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Yellowstone Photography Tour

Yellowstone National Park, USA

Yellowstone Photography Tour with Nikhil Bahl

On a winter Yellowstone photography tour photograph a dreamy landscape that transforms into a quiet, magical winter wonderland after the busy season. Wandering wildlife, thermal features, fresh snow, and frosty terrain all within a peaceful setting are a treat for your camera lens and a remarkable experience to behold.

Winter Wonderland and Wildlife Haven

Yellowstone National Park is a unique place to visit for landscape photography, with surreal outlooks containing the greatest concentration of thermal features in the world. The park’s largest centralization of free-roaming wildlife in the contiguous United States also makes it an exciting location for wildlife photography.

Male elk on the Madison River © Nikhil Bahl

Yellowstone Photography Tour Opportunities

Plan Your Visit During Nature’s Solitude

Visiting Yellowstone in the winter is like visiting a different park compared to summer months. In July and August Yellowstone National Park attracts over 2 million visitors. Winter is a relatively quiet time with less than 300,000 visitors over the entire season.

Snow covered trees © Nikhil Bahl

Abundant Wildlife and Birds in Action

Spotting wildlife at Yellowstone is so much easier when its landscape is covered with snow. During your Yellowstone photography tour, you will likely see bison, bighorn sheep, elk, moose, coyotes, foxes, pronghorn, and—if lucky—elusive bobcat and river otter. The variety of wildlife is plentiful, with 67 different mammals inhabiting Yellowstone. Winter is also the best time to spot gray wolves, with their packs active all over the park throughout the season. There are also plenty of bird photography opportunities. Bald eagles are usually spotted close to the road with the occasional golden eagle making an appearance. If there is a kill close to the road there is a great chance for capturing fantastic action. You never know what will show up!

Immature bald eagle kill © Nikhil Bahl

Serene Landscapes Blanketed in White

Winter also presents distinctive opportunities for landscape photography. Cold temperatures mixed with steam rising from geyser basins can cause frost to form on nearby trees, creating interesting photographic effects. Some days there can be freezing fog, which can lead to very interesting atmospheric conditions. Scores of wildlife and birds that live at Yellowstone effortlessly become part of interesting landscapes. With a vast amount of fresh snow that falls in Yellowstone every year, the park always provides fantastic opportunities for diverse landscape photography.

Canary springs © Nikhil Bahl

Learn in a Small Group Setting with Photographers Like You

Compared to other tour companies, our Yellowstone photography tour is very small with no more than 6 participants. The reason our Yellowstone photography tour is small is because we want to maximize your learning and photographic opportunities and can guarantee that you will have your own door and window out of the vehicles we’ll be traveling in. As an added benefit, you will also have quick access to your gear. This gives you the best opportunities to capture images when speed is of the essence when exiting vehicles and setting up, or when it is necessary to shoot right out of the window. This is true for the part of the tour when we shoot from 2 large SUVs. When traveling in a snow coach the windows cannot be opened.

We also want to make sure you have plenty of room for your gear and warm clothing in the vehicles. With this Yellowstone photography tour you are assured to have the best vantage point at all times, and will never be held back by sitting in an overcrowded van. One of the biggest advantages of having a small group is the flexibility it allows for customizing and adjusting both the schedule and agenda to suit the interests of the group. It also affords us the flexibility required by variable weather and allows us to cover unique topics that your group is most interested in.

Nikhil Bahl, your trip leader and instructor, will always be by your side making sure you are taking advantage of every photo opportunity there is. Nikhil will be there to guide you and offer ideas and technical help during the tour so you are comfortable taking photos in challenging photographic conditions.

“I had a tremendous time and brought home many good images. Juan and Nikhil organized the trip extremely well, and each had excellent photographic advice to share. I most enjoyed the spectacular wildlife and beautiful winter landscape of Yellowstone, the comradery of other nature photographers, and the excellent guidance of Juan and Nikhil. I hope to join them on another photo workshop in the future. Great workshop!”
–Bradford W.

Bison walking in the snow © Nikhil Bahl

Itinerary

Our typical travel itinerary is subject to change based on weather and other factors. This is a photography tour and as such you should not expect this to be a leisurely and relaxing vacation. We want to maximize your photographic and learning opportunities in Yellowstone National Park and strive to send everyone home with a nice portfolio of images and newfound knowledge. Our days are typically long, starting before dawn and ending after sunset. In general, we will take a lunch break to rest and recuperate midday.

Day 1

  • Arrive in Bozeman, Montana at Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN). Arrive no later than 2:00 PM on this day.
  • We will pick up all tour participants at the airport and transfer to our hotel in Gardiner.
  • There will be an orientation meeting so everyone can meet each other and Nikhil can review conditions and plan for the next day.
  • Overnight in Gardiner.

Day 2–4

  • Travel to Lamar Valley stopping for different wildlife and landscape photography opportunities along the way.
  • Eat lunch in Cooke City.
  • Travel from Cooke City back to Mammoth/Gardiner via Lamar.
  • Overnight in Gardiner.

Lamar Valley © Nikhil Bahl

Day 5

  • Enjoy a sunrise photo shoot at Mammoth Hot Springs. While photographing in the Gardiner area there are several opportunities for wildlife photography including pronghorn and big horn sheep.
  • Return to the hotel to pick up luggage and drive to West Yellowstone, stopping for lunch on the way.
  • Arrive in West Yellowstone, check-in to our lodging, and settle into rooms.
  • Eat an early dinner on this day.
  • Overnight in West Yellowstone.

Day 6–9

  • Travel via private snow coach into the interior of the park. The park’s interior offers many wildlife and scenic opportunities. It is truly a unique experience!
  • Each day you will spend up to 10 hours in the field.
  • Bagged lunches are arranged from a local deli so we can enjoy our lunch in the field surrounded by nature.
  • Every day we’ll travel to different sections of the park.
  • Even though we will pass some photo opportunities every day, we may try and photograph them a couple of times depending on weather conditions.
  • Some of the locations you will visit are: Madison River, Norris Geyser Basin, Upper and Lower Geyser Basins, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, and Hayden Valley depending on road conditions. There will be plenty of opportunities to photograph wildlife and landscapes during this part of the tour. We will pick which one to focus on based on weather conditions and opportunities.
  • Overnight in West Yellowstone.

Norris Geyser basin © Nikhil Bahl

Day 10

  • Travel to Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) to depart for home.
  • All airline departures must be after 12:00 PM on this day.
“Huge diversity of opportunities; lovely landscapes, fascinating thermals, and superb wildlife. Brilliant! Great atmosphere and excellent leaders; they were always helpful and enthusiastic. Really good trip, probably the best I’ve done! Thank you!” –David W.

What You Will Learn During this Yellowstone Photography Tour

Nikhil is an accomplished professional photographer and educator who has a deep passion for the outdoors. He believes that the best way to teach is by demonstrating; therefore Nikhil will be shooting alongside you, sharing his techniques, vision, and his love and knowledge of Yellowstone with you. His priority first and foremost is always you and helping you capture the wonders of Yellowstone with your own vision and creativity.

Topics to Be Covered During Your Yellowstone Photography Tour

  • How to create aesthetically pleasing wildlife and landscape photographs.
  • Learning to simplify your compositions for more powerful and expressive images.
  • Storytelling through natural history photography.
  • Best use of equipment in varying circumstances.
  • Photographing in cold weather.
  • Dealing with challenging exposures.
  • Long exposures.
  • Setting needed to capture wildlife action.
  • Creating panoramic photographs.

Bighorn sheep, male © Nikhil Bahl

Includes

  • All lodging (based on double occupancy); single supplements are $750.
  • Ground transportation including private snow coach.
  • Snacks and water in vehicles.
  • All necessary permits and fees throughout.
  • All in the field and casual classroom instruction.
  • Comprehensive and detailed information packet including logistics details, packing and equipment lists, and more.

Red fox shakes snow © Nikhil Bahl

Does Not Include

  • Meals and drinks.
  • Transport to Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) in Bozeman, Montana.
  • Single supplement may be required if we cannot pair you with a roommate; we will inform you of the rooming arrangements as the trip fills.

Immature bald eagle in flight © Nikhil Bahl

Traveling to Yellowstone

Arrival

You will be picked up at Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) in Montana on the first day. We ask that you please arrive in Bozeman no later than 2:00 PM on the first day of the tour.

Departure

On Day 10 you will travel to Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) for your flight home. All airline departures must be after 12:00 PM on this day.

Airport

Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN)
850 Gallatin Field Road
Belgrade, Montana 59714

Website: www.BozemanAirport.com
Telephone: (406) 388-8321

If you would like to register for this tour, please fill out the registration form. A non-refundable deposit (listed above) is required to reserve your spot. Please refer to our tour information section for our cancellation and refund policies.

Workshop Information
  • Dates: Jan. 3-12, 2019 (4 openings)
  • Cost: $4,995
  • Deposit: $1,000
  • Participants: 6
Single Supplement: $750
The single supplement fee reflects our actual cost and is subject to availability. If you are a single traveler and we are unable to place you with a roommate, you will be placed in a single room and charged the single supplement fee.
Leader

Nikhil Bahl

Nikhil Bahl

Nikhil Bahl is a full time professional photographer, author, educator, workshop instructor and environmentalist residing in the Washington D.C. area. Drawing inspiration from nature, Nikhil adopts novel approaches and seeks meaningful interpretations: to create photographs that transcend the commonplace, reflect deeper insights, and convey an enchantment of the subject's beauty.

An offshoot of Nikhil’s fine art photography and love of nature is his documentation of wildlife behaviors and habitats. Continue reading »

Testimonials
Both Juan and Nikhil were excellent. Each had different perspectives and I learned a lot. Not to mention that they were great fun to be with. Outgoing, patient, and very professional.
Geraldine T.
Winter in Yellowstone - Yellowstone National Park
I was very impressed with the effort our leaders went to assure that we had a variety of shooting opportunities. At no point did I feel that this was simply their ‘job’ but genuinely loved photography and sharing that with us.
Jeff L.
Winter in Yellowstone - Yellowstone National Park
I had a tremendous time and brought home many good images. Juan and Nikhil organized the trip extremely well, and each had excellent photographic advice to share. I most enjoyed the spectacular wildlife and beautiful winter landscape of Yellowstone, the comradery of other nature photographers, and the excellent guidance of Juan and Nikhil. I hope to join them on another photo workshop in the future. Great workshop!
Bradford W.
Winter in Yellowstone - Yellowstone National Park