Photo Workshop in Yellowstone National Park

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Yellowstone National ParkClassical music is much harder to wake up to at 5 am then the news. But, I refuse to begin my day with the “EINT, EINT, EINT” of the buzzer. I roll over and sit on the edge of the bed for a moment. My daytime systems begin boot up one by one and when I feel balance and coordination come on-line I stand.

I am heading to Yellowstone for a series of free photo workshops. There aren’t to many better ways to spend a day then to geek out on photography while spending the day in one of the most beautiful place on the planet.

Accompanying my drive are: a travel mug of coffee, a travel mug of granola, four pod-casts of Planet Money and a beautiful sunrise alpenglow highlighting wispy clouds suspended by treetops mid-way up mountainsides. Two and half hours later I pull into the Upper Geyser Basin section of Yellowstone. Most of us know this as the Old Faithful area.

The American Park Network has been touring our national parks all summer giviYellowstone National Parkng free photo workshops for all levels. Because of a Canon sponsorship they provided camera gear for people to try out. And, Cannon is sponsoring a photo contest. During the day workshops they teach everything from basic camera skills (what’s and F-stop?) and basic composition (the rule of thirds) to more advanced technique like HDR and landscape composition. The nighttime lecture, presented by George Lepp, illustrates some post processing techniques and workflow, a slide show of Lepp’s work and informational pitch about Canon products.

After I sign some paperwork, shake some hands and give them my drivers license and credit card as collateral, I hold a Canon 5D Mark II with a 100-400mm lens. The 5D Mark II is 21.1 mega pixYellowstone National Parkel full frame SLR with HD video. I’ve been dreaming of buying this camera but I used my savings coping with the recession so it’s awesome to be able to work with one. I keep wiping the drool off my chin so it doesn’t drip on the camera.

For those non-camera geeks this is a 2010 BMW M-5 compared to my 1996 Subaru Legacy. I immediately put the camera strap around my neck. I can’t afford a BMW. I can barely afford my Subaru.

I attend all three sessions. They divide us into groups based on level. The morning session I tour the geyser board walk with Lepp, picking his brain, drawing on his 40+ years of experience in Yellowstone National Parktechnical knowledge and shooting technique. The afternoon I walk around with Professor Jon Long from MSU. He is also incredibly knowledgeable. The evening session I again get to pick Lepp’s brain. I need to attend more photo workshop.

I’d like to give a big thank you to Federico, Larson, Jon, Erica, and Joel of The American Park Network, George Lepp from Canon and Yellowstone National Park for an amazing day!

Please visit our Facebook page to see more photos. Click the link to enter the Canon Photography in the Parks contest.

Yellowstone National Park
(Aaron Schultz is a writer, photographer, marketing intern and chronic wander.)

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