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Taken 1-Apr-21
Visitors 19

19 of 155 photos
Categories & Keywords

Category:Travel and Places
Subcategory:North America
Subcategory Detail:United States of America
Keywords:Hot, Mammoth, Springs, Yellowstone
Photo Info

Dimensions5263 x 7894
Original file size10.9 MB
Image typeJPEG
Color spacesRGB
Date taken1-Apr-21 11:37
Date modified1-Apr-21 21:44
Shooting Conditions

Camera modelNIKON D850
Focal length240 mm
Focal length (35mm)240 mm
Max lens aperturef/5.7
Exposure1/1600 at f/5.6
FlashNot fired
Exposure bias0 EV
Exposure modeManual
Exposure prog.Manual
ISO speedISO 64
Metering modeSpot


In Yellowstone, blue water is hot water. It’s blue because the water is too hot for bacteria to grow. This means the travertine lining the pool stays white, which makes the water look blue. The water looks blue because of all the colors that make up light, blue has the shortest wavelength. The reds, yellows, and oranges are absorbed by the water first. The blue wavelength gets scattered and makes the water appear blue.

I learned this from my Grandpa during my first trip to Yellowstone in 1986. Grandpa was a chemistry teacher. I suspect I learned more about the natural world from him than from almost all the other sources combined.

The other nice thing about hot water in Yellowstone is that the steam rising from it makes for some great compositions, like this standing dead tree at Canary Spring.