Spring in the Lamar Valley

1/1000, f/13, ISO 1250 – 200mm

On an early spring morning in Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley, a large herd of bison passed through the greening valley graze with their young “red dogs”. A documentary photographer and her wildlife-photographer friend stopped on the side of road to watch the herd pass through. There must have been several hundred bison, as we watched the scene evolved over the course of at least an hour. I did not know what to do with my camera. Despite weeks of practicing with the little birds in the park, the 100-400 mm lens was unwieldy and an unfamiliar perspective. The bison were so far away and the landscape was broad and varied. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and when my eyes reopened they landed on a lyrical spot of land – a graceful meander of brown etched through the young green expanse. I had only to compose and wait, just as I have done so many times before on the street. Quietly watching and waiting, the scene to transformed from chaos to a simple poetic statement about spring in the Lamar Valley.

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