Landscapes,  National Parks

Yellowstone Winter Landscape Photography

Yellowstone National Park is well known for its winter wildlife photography and for good reason.  On our January trip to Yellowstone, we photographed Moose, Big Horn Sheep rams and ewes, Snowy Bison, Elk bulls and cows, an Ermine, Coyotes, Pronghorn Antelope, Mule Deer, and White-tailed deer.

Mammoth Hot Spring, Yellowstone National Park
Mammoth Hot Spring, Yellowstone National Park

But Yellowstone is often overlooked for landscape photography.  This is somewhat due to its picturesque sister park to the south, Grand Teton National Park.

But winter adds a certain charm to Yellowstone that provides for excellent landscape photography. Below are some ideas for winter landscape photography that could give you some good photo opportunities when the wildlife photography is slow.

Yellowstone Winter Landscape Photography Ideas

Minimalist / Negative Space Snowy Scenes

Cold and Snowy Yellowstone
Using Negative Space with Pine Trees at a Geyser Basin

With all the snow, Yellowstone is a great place to add negative space to your photographs.  Check around the geyser basins.

Snowy and Icy Waterfalls

Gibbon Falls in a Snowstorm - Before
Gibbon Falls in a Snowstorm

There are plenty of waterfalls in Yellowstone.  However, with only the northern road open, accessing them may be a challenge.  Try Undine or Wraith Falls.  Gibbons falls is also accessible by snow coach.

Geyser Basins and Hot Springs in Steam and Snow

Old Faithful Erupting in the Winter
Old Faithful Erupting in the Winter

Geysers, Hot Springs, Fumerols, and Mud Pots make for great subjects with the steam mixing with the snow.  Mammoth Hot Springs (first image) can be reached by car in the winter.  For the other Geysers Basins, you’ll need to take a snow coach or snow mobile tour – which can be an interesting and fun experience.

Sunrise / Sunset on the Snowy Mountains

Winter in Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park
Winter in Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park

Sunrises and sunsets can give color to an otherwise drab scene.  They also cast the color on to the snow on the mountains.

The Moon Setting Over the Mountains

Full Moon Setting Over Yellowstone
Moon Setting Over the Mountains in Lamar Valley

While in Yellowstone, keep track of the phases of the moon and look back behind you while you’re traveling.  You might just get a treat like this one.

Animals in their environment

Elk in a Snowy Winter Scene
Elk in a Snowy Winter Scene

Instead of just zooming in on wildlife, try zooming out and capturing them in their environment.

Winter Scenes with Puffy Snow

Snow Pillows, Yellowstone National Park
Snow Pillows, Yellowstone National Park

White puffy snow with the dark colors of the trees and river are great contrast for a black and white photo.

Written by Martin Belan


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