I would have preferred to be in Yellowstone the second week of September. By then the elk are rutting and the nights are cold enough to allow for huge amounts of steam over geysers and thermal features.
Life, and my schedule dictated that the end of August would be my only chance to go west. So I found myself living my Yellowstone dream during the last week of August.
I sure am glad that I went. As I can still say there is never a bad day to be in Yellowstone.
I made this photo of red steam rising from the cone of Old Faithful Geyser and lightning in the distance at around 3am.
The photo hasn't been manipulated with photoshop or any other software. The colors are as they appeared to me and the camera at the time.
You may wonder why the steam is red. This is the short story.
The night started out starry and clear.
I used long exposures to paint star trails above Old Faithful Geyser.
And then.... huge thunderstorms rolled through the area bringing rain, wind, and lightning. The storms were fast moving and were gone in just an hour or so, leaving clear skies behind.
Just after I made this image of stars and lodgepole pine trees, the thunder rolled and rain began to fall. I moved to a sheltered location and kept on shooting, hoping to catch lightning over Old Faithful.
Lightning struck fairly close by while I was standing there photographing the night sky and fire alarms went off at the Old Faithful Inn.
The alarms were loud and unyielding. After about twenty minutes firemen parked their truck outside the Inn and left the lights on as they went inside. The red from the fire truck's lights made the steam rising from Old Faithful red in the image.
Once the alarms were quieted and the fire truck left it was almost sunrise and I continued to shoot as big clouds rolled across the sky and lightning occasionally lit the insides.
What a beautiful night in the world's first national park.