Posts Tagged ‘Yellowstone NP’

In the Ken Burns-Dayton Duncan special “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” Yosemite and Yellowstone get the lion’s share of attention, both for their centrality to conservation history, and because of their iconic nature, double meaning of nature intended. Of the two,Yosemite is the most photogenic, with sculptured granite walls and domes, graceful but thunderous waterfalls, and an eye-popping entry viewpoint, made famous by Ansel Adams’ remarkable cloud-hugging, snow-glazed view, “Clearing Winter Storm,” C.1937. In fact, Ansel Adams and Yosemite were nearly synonymous for my generation. Never mind the dusty summer crowds or over crowded campgrounds, it is a place of nature-magic.

Edge of Upper Falls © SR Euston

Then there’s Yellowstone, the original national park, the most famous, one of the most visited, and in my view a pretty difficult place to get the sense of photographically. (Maybe this is because of the dispersal and scale of its most dramatic highlights, contrasted with the compact intensity of Yosemite Valley.) Ansel Adams’ photographs of Yellowstone never reach the exalted heights of his more numerous Yosemite art works. (Except maybe in his geyser pictures, wispy and moody.) The watercolors of Thomas Moran, which helped sell the park idea to Congress, are to my eye more satisfying, even though they hardly represent photographic reality.

This is my Yellowstone sampling, from an early August camping trip last year. Geysers, boiling springs, rivers and canyons—the places that thousands of tourists see every day in Summer. The steaming geysers and boiling thermal features are what intrigued me most, graphically and otherwise. And I admit that the foaming geyser picture —whatever its merit—owns its essence to Ansel Adams.      SRE

Great Fountain Geyser Terraces © SR Euston

Canada Geese, Yellowstone River, Hayden Valley © SR Euston

Hot Spring, Upper Geyser Basin © SR Euston

Lookout Point, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone © SR Euston

Great Fountain Geyser © SR Euston

Evening off Fountain Flat Drive © SR Euston

Geyser Steam at Sundown © SR Euston


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