Welcome to the blog for Steve Hinch Photography.
On this page you'll find photographic information on the places I've photographed recently as well as some technical information on the photographs themselves. I'll also post updates on what I've seen and experienced in Yellowstone and abroad, current wildlife sightings, and anything else of interest. Check back often for updates!
September 24, 2017 • Leave a Comment
Here's a little sunrise magic from Glacier National Park in 2016. Hope your Sunday morning is as magical! Early morning hikes are rewarded with beautiful light on the high, glacially carved peaks. Just be sure to carry bear spray and make a little extra noise so as not to surprise any bruins!
September 12, 2017 • Leave a Comment
One of the more frequent emails I receive is one asking how to place an order. Recent changes by the web company who hosts my site have made it a bit confusing, so I have a step by step guide on my website that walks you through placing a book or print order. In the past, this has been a bit hard to find as it was linked in the Frequently Asked Questions part of my website, so I added a new link under information to make it easier to find. The page, How to Order, has 9 screenshots to show what you'll see and what to do when placing order. I hope it's helpful!
September 10, 2017 • Leave a Comment
While many photographers hope to get a stunning image of a grizzly or wolf in Yellowstone, the park was actually established in 1872 to protect the incredible concentration of thermal features. Yellowstone not only has more thermal features than anywhere else in the world, but also had highest number of large geysers and hot springs. Photographing these features isn't difficult, but there are a few things to pay attention to when trying to come up with nice images of geysers and hot springs. So here are a few tips from what I've learned over the years.
LIGHTING- For geysers, early morning and late evening light is best, just as with any other landscape photo. While a colorful sunrise or sunset is a bonus, clear blue skies work great too. The column of water contrasts nicely against a clear blue sky. Conversely, geysers photograph poorly on cloudy days since the water and steam don't stand out against the grey sky. That geyser you want to photograph isn't predicted to erupt until several hours after sunrise? No worries, as long as the sky is blue and you don't overexpose the water and steam, the photo will still look nice, just not as nice as that early morning or late evening light. Contrary to most thinking, to get the best color in photos of hot springs, especially those deep blues in the middle of a lot of the pools, close to midday light actually works better than early or late, as seen below in the photo of Morning Glory Pool.
TRIPODS- For many situations, using a tripod is important and many articles for beginners recommend using a tripod all the time. When photographing around Yellowstone's geyser basins however, a tripod is often unnecessary. Depending on time of day and year, potentially many people are walking on the boardwalks and all those footfalls cause vibrations that will result in blurry photos as the vibrations work from the boardwalk to your tripod to your lens. Additionally, with potentially a lot of people walking around, your tripod will probably be in the way, get bumped, or just block the narrow boardwalk.
WEATHER- Besides cloudy days being less desirable for geysers, wind is also a consideration. When waiting for an eruption of a geyser, watch which way the steam is moving. If it's moving towards you then the steam will overwhelm the water column and you'll have no detail in the eruption. Some geysers, like Old Faithful, have a path all the way around so changing your position is easy but for other geysers, you might be out of luck, which leads to the last tip.
SAFETY- Never leave the boardwalk. The ground in thermal areas can be extremely unstable. What appears to be a solid surface could be a thin, weak layer over a cauldron of boiling water. And don't touch the water. While in some cases it may not be hot enough to scald you, in other instances it very well might burn the flesh right off your hand. Best not to take that chance.
September 07, 2017 • Leave a Comment
Close ups of wildlife often get the most attention but personally I find more appeal to images that show the animal's habitat, especially when done right. This year I've tried to photograph scenes that depict the animal as part of an ecosystem rather than just a close up that could be taken anywhere. As I went back through some older images for a project I was working on, I came across this photo of two young grizzlies as they napped on the shore of a lake in Glacier National Park. High winds coming off the mountains created some large waves which really added a dramatic twist to an otherwise peaceful moment. After a while, a photographer had to get closer to the two bears and, fortunately for him, the bears took off in the opposite direction and vanished out of sight into the dense underbrush.
September 06, 2017 • Leave a Comment
Last week Houston, had major flooding from Hurricane Harvey. This week, my mom and her husband are preparing to evacuate their home in Florida as Hurricane Irma approaches, potentially the largest hurricane to make landfall in the United States. And meanwhile, my home state of Montana has seen almost one million acres burned due to forest fires, resulting in evacuations throughout the state and people losing their homes. This image was taken last year as the Maple Fire burned in Yellowstone National Park near the town of West Yellowstone. Two firefighting helicopters are visible in this photo with the largest directly over the horse's head. Please remember to keep the residents of Montana, Florida, and Texas in your thoughts and prayers.
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