Getting High in the Gallatins

OK. I admit it. The title is a bit provocative. However, it’s not exactly wrong. Launching my Phantom 4 into the skies above Hyalite Reservoir, I wanted to climb above a heavy fog that had descended over the glacially carved valley. Though it was the first week of August, temperatures here were in the low 30s this morning, and the difference between air and water created some incredible low hanging clouds. 

This is where UAVs, or what most people simply know as drones, really prevail. These are tools. They offer us new perspectives, new ways of seeing. And as the camera’s and drone technology continue to improve, platforms such as the Mavic Pro of Phantom from DJI have essentially become floating tripods – capable of handling shutter speeds as slow as 3 seconds! 

Where I had originally driven into the mountains in hopes of a bit more classic landscape photography, the fog found me flying high above the forest and lake as I changed tactics with the given conditions.  

In the background, you can see the beginning of the Hyalite Porcupine Buffalo Horn Wilderness Study Area. Oh that is a mouth full to say right there. But it is a truly spectacular place. These mountains press up against Yellowstone National Park. Wolves haunt this place. Both black bears and grizzly are seen up the valley in the photograph, and the entire place sits just 20 mins from my home. 

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