Emerald Pool at Yellowstone National Park

Emerald Pool © 2010 Bo Mackison

Emerald Pool is sometimes a lovely shade of green. That makes sense when you consider the water is a deep blue and the lining of the pool is a bacteria-laden yellow. However the pool has been decreasing in temperature because of a combination of natural debris and materials thrown into the pool by visitors. This is causing the rim of the pool to darken to a brown color.

I photographed this pool with and without a polarizing filter. Usually I preferred the photographs of the hot springs and geysers with the polarizer to cut the reflections from the surrounding features and sky. Not so this time. When I used the filter, the reflection of the sky and trees disappeared and the pool was partly a dark brown and partly a lighter muddy color. I preferred the photographs of Emerald Spring with the added colors from the reflections.
This hot spring is part of the Black Sand Basin located near the Old Faithful Complex in Yellowstone National Park.
About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. That photo turned out very well! It’s a very pretty place!

  2. Beautiful, Bo. Sad that humans add to the destructive forces that are changing that landscape. Lovely photo.

  3. Stunning image…and what a gorgeous landscape. You definitely made the right decision here to go without the filter!

  4. I love the light reflecting on the hillside.

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