The extreme temperature of water in the geysers and hot springs create a unique environment for colorful extremophiles, bacteria that survive and live in the scalding water. The bacteria can be quite colorful, making the springs very picturesque.Some pools were bright orange while other were a greenish blue, while some had just about every color you could imagine in a bright rainbow array of colors.
Most of my best photos came from an area around the Grand Prismatic Spring. It is the largest hot spring in the United States. There was quite a bit of steam blocking the view of the entire spring but the colors still came through. I think the steam added a bit of mystery to the photos which I like as well. I had to watch out while walking around the springs as the steam is corrosive to delicate equipment...like cameras.
The afternoon rain clouds were starting to build up which provided a great background for landscape shots. These beautiful and unique sights alone would make Yellowstone a must see destination, but add all the wildlife to the mix and now you have a place that you could come back to time and time again. It was interesting to try and count the different languages being spoken around us as I explored the park.
Another unique geological feature is located in the northwest corner of Yellowstone, called Mammoth Springs. This is a large complex of hot springs on a hill of travertine which tumbles down forming a terrace of white and orange. It is algae living within the 170 degree water that gives these hot springs its color.
As I walked around the upper terraces of mammoth hot springs I noticed several large bison patties, which means that sometimes the large animals come in for a bit of warming at the springs. This is where I would spend my winter if I was a bison here.
Yellowstone should definitely be on any photographers hit list. If you are looking for inspiration or a chance to shoot something new this is it.