I have been visiting and photographing in Yellowstone National Park for over 30 years, I have witnessed the evolving changes from both nature’s forces on its wildlife, landscape and by the record setting park visitations.
These large numbers directly affects each park visitor from the family enjoying a vacation of camping and hiking to the wildlife photographer capturing the beauty of the park’s landscape and it’s abundance of wildlife. This park is one of the jewels of the National Park Services and has wildlife and scenic photographic opportunity around just about every corner. My best and simples advice is to be patient, slow down and get out of the car and hike some of miles of trails offered in the park. During the popular months the auto traffic around a “wildlife encounter” can be overwhelming. This panoramic image was taken at 6:45am, I was photographing a very well know herd of elks on the Madison River. If this happens during the middle of the day in summer the cars and people and photographers could easily triple.
The amount of wildlife that can be seen and photographed just a few minutes up a trail in a quiet more natural environment is well worth the extra time and effort. There will be less people, no cars to deal with that can scare the wildlife. I always use extreme caution when approaching and photographing any wildlife. You do not want the animal to feel threatened and attack or to act unnatural. Allowing the wildlife the time to become comfortable with you and not think of you as a threat will reward your efforts with better images. As always the wildlife is most active early in the morning and late in the evening before sunset. During the middle of the day I do my scouting for future locations. My last small piece of advice of photographing in beautiful Yellowstone National Park is to always keep shooting and honing your photographic skills, just slow down and enjoy the time in this paradise a little longer!!
“If you have a dream, do not waste your energy explaining why”