Hayden Valley Reflection, Yellowstone National Park
Landscapes,  National Parks,  Photo Stories

The Story Behind the Photo: Hayden Valley Cloud Reflection, Yellowstone National Park

It was a calm morning in Yellowstone National Park, which means it’s a good day to look for reflections to photograph.  While driving through Hayden Valley, I saw the blue sky and clouds reflected in a small pond along side the road.  I had to stop and take a photo.

Hayden Valley Cloud Reflection

Yellowstone is a great place to photograph wildlife.   It is also a great spot for photographing landscapes and geothermal activity.  On a calm day, there are several spots in the park that are great for photographing reflections including Hayden Valley, Yellowstone River, and Yellowstone Lake.  Yellowstone is especially good to photograph reflections as it frequently has blue skies with fluffy white clouds.

It is also a good idea to have a camera with a landscape lens attached while driving through the park.  Just like wildlife photography in Yellowstone, a good landscape composition could be right around the corner and you want to be ready for the shot.

Hayden Valley Cloud Reflection Photo Details

Camera:  Olympus OM-D E-M1
Lens:   Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 Lens
Focal Length:  35mm
ISO:  320
Aperture:   f/11
Shutter Speed: 1/640 of a second
Exposure Compensation: 0
Lighting: Calm morning with no wind

Reflection Photo Processing

  • Cropped the photo in Lightroom 5.
  • Used the Clouds II Filter in Topaz Clarity to give the photo some pop.
  • Used Google Viveza 2 to lighten the clouds, darken the sky, and add saturation to the photo.
  • Highlighted the clouds by using the Lighten/Darken Center filter in in Color Efex Pro 4.
  • Used Topaz DeNoise and a Layer Mask in Photoshop CC to selectively remove the noise from the photo.
  • Selectively sharpened the image using the Unsharp filter and a layer mask in Photoshop CC.

Written by Martin Belan

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