3 Great Days at Yellowstone National Park Last Week

Saw a lot of these huge bull bison in the park
Saw a lot of these huge bull bison in the park.

I’m now in Dubois, Wyoming at the Susan K. Black Foundation Workshop and having a inspiring time, chatting, networking and painting with old and new friends and colleagues. I’ll be posting more about that next week, but this time I’d thought I’d share some of the photos I took at Yellowstone National Park last week, starting with the big guy at the top. I never get tired of seeing these huge bulls.

One of the famous Yellowstone "bison jams".
One of the famous Yellowstone “bison jams”. Back-ups can be very long, but the animals have the right of way.
The third day I was there a snowstorm came through I was in the area known at "Little America", just to the west of the Lamar Valley, when, right next to a pullout in a hollow was this small group of bison, hunkered down and waiting it out.
The third day I was there a snowstorm came through I was in the area known at “Little America”, just to the west of the Lamar Valley, when, right next to a pullout in a hollow was this small group of bison, hunkered down and waiting it out.
Young bison calf born very late, but I've been told even these little ones are tough enough to survive the winters.
Young bison calf born very late, but I’ve been told even these little ones are tough enough to survive the winters.
The Lamar Valley is known as the "Serengeti of North America" because it's where you can see scenes like this....a very big herd of bison moving through
The Lamar Valley is known as the “Serengeti of North America” because it’s where you can see scenes like this….a very big herd of bison moving through with pronghorn antelope closer to where I was. And a single male pronghorn closer yet.
Yellowstone scenery.
Yellowstone scenery.
On my way out of the park, I spotted this pair of trumpeter swans floating on the misty river.
On my way out of the park, I spotted this pair of trumpeter swans floating on the misty river.

 

“Flipped” Out and Got a Flip UltraHD

I’ve gone back and forth over whether to add some way of shooting video on the upcoming trip to Mongolia. I looked at “real” camcorders and finally decided that another $600 and hauling a third thing that is bigger than a Nikon just wasn’t in the cards. But I was very skeptical of the little Flip camcorders. Many times it’s better to skip something rather than settle for the minimum and then just be frustrated.

But I’ve watched a couple of people use them and saw how compact and light they are. Hummm. I went to Amazon over the weekend and poked around. The second generation of Flips are out and the price was too good to pass up, so, for $129 I got a Flip UltraHD and I have to say, I’m really impressed. Here’s my first ever video that I shot last night, all nine seconds of it:

Visit the AFC site here

I’ve already learned one thing and that is to let the subject go all the way out of the frame before stopping the shot.

This Flip will shoot 120 minutes of video and has 8gb of built in memory. It has a flip-out USB port that plugs into your computer. I also got the rechargeable battery pack and the padded case. The case was returned today. It was a $15 rip-off. Cheesy and no way to even get the camera in it since it was effectively sewn shut.

I have no idea what kind of wildlife footage I’ll get since there’s really no zoom to speak of, but for the national Nadaam events, especially the horse-racing, and domestic animals like the horses and camels, it will be interesting to have images of moving animals to work from when I get home instead of only stills. It’ll all be a big experiment and a fun one.