Let me tell you about wildlife photography in Yellowstone and some tips I have to make it worth your time:
- Get a zoom lens. I’m talking about something that goes to at least 200mm, anything else is too short because you can’t get close to any of the animals in Yellowstone.
- Stop where there are many cars and be prepared to stop often. Sure it can be annoying to be surrounded by so many people, but chances are cars have stopped for a reason and the reason is usually a wild animal. Some of the best opportunities you’ll have to take wildlife photography images in Yellowstone are at the side of the road. In fact, that’s where most of my images are from.
- Use a high shutter speed and adjust your camera settings in advance. This can be a little challenging to remember, especially if you are going between wildlife photography and landscape photography, but it’s essential if you want a good shot. I made the mistake of not adjusting my camera appropriately and most all of the shots I took of swans that were quite literally posing for us in Yellowstone were blurry and sad. I’m still mad at myself for that one.
- Take LOTS of pictures, and be prepared for whatever wildlife you’re photographing to look up. They all do it eventually, sometimes it just takes a while. Patience is key here, and good wildlife photography images come to those who wait.
Those are my main tips, along with staying a safe distance from the wildlife in Yellowstone. Most by the side of the road are somewhat used to people, but it doesn’t give anyone an excuse to get closer. This is where tip number one is especially important.