16th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
Animal: American Bison
Location: Yellowstone National Park, United States of America
Gaze into the image and feel the brutally cold winter temperatures Bison fight against to survive. Only the fittest Bison make it through the winter and about nine out of one hundred pass away. Even though winters in Yellowstone are severe, Bison are built for the cold with insulation we could only dream about from thick skin and underfur to layers of fat.
As I woke up surrounded by snow in my tent, the temperature gauge recorded -40°F. With condensation all over my gear, inched my way out of my sleeping bag and put on my cold boots. In order to get warm I fastened on my snowshoes and threw on my backpack to go snowshoeing in order to get my heart rate going.
After about thirty minutes of breaking trail, I saw a stunning adult Bison covered in frost. I snowshoed in front of the bison in order to photograph the massive animal walking towards me. Just as the sun started to peak above the mountains, I sat on a small hill and the Bison walked directly in front of me allowing for the perfect headshot to be photographed. This moment shows why Mother Nature is truly the greatest artist of us all.
© Thomas Chadwick.
All rights reserved.
||July 4, 2018, 9:09 p.m.