Yellowstone in the winter is an unforgettable experience. The park becomes quiet, as the crowds of summer have long disappeared and a blanket of snow covers the mountain tops and meadows below. Winter is arguably the best time for photographers to visit Yellowstone National Park as the wildlife condenses in the low lands where the weather is less harsh and the snow offers a clean backdrop to for the bison, elk, big horn sheep, foxes, coyotes and more.
This winter workshop is based out of Gardiner Montana where we will spend two days photographing wildlife in Lamar Valley as well as the hot springs of Mammoth. This two day trip pairs nicely with my Three-Day West Yellowstone Workshop as they are scheduled back to back. Folks who wish to do both workshops will receive $250 off the North Yellowstone trip. Contact me for details.
Each day we will travel into Yellowstone National Park by passenger vehicles. While the roads are generally well maintained, Four-wheel-drive is required in case there is a snow storm. Car pooling is an option for folks who do not have access to a 4WD vehicle. Please contact me for more information.
Who This Workshop Is For
This workshop is primarily focused on wildlife photography with a small amount of landscape photography.
Every one from beginners to pros will enjoy the winter sights of Yellowstone! In order to get he most out of this workshop, some basic understanding of photography is desirable since we will mostly be shooting in manual and aperture priority modes. Feel free to contact me for an introductory lesson prior to the workshop if needed.
January 29th: Orientation at the Ridgeline Hotel in Gardiner Montana
January 30th & 31st: Morning and evening game drives in Lamar Valley. Possible wildlife sightings include Bison, Elk, Big Horn Sheep, Coyotes, Wolves, Foxes and more
PROFESIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY INSTRUCTOR AND GUIDE
PARK ENTRANCE FEE INTO YELLOWSTONE
POST PROCESSING VIDEO ON IMAGES TAKEN DURING THE WORKSHOP
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED?
TRANSPORTATION (UNLESS YOU CHOOSE TO CARPOOL)
$1,250 (SEE PAYMENT OPTIONS AT BOTTOM OF PAGE)
Full payment for the workshop is due 120 days before the workshop start date.
Sometimes life can get in the way of a good a thing. Hopefully that doesn’t happen during this workshop, but if it does the following cancelation policy applies.
• 120 days or more – Full refund minus a $200 cancelation fee
• 60 days or more – 50% refund
• 60 days or less – no refund
Should you have to cancel and I find a replacement for your space, I’ll refund your full payment minus the $200 cancelation fee.
WINTER WEATHER IN YELLOWSTONE
The average elevation in Yellowstone is right around 8,000 feet above sea level and January is one of the coldest months of the year, but that is the perfect combination to photograph frosty bison .Expect day time highs to stay below freezing with lows that could dip well below zero. It is important to have warm winter clothing for this workshop including winter boots, a thick jacket, snow pants, winter hat and gloves and a couple of packs of Mega hand/body warmers for each day.
While winter weather can be quite harsh, there could quite possibly be no better time to photograph Yellowstone than in the winter!
Getting to Gardiner Montana
Gardiner Montana is about an hour and a half drive from Bozeman and about a three hour drive from West Yellowstone. If you will be flying to the workshop Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) will be the closest airport.
Recommended Camera gear for photographing Yellowstone in the Winter
Since we will be shooting in very cold conditions, it's not a bad idea to bring along a second camera body in case one of them starts to act up. If you do not own two camera bodies you can rent one for a very reasonable price from Lensrentals.com.
You'll also want a lens that can reach at least 400mm. 600mm or more is ideal. A few affordable options would be a 100-400mm lens with a 1.4 extender or an ultra telephoto zoom such as the Sigma 150-600mm. The advantage of an Ultra telephoto zoom is it can easily be used as a hand held lens when needed.
The final option for wildlife photography is a prime 500, 600, or 800mm lens. These lenses are tack sharp, have wider maximum apertures and have lightning quick and auto-focus systems. The downside is that they are very heavy and bulky. They are designed to be used with a tripod and gimbal or monopod so setup time can be much longer than running and gunning with a handheld zoom. That being said, if you haver a little bit of arm strength, a large prime can be handheld and produce great results in good light. One option would be to have one body for running and gunning and a second for times that will allow for longer setup.
No mater what option you choose, a 1.4 tele-extender will be a great addition to your camera bag on this workshop.
Winter Conditions Disclaimer
This workshop is held in winter in order to capture Yellowstone in its most beautiful season. It is important to note that the park can sometimes close if a winter storm gets too bad or if the temperature drops below -40. Unfortunately refunds cannot be given in the event that workshop cannot enter the park one one or more days due to extreme winter weather. It is relatively rare for the park to close but keep in mind that it is always a possibility.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
• Do I need a four-wheel-drive vehicle for this workshop? A 4x4 with snow tires is recommended for driving in Yellowstone in the winter. If you'd rather not drive or rent a 4x4, contact me to inquire about carpooling.
• How much snow will there be? Each year is different, but it it almost a guarantee that there will be some amount of snow on the ground.
• How much hiking is involved? There is very little hiking on this workshop. We will most likely do a short 1/4 mile hike near the hot springs and possibly a little bit of walking in the meadows for a better position depending on snow height.
• Is it a guarantee to see wildlife? Nothing is guaranteed life but there's a really good chance that we'll see wildlife in Yellowstone.
• What happens in the event of a snow storm? As long as the park is open, we will make our best attempt to photograph it. Refunds cannot be given in the rare event that the park closes.