The One That Got Away

August 22, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

While visiting Yellowstone, I had my heart set on capturing a certain image.  That image is the Lion Geyser erupting with the Heart Spring in the foreground.  The image isn't easy to come by.  The Lion Geyser's eruptions are unpredictable.  And, the lighting is always hit or miss in the Upper Geyser Basin.

One morning, I was up and out early and walking the Upper Geyser boardwalk at 5:30 AM.  To my amazement, the Lion Geyser erupted while I was standing right next to it!  Unfortunately, the sun had not yet risen--so it wasn't the best for the photography.  But, it was an amazing experience standing so close to the geyser as it erupted 80 plus feet into the air!
A little later, I walked back to the Inn for breakfast.  The ranger told me that Lion Geyser had not erupted at all the day before.  But, that if I saw it erupt at 5:30 AM, it was likely that it would erupt every 60-90 minutes for much of the day.
I returned to the Lion Geyser after breakfast.  But, as I was approaching it, I noticed a large group of people running for the unpredictable Beehive Geyser.  Apparently, it was giving indications that it was about to go.  So, I rushed to get into position for that eruption--making sure to stay well away from the spray (which does a number on lenses).
To my great disappointment, while I was shooting Beehive Geyser, Lion erupted in the background!  So, when I was done shooting Beehive, I went back to Lion and figured I would wait for the next eruption.  The lighting was beautiful at the time.
60 minutes passed...the 90....then 120...then 150 minutes.  I became impatient.  A passing ranger pointed out that it was very likely that the three or four eruptions that morning had probably completed its cycle.  It might not erupt for another couple of days.
So, I never did get the shot that I envisioned.  But, I walked away with a Beehive eruption photo as another consolation prize.
The One That Got Away (Heart Spring with Lion Geyser...envision it with an 80 foot eruption)
Heart Spring
Beehive Geyser (the consolation prize)
Beehive Geyser audience


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