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Blues over Fire Hole River, Yellowstone

Blues over Fire Hole River, Yellowstone

This shot was taken during our recent visit to Yellowstone National Park. Its the Fire Hole river running next to Midway Geyser Basin point.

We were staying at west yellowstone and due to a road closure, we had to drive down south on the grand loop road. This is one of the first couple of tourist spots that you encounter while heading in that direction. See the map on flickr for exact location. We (my “wife” to be precise) were keen on seeing places which we (read she) had missed earlier, so we didn’t stop at this place as we (again “she”) had already seen this spot from an earlier visit.

By the end of the day we were ready to head back to west entrance to dine at the famous Chinese restaurant. Its the only place I know where you get some spicy food which all three of us like. Yeah, even my 2 yr old likes spicy now :). The problem with them is that they close pretty early and if you are stuck deep in the park, then you pretty much have to eat pizza for the night, which I don’t mind, but was turned down by the other family members. So I was trying to make up time by leaving early and getting to the restaurant just in time to place the last order.

I had given up on the sunset shot that I had in mind as “dinner” took precedence. While nearing midway geyser basin, noticed that the entire light conditions were looking more “blue” to my eyes. I knew from an earlier picture that the lens will capture more “blue” than what we can see. Ignoring my wife’s look, I just turned back convincing her that I’ll just try one shot and will make up for the time. I was so keen on trying this, that I didn’t even bother to check her expressions. Quickly parked the car, took the camera and tripod out of the trunk and headed down the valley. Even tripped on a stone, but luckily had the camera strap on my neck.

At the river bed, looked for a simple composition which involved lots of blue color and found the small set of stones in the river which would give the feel of river flow. By this time, the blue color which my eyes had seen was fading very fast. Took a test shot at 10s, but it turned out more dark than what I had anticipated. So tried another one at 30s, which looked little better on the preview. During that 30s a car pulled out of the parking lot. The moment they started the engine and lights were turned on, I thought I would loose this one too. But the histogram convinced me that I could salvage something by cropping that area which was lit by the car. By this time, my wife had come out of the car and was ready to “kill” me. I didn’t say a word, headed back to the car and drove the remaining distance praying that we reach on time to at least place a last order.

Luckily did reach on time and had a wonderful dinner. After some food made its way to my wife’s belly, I showed her the preview. I had never seen her eyes open so wide and I knew immediately that this one was a keeper.

Processing also was very easy. The top right part was lit by the car which pulled out. While processing I din’t crop it out as it added a border element to the otherwise blue river in the composition. Worked on levels to increase the contrast and added a drop shadow effect to the border. Overall I’m very pleased with the result. Hope you guys enjoy it too. View large for best effect.

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