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The Loop at Norris

Out to the northern side of the winter park loop is a place called Norris Geyser Basin. It’s one of the largest and warmest Basins in the park. It more individual vents than anywhere else in the park. It also has two of the largest geysers in the park and one of the largest in the world. Steam boat geyser is a spectacular geyser that i have only seen in photographs. One of the best hat I’ve seen was taken back in the 80’s from the sky. A newer photograph has surfaced which is quite impressive. It’s not a common geyser to go off, it’s timing is quite unique, it doesn’t go off in a regular schedule like Old Faithful. Naturally with all the different vents comes a lot of steam. Well that’s good and bad because the steam is great for making interesting photos, but is bad for camera gear. Any steam that gets on the lens creates condensation and when comes contact with the cold air it can freeze. This makes for a big problem. It’s important to keep the front element or the rear panel covered up when moving through the steam.

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The big attraction at Norris this time wasn’t so much the long walk around the basin but the ice cone that had formed around one of the vents in Porcelain Basin. It was the first time that any of us can remember that cone being that large. It was so big and there was so much steam surrounding it that from the front side we couldn’t see the whole thing. Only from the backside could we get a good glimpse. Even then we couldn’t see the ice. Had to keep walking.

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From the opposite side we started from the view was rather spectacular. This was of course after we walked around the whole boardwalk and came up on it from the west. From this view the ice shelf can be seen and it was impressive. The trick was waiting for a small window of light to come through the clouds. The ice was so blue that i wanted to make sure it was kept. When the light hit it, it was so bright that it was clear or white like the snow. To compensate for this i went to vivid and dialed in on auto white balance b3. In auto white balance A goes warmer and B goes colder. This would help keep that color in the ice without disturbing anything else in the photo. It’s a real simple trick that can make a drastic difference.

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Images captured with Nikon D3, AF-S Nikkor 70-200 VRII, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

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