The Groggy, Frozen Fingered Photographer Gets the Shot

January 26, 2013 No Comments


Travel alarm clocks always seem to have the most obnoxious sounds. At 5:00 am on August 4, 2008, my alarm started blaring. Surrounded by campsite after campsite of family vacations, I’m certain my pre-dawn siren awoke everyone within a 3 campsite radius.

Camping in Yellowstone at 8,000 feet means even summer mornings are chilly. At 33 degrees, this particular August morning was no exception. But I was there to photograph, not to sleep in on a rocky ground, using clothes from the night before as a pillow.

The Groggy, Frozen Fingered Photographer Gets the Shot

I headed over to Yellowstone Lake, knowing I’d be in a position to catch a good sunrise. Although unprepared for the near freezing temperatures, my early rise greeted me not only with time to “warm up” my photography, but also a solitary Yellowstone Lake photo shoot. I was free to wander the boardwalks, amidst unpleasant sulfur mud pots, and set up my tripod wherever I chose. I wasn’t surrounded by tourists and family vacations. I had the lake to myself that morning.

Just before sunrise, I found my spot. A few trees breaking up the pre-sunrise sky, and a mix of haze and smoke from the surrounding thermal activity. After just a few shots, I knew dealing with obnoxious alarms and frozen fingers had all paid off.

Avoiding the early bird gets the worm cliche, I’d say the groggy, frozen fingered photographer gets the shot.

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