¤ On Black ¤
Now that it's Christmas, I will share a special photograph with you.
This is a photo of a bison tromping across the bacterial mat in front of the Grand Prismatic Spring--the largest hot spring in North America, and third largest in the world.
The story goes that I was minding my own business, composing images of the Grand Prismatic, when all the tourists started fussing and massing along the boardwalk above the bacterial mat in front of the hot spring. I didn't pay much attention to them at first, but eventually I had to pull away from the viewfinder to see what the commotion was all about. Wow! A bison was leisurely making his way towards the Grand Prismatic, splash-stomp, splash-stomp, splash-stomp through the pungent water. Me, being totally unprepared for this, swung my tripod around and started tracking him and tripping the shutter.
Shooting through a 2-stop graduated neutral density filter and a polarizer really slowed down my shutter, which explains the subject motion in the leg, tail, and back. Upon closer inspection, it's possible to see the water splashing from his front hoof--very cool!
My favorite areas are the reflection of the bison and the rich hues throughout. I love the layered framing--the cornered sky leading into the hills, which offset the steam rising from the spring; on the bottom the bright oranges are nicely divided by parallel reliefs in the bacterial mat, which have a nice diagonal symmetry with the sky and hill lines. I wish I had time to change to a different lens, or at least remove my filers, but in this unique circumstance, I will take what I can get.
For those wondering where I was, follow this Wikipedia link, and click on the overhead image. In the larger sizes a couple is visible walking along the boardwalk found on the bottom of the image. I was located on the left side of the wider area just above the walkers. The bison was walking from upper-right to lower-left--he never stopped or paid any attention to the legions of onlookers, while he made his way to graze in the Midland Geyser Basin.