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Old Faithful

Old Faithful
Photo Information
Copyright: Niek Bouwen (SunToucher) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2385 W: 237 N: 3033] (11162)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-06-21
Categories: Mountain
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 18-200 Zoom F3.5-6.3 DC, Tiffen circular Polarizer
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Summer Vacation 2006: USA
Theme(s): Geysers, Your favorites, lovely landscapes [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-07-16 12:50
Viewed: 12104
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 54
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This is probably the most photographed geyser in the world. About every 90 minutes people gather around her and wait untill she erupt. The first day at the park we visited her as well, but being it a cloudy day, it wasn't a good photo opportunity. So later that week we returned and got lucky.

Some fact of the geyser:

The Old Faithful Geyser, located in Yellowstone National Park, is perhaps the world's most famous geyser. Old faithful was named in 1870 by the Washburn Party and was the first geyser in the park to receive a name.

An eruption can shoot 3,700 - 8,400 gallons (14,000 - 32,000 l) of boiling water to a height of 106 - 184 feet (30 - 55m) lasting from 11⁄2 - 5 minutes. The intervals range from 65 - 92 minutes with 91 minutes being the average. More than 137,000 eruptions have been recorded. Harry M. Woodward first described a mathematical relationship between the duration and intervals of the eruptions (1938). Old Faithful is not the tallest or largest geyser in the park. That title belongs to the less predictable Steamboat Geyser.

Over the years, the length of the intervals has increased, which may be the result of earthquakes affecting subterranean water levels. These disruptions have made the earlier mathematical relationship inaccurate, but have in fact made Old Faithful more predictable. With an error of 10 minutes, Old Faithful will erupt 65 minutes after an eruption lasting less than 2.5 minutes or 92 minutes after an eruption lasting more than 2 and a half minutes. The reliability of Old Faithful can be attributed to the fact that it is not connected to any other thermal features of the Upper Geyser Basin.

Between 1983 and 1994, four probes containing temperature and pressure measurement devices and video equipment were lowered into Old Faithful. The probes were lowered as deep as 72 feet (22 m). Temperature measurements of the water at this depth was 244°F (118°C), the same as was measured in 1942. The video probes were lowered to a maximum depth of 42 feet (13 m) to observe the conduit formation and the processes that took place in the conduit. Some of the processes observed include fog formation from the interaction of cool air from above mixing with heated air from below, the recharge processes of water entering into the conduit and expanding from below, and entry of superheated steam measuring as high as 265°F (129°C) into the conduit.

You can also watch it via the webcame at http://www.nps.gov/yell/oldfaithfulcam.htm but you will need to wait for a while, since they camera is down due to new construction of the visitors center.

lovenature, pablominto, jmp, Evelynn, MattiasR, thor68, valy67, horia, scottevers7, zeca, ramthakur, jeanpaul, sandpiper2, flagman, enrico has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To ScottHale: Too closeSunToucher 2 09-28 16:20
To mbasil: cloudsSunToucher 1 07-18 02:14
To valy67: ImpressiveSunToucher 1 07-17 04:23
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Niek
Nice capture of old faithful. The blue sky really makes the Geyser stand out. Colours and detail are vivid. TFS Janice

Hi Niek,
Pleasant composition with inclusion of the trees in front!
Otherwise this awesome blue sky is a great backdrop when the geysir erupts...
Pablo -

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2006-07-16 13:18]

Hi Niek,
Good shot if this geyser. Very good composition and color and very good contrast between the geyser and the blue sky. Good note and info too.
TFS, José M.

Hi Niek,

I suppose no trip to Yellowstone is complete without a visit to the old girl! Nice capture and effective use of polarizer. The breeze helped mke this a really nice composition. While there I assume you visited the lodge. I always find it somewhat staggering! The tour of it was fascinating too. I suspect it may have been a bit crowded in summer.

Evelynn : )

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  • Aramok Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 896 W: 101 N: 1501] (5166)
  • [2006-07-16 14:22]

Niek, just popped in from a hotel in Scotland - got a free internet access card, so thought I may as well use it!

Lovely photo, the colours are excellent and the detail is wonderful, even on the laptop screen I am using. I really like the composition with the geyser offset to the left. The blue sky works miricales for the picture as well.


Great timeing you have there Niek. The colours in you photo is great and I like the way you have cropped it, it make me see how high the water and the steam really gets up in the air. The POV is great too, it gives a nice depth to the photo. Great work with a very nice note and frame to go with it.


  • Great 
  • thor68 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 795 W: 138 N: 1319] (5674)
  • [2006-07-16 16:08]

great shot of old faithful, niek! :-)
and it seems to be really erupting. *g*
excellent composition and pov with the geysir on the left
and the steam drifting to the right and the few lonely tree in the fg.
the one time i was there, in 1980, it did not do anything,
we had a hailshower and my camera broke - total desaster.*g*
well seen & captured, thorsten.

Hi Niek !
Nice to see that you are back, and with a lot of wonderful photos ! This geyser is really impressive, must be something to see it from your own eyes ! Details, colors, composition, POV, everything is excellent here ! Very well done !

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2006-07-16 17:41]

A very nice shot, Niek. You did well to return on a sunny day :). Very interesting facts about the geyser, too.
Excellent POV, nice colors and composition.
Bravo and TFS

Hello Niek!
A very good shot. Right composition and exposure, smart use of the polarizer helping to achieve better contrast. I think the framing is just excellent including some trees (even though one of them is in the center it's not distracting at all from the geyser). Congratulations,

Hi Niek,
This rocks! I absolutely love this scene. Beautiful spot on exposure. Colors and detail look great. The sense of depth to this shot is excellent. You nailed this one.

  • Great 
  • zeca Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 373 W: 14 N: 539] (2887)
  • [2006-07-16 22:51]

Nice capture! Excelent timing! I´m happy that you´ve included the tree in the picture to know how big is the spray!

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-07-17 3:04]

Hi Niek,
What a beautiful scene.
I like that Old Faithful is going sideways due to the wind, and the way the water spray bends into the clouds. An interesting composition with beautiful light and colors. TFS. : )

Nice composition with the trees in the foreground.

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-07-17 7:29]

Hello Niek,
very nice composition, the scenery and the geyser is very well captured. This POV gives a wondeful view of the force of the water eruption.

Even though this is one of the most photographed places on the planet, I like your angle, Niek. It is a bit unique and makes for a wonderful composition -- esp. the balance of the trees and geyser. The trees also give scale to the geyser.
P.S. I'm glad you got blue skies. I had twocloudy days and the white steam just disappears in front of the white clouds.

Hello Niek
Nice capture, excllent colors, Bg, POV DOF Perfect details, Great work, TFS kyle

Salut Niek
Très belle prise de vue les details de ce beau geyser et les couleurs sont magnigique très belle composition tu est chanceux de pouvoir contempler de si belles choses.
merci et au revoir ... JP

It may be a popular scene, but it is unique and most people probably only get to see it once. If I ever get to the US, I'll certainly go and havce a look, it must be quite spectacular. Nothing like it in Australia.
Good composition on this nice sunny day, well worth going back for. TFS.

This is a great capture of Old Faithful. I like the composition with the geyser on the left and the steam trailing off to the right. This is a good angle too, not one many people see. Well done.

Although I think you're right about this being the most photographed geyser, I don't think I've ever seen a picture of it that's this good. Honestly!

The other pictures I've seen of the geyser look like way too much work was put into the shot, but in the end, something was missing. Your picture helps me to feel as if I'm really there, watching it happen. It's taken from a great enough distance that I can actually feel how far away the geyser is--and because it's so tall in the picture, I feel overwhelmed by the size and power of it! Having the trees in the shot are a perfect touch, again adding a great sense of perspective and scale. The sky in the background is beautiful, and I love the gradual tonal differences in the shades of blue. I also love the way you can see the water shooting up, and then watch as the water turns into steam, and eventually ends up looking like beautiful clouds.

Really great shot!

Great capture, lovely composition and such a clear sky. Really interesting and useful note as well.

I always thought I'd want to see this in person someday. I'd probably ruin my camera, standing over it when it erupted! I like the composition here. Most of the tree's on the right probably love the mist they get from it.
Thank you for the wonderful notes too!

Hi Niek!
Once again Yellowston and your capture are great! Perfect exposure,composition (with the steam going to the top-right corner of the picture) and contrast of the green tree in front of the white steam.

Thanks for the note!

Hi, Niek.
Good shot. You have used very well steam going the right, which made it possible to make horizontal photo, what has more information and depth than usually seen vertical ones. Good exposure.

Hi Niek,

I'm a little bit jealous. A couple of years a go I was in New Zealand and I visit Rotorua. Thats also a place where Geysers are. But not so beautiful like this one. A great capture. Very nice colours and wel framed. Good note and info too. Weldone. Regards and TFS Bob

Hi Niek ,
Excellent work.

Calibration Check