Fire Season Begins

It’s hard to believe it’s my third year as a Smokejumper, time is just flying by.  I’m in Missoula right now for refresher training, and Erin and Josephine are arriving around midnight tonight.  I can’t wait to see them, and I swear Josephine looks so different than the baby I left a little over two weeks ago.  We’ve done three jumps so far, and they’ve all gone fairly well.  We were supposed to do five but the wind last week was pretty fierce and a couple were cancelled.

It’s been interesting seeing this years rookie class running around in their nomex looking pained and frightened, it’s hard to remember what that was like even though it was just two years ago.  One thing that amazed me about my rookie class was that we had no jump-related injuries, but i’ve seen a couple in this class being trained on the Ram-Air parachute, makes you wonder.

I’ve got a few photos to share today, some from back home before I left, and a couple from my few nights in Yellowstone this past weekend.  I didn’t get anything great, but I did have a wonderful time despite the throngs of stressed out humanity clogging the roads.  Maybe going there over Memorial Day weekend wasn’t the best idea.


 Canon 5d Mark iii, 16-35mm lens, 1/60 sec at f/11, ISO 400

This and the next couple images are from a beautiful sunset at Cape Charles beach just in front of our house.  A storm front had just passed but the wind was still blowing at 25 or 30 miles per hour and it was quite an experience being out in it.


Canon 5d Mark iii, 16-35mm lens, 1/200 sec at f/11, ISO 400

I like the texture in the water from the high winds.


Canon 5d Mark iii, 16-35mm lens, 1/250 sec at f/9, ISO 250

A more gloomy, slightly zoomed in image taken a little while before the one above.


6 Canon 5d Mark iii, 300mm f/2.8 lens w/1.4X teleconverter, 1/400 sec at f/5.6, ISO 500

I’ve been thinking about this image for months, and as usual, it didn’t turn out as good as I thought it would.  I know planning images out works for some people, but I usually will get a better shot along the way that I didn’t plan at all.  I do like this image of the full moon rising over one of the shacks on the barrier islands, but I must say it was better in my mind’s eye.


 Canon 5d Mark iii, 16-35mm lens, 1/60 sec at f/11, ISO 400

A view of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, the sides of which are stained beautiful colors by many hot springs and vents.


Canon 5d Mark iii, 16-35mm lens, 1/250 sec at f/11, ISO 400

I always enjoy seeing this creek that runs through the Lamar Valley, and I was even happier to see a large group of Bison grazing in the area.


 Canon 5d Mark iii, 50mm f/1.4 lens, 1/30 sec at f/6.3, ISO 125

I was trying to photograph Cliff Swallows flying out from under a bridge in Yellowstone, and suddenly I looked down and a male Cinnamon Teal was swimming out from under the bridge.  We noticed each other at exactly the same moment, and it immediately started taking off while I tried frantically to get a couple shots.  My lens and settings weren’t what I would have chosen for the moment, but I’m still happy with how it turned out.  The bright streaks are water bubbles that showed as streaks during the exposure.


 Canon 5d Mark iii, 50mm f/1.4 lens, 1/1000 sec at f/8, ISO 250

A group of swallows flies in front of the morning sun in Yellowstone.



One thought on “Fire Season Begins

  1. Killer set of images. I particularly like the first and the last. I’m a huge fan of landscapes with wildlife included, so they work very well for me. Be safe out there!

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