This is a shot from Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. I was shooting on the main trails near Old Faithful with one group of students, while Jay took another group along a side trail. Suddenly, my phone rang. It was Jay, telling me that I’d better book it on over to the trail where he was shooting if I wanted to get some gorgeous shots. We grabbed up our gear and made it just in time. A few minutes later, the beautiful trailing clouds had moved away, and the sky was ordinary once again.

I wanted to capture the competing colors in the sky and the hot springs below… and I also wanted to include the drifting steam that seemed to echo the clouds above. For my first few shots, I used a circular polarizer to help bring out the colors in the water in the foreground. However, the filter also intensified the color of the sky – too much in my opinion. So, I removed it for a more natural look. I waited until the steam blew towards me, then released the shutter. In post, I made sure the color balance was just right to bring out the rich blues without a dulling color cast. I also brightened up the foreground just a bit to make sure the mist was a clean white color.

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