Old Faithful captured by Z 9 / Z14-24f2.8
Old Faithful is an iconic symbol of so many things. While mostly of Yellowstone Nationals Park, but also of the west and those first explorers who brought back its wonders to the world. It got its name back in 1870 from the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition because it seemed to spout “faithfully” every 63 to 70 minutes. It can push out nearly 8400 gallons of very hot water when it erupts! I don’t know how many times I’ve stood there and watched it go over our forty years of visiting it, but it never grows old. I’ve been very fortunate to see Steamboat blow which is much larger but there is just something about Old Faithful that never gets old!
While I watch it blow every time I’m there, I don’t always photograph it. The photo above is the only photo I took of it on this last trip that was two weeks long. I watched it with the camera at my side but no clicks. Why? I think sharing my favorite of mine of Old Faithful photograph (below, from 2020) probably explains it the best. I’m looking in my photo of Old Faithful the power it brings to the landscape. I want a combination of that powerful background with a great eruption which for me is not height, but vertical strength. I like it best when it’s cold so you can see the steam really well (-10 or colder) and no wind. I then stand where I can have that column of steam as vertical as possible. Then I want to be able to go as wide as possible because Old Faithful belongs in that vast grand landscape. She’s not the same as first described in 1870, not the same power, and doesn’t blow as faithfully. They say it’s possible she might go away in our lifetime which would be a great loss to me. Such a grand symbol of our wilderness and exploration. It’s why I try to capture its power, Old Faithful, keeping it young.