Archive for April, 2014

The Drake Magazine Cover

I was pretty excited to be on the cover of the 2014 winter issue of The Drake Magazine.  The only fly fishing magazine that makes an effort to regularly showcase interesting photography.  Seeing a black and white image on the cover of a fishing magazine instead of a grip and grin shot of a big fish is a treat.  If you want to be inspired by beautiful fly fishing photography pick up a copy.


Wyoming Tourism Print Ad. The story behind the image.

Photographing the most dangerous animal in Yellowstone Park.

When the guys at Barnhart called me, to shoot wild bisons with geysers in the background in Yellowstone National Park, I figured it was going to be just another shoot.  I was wrong.  Bisons are the most dangerous animals in the park.  From 1980 to 1999 more than three times as many people in Yellowstone National Park were injured by bison than by bears.  On a previous assignment in the park, I was charged by a bull.  Fortunately I was close enough to my car to run in, step on the gas and peel out.  I knew this shoot had to be approached differently, it couldn’t have been scheduled with the client there or an art director.  It was too much of a liability.  It had to be handled like a “hunt” and after explaining the logistics to Barnhart they agreed to let me “Roam Free” with my assistant and do it on my own, with a flexible schedule.  I immediately called the Park to find out the whereabouts of bisons.  They replied “Bisons are in the rut (mating) and are roaming in the Lamar Valley in big herds”.  “Hummm… ” That’s the opposite side of the Park where all the geysers are and big animals in the rut and excited is not what I wanted. Not a problem.  Nothing photoshop and a getaway driver with a fast car will not fix (at least that’s what I thought).   I then researched about geysers.  Some are so unpredictable, that I could have spent the rest of my life waiting for them to erupt.  Old Faithful was going to be my only option and who cares if it’s surrounded by benches and herds of wild tourists…


The first part of the shoot was going to be getting the image of the geyser and  treeline.  We camped by Old Faithful and sat my watch to every eruption.  Waiting patiently for it to erupt “Here it comes!  pufh…”.   A little smoke, some steam, a couple of puffs, “Oh, is that it? I think this was a lame one…”.  I waited an hour for the next eruption.  Next eruption exploded to a million feet and I scrambled running back to get the whole thing with my lens that was too long.  It was massive and I was really working hard to get the whole thing in my frame when someone from the back asked. “Sir?  Do you mind if I rest my camera on your back while I take a picture?”.  That is a pretty acceptable request when shooting around old Faithful.  “Sure” I replied and kept shooting with my new friend.  I spent a day and a half fighting tourists and getting pictures of Old Faithful in every light situation I could get, to match the lighting of what the bison foreground might be.  Old Faithful was faithful but it sure had it’s own temperament.

Next part was going to be shooting bisons.  I didn’t want to use a telephoto lens and sit back from the distance and shoot.  I really wanted the viewers to feel they were right there in the middle of the herd.   I grabbed mid range lenses for a more intimate perspective.  The plan was to drive to Lamar Valley, find buffalos right next to the road, have my getaway assistant driver drop me off by the buffalo, jump out and start shooting and race away with the fast car before the bisons got me.   As soon as we arrived in the Lamar valley, I realized that the getaway driver plan was not going to work.