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Yellowstone Photography Workshops and Tours

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Swimming Grizzly Bear and cub, reflection, forest

Bull bison, Grand Tetons, Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Grand Teton Bison

Wildlife Photo Safaris are available in Grand Teton Park year around and in Yellowstone seasonally.  A  half day wildlife photo safari is $595.00 and a full day is $1,095. (ten hours)  Dawn to dusk $1,295 (Yellowstone $1,195.00 (ten hours)

Grand Teton and Yellowstone’s wildlife is the biological essence of the park and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem of which Grand Tetons is a part. Our abundant and diverse wildlife are as famous as spectacular peaks and geysers. When we think of Grand Teton, first we think of granite spires then we think of bears but its true embarrassment of riches is the sheer number of all along the food chain which makes the Grand Teton National Park such a special place. Nowhere in the Lower 48 is there more abundant wildlife than in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem.

My first trip to the  Grand Tetons was a shocker, as I had no idea of the breadth of species that made this region their home. Having lived in the wilds of Alaska I was surprised to find a wider variety of accessible animals in what was a fraction of the footprint.

Bull Moose, Grand Tetons, jackson Hole, Wyoming, Photo Safari
Bull moose under the Grand Tetons

The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is a showcase of nature like no other; it is one of the largest "intact" ecosystems remaining in the temperate zones of the world. The vast nature reserves and wildernesses in the GYE support a full complement of native birds and mammals, including predators such as grizzly bear and some of the last large herds of migratory ungulates in North America.

Every season brings its own seasonal magic. Although spring is really just an extension of winter in the high country this is when the bears come out of hibernation and are concentrated in the valleys where they become photo fodder for the many who know this is the time to be here for bears. This is also the best time to see wolves up close and personal as the mountaintops are under deep snow, and the prey animals are also concentrated in the valley bottoms.

Grizzly 399, Grand Teton National park
Famous grizzly sow #399

Summer brings the baby animals and the green of what most places get in the spring. This is also the breeding season of grizzlies which is when the grizzly sows kick out their sub adult two-year old cubs; this can provide some comical relief as they try to figure stuff out on their own. The Bison start their breeding season in August so many bull fights are to be seen,  but what I get the biggest kick out of is the bellering of the bulls, it is quite funny

Fall brings the matting season of the elk, deer, and moose. First are the elk which I believe is one of the greatest shows in nature. Followed by the Moose and deer rut, all which present the bulls and bucks in their grandest state.

Winter’s harsh conditions usher in the season of survival of the fittest and many opportunities for capturing the struggle is all around.

Lone wolf, Grand Teton Park

Life and death throughout the gamut of the food chain is on display in nature’s survival of the fittest. Yellowstone is a commonly cited example of apex predators affecting an ecosystem. After the reintroduction of the gray wolf in 1995, researchers observed drastic changes occurring. Elk, the primary prey of the gray wolf, became less abundant and changed their behavior, freeing riparian zones from constant grazing. The respite allowed willows and aspens to grow, creating habitat for beaver, moose, and scores of other species. In addition to the effects on prey species, the gray wolf's presence also affected the park's grizzly bear population. The bears, emerging from hibernation, chose to scavenge off wolf kills to gain needed energy and fatten up after fasting for months. Dozens of other species have been documented scavenging from wolf kills.

Wilderness and the critters who live there have great importance for to the human need to experience and explore the unknown, to experience adventure and solitude. Nature and wilderness open us up to a certain kind of beauty, and a certain kind of awe and wonder. There is great joy in experiencing nature.

Many can’t or don’t venture into the wilderness and that is why there are photographers, so armchair adventures can vicariously venture forth with the aid of documentaries and coffee table books so collectively we can all be involved in the appreciation of our diminishing gifts.

Book a wildlife safari

Kruger National Park &
Sabie Sands Game Preserve
$4,895.00

I have crafted an affordable photo safari in a traditionally expensive part of Kruger National Park. Our safari will be based out of a permanent safari camp (with showers and air conditioning) at Sabi Sands Game Preserve which abuts Kruger National Park, the largest National Park in Africa...........more info

 

Leopard, blue hour, glowing, Kruger National Park, Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa
Sabi Sands Leopard

Yellowstone Wildlife

Yellowstone's abundant and diverse wildlife are as famous as its geysers. After the reintroduction of the wolf all of the wildlife species that inhabited the park when it was first explored over 100 years ago survive today qualifying Yellowstone as the only intact eco-system in the lower 48 states. Early morning and evening hours are the best times to view wildlife but during the evening is another productive time for wildlife viewing...................................Read More on my Blog

The Grizzly Sow Blaze and her cub Hobo

 

Masai Mara Photo Safari
October, 10th to October 17th (2018)
Optional Safari Extension,A trip to Amboseli National Park for Mt. Kilimanjaro and elephants.

Longtime wildlife tour leader Daryl Hunter has crafted an affordable photo safari in a traditionally expensive part of the Masai Mara Game National Park which as actually an extension of the more famous Serrengeti. Jeniffer Hall will bring her wildlife expertice along also, Jen has been to Kenya several times before.

Our safari will be based out of a permanent safari camp (with showers and air conditioning). Daryl is a resident photo safari guide in Yellowstone/Grand Teton and he has been leading wildlife photography tours for years.  And one thing both Daryl is known for is his ability to make a photo shoot fun. We will be accompanied by local African guides who track wildlife daily and know where to find them in the best lighting situations........ More info

Cheetah, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Masa Mara Cheetah

Superlative Yellowstone

OK let me dig deep into my reservoir of superlatives to adequately describe Yellowstone National Park, it is big, wild stunningly beautiful, and dynamic. Any description of Yellowstone will be filled with superlatives, yet words can never do it justice, but I will elaborate anyway; Yellowstone has the greatest concentration of thermal features in the world, up until 1,978 Yellowstone was the largest National Park in the country, One of the world's most spectacular canyons, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and its two majestic waterfalls cut 1,600 feet deep into the golden rhyolite laid down by the last major eruption 600 thousand years ago; as Yellowstone is one of the six super volcanoes of the world. It is home of the world's second largest high altitude lake nestled in the pit of the Yellowstone caldera; Magnificent mountain scenery rings the unique terrain of the Yellowstone volcanic plateaus. It is home to one of the largest concentrations of wildlife on the planet. And of course, it is home to, perhaps, the most famous geyser in the world, Old Faithful....................................Read More on my Blog

Gibbon Falls in Yellowstone National Park

The Grandeur of
Grand Teton National Park

The GrandThe Grand Tetons were what drew me to Wyoming for a photography trip, the Jackson Hole Ski Resort and Yellowstone National Park made me stay. Like Yellowstone, Grand Teton Park is deserving of a bucket load of superlatives also and many will soon follow. As a long time guide I am often asked which park I like best, and my reply is, I like them equally for different reasons, Grand Teton Park is more beautiful and Yellowstone has cooler stuff in it.eur of Grand Teton National Park....................................Read More on my Blog

hitching birds take in the view of the Grand Tetons
from a buffalo's back

 


Wildlife-Yellowstone - Images by Daryl Hunter
Instructive articles and funny stories from Daryl's Blog

I am sometimes hired to speak about photography, here I have modified my Power Point presentation for the web.  I show how I shoot, wildlife, landscape, lifestyle and travel.  I present in a simple way, photographic basics such as composition and exposure. Simple graphics drive the lesson home.

In my years of giving half-day wildlife safari and photo tours I have learned to convey essential basic photography skills in a very short amount of time.  I have boiled process down to simplicity, and many appreciate it. Too many instructors try to impress their students with their immense breadth of knowledge, I simply want folks to understand how simple photography can be. ---- See Presentation

Daryl L. Hunter - Photography according to me, photography basics
On Safari, Kruger National Park
On safari in Krugher National Park

 • Africa Photo Safari ~ I have always wanted to go to Africa, but it is a long way away, and it is expensive to get there, I had to figure out a way. ......... rest of story

• Winter Photography in Jackson Hole ~ A  frosty sublime; winter in Jackson Hole and Grand Teton Park is a special time. The snow showed valleys, and towering peaks create an ambiance much different from summer. Gone are the crowds of summer, buried are the remnants of wildflowers, gone are the leaves of the deciduous trees, replaces by a carpet of snow and an exponential essence of wilderness. Crisp delicious air fills your lungs as you fumble with gloved hands to adjust your equipment to capture a frozen moment of alpenglow of the mountains reflecting brightly against the snowy white canvas of the peaks...... rest of article

• Living a richer life without any money ~ Since purchasing my first camera, I have been living a visual feast that has cost me a real estate career in a lucrative Southern California market. My scenery seemed to always be just over the next hill somewhere; cityscapes just were not my kind of inspiration. I soon tired of local beach sunsets and disturbingly enough; the sun bathing beauties scattered about. It wasn't long before I was traveling farther a field................ rest of article

Photographic Composition ~ One of the things that differentiate a great photograph from an ordinary one is composition. You don't take a great photograph you make it. Composition is how objects or subjects are placed in the shot. Good pictures result from careful attention the basic elements of composition   .........  rest of article

• Quick Start Guide for Manual Mode Photography ~ One of the many hats I wear to keep my life afloat is that of Wildlife Safari Guide in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park. Most tours are not photography tours however, everyone brings a camera. Me as a pro photographer and instructor I often teach those willing to listen while we travel between moose, pronghorn and hopefully bears. I have worked out a simple way to communicate intuitive shooting for manual mode I share with my guests. Yes it is abbreviated, yes it is over-simplified, and yes it works. Quick Start Guide for Manual Mode Photography ~ Shooting on the manual mode setting isn't as hard as most people think because they haven't given it any thought. Today's DSLRs have opened the door to shortcuts, I love shortcuts!....................  rest of article

Bear spray really works
Bear spray really works

Bear Spray Really Works • One fine spring afternoon while searching for grizzly bears in Grand Teton National Park, I spotted two grizzlies in a meadow west of the highway. Unfortunately, they were about two hundred yards away, too far for good grizzly pictures so I decided to close the gap a bit.  ...................   rest of story

• Photographic Exposure Basics ~ One of the most important aspects of being able to communicate the essese of our vision through a photograph is the proper use of light. While there are certainly many other aspects of great photography, if the light is wrong, nothing else will work! Nature photographers often speak about seeking out certain light conditions or only shooting in specific types of light. Light has a triple nature for the photographer to factor: color, direction, and quality. Photography is capturing light which is exposure.    .............. rest of article

Hungry Wolves ~ On the tree line ahead I saw a cow elk peacefully grazing across the meadow of sagebrush about one hundred yards away, and I kept watching her as I poked along. Prey animals will tell you by their behavior if predators are near then suddenly she broke into a run for her life. Without seeing them but knowing the wolves were chasing her because of her panic I threw my car into park, jumped out and sat in the sagebrush for a low perspective so I could include the snow capped mountains in the photo and fired toward the action. ...................  rest of story

Search for Serendipity, the photographer's quest ~ Luck favors the prepared mind, as does serendipity. Webster's definition-Serendipity – an apparent aptitude for making fortunate discoveries accidentally. Audacious, is the photographer who chooses to make his living stalking serendipity from one location to another then back again hoping to capture light as it has never been captured before or tougher yet as they may have captured it in the past. But that is what we nature photographers do, and that is what we live for. ...........  rest of article

Three hungry wolves, Grand Teton Natonal Park
What's for breakfast?

Wolf Chase ~ About three quarters around my loop I stopped to photograph a six point bull looking for the ladies and while photographing him a black wolf walked into the frame, stopped, posed then moved out of the frame. How fortuitous, I love it when serendipity smiles upon me! ............. rest of story

Yellowstone Dinner Party – wolves and grizzly bears ~ video ~ A  series of events that doesn't happen that did.  I captured this incredible footage while leading a private tour in Yellowstone. ............ see video

A Cheechaco's Alaska ~ a retrospective ~ A funny retrospective about my first year in Alaska, and my transormation from California kid to dog sled racing Alaskan.  Has nothing to do with photography but a good read published in Mushing Magazine. ............. the story

My Free Horse ~ I am a man of ever changing interests and around 2004 I was transitioning from fly-fishing maniac back to cowboy imposter, horses and trail riding. I had been dwelling around the river valleys and canyon streams chasing trout long enough, it was time to re-acquaint myself with the unpredictable adrenaline rush horses often provide while expediting my exponentially ample ass up the mountain trails to the sublime subalpine regions of our high mountains, a place I am reluctant to propel myself under my own power. I started collecting some horses for the kids and myself. ...................  rest of story

Grand Teton Photography and Field Guide