The spume of Old Faithful’s world-famous eruption is backlit by the moon in Yellowstone National Park. (Greg Wise)

Images of Old Faithful erupting during the day are so commonplace they barely register with Wyoming residents. But a Powell photographer recently shot a moonlit eruption of the world’s most famous geyser that captured an arresting new perspective. 

Powell photographer Greg Wise said he and his wife, Susan, have long wanted to shoot Yellowstone National Park’s wonders at night. When they finally committed to a late-night visit to the park recently, Old Faithful topped their list of destinations.

As they arrived at sundown, the geyser was erupting. They walked to the backside, opposite of where crowds gather to watch it, to set up for the next emission. A partial moon rose in the sky, and Wise attempted to line up the shot so it would illuminate the geyser’s spume. 

It worked. The image, which also captures the iconic Old Faithful Lodge glittering with lights, offers an unfamiliar view of a well-worn sight. 

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The Wises spent all night photographing in the park; they didn’t leave until 4 a.m. It was memorable, Wise said. 

“If you want to be somewhere that is dark and quiet, Yellowstone after midnight is the place to be,” he said. 

Katie Klingsporn

Katie Klingsporn is WyoFile's managing editor. She is a journalist and word geek who has been writing about life in the West for 15 years. Her pieces have appeared in Adventure Journal, National Geographic...

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