Old Faithful is so iconic American West and though I have seen it irrupt hundreds of times, I’ve gotta see it at least once every time I’m there. This last May I got to do something I’ve long wanted to do, see it irrupt under the stars. The skies are so large, stars so bright, they swallow you up and wrap you in a blanket of light. It was eleven o’clock at night so the only sound you heard was the low growl of Old Faithful organizing for its next show. Off in the distance this night we heard coyotes sing down in Biscuit. Then comes the show when is at first announced with sound but once it gets twenty or thirty feet tall you can see the column of steam rise. Shortly it’s at its height and this veil of white starts to float in front of you, you hear the water rush up and then crash down. It seems to dance in front of us with stars coming and going through the rising plume of steam. It was incredibly magical and an experience I will never forget!
Then there were the photographs, they too were an experience I will never forget. Oh, there are so many issues bringing that experience back in a photograph! There is so much light pollution the steam picks up. First, there is the dinning hall to the south with its sodium vapor lights. They were still in the process of getting it open for the season and it seemed to me they were having fun playing with the lights. It was an atomic glow! Then there were the delivery trucks headlights that came and went. At first I though it might be a cool form of light painting. I thought wrong. Lastly were the headlights of folks pulling into the Old Faithful Inn. The irruption went off around 11:30PM and you’d think these things wouldn’t be an issue. Despite all of this, I got a couple of clicks and while the experience comes rushing back to my memory, I’m not bringing you there. This was my first opportunity to make these clicks, it won’t be the last. Old Faithful under the stars, what an experience!
exposure note: ISO 6400 f2.8 1.5sec