Fog along the Firehole River, Yellowstone NP, WY, USA

Layers of fog, Yellowstone NP, Wyoming. Early one morning I climbed a low hill, trying to gain some elevation so I could look down on the fog. After sunrise I noticed beautiful sidelight raking across this scene of a meandering river, so I raced along the hilltop to get a better view and composed this image. I like the horizontal layers of light and dark, punctuated by the vertical, curving column of steam that added a necessary visual focal point. 160mm, 1/20 sec. at f/16, ISO 100.

As I said in my last post, I love photographing fog and mist, so here are more misty images from our trip to Yellowstone. I explain my approach to photographing these scenes in that previous post, but the captions here contain more detail about the specific photos shown.

— Michael Frye

Mist and trees, Yellowstone NP, WY;, USA

Mist and trees, Yellowstone NP, Wyoming. After photographing a thermal basin for awhile, I backtracked to this stand of trees I’d noticed earlier, and found beautiful mist and great patterns of trunks. The mist was moving quickly, so I took many frames with the same composition and camera settings to try to capture the best moment – 122 frames in all. 175mm, 1/200 sec. at f/16, ISO 100.

Trees and mist at sunrise, Yellowstone NP, WY, USA

Trees and mist at sunrise, Yellowstone NP, Wyoming. As the fog shifted and changed this one group of trees stood out momentarily, and I was able to frame this composition before things changed again. 355mm, 1/45 sec. at f/11, ISO 100.

Misty ridges, Yellowstone NP, WY, USA

Misty ridges, Yellowstone NP, Wyoming. Captured from the same hill as the photo at the top of this post, about ten minutes later. With the sun rising higher the fog started to break up a little, revealing a succession of ridges. 285mm, 1/250 sec. at f/11, ISO 100.

Stream in fog, Yellowstone NP, WY, USA

Stream in fog, Yellowstone NP, Wyoming. I noticed this little curving stream through the fog, with sunlight reflecting off the water, and zoomed in on those curves. 198mm, 1/350 sec. at f/16, ISO 100.

Tree snags in a geyser basin, Yellowstone NP, WY, USA

Tree snags in a geyser basin, Yellowstone NP, Wyoming. The backlit mist here was beautiful, but I needed a visual focal point to organize the composition and give viewers a place for their eyes to land. The three snags provided that. 50mm, 1/90 sec. at f/16, ISO 100.

Misty sunrise, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone NP, WY, USA

Misty sunrise, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone NP, Wyoming. This was our foggiest morning – maybe too much so, as later the fog lifted into a low overcast, with rather flat light. But before that happened the sun broke through the low clouds and fog to create some striking scenes like this. When I saw this light I literally ran along a boardwalk get to this spot where I thought there might be a good foreground to work with. 16mm, bracketed shutter speeds (five frames, two stops apart), f/16, ISO 100.

Related Posts: Morning Mist in Yellowstone: Part 1; Yellowstone’s Dynamic Landscape; Developing a Solid Field Routine

Michael Frye is a professional photographer specializing in landscapes and nature. He is the author or principal photographer of The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite, Yosemite Meditations, Yosemite Meditations for Women, Yosemite Meditations for Adventurers, and Digital Landscape Photography: In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Great Masters. He has also written three eBooks: Light & Land: Landscapes in the Digital Darkroom, Exposure for Outdoor Photography, and Landscapes in Lightroom: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide. Michael has written numerous magazine articles on the art and technique of photography, and his images have been published in over thirty countries around the world. Michael has lived either in or near Yosemite National Park since 1983, currently residing just outside the park in Mariposa, California.