One of the great things about living so close to a geothermal area like Yellowstone is that the scenery is often very diverse in the winter time. The cold temps throughout the night often lead to snow not melting but in the morning when the sun hits the water we get great steam. Around the outer edges of the park we see this a lot but it’s not specific to just that area. In fact it is a common winter trait for any free flowing body of water and the cold temps. But how do you take advantage of it?
There are a number of ways to work with the steam because it is so abstract with no defined shapes or color, it can be composed in all sorts of ways. Two of my favorite ways is finding that lone tree that is surrounding by the steam and then in post converting it to black and white. One of the great things about steam is it creates a basic white point. It also creates this great moody feel to any image when composed correctly. It’s always a good idea to try and compose with as much space in the frame as possible yielding to the steam and never centered. This helps to exaggerate the effect.