Reflections in the Yellowstone River
Landscapes,  National Parks

Top Yellowstone Landscape Photography Ideas – Part 1

Yellowstone National Park is widely known for its wildlife and geothermal activity such as geysers, pools, fumaroles, and mudpots.  While its neighbor park, Grand Teton, is known for its iconic photographs of the Teton Range.

Yellowstone also has some beautiful landscapes to photograph.  This part one of a two part blog on some of the top Yellowstone Landscapes to photograph.  

In this blog, I’ll disclose some of my favorite Yellowstone Landscapes to view and photograph, where they are located, and when to photograph these landscapes.

Some of these landscapes contain geothermal features.  However, I tried not to feature geothermal features in this blog post.  For more information on photographing geothermal features, see my blog on Yellowstone geothermal features.  I also did not focus on waterfalls in this blog, look for an upcoming blog on Yellowstone waterfalls.

Hayden Valley

Hayden Valley Reflection, Yellowstone National Park

Hayden Valley is a terrific location for panoramic photos.  Also look for reflections of the sky in the ponds along the road.

The side of the road you want to photograph will determine when you should photograph the landscape so scope out your landscapes before hand.  If you want to photograph the side with the Yellowstone River, do so in the evening for the scene to be backlit.  Photograph the side opposite the river in the morning light.

Lamar Valley

Yellowstone, Lamar Valley Pano

Lamar Valley is also known as the Serengeti of North America due to the abundance of wildlife.  Look for landscapes with Bison and Pronghorn Antelopes in the scene.  Try wide angle shots and panoramas using the curve of the Lamar River to lead the eye.

Reflections in the Yellowstone River

Reflections in the Yellowstone River

Look for compositions between between LeHardy Rapids and Hayden Valley and Hayden Valley and Canyon.  The reflections are best on a calm day.  Use a polarizing filter to intensify the reflection.

Swan Lake Flats

Yellowstone Swan Lake Flats

Swan Lake Flats is another great location for wide angle and panoramic photographs.  Look for rocks or sage brush to use in the foreground, Swan Lake in the mid ground, and the mountains, clouds, and sky for the background.

Swan Lake Flats is located on the Grand Loop Road between Norris and Mammoth.  If you are heading from Mammoth, Swan Lake Flats is located just past Rustic Falls.

Lake Butte Overlook

Yellowstone Lake Butte Overlook - Black and White

Lake Butte Overlook provides beautiful views of Yellowstone Lake from above.  Capture the mountains behind the lake.  Also use the trees along the winding shoreline as a leading line.  Lake Butte Overlook is located of the East Entrance road just past Sedge Bay of Yellowstone Lake.

Black and White Photos work well at Lake Butte Overlook using the dead trees in the foreground of the photograph.

Read Part 2 of the Yellowstone Landscape Photography Ideas blog.

Written by Martin Belan

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