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!

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"Eat Your Veggies"

April 25, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Parents often have to scold their children to eat their veggies.  As a kid, I was no exception and often left my vegetables uneaten until told to finish them.  While this black bear cub looks like it's not enjoying a meal of fresh grass, roots, grass, and other plant matter make up the majority of a black bear's diet.  In many parts of the country, black bears fatten up on berries and nuts, but Yellowstone doesn't have a lot of those, so grass, roots, and tubers become a very important part of a bear's diet and it's not unusual to see bears grazing, often for long periods.  This cub, in it's second year of life, will soon be on it's own.  Perhaps it will stay with it's sibling for a while, or it may venture alone.  This is an important time for yearlings as they put to use the lessons learned from mother.  A yearling black bear cub in Yellowstone faces many dangers and the survival rate isn't high.  But with the knowledge shared by it's mother and a dose of luck, hopefully this cub will thrive and survive.  This photo was taken with a 500mm lens and a 1.4 teleconverter for an effective focal length of 1132mm and was slightly cropped as well.  Always carry bear spray when hiking in bear country and never approach any wild animal for any reason.


Photo of the Week- "River's Edge"

April 24, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I photographed my first bears of 2016 yesterday when I was fortunate to come across this black bear sow and her two cinnamon colored yearling cubs.  They were sleeping in a wooded area when I first arrived but they soon roused and began to graze on the new grass.  Eventually, they made their way to the river to drink.  The second cub is behind the sow and out of view.  Soon, her cubs will be on their own and she will mate again.  After spending some time at the river, the bears moved back up and grazed on grasses before finally walking back into the woods and bedding down.  I don't have a lot of black bear photos, so I was happy to have the opportunity to see and photograph this family.  They were photographed with a crop sensor camera and a 500mm lens with a 1.4 teleconverter attached for an effective focal length of 1120mm, plus I cropped this image a little.  Bears of any kind should only be photographed with long telephoto lenses.  Never approach a bear for any reason and, when hiking, always carry bear spray.


"Love is in the Air"

April 19, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Monday was the third day I've been in Yellowstone since the roads opened and it brought about my second otter sighting.  I don't usually spot otters too often, so even though the light wasn't great, I stopped to watch.  What I thought was initially one otter on the river bank turned out to be two, a mating pair!  In 12 years of living within the greater Yellowstone ecosystem, I've never seen otters mate before.  Their activity took place both on land and in the water as I photographed for over an hour.  Periods of "romance" were broken up by surprisingly violent moments of interaction.  While I might have hoped for better light for photography, it was still quite interesting to witness.


Photo of the Week- "Porpoising Otters"

April 17, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

On Friday, Yellowstone National Park began it's summer season with the opening of the roads from Mammoth Hot Springs to Canyon and Old Faithful and out to West Yellowstone, Montana.  I waited until about 15 minutes after the 8 am opening to enter the park and had a short wait.  Bison and elk were plentiful along the West Entrance road but the real treat was when I came across three otters swimming in the Madison River.  The otters weren't in a playful mood, but rather they were fishing.  They swam up stream and every so often one would surface with a fish.  I watched them for over an hour and they continued to hunt for fish for all of that time.  As they swam up stream against the stronger currents, the otters would "porpoise" through the fast moving water.  I decided I wanted to get an image of an otter "porpoising".  Well, given how incredible difficult it turned out to be, that was a humbling challenge to give myself.  As I couldn't track the otters under water, I had to make a best guess as to where they would surface next.  The problem was that they broke the water so fast, almost all of my shots were only of the otter's back.  I finally was able to get this image only because I was shooting for the first otter, which is already half way through it's surfacing, when the second otter came up.  So with a little help from the second otter, I was able to get the shot I was after.  But I'll take it!


"Three Minutes Past Sunrise"

April 15, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

This was another of my favorite images from our recent trip to Badlands National Park.  Unlike Yellowstone, the flat horizon in South Dakota allows the very first light of the day to touch the landscape.  In Yellowstone and other mountain regions, the sun has to rise above the surrounding peaks.  This image was taken three minutes after the sun had started to crest the horizon and the light was beautiful.  Several mule deer were walking across a meadow with the badland formations behind them.  I photographed this image from my vehicle so as to not disturb or stress the deer.  Once they moved on, so did I, but not before creating some beautiful images in some incredible light.