There is something primal—something elemental—about Yellowstone, a reminder of the Earth’s ancient past, born of fire in the forge of creation. Although that fire has now cooled, it still smolders in places, spilling forth from hidden pockets beneath the surface. In Yellowstone, creation continues, deeply woven into the tapestry of the landscape.
I made this image during dawn twilight at Canary Springs, part of the Mammoth Hot Springs geothermal complex. Low light meant long exposures, perfect for recording motion over time. I made image after image, experimenting with the ebb and flow of rising steam blown by the wind, searching for a meaningful convergence of elements. Often, such a convergence doesn’t happen. Sometimes it does. Suddenly, almost before I could react, the wind whipped the steam into curling shapes, pillars of smoke riding swirling zephyrs ascending from the surface of the thermal pool. I had my moment.
Technical details: Canon 5D Mark II camera, 14-24mm lens (@24mm), ISO 50, f/16, 6 seconds.