Stars above the Old Faithful, probably the most recognized geyser in the world, located in the World Heritage Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. As noted by the photographer “The geyser has been erupting about every 90 minutes for years and years now, with an average eruption height of 130 feet (40 meters) so it is somewhat easy to plan a shot. I was wanting to get the geyser illuminated by moonlight, and this was the evening when it all came together. This shot was really made easy because of my iPhone, and the wonderful apps that are available. So I could start planning this shot during the day, as I did not need darkness to set it up. I mostly used the app Focalware to plan the moonrise time. It let me know where and when the moon would break the distant ridge, which was 8° elevation as revealed by Clinometer app. Focalware showed me the moon would clear the 8° horizon at about 21:35, and there was a predicted eruption set for 21:50. So I knew things were falling into place. I got myself in position and set up by 21:15. And it all came together exactly as planned. The color of the eruption is somewhat discolored by the local ambient light coming out of the nearby lodges. You can see the natural color it would have been by looking at a very distant eruption going on near the left edge of the frame, with that geyser steam being illuminated only with moonlight. An 8 second exposure smoothed out the geyser plume quite a bit, but I was also lucky this evening that the wind was coming out of the east, and swept the steam away to the left of the bursting water stream, which allowed for additional illumination to hit the geyser stream directly. Had the steam plume been still, or blowing to the right, it would have totally changed the look of this shot. Sometimes elements just work out for the best. This was one of those nights.”



comments (1)

  • Rice Jackson Reply

    Looks super… I’ll be there in a week, and staying out lots of late nights for earth and sky shots. Thanks for sharing this.

    May 18, 2013 at 6:09 pm

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