Unless there was dramatic light, cloud or rainbow, Old Faithful was becoming the feature I would walk right by. Then finally one day, the composition I had always imagined began to coalesce was I compelled to set up the 4x5” large format camera. It then became a race with the clock as these elements moved into place while Old Faithful eminent eruption loomed ever closer. It was almost too close! By the time I had set up the camera on the tripod, focused it, loaded the film holder into the back of the camera as the bison moved into position- a position I could not have place any better then if I had placed them there myself- cocked the shutter and Old Faithful exploded into the sky. It happened so quick only one image out of four nailed Old Faithful at its peak- if you don’t have Old Faithful at its peak then you don’t have Old Faithful- and remarkably, the Bison had not moved! That image, “Ol’ Faithful Bison”, became the most iconic image of Yellowstone Park since Ansel Adams “Old Faithful” some 60 plus years ago! It has been the cover of several books and calendars on the park as well as the cover image on this book. It is also my most successful selling Yellowstone image ever. I will never take a better shot of Old Faithful. I know that. I also know no one else will ever take one so dramatic as well. I have shot Yellowstone’s essence! Now to get the same image with a double rainbow and lightning with wolfs sitting opposite the bison! It’s OK to dream.

to be continued...